Wow, I just realized it's been over a month since I posted! That's the slackest I have ever been. I'll chalk it up to the combo of being busy, it being winter when I seem to lose any motivation to do anything, and just pure laziness. Just as a warning, this post may be kind of spastic because I have a lot of thoughts in my head. Also, it may include me arguing with myself, mainly because I still haven't worked out how I feel about some stuff.
I'm not going to lie, it's been a tough winter. It's maddening the way I'll gain and lose the same couple pounds. But I also know I haven't been pushing myself the way I know I'll have to in order to lose the last 18 lbs. And there have been a few too many treats sprinkled in here and there. Sometimes I get angry at myself for being a slacker. But, I had a light bulb moment the other day when I realized my definition of "slack" may be slightly off. Because I have gotten to the point where I feel like I'm being a slacker if I run any less than 8 miles a day. I have to admit, I am slightly proud of this (who wouldn't be after sitting on the couch 24/7 in my previous life?) , but I also recognize I need to be okay with running 2 or 3 miles too and not feel guilty about it.
At times I feel like a fraud, like who I am to be masquerading around as a "success story" when I have days where I just don't feel like working out? Days where I choose to eat cake instead of an apple. Days where I don't feel like much an inspiration to anyone, least of all to myself. But you know what the truth is? What I have described is part of the definition of a success story. Somebody who isn't perfect. Somebody who has moments where a cheeseburger sounds a whole hell of a lot better than chicken. Somebody who doesn't rise to the occasion every time. Sounds weird, huh? But I believe that a weight loss success story involves someone who is truly living their life. Life isn't perfect. But having success is about having the strength to get up when you've fallen down and giving it another try. It's about having mainly good days, but not beating yourself up when your days aren't so great. When I first started losing weight, I was super strict. My life was losing weight. Really, with the amount of weight I needed to lose, my life needed to be all about losing weight. And I was very good at it, if I do say so myself. My life now doesn't revolve around losing weight. I still count my calories, I still run 6 days a week, I still weigh every Wednesday, but I'm not obsessed with it like I was. And I think that is much healthier in the long run. Because what is the point of losing all the weight if you can't even enjoy it? Where is the victory in that?
I'm so close to my goal, and I just can't seem to get there. But then sometimes that little voice of reason in the back of my head (and sometimes, depending on my state of mind, the voice of excuses) tells me that I have no reason to be ashamed. I have kept off 170 lbs for over 2.5 years now. If I'm honest, that's a pretty awesome accomplishment. It certainly is something I have never even come close to accomplishing before. I often forget that maintenance in and of itself is an achievement.
Speaking of goals, I think sometimes (like we are all guilty of at times) I do get too focused on that one magic number on the scale. When I see I have not yet hit it, I feel like a failure. But really, isn't my goal more than just a number? My main goal is and has always been to be healthy, happy, and able to live my life. I am all those things now. That is a goal I have achieved, one that I take for granted too much, considering that 3 years ago at 328 lbs, being healthy, happy, and able to live my life seemed like a very distant dream. Whether I'm 158 lbs like I am now or 140 lbs like my final goal, I doubt that 18 lbs will make that much difference in my quality of life.
I decided I needed to have an honest talk with myself in order to figure out where to go from here. I needed to figure out why I want to lose these 18 lbs. Is it because I want to weigh an arbitrary "acceptable" number? Because if that were the case, according to the BMI charts, I need to weigh 105 lbs. And that's how I know BMI charts are crap because I would be sick if I weighed 105 lbs. I wouldn't have any muscle left. I think I would have to starve myself to get there. So no, I reject the notion of weighing a certain amount just because I am told that is what I should weigh by somebody who doesn't even know me or my body. Everyone is different. Everyone's bodies are different. 140 lbs is what my doctor, a trainer, and my nutrionist all agreed was a healthy number for me. And being honest with myself, there are some areas I do want to see improvement in. Most of the time, I know I look "normal" now (whatever that is). But there are some jiggly bits where I want to see less jiggle. I think losing 18 lbs will help that. It's vanity weight, as I don't think losing that 18 lbs will really improve my health all that much. My health is pretty great as I am right now.
I've never been in the position of just having vanity weight to lose. I've heard it's the hardest to lose because your body wants to hang onto it just in case of an impending famine (which is pretty unlikely with a fast food joint on every corner). So like I said earlier, I have to be super hard core to lose this weight. But I also recognize that could be dangerous territory for me and my all or nothing personality. This is the part where I argue with myself. I am fully aware that in the past, it was all too easy for me to get too crazy and extreme, to the point where I burnt out and then went in the complete opposite couch potato direction. I can't afford to let that happen. So the million dollar question is, have I reigned in that part of my personality enough to be able to have a period of really buckling down without being crazy extreme and overdoing it?
I believe that I have changed enough mentally to be able to safely do this. I just have to be honest with myself and listen to my body. I want to reach my goal. Yes, I know that goal isn't primarily a number. That number, that 140 lbs, may change. Maybe my body will be happy at 145 lbs. Maybe it will be happy at 135 lbs. I just want a number I am happy with that I don't have to kill myself to maintain. But mainly, I want to reach that number goal to say that I finished what I started. That I weigh this number not because it was too hard for me to go any further (which would be the case if I stopped now), but because this is my ideal weight. To be able to say, this is what I set out to do, and I did it. Not that this is what I set out to do, and I stopped at the 5 yard line because I was pretty okay with where I was at and didn't feel like putting in the effort required to finish.
I hope you enjoyed your foray into my psyche. It can get a little wild in there sometimes! Stay tuned for much more regular posts.