Wednesday, February 13, 2013

You say "plateau", I say "evil soul crusher"

I realize I'm beginning to sound like a broken record here at this point but...the scale gods appear to have forsaken me yet again this week. Down a crummy 0.6 lbs. I'm sorry, but WTH?!? And yes, I've heard all the platitudes about how it's a miracle I haven't hit a plateau before now, it's only to be expected, it happens to everyone, blah, blah, blah. The truth is that while I know all of those sentiments are true, it doesn't make it any easier to step on the scale all excited because according to my Bodybugg's calorie deficit this week I should have lost 4.2 lbs, and then see a FREAKING 0.6 LB WEIGHT LOSS STARING BACK AT ME (well, staring without eyes I guess). I wish I could tell you then when I am slaving away at the gym every day, my only thoughts are of the fact that I am getting stronger and generally healthier everyday, and that weight loss is only a distant thought in my head. Well, I'm here to say that while I am genuinely happy to be getting healthier and stronger, the truth is that measurable results like weight loss can be a lot more motivating to think about when you feel like you're about to hurl if you run for one more second. What can I say? I'm still a work in progress. I'm also human. While I work very hard to stay positive about this journey of mine, I can still get disheartened just like anyone else.

So what to do, what to do? Cram my mouth full of the Valentine's Day chocolate that I selflessly (or perhaps more accurately, stupidly) made for my friends and family? Camp out on the couch watching Lifetime movies instead of hitting the gym, exactly like a cliche from one of the aforementioned movies? While I do love me some Lifetime (a.k.a. the "Men are bad and will hurt you" channel) movies from time to time, the answer is no. And while I do plan on researching some plateau-busting ideas, I'm pretty sure complete lack of exercise and excess calories through chocolate will not be on that list of ideas. Right now, I'm going to focus on some of the good things that have happened lately.

First up, my foray into 5 am workouts. Let me just say, I am not a morning person. I am most definitely a night owl. But I also have a handy ability that I discovered in college when I got up to work out that early, which is that I can easily fall right back asleep after my workout. So as long as I can get an hour of sleep after my workout, I don't really mind getting up that early. When my phone alarm goes off at the soul-crushingly early hour of 4:30 am, I do usually initially think, "What kind of masochistic idiot sets their alarm for the middle of the night when they don't even have to?" And then I look at the alarm read-out on my phone that says, "Don't be a lazy bum!" And then I throw my phone into the wall. Well, that last part is only in my head. I put on my work-out stuff that I thoughtfully laid out the night before. I put my hair into a gigantic frizzy pouf on the back of my head. I drive off into the pre-dawn quiet (actually, I like this part). I go into the quiet gym and put in my time. I think it may actually be easier since my brain is still half asleep at this point. I drive home, take a shower, and crawl back into my oh-so-snuggly bed. Back to sleep for an hour until it's time to get up for work. Hey, it works for me. Plus, when my brain actually wakes up later, I feel proud I already got in one workout for the day!

I've also started swimming, which I love! I've always loved to swim, but I've never done serious laps before. But I looked a bit ridiculous my first time because I stupidly went into it with the logic, I can wear my bathing suit from when I was 328 lbs for a little while because, duh, bathing suits kind of just mold to your body no matter what. Let me just say, they most definitely do not. It just kind of bagged everywhere. It was quite the look, especially combined with the goggles and swim cap that I thought would make me look like a serious swimmer, and that in actuality made me look like a big-headed alien. I hopped in that pool and just started swimming. I was not sure what to expect since I hadn't been in a pool since last summer. But all my hours on the elliptical and treadmill paid off. My endurance was much higher than I expected. I left thinking that it was a pretty good work-out, even though I was sad I couldn't take my Bodybugg into the pool. The next morning I discovered just how good a workout it was. My entire body hurt. But in an awesome way. It really is a total body work-out, as evidenced by the fact that muscles I didn't even know I had were all on fire.

I'm trying so hard to remind myself that progress isn't measured solely by the scale. It's hard though. I'm giving myself 10 minutes for a private pity party (although, sadly, chocolate and Lifetime movie-free). And then it's back to the grindstone. I'll keep on truckin'. And as Dory from Finding Nemo says, "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!" And yes, I mean that literally and figuratively.


  1. You have a way with words! I won't tell you all the "normal" stuff that everyone else says. Your attitude rocks and you just need to let the furstration out. (you have read plenty of mine!) Just remember you got this and the plateau will end!

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  4. You know Holly, your words were exactly what I needed to hear and I didn't even know it. It's nice to have someone else tell me that they understand my frustration and I'm not wrong to feel it. So thank you!