September 9, 2011

Roses and thorns

I'm exhausted.

Honestly, this was a three-day work week and I was done with work by 1 p.m. most days, so I'm kind of surprised at how tired I am.

For the past year, I've been so thrilled at having become some sort of morning person - I used to sleep until noon and think nothing of it, but as I became more active and started properly nourishing my body, I fell asleep easier, slept more soundly, and had no trouble waking up.

Maybe that's why I'm so tired, then ... because I'm still dealing with a feeling of imbalance. I'm biking like crazy and running when I can, and I'm burning tons of calories - about 625 a day just from my commute to work, and that doesn't count errands like grocery shopping or going to the post office or exploring for fun.

So why am I posting a maintain again this week?

I biked nearly 150 miles this week. I should be losing something. But my eating is still off, and it's wasting my workouts. I had two back-to-back binges over the weekend as I tried to cope with feeling confused, overwhelmed, and stressed out about my evolving friendships. And therefore, the rest of the week was spent trying to get back down to a maintain. My exhaustion is certainly also due to the fact that I have been biking like crazy to try and undo all the bad food choices I have made.

I'm really getting sick of this, to be honest. I look alright, but I don't feel my best. I got to onederland exactly three months ago as of tomorrow, and now I'm only five pounds lighter. I don't like excuses, and I like them even less when they're coming from myself. Yes, I'm lonely. Yes, I'm stressed. Yes, I'm overwhelmed. But these are not problems that are solved by a binge - in fact, these problems seem to be exacerbated by overeating. I'm focusing on short-term relief instead of long-term repair, and I'm hurting myself more than helping myself.

I know I can do better, and I know what I need to do in order to do better. Now, it's just a matter of putting one foot in front of the other. Getting back to what I know works for me.
  • Starting each day with a full bottle of water, even before I take my shower. I don't think I've been properly hydrating, and misinterpreting thirst as hunger has lead to some poor snacking choices.
  • Logging everything - and not eating anything after I've completed my day's entry. It's so motivational to see, numerically, what I am capable of...

    ... but unaccounted-for late night snacking is certainly affecting the actual results.
  • Cooking at least one new recipe a week. The act of cooking calms me, and the diversity helps me stay focused and on-plan. There's a microwave at the office but no fridge, so I've been eating when I get home from work - lately, cooking a Weight Watchers frozen dinner, dumping it over a bag of salad, and calling it lunch. Great in a pinch, but I definitely want to get away from processed foods again.
  • Eating mindfully. I've been eating dinner standing over the countertop - even if I ate at my desk, it would be better. I'd be sitting, and more able to focus on what I'm doing. I need to be more mindful about snacking, too - more fruits and veggies, and - again - less processed and packaged stuff.
I've done a lot of thinking this week about what I need to do in order to feel more balanced with my efforts, and goal setting is a big part of that. With the Winter challenge, I wanted to hit my 100 pound weight loss - and I did it. With the Spring challenge, I wanted to get to onederland - and I did it. I made an unofficial goal of losing twenty pounds by the time I ran the Chicago half marathon (so I'd be half my starting weight), but when I realized I wouldn't be in Chicago to run, I got even further off-track than I had been before. I need some deadlines, something to help me focus.

This weekend, I'm going to catch up on sleep, read for pleasure, and ride my bike less - my goal, then, also being to stay at a lower calorie intake and not eat all of my exercise calories. I've been excusing a lot of my eating with "...but I bike so much, I'll burn it off." So I want to take it easier, both with intake and output. Stay hydrated, stay in control.

And - I'm going to reread my blog archives. I need to be inspired, I need to find some of the motivation that helped me shed nearly half my body weight. I need to get back to my basics, I think. It isn't easy, but it's worth it - I'm worth it - and I absolutely cannot forget this.

What about you? What have you done this week that you're proud of? What do you do when you want to rediscover your motivation? How are you going to spend your weekend?


Caron said...

Here's hoping you get back to the basics and continue on your journey to the weight you would like to be. I'm curious if the job is starting out well. I hope it is a wonderful job. :)

Heather said...

You are awesome! You are worth it! Your entries are so great to read. I have started to exercise again which I am proud of. When I want to rediscover my motivation, I talk to people that I know are encouraging. Somethings need the listening ears and supportive words of a friend. I am spending this weekend going back to my home town to see my folks and pick up some stuff I left behind at my home! I hope you have a great weekend!

