Balance: Discovering Me

You would think after all I’ve been through regarding weight loss, exercise, nutrition blah blah blah. I’d have the inside scoop on how to achieve balance…. right?

 

Wrong!!

I can absolutely assure you balance is something I struggle with and honestly, I don’t know if this is who I have always been? I’m not sure if it’s something I “picked up” after my stroke to compensate for my lack of abilities in some areas? It’s very possible, the verdict is still out on that one.

Regardless something my botched sleeve did to me in 2014 was create this insanity in my head of number/calorie counting and obsessive exercising. Now I DO remember struggling with excessive exercise in college, specifically at the University of Louisville, but I think I was dealing with other issues at that time, namely undiagnosed depression. Anyhoo, another post for another day…..

 

Where was I?

Oh yes, after my sleeve I became this compulsive freakazoid exerciser. I literally went from a couch potato, well not entirely because somewhere along the way I did get into a gym, I think when my mom started dating my now step dad and I went to a military on base gym. I mostly went because I thought the guys were cute J true story, but something in me was ignited and even later at 315 pounds I’d find myself in a gym, oh sure my activity level was minimal, but I went because I enjoy and still do the environment. Being around other people who have seemingly similar goals to me.  By this point (pre-sleeve) I had hired and paid SEVERAL personal trainers.

So it was NO surprise to me or anyone close to me when we went to TX that summer (2014) and I hired the owner of MetroflexHouston (bodybuilding gym). Looking back now, I chuckle for a few reasons:

1)      I have NO idea how I found Ryan Wendt……none.

This is always how God puts me directly on the path of what He wants me to learn or do…. always.

2) I had absolutely NO clue about weights, muscle, fitness, or anything really until that summer. It was a good intro for sure. Oh yes I have had multiple personal trainers prior to this, but there is a DISTINCT difference between a personal trainer and a bodybuilding focused trainer……distinctI can’t stress that enough…..DISTINCT

After that summer, I thought my “new goal” would be to step on a bodybuilding stage at some point in my future. My husband wasn’t excited about this, but he just listened, grinned and nodded. And finally,

3) Since I lifted SIX days a week with Ryan that summer, it’s what I learned post stroke, it’s what I’ve always done SINCE that summer, it’s all I’ve known. BUT I suddenly HAD to lift 6 days a week, at first because I wasn’t sure how to do it any other way, but google and YouTube are amazing resources. Then it became this obsessive tendency because I just wanted to lose weight and be under 200 pounds.

As a side note, I will say something I loved then about lifting and continue to love today is lifting heavy weight. Trust me, I’ve tried all different combinations of weight to rep range etc. and heavy is my favorite. I feel strong so maybe I like it because I’ve been weak for so long, I don’t know, but it’s my favorite. But somewhere along the way, during changing from lifting heavy (learned at Metroflex) to lifting moderate/high rep (done to burn more calories thus causing weight loss) I had lost the passion for lifting…. Poof just gone, only I didn’t really know why…. see I hadn’t pieced this all together yet. So, when we went to Ohio after Christmas I decided at that time I would NOT touch any weights while we were there. This was HUGE for me since prior to this time ANY time we were on “vacation” I would NOT take a gym break. Nope, I’d seek out a local gym and lift and do cardio……compulsive much? So it may not seem like a big victory to you but to me it was the beginning of something that God is beginning to teach me.

Then in my fitness pal I posted that I wasn’t going to touch any weights for a while that I had lost my passion for it. One of my MFP friends said something like, “it’s important to find balance physically, emotionally, spiritually’ and that thought really struck me.

As I sit here without a church home, I think ‘ok spiritually this is probably the closest relationship I’ve had with God in years and years and because of this spiritual area of my life my emotional life is in balance, I rarely struggle with depressive thoughts or feelings of inferiority anymore, both are a HUMUNGOUS testimony to the power of God in my life.

But physically, I’m still a mess. Still this compulsive over exerciser girl from the University of Louisville (early 90s) that is until we went to Ohio and I decided to lay weights down. Doing this really got me thinking……what do I enjoy? What am I passionate about?

My verdict?

Running. See, for some reason back in 2012 I decided I’d start this thing called the Couch to 5k app. An app for your smartphone that theoretically takes a couch potato, me in 2012, to running a 5k.  I even signed up to a have a running buddy, a little girl named Molly. I’ve started and stopped that app a million times and this is the FIRST time since 2012 that I actually   run 3 days a week and absolutely LOVE it!!!!!  Love it

 

The other “exercise” thing that I love is lifting heavy. Will I ever get back to a 350+ leg press? No clue and guess what, I don’t care anymore. I just enjoy what I can do in the gym when I’m there with heavy weight…. period. I have NO goal of EVER getting on a bodybuilding stage or EVER joining that lifestyle, it’s not me. I have mad respect for those in the sport, but beyond that I’ll just admire from a distance and be thankful for what I learned in the summer of 2014. As far as 6 day a week lifting…. nope, no more either.

I’m done with that. This week I’m trying something different. I’m only lifting THREE days a week, same Metroflex rotation (because I like it and I don’t want to flip the boat J)

Now the other “biggie” for me is taking Saturday AND Sunday off from the gym. This coming from the girl who would do cardio on Sundays when we lived in Rolla because I thought my Bariatric surgery (which I now realize I never really had) wasn’t working fast enough or good enough etc.

 

For the FIRST time in this journey that I believe I’m settling into who I am, which is a Bariatric patient who loves to run and lift weights. I am FINALLY at peace with my body and my ability to run and be active. Balance is a beautiful thing and I can’t believe I’ve wasted so much time on unnecessary garbage, but I’m thankful that God whispers gently in my ear and puts the right people on my path at the exact right moments!!

 

 

 

 

 

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