July 1, 2011

Roses and thorns

July, we meet again.

This time last year, I was about to hit rock bottom. Everything was coming to an apex - do or die - and I made the conscious decision to do everything in my power to get healthy. I stopped playing video games and started walking around my neighborhood. I stopped eating tons of garbage and started to eat better and eat less. I stopped drinking soda and started drinking water. In doing so, my life has changed entirely over the past eleven months.

Today, I find myself waking up feeling just as lousy as I did last July.

The scale, which flipped back and forth between 198 and 199 for the first half of the week, showed me 203 this morning, and I'm upset. It was an understandable 201 on Wednesday morning after my binge, and 200 yesterday morning after a good run and a successful day of on-plan eating. Yesterday I hit the gym, ate well, drank water, and went to bed early. So, a three pound gain overnight? And technically a FIVE pound gain from last week? I'm upset. I'm back in the two's, somewhere I never wanted to be again. 200 and 201 felt temporary - small fixable errors - but seeing 203 feels incredibly bigger, and just as bad as if it said 299. It's movement in the wrong direction.

The scale readout feels secondary, though, to how I'm really feeling these days, which is pretty down. Someone asked me point blank the other day, "When does the money run out?" It takes all I have in me not to tailspin. I want to go numb, but the problem is that I'm not the same person I was a year ago, so sitting around my apartment and eating myself sick isn't satifying anymore. I end up feeling more depressed because I know I am capable of so much more. I know how good it feels to do right by my body, to nourish myself properly, to break personal records, and to see numeric losses.

I hate not having good news to report - and I don't just mean with the scale, because if the scale wasn't moving but I felt fine, I'd be okay with that. But I'm looking at all the pictures from the past year of this smiling girl who just raced up the stairs of her office building, who just crossed yet another finish line, and I'm not recognizing myself.

When I feel myself slipping back into my dark depressed place, I see myself this way, no matter what the scale says:

Because this girl was sad. Faking smiles. Profoundly alone. Hurting beyond belief. And about to reach her point of no return.

But - this girl was also capable of great things - she just had to get started and learn how to make it work for her. And I just need to figure out how to recapture that drive and motivation in spite of less-than-ideal circumstances. There are a lot of really lousy things going on right now that I have no control over, but this is one thing I can determine the outcome of. I feel great when I work out and feed my body what it needs to do its best - so why wouldn't I do all I could to make sure I feel great? I can apply to thousands of jobs and hear nothing. I can write dozens of letters home and still not have progress. But it's impossible to eat better/keep moving and not do well.

I really hate complaining, and I hate that I've done so much of it lately. It gets me nowhere. So today, as I turn my calendar to a new blank page, I'm trying my best to be the cheery optimistic self I've enjoyed being this past year. I'm hopeful - great things are going to happen this July, I know it - and I'm fighting on. I have the tools I need to do well, I just need to use them.

What about you? What are your goals for the new month? What's your favorite summer exercise? It's a holiday weekend for lots of people - what's your favorite healthy summer celebration food?


Dani said...

They say fake it til you make it, and right now, I'm in the same boat. Scale is up 3 lbs in a week, and I'm in an area I wrote off as "never going back" and I log my time at the gym and eat right (excluding last weekend which is why it went up in the first place). So, basically, lots of words to tell you, you're not alone <3

MaryJo said...

Mary, you're in my thoughts during what is certainly a very tryin time in your life. Things with the job and living situation are really uncertain and I'd think you were nuts if this didn't take some toll on your emotions. And I'm sorry the weight loss is stagnating at the moment.
Thinking of you!

Sarah said...

You mentioned you had a binge, I have read where it can take a week for our body to get rid of all that excess build up from the sodium and such. Don't let the scale defeat you, just keep doing what your doing, your body will bounce back. Binges are terrible, that 5 minute satisfaction leads to the next week of you feeling miserable. I have noticed when I eat something not so healthy how it makes my mood, body and everything else feel. Crazy how food can have such an impact on you like that.
You have come a long way and need to be proud of all that you have done, you have hit a little road block, its ok, keep moving along and you will be back in the 100's again!

Kelliann said...

Oh, I know just how you feel. You are SO capable of doing good things for yourself. It's hard to get up the energy to believe that - most of us are still hanging onto that "fat girl mentality" - "I can't do it". But look how far you have come! AMAZING!!! Look what you did after your binge - you TURNED IT AROUND. You worked out, ate correctly, got rest. SCREW the scale. The numbers are nothing compared to how you care for yourself.
Perhaps talking to someone might be helpful? I know it has done a lot for me. And don't appoligize about complaining. It's YOUR blog, and you can complain if you want to!
You can do it girl - keep on the right path and you will be back down into ONEderland in NO time.

Amy Benitez said...

