Set Engines To Idle

I’m feeling pretty lazy today.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I still hit my walking goal and did my exercises yesterday. And I still got up at 3 am to go walking, and I’m still planning to hit my 5.5 miles today. But I’m three days out from a week’s vacation, and my mind really isn’t on much of anything but taking it easy. Sleeping in, everyday (maybe as late as 5 or even 6 am…) and not having to do much of anything.

It sounds great.

Of course, clearly I need to get there first. Tomorrow and Friday are going to feel rough.

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Time To Stop Hiding

Last week was nicely successful, as far as I can tell.  See, it turns out that the last time I weighed in and recorded the weight was July 16, when I weighed 319.4 pounds.  So, when I weighed in on Saturday, I weighed 314.4 pounds.  I’m assuming that means I lost weight by virtue of hitting my walking and my calorie goals, but I can’t prove it.  Which gets in to the thesis of today’s post.

If you’re reading this blog in an app you may not have seen it, but over on the left there’s a little thing that reads “Where I’m At”.  When I started this blog, I intended it to be an accountability thing.  A way of tracking each week where I was at (hence the name) and how I was doing.  Well, when I logged in this morning, it looked like this:

Starting Weight (7/15/2015): 419 lbs
New Year Weight 2016 (1/1/2016): 339.2 lbs
New Year Weight 2017 (12/31/2016): 308.0 lbs
Last Weigh-In (6/11/2017): 318.0 lbs
Current Weigh-In (6/17/2016): 314.0 pounds
Net Change: 4 lbs
Total Weight Lost: 105.0 lbs
Next Step: 279 lbs (35.0 lbs to go)
Ultimate Goal: 219 lbs (95.0 pounds)

The last time I updated it was two months ago.

I got to thinking about that:  “Why, exactly, am I going a month and more between updates?”  Sadly, the answer was obvious.  I was hiding.  I didn’t like what I was doing, and I didn’t like being reminded of my lack of progress, so I didn’t look at it.  Really, even though it makes sense (who wants to be reminded that they aren’t making their goal?), it was immature.  If I’m going to be honest with myself, and if I’m going to accept who I am and what I’m doing, then I need to keep updating that feature of the blog.

And, of course, I need to get back to seeing progress with it.  But that’s not quite the point.  The point is that, if pretending a problem isn’t real doesn’t fix the problem.  It never does.  In fact, it often makes the problem worse.  Clearly, that is not a desired outcome.  So, I’m going to make sure I update it weekly.  Not out of a desire to beat myself up, but because I need to honestly acknowledge my successes and failures, so that I have a clear idea of where I’m at and how I’m succeeding.

Not “succeeding or failing”?

No.  Because, although I’m working on forgiving myself for not having met my goals in the past, I’m not planning to fail.  That seems… counterproductive.

Still Dealing With Things

I may – may – have mentioned, once or twice, how frustrated I am with my lack of progress. Or, more specifically, with how I've backslid and regained 20 pounds. Just maybe, right? I've possibly alluded to this a time or too on this blog, right?

Right.

Here's the interesting thing about all of this: realizing that the problem exists is the easy part. Not that it's easy, mind. Not if you aren't particularly introspective, anyway. But, compared to actually dealing with the problem? Realizing that it exists is easy.

I know that there are valid reasons why I've been distracted from my exercise and weight loss. I also know that I stress eat. The problem is, I'm not entirely certain what to do about it. I'm still wound up tight and – without even realizing it – I'm still angry at myself. (I'm also scared that I'll regain everything, but I knew that.)

Now the question is "what do I do?" I mean, the physical part is still easy. I walk, I get myself back on my calorie budget, and (starting Monday) I get myself back to exercising. (My plan is focus on restarting one thing each week.). But I also need to deal with the emotions, and I'm not entirely certain that I know how to do that. I just know that, like my wife has said more than once, if I can get them resolved then the rest of it will be easy.

Maybe I need to start by focusing on the reasons why I'm doing this? Take the emphasis off what I need to do, and put it on the things I want to achieve? It's an idea (and I'll be honest – this entry is really about talking myself through some of this). So, here's what I want out of this:

  • I want to be able to keep up with my son.
  • I want to look better, both for myself and my wife.
  • I want to be healthy, because I want to feel good and because I want a long and happy life with my wife.
  • I wan to be healthy because I'm an older father, and I want to be there for my son. And because I want to see my grandchildren.
  • I want to run a 5k, which is something I never ever thought I'd hear myself say.

Well, I wrote that. And, well, I think it helps. Oh, it doesn't fix everything, but it feels like a step in the right direction. Hopefully, the first of many steps.

