Reenergized and Motivated

After eating really healthy and working out for over two months I felt so frustrated that I had hit a complete plateau. I was saying to myself, “How much less can I possibly eat?”. I already felt like I was barely eating anything, especially since my schedule means that I often don’t eat lunch at all. So once I had finished my last semester and went on a small vacation I started off good, but by the end of it I was so fed up and feeling burnt out that I started eating poorly. I have to admit there are times in my weight loss journey where I wonder what the difference is in eating clean and eating junk, because either way I wasn’t losing any weight! But after eating poorly for about two weeks now, I have the answer to that question. There is a huge difference. Since I have been eating complete rubbish again I have noticed that I feel foggy, unable to concentrate and more than anything, I just feel lazy and disappointed in myself. Even though I wasn’t losing weight as fast as I wanted to, I should have reevaluated my goals and readjusted what wasn’t working. That’s what you do with any plan. You observe your progress along the way, and anything that isn’t working you have to go in and figure out why. Then you implement a better approach to produce real results. When I look back there are a lot of things I could have improved upon. I recently found a really inspiring blogger called The DMMD Lifestyle Revolution http://dmmddiet.wordpress.com/2013/08/12/weekly-photo-update-week-7/ and he conducted an SWOT analysis on himself. I thought it was a really useful tool in analyzing the efficiency and progress of your goals. So I’m going to try it here myself and I actually found that some of my answers were the same as his.

Strengths

  • Past success with losing weight.
  • Determination to succeed.
  • Available resources to aid in exercise and a healthy diet (free gym, beautiful suburb to walk in, my juicer, steamer, e.t.c….)
  • A partner that often helps support me to succeed.

Weaknesses

  • Not having a set schedule.
  • Having a dog that doesn’t walk well.
  • Anxiety.

Opportunities

  • Make time to eat small, frequent meals throughout the day.
  • Make exercise a priority.
  • Lead by example.
  • Eat lighter meals for dinner.

Threats

  • Living with someone who also has their own vices.
  • Anxiety
  • Work overload with school and work.

When I look at this I really realize that I have all the resources to achieve my goal, but I let little things hold me back. I don’t want to say that not living in a completely supportive environment is holding me back. The first time I lost the weight I absolutely did not have a supportive environment. My family and friends weren’t into fitness or healthy food and I actually lost a lot of my friends because they didn’t like that I was losing weight. But I was so dedicated that I focused on my goal and just did it. My mum actually said to me afterwards that she was really inspired by my dedication because I would not let anything get in my way. And now even though my husband isn’t totally into health and fitness like me, I shouldn’t let that hold me back. I think when you’re married or even living with your partner it’s easy to engage in mutually destructive behavior. You justify each other’s actions, and it becomes difficult to separate yourself from them and do your own thing. But I am the only one responsible for my actions and I need to do what I have to do. Even though life would be so much easier with a life coach and a fitness coach 24/7 that is not the reality for most people. We have to be our own life and fitness coach.

My brother shared this video on Facebook today and it really got me motivated to get back into this and turn it up. I must admit that I feel kind of lame for not being able to come on here and say, hey I lost all the weight now, and I’ve arrived. I think the reality with most goals and journey’s is that, it takes time, persistence and dedication. I like other bloggers and people losing weight have made significant progress. Katie Foley from Bringing my Sexy Back did her 5K marathon in Boston which was awesome (http://katiefoley11.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/5k-success/), Rebecca from Healthy Intentions is significantly building up her stamina (http://healthywithintent.wordpress.com/2013/08/13/still-trucking-along/), The DMMD Lifestyle Revolution continues to see weight loss and fitness progress (http://dmmddiet.wordpress.com/2013/08/14/day-52-sub-15-minute-mile/), and even I am able to do more weights and more squats than I ever have and lost 20lbs. ┬áSo I may not be where i wan’t to be yet, but I haven’t given up.

This is a short video about the beauty of hard work and dedication.

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Persistence

One of the hardest things to deal with when trying to achieve any goal is realizing and accepting that it’s going to take time. Most big things you want to accomplish do not happen overnight, or even in just a few weeks. For me it’s hard to accept how much longer I have to be in school for, or how much longer it will take for me to lose weight, or get over some of my other “flaws”.