Hey Mary-- Your last few blog posts have been phenomenal. I have a disappointing tendency to retreat into my own world when I binge because I'm too ashamed to blog about it or admit it to anyone. It can take me weeks (or months) to recover. I've been struggling with a chronic immune disorder in addition to my weight loss battle and it's been wearing me thin emotionally. It's different from your journey, but how you're feeling is like looking in the mirror. I imagine they're not easy feelings for you to share, but I hope writing your posts is as cathartic for you as reading them is for me.

My dad told me once that success doesn't mean anything if you didn't sweat, bleed, and cry on your way to finding it. I hold onto that when I feel my lowest and my darkest thoughts are calling me a fraud. Struggling doesn't make you less of a weight loss rockstar or angel. It makes you more of one. I sincerely appreciate your posts and I think you're wonderful. Hang in there!

Hyla said...

Im so sorry you are going through a tough time. It'f funny that you feel like you did before you started this journey
bc you cant tell by looking at you. I showed hubby your pics before I starting reading the post and he was like Damn she doesnt even look like the same person.
I bet it is worse for every person on extreme makeover or biggest loser because their loss comes so quickly they dont have the time to change and grow from the inside.

Think about this, you may think you feel the same as you used to but what you wrote after that is not the same as you said you were thinking/feeling

Would that person be trying to fight through this
Would that person persist in the face of set backs
Would that person have as much determination as you do right now

You are different and because of that you WILL get through this.

It takes days for a binge to register and days for your body to get rid of it. PUT THE SCALE AWAY!
Focus on getting through a week without the scale and then bring it back out. Give yourself some time to reflect and work. When you keep looking at the scale your emotions go all over like the scale is doing and that is not healthy.

You WILL do this.

Debsdailylife said...

Life is a marathon, not a 5K. It seems to take so long to get to where we want to be. Bumps in the road. A few backtracks. But youre getting there!!!
Find something nonfood that makes you smile. A tall glass of ice water, a walk in the park, people watching at the mall, youre favorite movie, Tom and Jerry, sunshine. I seem to get down in the dumps when im inside.
Youve come so far, and despite this little setback, I believe youll be moving forward again really soon!!!

Bluezy said...

MG I am so sorry that scale went up on you. If I lived close, I would bring a sledge hammer and some punk rock and we could smash that witch of a scale together and eat some salad and sugar free peach tea. And I am serious about that. Hey Oh! and Oi Oi and all that. LOL

Summer has made me feel like my fat cells have expanded. Like maybe they cooked and swelled. I don't like that feeling. My main thing is now that it is hot hot, I am using it as an excuse to not be physical. I have an exercise bike right behind me and why is it just sitting there? I am being lazy and sedentary. This is what I need to work on.

Ellie said...

I know just how you feel. To go from 149.6 to 157 in a week, it was devastating. But this week I am back to 151.

Maybe your body just needs some time to catch up.

Keep your chin up. You will be back to the 100's before you know it, and a couple more years from now that girl will be a distant memory.

Scrumpy said...

I don't have any words of wisdom and can think of nothing but cliches to post here. So I'll just say know people are out there wishing the best for you.

Anonymous said...

You. You right now and you July 2010 made the decision to change your life. To HAVE a life. The you before you realized what works for you (or before you accepted it) would have seen that number, got discouraged and used it as an excuse to do something BAD for you. She would have looked for a reason.

I think we will spend our lives plugging the various emotional holes that seem to lose their stuffing at the MOST inappropriate times. But you are building an incredible tool chest that allows you to fight back the assaulting water.

I am on a boat theme today. Sorry. Jeesh.

you know what I mean though. Each obstacle hurdled builds confidence and experience for the next. Soon you run without trepidation or wobbly footing.

Hugs. Plug away and you will be right back in the 190's and this moment will have been but a little blip.

Repeat this back to me when I get to 199. Please. I will need it.

Anonymous said...

One more thing that I just noticed. The pic of you at the finish line - the smile looks genuine.

timothy said...

ok first NEVER weigh yourself the week you binge it may take days to show up, and you KNOW it's all temporary. you are a brilliant, kind, sweet, beautiful girl and you are capable of ANYTHING! you've already proven that , so i'm not gonna give you a pity party though i do empathize/sympathize. i will however be glad to be a cheerleader or kick your butt. just let me know what yoy need.
i'm sending love/energy your way, have a blessed weekend and channel that pain/anger/fear into something positive! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

CarolineCalcote said...

Aw Mary, you got this. There's an ebb and flow to weight management. Sometimes you are gung ho, sometimes it seems hopeless and pointless. You can get your mojo back anytime you want to. Just one good decision followed by another one. Don't worry. It's just a few days out of your life. It will happen again too. You just have to get back on the path. You know what to do.

Krista said...

I'm sorry that you weren't happy with what you saw on the scale, but I know that you know that you didn't TRUELY gain three pounds overnight. It's just one of those really frustrating moments when you have a good day but the scale doesn't reflect it the next day. It's just like when you have a not-so-good day and the scale does what you want it to and shows a loss; we'll never understand why our bodies do this. Ya just gotta shake it off and keep trucking! You've done so amazing and I'm so happy for you for making it into the 100's :)