Posts Tagged ‘ motivation ’

All or nothing is not a viable approach for me

So, it’s been around three weeks since I updated.

In those three weeks, I basically gave up. My ankle hurt all the time and I couldn’t exercise. I ate rubbish, I ate lots of it, and I ate infrequently. I also drank alcohol. It’s the unholy trinity that combined to make me so damn fat in the first place. There was even a two day period where I lived on cake. I actually typed this out in an email to a friend, so I’m going to copy and paste below.

You know that I’ve been feeling like crap because I don’t eat often enough and then binge eat? And basically I’ve been scared to hop on the scales again because JESUS CHRIST, it is such hard work and after my three week long tantrum where I have been living on cake and alcohol, I was all “MOTHERFUCKER, I HAVE TO START AGAIN?!?”

And part of the problem is that this is a self-perpetuating cycle, I don’t have the energy so I don’t take care of myself, so I live in filth, so I feel gross and can’t take care of myself, so I don’t have energy, etc. You get the idea.

At work, K has said “OH HEY, there’s this challenge starting next month, it’s designed to sell their supplements but I figure that’s only an issue if we get into the top ten. They provide a diet and exercise plan for free!” and I was all “Well, there’s a gym across the road, and I am far more likely to stick to a three month effort if we’re exercising together…” and she was all “FANTASTIC it starts at the end of the month, so let’s sign up and motivate each other.” (I’ve looked at past meal plans, and it’s pretty much what I eat now, except more food because they’re exercising more.)

And then I was all “I have to stop this. I’m eating one meal a day and that’s a HUGE meal, and it involves goats cheese, which while I am not allergic to it in the same way I am to cow dairy, it makes me feel like crap.” But I just didn’t have the ENERGY to cook something. Then I read this:

http://captainawkward.com/2013/07/06/little-things-that-people-say-that-totally-shift-your-perspective/

And I thought: holy shit. I can’t start because I lack energy and I lack energy because I can’t start. But you know what I can do? I can pour some cereal into a bowl. (Please note that the Captain does not want diet/weight loss talk in her blog, because it’s triggery to a lot of people.)

So I bought some cereal to work and made sure I ate it in the morning. I was still eating crap at lunch/no dinner. This went on for a couple of days. Then, I went out on the weekend and bought some chicken breasts. I was all “IT’S LATE AND I WANT TO GO TO BED” but I went “Self, come on. You can do this” So I skinned all six chicken breasts, froze three of them and cooked the other three and put them in the fridge. And it only took me 25 minutes and most of that was waiting for the chicken breasts to cook.

The next morning was so, so hectic and I was running late. But I still managed to throw a couple of handfuls of salad into a container, chop up half a tomato and slice up some cucumber. It wasn’t a GOOD salad, but it was a salad. So I ate breakfast, and a healthy lunch.

Then I went to the supermarket and bought a can of pea and ham soup. And I had half of it and a couple of pieces of bread for dinner, and a protein shake as well. And then I went for a half hour walk.

This morning, I got up and I stepped on the scales. Yes, they’ve gone up. Do you want to know how much they’ve gone up over the three weeks that I’ve essentially been throwing a tantrum?

1.8 pounds.

That is NOTHING. I can vary that much over the course of a day. That’s less then a kilo.

So right now, I am starting back into feeling fantastic. I don’t know whether the scales are going to go down, but they should. I have enough energy to go to the gym and hop on the exercise bike for an hour and I’m GOING TO. I have healthy soup in the slowcooker, a serve of pea and ham soup in the freezer.

I CAN DO THIS.

I’m not so sanguine now it’s actually happened.

The scales have gone up two days in a row.

I’m trying not to–it’s only half a pound, and I know this could be water or hormones or eating a bit more salt.

Because I’m worried about my calories being too low, I’ve started eating back my exercise calories. Well, mostly. I forgot to eat my apple yesterday, but it’s better than nothing, right?

I’m so sore today that I almost can’t walk. I’m going to do some yoga tonight because I can’t do weights. I figure half an hour of yoga (more stretching than strenuous) will at least fit my criteria of doing at least half an hour’s exercise each day. Does anyone have any good recommendations? Youtube/free for now, but if you want to recommend DVDs for later, I’ll keep it in mind.

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.

Today is really, really hard

I’ve been sticking to my calorie allowance. I’ve actually been losing weight slightly too fast, and think I may need to up my calories slightly, but I’ll speak to the dietician on Thursday.

But today is really hard. I ran (for a given value of running that is the second week of Zombies 5K training) last night and felt great. Then today, I felt like I was running on empty when I woke up. This resulted in me getting up late, which resulted in me not having time to eat my full breakfast. I had a protein shake and coffee (cereal alone doesn’t fill me up enough.) Luckily, I keep cereal at work for such an occurrence.

I felt better once I ate, but then I was hungry again. I ate my morning snacks, and then half my afternoon snacks. I was ok, but I was starving at lunch even though I’m generally not.

I’m trying to give my lunch time to expand/settle and fill me up before I start on the last of the snacks. I’m just–hungry, and while I’m a little hungry, I’m never usually ravenous. (My theory is that because I’ve gone away from one HUGE meal every day and a half/two days to three smaller meals of less calorie dense food + snacks, my hunger never reaches EAT ALL THE THINGS levels.)

I’m ravenous right now.

I’m going to try and get through it. I have an apple, I can have tea and try and fill myself up. I cannot expect it to be as easy as it has been. It would be great if my body knew what it wanted, but obviously becoming obese felt great for my body so I’m going to have to take that with a grain of salt. I’m trying to rationalise it with “You’re hungry because you’re having to dip into fuel reserves. You’ve had a decent amount of food, you’re just losing weight.” It’s sort of working, but… still. Hungry.

Just–today is really hard.