No No’s and Plateaus

#1

I mentioned in my last post that I would speak more on the plateau that I experienced recently that went on for 4 months and in some ways still exists. After falling in love with my now ex boyfriend, the vigor and passion that I had for reaching my weight loss goals subsided. Mentally, I figured if someone could love me and take me as I was, then anything else was icing on the cake. This new view on life was substantiated by the fact that my overall goal was to be healthier and with continued exercise and eating right, what was the harm?

During this time period, I was diligent in what I ate, I worked out and I still practiced judgement when making decisions for my meals, the scale didn’t budge. Actually it teetered up and down and I found myself in a cycle of losing and gaining the same 5 pounds.

A major discernible change was that I was no longer obsessed with weight loss. I became obsessed with making him happy and through doing so, I became innately happy in the process. My personal trainer also noticed that I was stressing out substantially more due to being a full time student and a full time employee. Some weeks I slept an average of 3 hours a night while working 60 hour weeks and taking 4 classes. Looking back, I’m not sure how I did this myself, while maintaining a 4.0 GPA.

So aside from my decreased passion towards losing weight, my first “No No” was not sleeping enough each night. Our bodies need to rest to replenish and recover from all of the things we do to ourselves. Without that recovery period, it becomes increasingly difficult for us to shed the pounds. The extra “me” time that I would usually find some way to carve out for myself, was now being occupied by trying to find time with my boyfriend.

The second “No No” was the enormous amounts of stress that I was putting on my body through demanding it to work over capacity for such a long period of time. During this time, I suffered from panic attacks, dizzy spells, loss of vision and flat out fatigue. My body was simply exhausted. Again, not an environment conducive of weight loss.

Finally, “No No” number three was simply my shift from whole, clean foods to a higher mix of processed foods, simply for convenience. Although I was tracking calories dutifully using my trusty dusty app, the source of my calories shifted from raw fresh foods and yummy recipes to some frozen meals and packaged foods simply because I lacked time to cook.

Yes, the new boyfriend played a bit of a role in my outlook towards weight loss, however other factors contributed to my plateau, some things that I really could not do much in regards to fixing it. However, the most important part of fixing a plateau, in my opinion, is to go back to the original plan and compare it to actual behaviors. After doing this, it was easy for me to discover that my school and work circumstances created an environment that made it difficult for me to continue to lose weight.

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The Truth About Love and an Update of Some Sorts…

Love-Fire

It has been a little while.  Okay, it has been a long while.  I have been through a lot in the last 8 months, most of which includes falling head over heels in love with someone.  When I met him, the skies opened and the natural hues that life tends to produce seemed richer, smells became more robust, and life as I knew it changed.

This guy made me feel alive.  Although fitness and losing weight was still the most paramount goal in my life, he made the 4 month plateau that I experienced bearable.  [I will get into more detail about my plateau in a later post].  He pacified me with loving words of encouragement, hope, and support.  Honestly, with him by my side, I felt as though I could accomplish any task in life, big or small.

He spoke of marriage and of wanting to start a family.  As he spoke of this, my walls started to come down and I started to let go of all of the paralyzing fear that I held on to for so long.  My past was full of ups and downs, which makes me a guarded person by nature.  Finally, if by waving some magic wand, the mountains of fear that I was feeling started to disappear.  Until they did disappear, and I was his.

Then abruptly, as if God himself flipped the switch, my guy told me that he needed space.  When I asked why, he told me that he needed some time to figure out his life and that it was not me, it was him [sounds familiar?].  I spent days agonizing over this, trying to figure out what it was that I had done.  Wondering was it something I said, something I did/did not do.  What caused such an abrupt change of heart?  This baffled me even more considering, unlike most ladies, I was NOT the one that was actually pushing for marriage and children, so the likelihood of me scaring him off seemed null.

Devastated, I started to evaluate my life.  Truly evaluate it.  My mind went back to the goal that I set for myself just over one year ago.  I wanted to be skinny, sexy, amazing.  Although I have changed my lifestyle towards living a healthier, more enriched, life — I did not reach that goal.  Being in love weakened my determination and my will power.  Maybe, just maybe, my crazy plateau was caused by finding happiness in someone else, and not harnessing my inner happiness based on achieving my weight loss and fitness goals.

