Andie at Can You Stay For Dinner? blogged about thinking of weight loss in a different way. One of the correlations was, after you go through the I’m on the ball, I can do this, YAY WEIGHT LOSS phase, and you hit the – well I’ve been doing this for a while, and well, everything is slowing down and I am kind of bored Phase – you have to hit the bit of reality that “This is gonna suck for awhile.”
She made the example of miles 10 to 20 of a marathon. Having never run a marathon I will have to only imagine that this is true. But, I will say that Miles 8-12 in the half marathon sucked pretty hardcore and they felt never ending. They felt as if they were completely uphill (not true though, mostly flat and down hill – the climbs were miles 5-7), and I couldn’t get hydrated or fueled enough to continue with the race.
That is where I am. I am in the 8-12 mile period of my half marathon or the 10 to 20 mile period of a marathon. This will pass, but right now it feels like I’m crawling. It feels like I have to drag myself through every meal planning, every tracking of food, every workout (excluding running, because for some reason the metaphor of a race doesn’t actually correlate to my love of running), and it didn’t use to be this hard.
(Like I said, this blogger like KNOWS me – fo real.)
What do I do now that I know where I’m at in this and I’m gonna be here a bit longer?
Well during the half marathon I switched my music on my shuffle about every minute. Even if I like the song, the change in beat, voice, instruments, etc helped keep me entertained. I also took in the sights around me. I had never been through some of these neighborhoods in DC and the houses were gorgeous, and the people cheering didn’t hurt either. I also thought about how I was accomplishing something I was pretty sure 5 years ago I never would have thought possible.
So how do I take these tactics and put them into Losing Weight and Real Life?
Switching up the Tunes:
This applies to all routines. Weight Loss didn’t really start clicking for me until I added actual strength training. Yes I was losing fat before but I was all jiggly. Who wants that? I started NROLFW 7 weeks ago and I notice it. It’s small, it’s coming slowly but things are tightening up. I was a cardio queen, now I do running, incline walking, lifting, and yoga all regularly. I feel stronger now that my routine is more rounded. I also change up distance, weight, and incline pretty much every workout. Intervals are fun and help pass the time quickly if you are treadmill or really any indoor equipment bound. When I get the nerve up I am going to try CrossFit at a studio in Manassas.
As for Switching up eating? This HELPS A LOT. I was struggling hardcore on WW. I am not sure why the first 40 pounds worked with this but these last 20 – 25 pounds just don’t like the program. But whatever. Myfitnesspal.com is working for me. Counting calories consumed, and burning calories to have a net calorie intake of about 1200 is working well. I find that the fact I am working out in conjunction with eating healthy the pounds seem to move (Who would have thunk it?). But in order for this to work I can’t feel deprived. I have to be able to have pizza. I have to be able to get dessert. I have to be able to drink beer or wine when I want. I’ve learned moderation finally. I can have a 12 ounce great tasting beer after dinner, with a little snack and I’m good. I don’t need to have more than that. I can have Frozen Yogurt a couple nights a week and be okay not having it the other nights. I can go over to my parents house and graze their kitchen with 1 or 2 cookies and may be a glass of wine, and not wreck my hard work. Why have I instantly learned this? Is it self control? No. It’s because I am satisfied. My diary which you can view on Myfitnesspal.com (username BebeGetsWordy – Add me!) is full of food. Some good for you, others may be not so good for you. But I eat the filling foods that are low calorie so I can eat more of them. I eat a ton of protein. I eat a ton of fiber. I drink a ton of water. I do all the common sense things that I have had preached to me for years, and for some reason, now they are working.
Taking in the Sights:
I had never made before and after shots. But I finally did and I was able to see the path I had gone and how far I had come. May be you are at the beginning of your journey, or you are starting again after taking a leave of absence, where ever you are think about how you got here. Another blogger, and frankly a friend that I happen to have met on Weight Watchers, Meagan, did an entire post series of wedding recaps from the beginning (Engagement) to the end (Day After Shots, etc.). It was a beautiful album of memories, commemorating her’s and her husbands path to their lives now. (Plus her wedding was like so incredibly stunning, as is she, that not going to her blog now and not looking at her posts would really just be a crime against all things Beautiful. Puppies are also prominently featured on the blog. Go. Now. I’ll wait.)
Here is my advice on taking in the sights. Start a blog about your journey. People will read it. Even if they don’t, you have an account on how you have done. Take pictures of yourself sweaty after workouts, post them and all of their glory and be proud.
Not a blog person? Start a scrapbook, journal, memory board, pinterest board, facebook event, Tweet about it. It doesn’t matter. Keep track of your accomplishments, so when you are in Miles 10 – 20 you can remember how kick ass you were in Miles 0-10.
The most beautiful thing about Weight Watchers was the group of women I met while there. I mention LTE a lot because they are my family in so many ways. We have all struggled and succeeded and the motivation and praise is always there. No they don’t stand in my kitchen and cheer when I go for the apple and not the potato chips (BUT THAT WOULD BE AWESOME GUYS), but when I come online I have them at every angle (Facebook, WW, Twitter, Their Blogs, Chat Clients). I have unlimited, almost 24/7 support from them. I also have others I have met through various places who have become a strong hold in my accomplishments.
Of course my family and friends outside of the computer are great motivators and care takers of me, I thank God dearly for all of you.
I swear, IF I ever get published and have the ability to thank everyone by name, it will take up a good 10% of the pages in the book, which I am sure my editor will absolutely adore.
The point is, find a support system. Whether on the message boards of whatever weight loss site you use, your family and friends, people at your gym, etc. You need them to get through this journey as much as you need to eat healthy and exercise.
There are times when I think about how easy life would be if I had never gained the weight in the first place. If I, back in elementary school, had actually played soccer for the team I was on and moved around the field instead of watching butterflies, I might have been more active sooner. I think about if I had never started smoking, running would be easier – even now after having quit last year, it’s still hard to keep my breathing right – and I might have had a shot at being more active in high school. I think about all the times someone called me fat in school, or at home, or in public places, that if I had said “No more” and adopted a plan to get healthy instead of turning to food to comfort me, I might not have topped out at 190 pounds sophmore year of high school to eventually hit 221 when TPWSNBN and I got married.
These are all “if’s”. One of the many things my Dad says that I absolutely love is “I don’t live in ‘What if’ land.”
You can’t change the past. You can’t dwell on it either. You can change your future though. Start with the present.
Did you workout? AWESOME! WAY TO MOVE!
Did you track your lunch? Great! Way to be accountable!
May be you ran a mile and took 30 seconds off your time or you climbed a flight of stairs and didn’t get winded. May be you went to the gym and instead of going to your normal Body Pump class, you lifted weights for once. May be you tried spinning. Maybe you and your brave soul went to Crossfit! Whatever it is, no matter how small you think it is, celebrate your accomplishments.
1 pound loss? That sounds like a new nail polish color to me.
5 pound loss? You have been eyeing that top at Gap…
10 pound loss? MANI PEDI DAY!
You get the picture.
My reward at the end of this, is the gift of maintenance. Learning to maintain what I have done, and accepting of myself. Believing in myself. Loving myself. Forgiving myself for all of my past mistakes.
I hope this was entertaining, helpful, killed 15 minutes of your work day, or at the very least well written.
Keep on, Lovelies. xoxo