On guilt, and adding a little bit at a time.

I’ve got the food pretty much under control. (I think. We’ll see what the dietician says.) So, as I’ve said before, I’m trying to add exercise, in a sustainable way that doesn’t get me injured or so sore that I just give up.

I started following a new blog – Countdown from 50. It’s pretty great for motivation. I’m just starting off and I’m starting from a pretty inactive place. I can’t do the full two reps–for me, it would actually be counter-productive, because I know that if I get too sore, I will just give up. But I’m making a genuine effort, I finished one rep AFTER I went for a run. Tonight I’m going to do another one. And tomorrow I’m going to do yoga and the cardio and lower body work.

I guess, for me, it comes down to judging my own effort. In the past, I have gone all or nothing. I have invariably failed, because that’s what all or nothing does. Then comes the guilt with the failure, which makes me behave worse, and do the “failure” worse. I was raised Catholic, you see, and guilt is counter-productive. Tell me not to do something (or even just try to manipulate me) and I’ll do the opposite while glaring angrily the whole time.

I can’t think like that. I can’t do that and be at all healthy mentally. It’s going to take me a long time to get to my goal weight. A diet calculator I’ve plugged some numbers into projected February of next year–and while my weight loss may appear to be fast at the moment, we all know that it’s going to slow down later on as my body hauls around less weight and requires less fuel. So this time, I’m trying to add a little at a time and be honest with myself. “Today, you tried as hard as you could,” or “Today, you went that little bit further than last time.”

The scales will go up–hormones, salt intake, building muscle, health or just plain having a bad week with sticking with stuff. I will have days where I absolutely cannot do the exercise I’d planned, or where I can’t stick to the diet (or even really don’t want to.) Planning minimises a lot of these instances. Making sure I eat a main meal before going out, carrying my snacks with me. But I’m still going to get stuck places with no healthy choices, or sometimes just plain not have the option of refusing food without starting World War 3.

I’ve been reading about forms of self-kindness. And how there’s been a program that has SUCCESSFULLY got people to maintain a lower weight by giving people permission to be kind to themselves. That people are more motivated by positive feedback than by negative feedback. And I think that’s something that I’m going to try to incorporate.

I’m going to run because it feels good. Because that moment, around 8 minutes in where everything just clicks and it feels like you’re flying. I’m not there yet, but I got there last time and I’m going to work at it and I’ll get there again. I’m going to run because Zombies Couch-to-5K training is really interesting and I want to hear the next bit of the story.

I’m going to lift weights because I like being strong. Because my knees hurt less when I do the exercises the physio set for me. Also, if my stomach only has a bit of a roll when I’m obese, imagine how kickass my flat belly is going to be!

I’m going to stick to these foods because for the first time in FOREVER, I’m eating the RDI of fibre and I feel so much better. I’m not having the blood-sugar highs that I’ve experienced before. And although I’m occasionally hungry, I’m never absolutely starving.

I’ll have bad days, for sure. But I give myself permission to have them, and then permission to stop them. Because a moment of failure doesn’t undo a long time of work. Because I can do this.

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