Probably Just Maintaining This Week

Tomorrow is the next weigh-in, and I'm anticipating very little change in my weight. I hit all my walking goals, do that's good. Sadly, however, I kind of didn't come anywhere near hitting my calorie budget (coughcoughdonutscoughcough). But, still, I feel pretty good. Because I did hit my walking goal, and even if it makes me feel exhausted by 7 pm I enjoy going out and walking in the morning. Just me and the peace and quiet, and the sound of my dog barking at leaves and cars before rolling around on the grass.

Yeah, he slows me down a bit. But he loved it, and he needs the exercise as well. And he doesn't keep me from hitting my goal.

This week, really, was about hitting my walking goal each day I didn't manage it last week, do I wanted to make sure and do it this week. Next week, it's walking and the calorie budget. Because I am getting back on track. Slowly.

But Isn’t That Dangerous?

I've been thinking a lot over the past few days, and all of it is due to my wife and her wise council.

It's should come as no surprise to you, if you've been reading this blog, that I've been fairly discouraged and frustrated for a while now. I mean, this is a blog chronicling my efforts to lose weight and get into shape, but I've slowly gained weight since January. That is a hard thing to face.

"You need to give yourself grace," my wife told me. "It's been a really stressful year." And it had been. Between my test, and my grandmother's death, and some excitement involving family health, things have been really stressful. But I didn't want to hear it. I was frustrated, and I interpreted "give yourself grace" as "just accept that you're failing", and I got cranky and defensive and more stressed.

Clearly, this is not what my wife meant. And I think I've finally realized that. Because she explained it, and explained it, and explained it, and explained it, and finally I actually listened to her.

This has been a really rough seven months. Consistent exercise has been difficult. Stress eating has been a (poor) coping mechanism. And guilt and frustration over not hitting my goals, and fear that I'll backslide and gain weight and be back to 420 pounds again has become a very real thing. Real enough that I refused to really acknowledge the fact that, despite all the stress, I've only gained back 20 pounds.

That's only. Not "only". Things got rough, and while I maybe could have done better I also could have done a whole lot worse.

It isn't easy, letting go of the guilt and frustration. There's no easy fix. But the first step is acknowledging – really acknowledging – my successes and the reality of the situation I faced. The second, as my wife said, is to forgive myself and accept myself. After all, I wouldn't treat my son this way if he was struggling with something. So why should I treat myself that way?

I won't say I've mastered this. Not by a long shot. But I'm working on it.

Next, of course is… no, not "getting back on the wagon". I mean, yeah sure. I do need to do that. But, more importantly, I need to develop a stress management plan. Some of the stress from the last several months won't be going away any time soon, and I need a better plan than "eat and then yell at myself". That part is a work in progress.

Also, I need to get back on track. And I'm working on it. But I doubt it'll be really effective until I manage to fully forgive and accept myself, and then get that stress management plan together. But once I do? Well, once I do, losing weight will be easy.

I have an amazing wife. I should tell her that, more.

A Bit Of A Mixed Week

Last week wasn’t quite as productive as I would have wanted, but I’m all right with that. It was a “getting back on track” sort of week. I hit my walking goal every day except Monday, which wasn’t too bad when you consider that I didn’t start getting up to walk at 3 AM until Tuesday.  So, good job there.

I only hit my exercise goals 50% of the time, which translates into two out of four days.  Not great, but I’m back to working with a personal trainer on Saturday so that should get me back on track. Also, things are calming enough now that I should be able to get back to swimming with my son. And if you don’t think that’s exercise, you’ve obviously never spent two hours chasing an active 6-year-old who wants you to play.

On the calorie front, I didn’t do very well and I’ll just leave it at that. His week, since I now have a good walking routine built up, I’m going to focus on that part of of my program.

Of course I’ll succeed!  Why wouldn’t I?

Rain. Rain, and Treadmills

I didn’t get in quite as much walking this morning as I have on other mornings. For a couple of reasons. I was running a little late, so I didn’t get out the door until 3:15 – not so bad, in and of itself. But there was rain drizzling down, so I figured this morning would be a treadmill day and went back inside to get the clubhouse key.

When I got back out, the heavens had opened and water was falling in great gouts. It was coming down so hard that, even with an umbrella, I was soaked by the time I made the 3 minute walk to the clubhouse. And it was 3:30 by the time I hit the treadmill.  So I only got 1.5 miles of walking in (well, 1.75 with the walk to and from the clubhouse). Which is still pretty good, but it just wasn’t quite as much fun as the other days. Treadmills are a little boring, and the workout room is warmer than I like. Give me the outdoors any day.

Still, the treadmill was better than nothing. And I’ll probably appreciate the warmth come winter, right?