Being Consistent

I went ran* to a workout class on Saturday and it was PAINFULLY obvious how long it’s been since I truly worked out. Like worked hard and pushed myself. Pushups were next to impossible again and I couldn’t hold a low plank for more than a couple of counts. I woke up sore the next morning in that good way – the kind where you feel like you’ve truly worked all of your muscle groups and you remember you have muscles under there somewhere. It felt great but the struggle now is to keep it up. No progress will be made if I only attend workout classes once in a blue moon.

This is my
This is my “I just had my butt whupped” face, complete with purpley-redness.

It’s SO HARD to be consistent and that’s been my struggle for my whole life. I can do the going hard and sticking it out thing for like a week and then I give in to temptation or get lax with my eating well and exercising routine. (Though it’s hard to even consider it routine after just a week!)

For me, tracking my calories and exercising are like being in AA. I have to take it one day minute at a time. After time, when the pain/annoyance of a new routine wears off, it gets a little easier but temptation never fully goes away.

I tend to fall into one of two camps:

  1. Team “I am going to do this and I am strong, I am woman, hear me roar!” I exercise consistently and eat super well and am so disciplined and then one day hit a tiny stumbling block and consume everything in sight like a crazed Stay Puft Marshmallow Man.
  2. Team “What’s it going to hurt to have a bite of this or a bite of that and skip a workout or two and never actually form any new habits or routines?”

One is to fly too high, just to crash and burn. The other is never getting off the ground. So I guess that means a balance between the two is the invisible Wonder Woman plane that keeps me on the journey?

*running is so hard now. It wasn’t even a mile there and I was certain death would greet me before I arrived. So, I signed up for a 5k in two weeks to make sure I get back to it.  Nothing like a deadline to light a fire under my butt.

tl;dr Drink your Metamucil for consistency

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Have You Ever Felt Like It Will Just Never Happen?

I know I do. I feel this way every time I slip up, every time I skip a work out, every time I can’t button my pants. I feel like It’ll never lose the weight, I’ll never change my ways, I’ll never stop being sorry for myself. I’ll never not be tempted by fried or junky foods and I’ll never be passionate about working out.

The annoying thing is that I have been there! I have been in a place where my body craves healthy foods over junky ones, where I enjoy working out and seeing my body change and become stronger. I just lost that motivation and slid into old habits and now I’m sitting at my desk with my skirt unzipped 3 inches because it won’t go all the way up. A skirt that was once too big. I’m so frustrated with myself for working so hard and then frittering it away.

When I started my journey, I was 234 lbs. and wore a tight size 22. I remember being shocked and horrified and I couldn’t believe it was real. I moved to Chicago and lost about 40 lbs. just out of sheer poverty. I ate eggs for every meal and walked everywhere because I couldn’t afford a bus pass. Then I got a job and started eating lunch out every day. The weight piled back on pretty quickly. Next thing I knew, I was back into size 20s and weighed 218 lbs. (218 is my “real” starting weight because that’s when I decided to consciously make an effort.) Over the course of the next 6 months, I ate really well and exercised at least 5 times a week. I ran a 10 mile race! I got down to 168 and comfy size 10. I maintained that weight for about a year, meaning to lose more but I loosened up on the reigns and let myself splurge almost every day and cut exercise back to three times a week, then two then none. I quit running. Now I’m ? lbs. (my scale batteries died but, at last check, I was at least 188) and a tight size 14. I was so close! I was within 20-25 lbs. of my goal weight and I let go. I dwell on that so often. Instead of looking at what an accomplishment it was to lose 50 lbs. and maintain for a year, I focus on the failure of gaining 20 of those lbs. back.

Before and During
Before and During

I’m going running on Saturday morning with a friend. I might not be able to even go a whole mile but I’m going to get out there. I came too far and worked too hard to just let it all slip away. So, yeah, it does feel like it will just never happen sometimes. Everything worth working for probably feels like that.  A dream job, a dream spouse, a baby.  So, despite my dismay at backsliding, I’d probably be even more dismayed if I never fought for what I want at all.