One of the stupidest things I do when I’m trying to lose weight is get frustrated when I don’t look like the “After” picture by week 3. You know when you’ve been eating really well and working out, and you feel lighter, but then you weigh yourself or look in the mirror and you’re like, what the #$@! I always have to remind myself not to weigh (excuse the pun) too heavily on the number on the scale. I think you see physically that you are changing before it’s reflected on a scale. Or at least I tell myself that to stop myself from falling into a dark depression!

But what I tell myself is the story of the train. I don’t know why I chose a train, but whatever. When you’re working on a goal it really is the difference between being a train that is parked at Central Unfulfilled Station collecting cobwebs, and being the train that is moving along, slowly, but getting closer to its destination. Which one of those trains is going to reach the ultimate goal?

So, even though that is the lamest story ever told, the visualization of it really keeps me on track. Excuse the pun.

When you really think about it, how long it takes for you to get to your goal is nothing compared to the scope of your lifetime; and what’s more, all the years you’ve been unhappy. How many things would you have accomplished if you had just stuck to them and not given up? It could be completing a book, losing the weight, making a movie, or opening a business. A lot of times I stop and think, If I had stuck to the diet I started 3 months ago I would have been at my goal weight by now. I often mark in my calendar when I expect to have achieved my goal, so when I get to that date and see I’m still at square one it’s pretty disheartening, and eye-opening.

photo-4

 

The Vulnerable Hour

I haven’t been able to write anything the last few days because I have been busy with work. My work schedule is erratic and I don’t work the same hours each week, so it is hard to plan things. I also have to balance in my school so things can get kind of hectic for me. One of the hardest things is definitely trying to stay on the right track when you are in vulnerable moments. All weekend I have gotten home from work late, especially on saturday when I got home at 11pm. Not only does an erratic schedule make it hard to stay on track, but my actual job does too. I work retail so not only am I on my feet for hours and running back and forth, but I have to deal with all kinds of people. I actually do enjoy interacting with people and I always try to be really friendly and bubbly, but I do come across my fair share of completely self-centered people. I think anyone in retail or waitressing could have a blog dedicated to all the people you come across and the strange things they do. But on top of that the drive home can also add 30minutes to an hour of traffic. The mix of retail work and being stuck in California traffic are enough to make me want to go home and drink heavily. Over the weekend I did break my no alcohol rule and drank some wine, but I did stick to eating healthy.

Another vulnerable time for me is eating out with other people. It sounds stupid and anti-social but I really try to avoid going out to eat with people from work, because they tend to want to go to the most unhealthy places. On sunday I ended up going to lunch with a lady at work and she chose a 50s style diner. Can you imagine what options you have at a 50s diner? That wasn’t exactly the most health conscious era. You have the option of all American food like hot dogs, burgers and fries that you can wash down with a calorie laden milkshake. Or you can wash it down with a soda that didn’t have enough sugar to begin with, so they spoil you by adding extra cherry flavored syrup.

So how are you supposed to stay on track when you are in those vulnerable moments, where you’re so exhausted, or frustrated, or angry, or even depressed that you just don’t care? If I have a long day at work and then I’m stuck in traffic for an hour, I just want to come home and throw my plans in the trash! But that’s when you see how determined you are to stick to your goals, because the fact is life for most people is usually chaotic. In those vulnerable times I just had over the weekend I had to stop and tell myself, “I really want this. I really want to achieve my goal, and if I let myself go offtrack I know I won’t be happy with myself tomorrow”. Knowing that giving in at that vulnerable time will mean just delaying your goals even further can really help to make you aware of what you’re doing. I did allow myself to have 1 or 2 glasses of wine, but I felt like that would be better than carbo-loading on chips or some other junk food. I have to admit I was still frustrated that I drank because alcohol is a diet’s worst enemy. When you drink alcohol your body has to work on metabolizing the alcohol in your body and stops burning fat, or metabolizing any food you’ve eaten. That’s a terrible thing when you’re trying to lose weight. At the same time I am suprised that I didn’t turn to eating mindlessly after work, but I am just determined to succeed this time around. I have a quote on my wall that says,

