I haven’t checked in since November 11th. Whoops. I could blame it on my promotion at work, the busyness of the holidays or a million other things but, the truth is: I’ve been hiding from you, dear readers.
I spent the last few months eating poorly (or very well, depending on your perspective) and exercising very little. Sure, I’d go on an occasional run or meet a friend for TRX class but my gym membership fees were completely going to waste. I felt like a fraud, writing a blog about weight loss and life change, while secretly shoveling Christmas Oreo bark and homemade tamales down my gullet by the truckload.
My clothes started to get snug, my weight started to creep back up and my motivation reached an all-time low. Why is this so hard?! Why does this have to be a CONSTANT battle? When will I hit that point where I look forward to exercising or start choosing salad over fries without feeling cheated? Better yet, why can’t I have the fit body with a lightening-quick metabolism that burns thousands of calories while I lounge on the couch, watching another 10 episodes of Murder, She Wrote? IT’S NOT FAIR. WHY ME? I AM THE VICTIM HERE.
For the last three months, I’ve been participating in a weight loss study through Northwestern’s Psychology Department. There’s no miracle drug, no experimental procedures and no real risk. I get weekly coaching calls, a calorie/exercise tracking app and general weight loss support. A few weeks ago, during my coaching call, I confessed how I feel like a victim. How it isn’t fair that being overweight “happened to me.” My coach didn’t scold me or call me a big, fat dummy (though she would’ve been totally right) she just let it all sink in for a second. I realized how silly that sounded. Being overweight didn’t “happen to me,” it’s a result of my choices. And if that’s something I want to change, then I’ll have to alter my choices.
Man, oh man is it hard to alter those choices. It’s a non-stop struggle to make wise food decisions, to show up to the gym, to wake up early on Saturday mornings to run in the cold, to turn down treats. And I give in, a lot. Sure, I ran 4 miles this morning in the snow and slush but, I ordered corned beef hash and eggs for brunch.
But I’m learning. I know myself well enough to know that I’m not going to just go exercise without an appointment. So I schedule group classes the week before and sign up so I can’t cancel. I joined a running club so I’ll be held accountable to someone other than myself. I added new exercises (yoga and barre – both pretty great) to keep me challenged and to add a little variety. I still meal plan and cook every day but I try to make simpler recipes that won’t take forever (the longer dinner takes to cook, the more I snack whilst it’s cooking.) It still makes me mad that this is something I have to do forever in order to be healthy but I guess it’s better than the alternative of being miserable in my own body.
So that’s why I stayed away. I kept waiting for something momentous and inspiring to happen so I could come back and write about it. Instead, normal, everyday life happened. But isn’t that kind of what this whole thing is all about anyway? Just living normal, everyday life?
tl;dr This s#!t ain’t easy. Take it one day at a time, man.