Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Sliding Board

I’ve been thinking a lot about my weight loss/get healthy/fitness journey getting back to where I was a year ago. You know, back before working all the time and then suffering through two ridiculous injuries. Back into the groove I used to thrive in.

Today the realization hit me that I have gained back just under 40% of my weight loss. That number hurts my heart. Not because I feel fat or hate the idea of being the weight that I currently am but because I know what it took to lose it all and how ‘easy’ it was to gain 40% of it back.

Now I should start by saying, I am still super proud of maintaining that loss for almost 5 years. And maybe had I never gotten injured I would still be kicking ass in maintenance mode. But that is not what happened. And now I am here. Fighting every day to get back to that place where I once was. Not necessarily a weight but a lifestyle. An active and healthy lifestyle that I enjoyed so much.

After three weeks of focusing my energy into making better decisions – eating more whole foods and moving my body more- I had a really rough two days where I just did not GAF. My eating wasn’t off the rails, although it could have been better, but that wasn’t the issue. The issue was I just had this gloomy “I really don’t care anymore” feeling that I could not shake.

Even getting up today took a solid hour of convincing that I needed to get out of bed and get my booty to work.

My journey towards health has always been a mental battle more so than physical. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy exercising at 300 lbs and it really isn’t easy now either at 200 lbs as my fitness level is super low. BUT the physical hurdles were (are) nothing when I compare them with the mental battles.

Now whether or not this is true I am not sure, but it certainly feels to me that I can ‘lose’ any mental battle way faster than I can the physical ones.

When I think of my biggest struggles (convincing myself I am worth it and then motivating myself to have my actions reflect that belief) I picture a sliding board.

Convincing myself I deserve to be healthy and fit and talking myself into doing the ‘right’ things can some days feel like I am climbing up a sliding board. Here I am at the bottom feeling low, and trying to get back to a healthy, positive, loving, caring mindset is a series of small, challenging steps. I need strength to push forward and I need focus to stay the course. Each day am navigating myself to the top of the slide- to that place where I need to be.

But then I take a misstep, I give up on myself, and boom! I am quickly back on the bottom of the slide. Usually I stay here for a day or two (or week or month) before I turn back around and start to climb again.

It seems so easy to slide back down when you are barely strong enough to climb.

I know that I every time I fall I am not falling to the bottom. And I know that every time I start to climb it will get easier. Even when I think about my sliding board now I know it is not nearly as steep or as long as the one I set out to climb 6+ years ago. I’m a different person now, so my life challenges are different too. Maybe my sliding board is more like this one:

Side note: I grew up calling this a sliding board but apparently that is a regional term and most people call this a slide. Hopefully the title of this post was not too confusing for you :) 

I do feel like this time around it has been more challenging. I am not sure if that is because the circumstances are so different or if it is because I feel like I lost so much this past year or if it is because I cannot envision what my healthy lifestyle will look like now that I have so many activity restrictions. Probably a mixture of it all.

I think that 6 years ago it seemed easier because I had nowhere else to go but up. I was super lazy with terrible eating habits. Something, no matter how small of a change, was so much better than where I had been. Now the changes I need to make aren’t huge, I mean even at my worst during the injury, I still packed my breakfast and lunch every day. I did eat some processed foods but not a ton. I was probably closer to 60/40 than 80/20 but I still rarely drank or ate out. I was just completely inactive. And that is what led me here today.

Maybe I just have too many expectations of what my life should be based on where my life used to be. I think maybe I just need new expectations, new goals, and new dreams instead of wishing back the life I used to have.

Tomorrow I see my doctor for my semi-annual checkup and will get back the lab results from my blood work I had last week. My last check up back in the fall, even though I had already started to gain weight from the injury, my doctor was still super impressed with my lab work results. She said she was not concerned with the weight gain because I was internally the picture of health. I wonder how much they have changed after a solid 6 months of no activity….

I will let you know tomorrow.

Lastly, I really need to thank you for allowing me a place to talk about these deeply personal feelings. Trust me, although it may sound really negative I merely want to showcase the side of the battle I am fighting right now. We all have our own hurdles, and right now this is mine. It’s no different than yours. But when I talk about mine it helps me to put things in perspective and begin to really focus on the underlying struggles and issues. Because at the end of the day, I want to be healthy again. I want to be fit and full of energy. I want to treat my body, mind and spirit the way that they deserve to be treated because I only have one life. And I intend to live it fully.