fit-stop-giving-up

That quote helps me stay on track because the worst thing is waking up the next day and beating yourself up, wishing that you had just gritted your teeth through the temptations of giving up and held strong. Even when I went out with my friend for lunch, I was the only person in the 50s diner ordering the grilled chicken salad with no cheese. Even though I felt like the whole restaurant stopped to stare at me, mouths gaping open, I was not about to eat my entire day’s worth of calories in a greasy burger. And even though my friend sat across from me eating her second round of fries (they were unlimited at that restaurant), and I’m sure rolling her eyes at my order, I had to stick to my goal.

We can’t even comprehend what we’re capable of.

If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”

-Thomas A. Edison

With whatever goal we may have, especially one where you’re going to change your appearance, you can’t even comprehend what you’re capable of, or what your life will become. I say that because the first time I lost the weight – and god I am starting to sound like a guy talking about his glory days in high school when he was going to go pro with football – my entire life changed. That is the reason why I never accept it when my delusional, fearful self-talk tells me I’m okay just the way I am. Even though I’m no supermodel I am a pretty average weight for most women, so I keep trying to tell myself that I look fine and don’t need to change. It also helps your delusions when you have a partner that tells you you’re beautiful and you don’t need to change. Although it sounds sweet, and it is, it is also a source of frustration for me. You know when your partner says you look good but you know you’re not at your best, and what you’d really like is someone to push you. It sounds ridiculous but I have tried to get my husband to tell me the truth about my body because it would push me to work harder. Unfortunately, the fear of a woman’s wrath is too far instilled in most men to undertake that mission. So it is up to me.

Everyones goal weight is different. Everyone has that weight that is ideal to them, and that they picture to be how they look and feel their best. Not everyone is supposed to be size 2, or 4, or even 8. For me I have always felt best when I was around 125, and I am more used to Australian sizing so fitting in to a size 8 jean was my ideal size. When I got myself down to that size a lot of things in my life changed, especially with how people treated me. I know how you look is largely your own perception. Of course you can’t deny what size you are, but depending on your confidence your experience in life, and with others will vary.

Of course part of my experience was that I lost friends. I have found that you really see who your true friends are in the important times of your life, whether it’s a sad time or a time for celebration. Those are the times when people tend to show their true colors. A lot of my friends stopped talking to me and inviting me places, which made me confused. But a lot of people get bitter or jealous when others are doing well because they don’t like how it makes them feel. This is especially true if you’re a woman, because women are brutal and extremely competitive with each other. My best friend at the time told me she was jealous and hated that I was thinner than her, and this was a girl who had been tiny her whole life. I am guilty of that myself because I had a friend lose about 50lbs and they just look completely different! And at first I was so jealous and even angry because I didn’t want to be the only one who was overweight. Misery loves company! But instead of being jealous, I used them as motivation and as a tool for how I could be successful too.

But how others in life react is not important, its about how your life goes from being in black and white, to full color. When you accomplish something that you always dreamed about, it really is like someone just turned the light on in your life. It sounds really corny, but that’s what it’s like. That’s why I included the quote above. When you accomplish something big, not only does it change your life, it removes the blinders from your eyes and just makes you wonder what else you could accomplish. Have you noticed that? You get to your goal and you’re like, “Wow I can’t believe I actually did it! What should I do next?” You just want to think bigger and better.

When I accomplished my goal I went from being completely crippled by my anxiety disorder and hating anything social, to accepting all invitations and loving being around people. I went from being the girl who wanted to leave as soon as she got to the party, to being the one who didn’t want to go home. Even the freedom to dress how you want is life changing. When you can wear the things you love and know that you look good in it, it’s like you’re finally able to truly be yourself and show that to the world. When you’re not happy with yourself, it’s like everything you do is an attempt to hide yourself and shield yourself from the world. That is a very sad place to live in. So that is what I keep reminding myself of when I want to just revert back to my old habits. I think about all the things I don’t do, and avoid because of the place I’m in. And then I think of all the things I would do, and all the opportunities that would open up and the life I would have if I actually lived more purposefully and worked a little harder.