Saturday, August 29, 2015

Losing weight isn't all sunshine and rainbows: A guide for those times when you just want to eat a cheeseburger and be a lazy bum

I tried writing this post several times over the past few weeks, but the words just weren't there. It's been such a great summer for me in many ways, but weight loss-wise, it's really been blah. I've gained 7 lbs since May. I vacillate (good word, right?) between telling myself that 7 lbs is no big deal and convincing myself that I am one cheeseburger away from weighing over 300 lbs again. As usual, I believe the right approach lies somewhere in between. I find myself being kind of bitter lately and I don't like it. Mainly because that 7 lbs was oh so easy for me to gain. It's not like I've been on a summer-long bender of ice cream and french fries and have been making a permanent butt indention on my couch instead of working out. Nope, those 7 lbs hopped on simply by having a few more treats than usual and not working out at my usual intensity and sleeping in some days. But what makes me mad is that I gained weight by eating more healthy and exercising more often than probably 95% of people. And yeah, I did just make up the 95% off the top of my head, but seriously, I do eat better and exercise more than most people. But apparently my body requires more extreme measures. Because I will always gain weight easily. I will always have to work harder even to just maintain my weight. I can't just take a 30 minute stroll on the treadmill and call it a day. No, apparently to even maintain  my weight I have to run 8 miles before dawn and then work out at the gym for at least an hour 6 days a week. My doctor even said as much to me. And sometimes that makes me want to cry because it's just not fair. Sometimes I don't want to have to work so hard all the time. Sometimes I don't want to worry that having a treat day will make me gain 3 lbs. Sometimes I want to be able to skip a couple workouts and not know that it will come back to bite me. Because that's not me being paranoid. That's just true. 

I don't like this side of me. It's whiny and lazy and just generally not attractive at all. I am well aware that life isn't fair, and that there are far worse things to deal with than gaining 7 lbs and not being able to get to your goal weight. I know that I should be grateful that I am able to work out at all. I should be grateful that I was able to make such a change in  my life. And for the most part, I am. But I am also very, very human, and sometimes I just can't help but wish it were all just a little bit easier. As much as I wish losing weight and living a healthy life was all high fives and awesome runs and delicious healthy meals, sometimes it just feels like a lot of work.

These past couple weeks, I have finally been able to give up my sad little pity party of one for the most part. Self-pity is fine in small doses, but I really detest any more than that. Please forgive the corny saying, but I have been telling myself that I can be bitter or I can be better. Me being bitter isn't accomplishing a thing besides making me feel ungrateful for what I have and probably gaining more weight. I need to accept the cards I've been dealt and move on. The truth is that 7 lbs is concerning, but not the end of the world. I need to make a plan to deal with it. 

I've thought about seeing my nutritionist again for a while. I stopped seeing her around Christmas. At first, I wondered what the point what be, as I didn't really see her telling me stuff I didn't already know. Then I told myself I would see her after I lost some more weight because I didn't want to be ashamed. My nutritionist was always praising me about how well I ate, and I didn't want her to see that sometimes my diet wasn't  perfect. And then a week ago, I realized that logic was really, really stupid. That logic is exactly what got me over 300 lbs, and that more than anything else, even more than the weight gain, scared the crap out of me. The girl who was afraid to ask for help. The girl who didn't want anyone to know she wasn't perfect. Those were the traits that led to me being morbidly obese at 27. 

But as much as that freaked me out, what I did last week was equally as comforting to me because it made me realize that though I may have lapses into who I used to be, the core of who I am really has permanently changed. That even though I may gain a few pounds, the person I am now would not allow things to progress so far like before. I made that appointment with my nutritionist. And even though I was a little embarrassed to have gained weight, I was honest with her about how things had been going. I let her see my food log. I got on that scale. I let her see that I am not perfect. I did what I needed to do to get on the path to being better. And while most of the stuff she told me was not new information, she did have some good tips. What I think will be most helpful is having accountability to her. I asked her to set me a weight loss goal for next month and she did. 

My mood is better than ever now that I am being proactive about dealing with my weight gain. I'm doing things like making charts that I haven't done for a couple of years now in order to get myself motivated. Sometimes I think you really have to get back to the basics and do what works for you. And so far, it really is working. Losing weight and living a healthy life isn't easy. There are times it is difficult to stay motivated. But when I am honest with myself, I realize that it is very, very worth it.