SkippyMom said...

That is a great picture. I think you are doing wonderful. I can imagine how frustrating it is to hit a plateau/maintain - but you are still exercising! That is good.

This weekend, IF it stops raining [flooding] I hope to be able to attend my youngest's birthday party. Her friends will have to deal with the wheelchair, but I think I am getting better with that. My daughter doesn't see it, but I don't want her friends to mind. Does that make sense?

She, along with her brothers, sisters and their Dad are my motivation to "Get It Done". They inspire me.

Karen said...

Oh how I wish I liked to cook:( Just had a conversation about that with my husband yesterday, trying to decide how often I should cook now that we have an empty nest.

Anonymous said...

I've worked hard this week on communication. I'm proud of myself for struggling to find the words to say what I need to say to people - in a kind way.

For motivation - I turn to a bunch of different places. I read weight loss blogs, infertility blogs, running blogs - anything about people overcoming an obstacle to remind me that striving forward is part of human nature and that I confirm my humanity every time I reach beyond my comfort zone.

We're having a quiet-ish weekend. B has the first game of the season tomorrow with his German team and then there's a festival the group is going to afterward. I'll hopefully start washing/cleaning for my trip back to the US which happens next Wednesday.

I'm cheering for you in all of it - finding new friends, your LDR, and of course the weight loss. Have a great weekend!

Carbie Girl said...

would you believe I actually worked out yesterday? *gasp* thats what Im proud of. You'll pull out of this Mary... its another section of this journey and the closest we get to our goals the more roadblocks we may have to clear. Sucks that it never gets "easy" .. its something we all have to keep in mind as a lot of us are still not yet in onederland. Hugs to you!!

Jen said...

Mary, what happened to your jar of anti-binge ideas? That was working well in Chicago, right?

This weekend I will begin research for a paper I have to write for this last year of school. I really really want to use my time efficiently!

Anonymous said...

I'd like to point out that you are not actually "Wasting your workout" if you yield better health. You just may not be squeezing out every benefit.

Stress of moving and starting a new job are big. Do not underestimate that. Luckily you have the biking to burn off some of those emotions. Time to think and recalibrate without too much distraction.

To concentrate on the positive - you have met nice and welcoming folks, only work until ONE! and are healthily trecking around in Onederland.

Thinking about life in that way may allow you to put life in generqal in perspective so you can then deal with stress (and its effects/handling of it - binging) better.

You once said something like the scale is just a number, but it is all the other things you get from living a healthy and active life that matter. Not exact, but... Good advice.

Tim said...

I'm in a similar situation myself where I am walking 50+ miles a week + going to the gym 3 times YET still end up battling on the last day to hit a loss on the scales.

Meghan said...

Maintaining is great. Once all the pieces fall back into place you will continue to see the scale go down. Don't worry about it! Once you get your eating back to where you want it you will start to feel better.

CarolineCalcote said...

I'm also getting back to basics. With so many fun trips and celebrations this summer I am definitely up a few pounds (but I don't weight...I can just tell that my clothes aren't fitting right). So I am back to counting calories. This is my pattern. Have alot of fun, relax, gain a few. Get back to basics, lose it. This is how I have maintained my 100# loss for three years. Seriously, this will happen for the rest of your life. You are doing the right thing! You can only move forward.

marisol said...

Have you thought of doing something different as in the way of food? If I remember correctly, you are watching your calorie intake, right? Maybe try something different like WW. I like it and I like that I can eat anything. It encourages me to eat more fruits & veggies too. It could work or not, But maybe something different may help. And you don't have to go to the meetings. You can join online.

I read a lot of blogs to keep myself motivated. Seeing people's achievements helps keep me motivated. Also reading about their struggles reminds me that I am not the only one in this fight.

Unknown said...

just found your blog -- and wow --need i say more?

can't wait to read more and catch up!

misadventures of a chunky goddess

Hyla said...

I lost my motivation in August. To get myself back on track I have made a workout schedule and posted it to the front door and right next to my bed. I proud that I followed the first week perfectly!

Definitely get the extra eating under control. I used to excuse my eating because I worked out and it did NOT work at all. Stay strong woman! You can do it! I believe in you!

P.S. I wanna hear about the boy... ;)