It’s confession time.
I’ve noticed that since I hit the 180s, I’ve been slowly slipping back into some old patterns of thinking. Like crazy intense workouts, sneak eating bad foods and not tracking them in my fitness pal (as if I don’t track them somehow, they don’t count?) but the biggest one, jumping on the scale WAY too frequently.
At first, the scale was fun, especially immediately post op…..
Oh, sure I knew that my frame and body were never meant to carry 250lbs and that extra weight would fly off
But now that we are down to the nitty gritty of the last 20 pounds, the scale is crawling and I must come to terms with that fact and ask myself, “am I happy in the 180s?”
Do I ever remember being less than that?
See I lied for so long about my actual number that I don’t even remember weighing less than 180.
There is one vivid memory I have when I was around 19, living in Italy, surrounded by American U.S. GIs, dating one, and he guessed my weight at 180 and I was appalled and slightly devastated.
because, and now I can’t remember, I was either at 180 or slightly less. But regardless that situation is still stamped in my memory at 42. Because somehow in my mind weighing 180 was fat and unacceptable?
Of course, that relationship was a slingshot for a whole host of other dysfunctional food/addiction patterns in my life, but that’s another story for another day.
That’s the last time I remember anyone really pinpointing my weight.
Fast forward from that time, early 90s, to when I was getting married, early 2000s, yep I didn’t date for about 10 years after that relationship because that’s how destroyed I was.
I think I told Jeff I weighed around 180 on our wedding day when in fact I was more like 190, but truth be told I don’t honestly remember.
So I guess if I had to pinpoint when a “number” became really important was in that first significant dating relationship I had, but even before that I come from a long line on my mother’s side of dysfunctional relationships with food. Cousins with eating disorders, and grandparents at the ready to point out any significant weight gain, couple that with an uninvolved biological father and throw in some significant weight inducing health problems and voila you have my perfect storm. BUT what Satan intended to use for my complete and utter destruction, God has and continues to use it for my good and to glorify Himself through me. This is my deepest heart’s desire that Jesus would ALWAYS be seen in and through my life and that somehow I would inspire someone to see Him.
So where was I?
Oh yes, this unhealthy, sneaky obsession…..
I’ve noticed myself getting a little extra intense, with lifting weights, like instead of lifting for 20 minutes, I’ll lift for 45 minutes. Instead of sticking to my light weight/high reps, I had increased my weight etc. I didn’t realize it until I was sore on Friday, but I just filed it and moved on.
The fork in the road, happened while we were in Ohio.
Now I’ve been lifting solid since the summer of 2014, I am by no means an expert, but I know what I’m doing. I SHOULD be able to walk into any gym with weights and lift…. period.
Well my amazing husband signed me up at my old gym (because we lived here for 6 months not too long ago) and I walked in and while it was nice to be there, the first thought that went through my mind was, “ugh I don’t really want to be here, I don’t feel like lifting here, they don’t have what my gym in Chicago has etc.” So it did a few things in me….
1) It confirmed that I AM getting burnt out on lifting weights, (I had called my program’s exercise physiologist on the way to Ohio to ask his opinion about putting lifting down for 2-4 weeks because I need a break, to which he said, “perfectly fine just don’t go longer than 4 weeks”
2) I need to really implement what I wrote about in my last blog post, about only doing what I’m passionate about and right now I am NOT passionate about lifting weights. Oh sure I think this will quickly return because it has in the past, but for now I need to lay it down for a season and just focus on 30 minutes of cardio.
Which leads me to my next point, I MUST only do 30 minutes of cardio and NOT allow my obsessive-compulsive brain to kick in and say I need to go longer!
30 minutes is my program’s standard and 30 minutes is my Couch to 5K app, so 30 minutes is what I will focus on Monday-Friday. I plan (at this point anyway, if my body allows it) to run and continue to work on my 5K and I plan to run a 5k in the Summer/Fall 2017 for my little running buddy Molly. So I’ll run in the gym on the treadmill MWF and on T/R I will do “other” cardio I enjoy like riding the recumbent bike, stairmill, arc trainer on 100, but only for 30 minutes.
Now the other big “confession”
It’s been a blessing and a curse honestly.
A blessing because immediately post op it was super fun to watch the pounds literally melt off me, especially after basically blinking and gaining 40 pounds in 6 months. But that “fun” quickly turned into an obsession, thanks to my overly obsessive/perfectionistic tendencies. But it’s funny how God uses, even social media, at least for me, to get my attention. Yesterday I posted on my Instagram a question: Do I take my scale to Ohio? See I made the decision NOT to take my scale over Thanksgiving and I had gained about 4 pounds and honestly didn’t eat terribly, but didn’t eat great, and didn’t work out but most importantly and what was key in my mind until now was I didn’t take my scale. See I thought that the scale offers some form of eating accountability for me and maybe it does, I don’t honestly know at this point, the verdict is still out.
So I was thinking, IF I take my scale to Ohio, work out and eat a few “treats” here and there I can at least watch the scale and tweak where necessary. Seems harmless no?
Then someone on IG pointed out: are you taking the scale for accountability or control? And someone else said: at some point, the scale just won’t matter anymore and someone else said, if you’re following your program there shouldn’t be any real fear”
These three comments really got me thinking.
What was I really trying to control? Because the reality IS If I am following my program’s guidelines I will just continue to lose weight and it doesn’t have to be on my time table. I don’t HAVE to lose a certain number of pounds anymore, if I’m losing. Which means jumping on the scale more than weekly at this point serves no real purpose. The reality IS my surgeon NEVER gave me a number to shoot for, in fact, EYE pulled a number out of him, reluctantly (doesn’t that sound like me? So stupid) and only then did he give me a goal RANGE, not a number. He said 155-165 and when I saw him at my 6 month follow up, he said 165 was more realistic due to my muscular build. I guess I just ALWAYS have had the number 157 in my head BECAUSE it is half of my highest weight, BUT I can honestly say today I don’t care anymore about a number. I don’t doubt that I’ll end up at 165, but I may just stay there and that’s perfectly fine. Maybe I’ll just get into the 170s or 180s, who knows? What I DO NOT want to happen is to EVER start GAINING weight again and balloon back into the 200s by blinking and missing something, which is, I believe, has been the final nail, in my overly dysfunctional thinking. But I MUST stop to remember a few things….
- I am FINALLY an actual bariatric patient, something I was NOT in 2014…..FINALLY
- I have an AMAZING program at my disposal and only a phone call away when I have questions, and trust me I call A LOT J
- This journey is for the rest of my life and the number that I hit in my first year doesn’t honestly matter, it’s what I do for the rest of my life that counts!!
So, while people are putting together their 2017 New Year’s Resolutions of exercising more, losing weight etc. I’m just over here like, “yeah I just want to find peace in this journey, peace with my body, peace with a “number”, and peace of mind.