This is not fun…
I need to be a little bit “real and vulnerable” today. This post is not coming on a typical “#getFIT Friday” because you know what? This weekend I had an actual mental breakdown, a bloat that wouldn’t quit, and I have not felt this “down” about my weight loss in a while. That resulted in today- a real life, deep dive into why my “diet” isn’t working and why my “workouts” aren’t working, and why “weight loss” isn’t really a thing lately.
Being honest with myself, isn’t really so… cute.
My inner monologue this afternoon went a little like this- and I want you to think about if you’re feeling the same way about weight loss, is this why?
First, I want to talk about the past. I’ve always been the heavy friend. I dropped 100 pounds (and gained about 15 in muscle, but was lean). I fit in with my friends around me, and was happy with how I looked. During this three year weightloss stint- I did lose 100 pounds, find a much smaller reflection in the mirror, and a new found confidence surrounded me. At the same time, there was a lot of work put in. I will be honest, I was the “anti-diet” diet. I ate a steady 1,400-1,600 calories each day- but it was filled with McDonalds, cookies, Mike & Ikes and anything that my grubby little hands could eat.
I would eat everything and gain no weight. My body didn’t bloat, my metabolism just cruised through life, and my weight didn’t change. I also worked out, far more than I think even I realized. Looking back on my “workout regimen”- I spent about 2 hours per day in the gym. When I wasn’t in the gym, the Y and the elementary school were fairly active jobs. When Dylan and I lived at home- date night consisted of walks around Lake Calhoun, Mall of America, or being at the gym. We were constantly moving. This literally took my until LAST NIGHT to really recognize. I was small- because I had convinced myself to NEVER STOP MOVING, and my metabolism rewarded me.
That is not who I am now.
Relationship weight is real. Anxiety weight is real. Life stress is real. & sitting for eight hours at a desk job will affect your weight. I’ve spent the better part of eight months consistently fighting with my mirror image. The entire time though, I’ve loved myself and who I was. I want that to be abundantly clear. I do not fear food anymore, I do not feel like my self-worth is held in my reflection, and I do not worry about jean size. But I knew that my body could feel better, and I knew that I needed to find it again.
So, I struggled.
We know that I struggled through almost 20 pounds of weight gain in Lincoln. I lost about 15 of it, and felt good last summer, but I’ve gained some (most) of it back recently & it’s not how I want to be.
Let’s jump to last summer. I was pretty decently in shape- or at least, a happy weight for how I felt. After summer ended, I maintained the number on the scale for a while… Then, February hit & I gained around 8 pounds on the cruise, which- never went away. I underestimated the calories in all of those sugary alcoholic beverages, those ice cream cones, the pizza, the buffet, etc. (Really though, I now want to go on a cruise and just eat.)
So food wasn’t my friend, so I figured I’d just work it off like I used to. I joined a gym last November and by February- I was the person I always loved at the Y. The person who gave up, and stopped going to the gym. The person who let life get in the way of health & stopped caring about the scale. I decided to “jumpstart my summer” by doing an 8 week #getFIT challenge, which ended 19 days ago- and I gained a pound. Whatever I was doing- wasn’t working.
…So, what was I doing?
I “ate healthy” and “worked out”- or so I thought. I would input about 1,500 calories into MyFitnessPal per day. Let me break that down for you. 1,500 calorie average- with 80% of my diet consisting of cracker, chips, granola bars, or other carbohydrates. My body is tired. & let’s talk about that number: 1,500. That’s loose. Some days, I was well over 2,000 calories. Most days, the handful of m&ms, the “just a snack” granola bar, and the donut from the break room somehow didn’t make it onto my food log. Actually, there were probably about 1,500 calories a week that didn’t even get noticed. It’s not out of site out of mind when it’s sitting on your mid-section Jennifer. Clearly, this alone has room for improvement.
Let’s switch it over to working out. My “fitness” has been a combination of 20 minute walk-stop-walks with Ellie, or 30 minutes of a half-lift and half-cardio in the gym. I have lost the will power to push myself. Yet, this entire time, I’ve told myself that “if I’m working out- it should just work! It did before”… Okay Jen, you’re working out 1/4 of the amount you used to, plus not moving in your job (which you used to), plus not moving in your “hang out with your man” (which you used to), you’re probably moving 1/5 of what you used to. So… that could contribute? Maybe?
A combination of lackluster work outs, uncharted meals, and my dwindling will power has me standing right here. You want to know what else is really kicking my ass? There are so many people who are finding success around me, that I’m falling back into the category of the heavy friend and it’s so hurtful to my self-esteem. It’s my fault, my sit down job, my laziness, and my lack of heart, but it still hurts.
Sometimes, you just need to lay it all out there.
This isn’t some half-assed “let’s get to summer”, bikini body ready, BS. This is some “I’m going to get pregnant someday, and home girl needs to be fit now, so she can be fat later” mentality… But in reality, I’m watching the way I see myself lately- and I don’t like it. I fear falling back into a pattern of disordered eating, obsessive workouts, and bullying myself. I don’t want to fall in love with a number on the scale, I want to fall in love with the person in the mirror & I need to take control.
So, here I am, laying it all out on an online platform once again. I’ve decided that this summer, fall, winter and the rest of 2017 is going to be about my health. Not about my Instagram followers (11.3k thank you), fixing my relationship (we made it over that hurdle and we’re good), or making money on my blog (Because, I can’t devote my life here right now). I’ve got the job, the husband, the puppy, the family, and a really good life- I just need to take a little time focus on me. (& MAYBE, you need to focus on you?)