Here I am, a little bruised from the outcome of an ended relationship; healthier than I was a year ago, but not at my fitness goal;  and ready to get back on track without the distraction of blinding love.  My in depth self reflection discovered a missing component in getting my life back together, which was blogging.  For months now, I have been lurking, reading here and there, but not posting.  I had let myself forget how therapeutic writing could be.  My innate shyness always seems to push my blog to the bottom of the list of priorities in an effort to avoid the pain of spilling my soul to the world (or the 2 or 3 people that may stumble upon this place).

Well, for a lack of better words, I am back!  I will just call this Day 1, Take 2.

Truth #3

3

I want more. A lot like Princess Ariel, I sometimes spend my days daydreaming about having more. Similar to Ariel, the “more” that I want aren’t the material things in life, I want to see the world, so to speak. Often times I feel as though my weight is a glass wall that holds me back from life. Whether that wall manifests itself as fear, lack of confidence, or any other paralyzing characteristic, it’s there and it keeps me from venturing out and being a stronger person than I know I can be.

I know that pinning everything on my weight seems like I’m taking the easy way out. But I’ve had so many encounters in my past that have validated my fear and have given me reason to “blame” my weight:

1) I’ve had people tell me that I could get a date if I lost “the weight”.
2) I’ve had jobs taken right underneath me to someone less qualified but more attractive, in one case she didn’t even apply for the position.
3) Already, even though my external confidence has dropped since losing weight (I’m backwards, I know) – I’ve gotten so much more attention than I ever received when I was heavier, and the attention level seems to be directly proportioned to my weight loss.
4) I’ve had “birdies” whisper in my ear that I should lose weight, because it’s the only thing that’s “holding me back”.

I find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place. We are taught as children to learn from our mistakes. Whether indirectly or directly. When we touch something hot and it burns us, hopefully, we learn not to touch it next time. But we also learn to not let harmful words effect us, and that sometimes it’s best for us to ignore them. It’s hard for me just to ignore the comments about my weight, because I have to learn from it, right?

The “more” that I want is simple, I’d like to think. I’d like to be a great mom, wife, be moderately successful, be happy, travel, and create a loving household. Yeah, I know. All things that I could have now, right? Not-so-much. I don’t exactly have guys beating down my door. I also don’t just sit around waiting either. But the truth is, guys choose my thin friends over me in every situation. I endure being the only one not dragged out to the dance floor, or not approached during dinner parties, or even the only one left at the bar during girls night out.  But I keep smiling, being charismatic, and strong – simply because that’s who I am. My failure here feeds into truths 1 and 2. Although I can pretend to be happy in public, until I learn to truly love myself, I should not bring anyone into my world anyway.

What I think I’ll do is ensure that the “more” that I want from life, also include me reconciling my demons.  A process that I am starting now.  It’s a process that has been eye opening and rewarding both at the same time.  I have to remind myself that it took me 28 years to get this way and that I won’t change over night, but I will change as long as I am willing.  I won’t let thoughts of “more” bring me down, I must let it fuel me to achieve “more”.

The world we live in.

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Ever since I heard of the shootings that occurred in CT, I’ve had an overwhelming sense of dread. Imagine being the parent of one of the precious little lives that was lost. Imagine starting your day dropping your 6 year old to a place where seemingly they are safe only to discover that the light of your life has been gunned down in the middle of their classes.

How do you continue after this knowledge? I’m finding it hard to cope with the tragic loss of 27 innocent people here on our soil by our own citizens. My heart goes out to the families of those who lost their children in this crazy event that happened.

This gives me a new focus in my life. Life is short and it is important that we live it to the fullest. Tomorrow isn’t promised to us and yesterday has already passed so let it go.

Take the next week to let your family know how much you love and appreciate them.

Live.Love.Life.

Truth #2

2

Fact: I’m a heathen. When I was younger, I was a devout Christian and I went to church every Sunday and bible study every Monday and Wednesday. I spent holidays doing things for the church and I faithfully gave to the church that I belonged to. Now, I stumble my way through life not really knowing what to believe in. I didn’t make a decision to not follow a faith, at least I don’t remember intentionally making a decision. It’s like I fell out of religion. When a series of unfortunate events occurred in my life, I fell away from everyone, God included. I’d like to think that my faith was strong — it took a lot to get me to the point where I didn’t believe in anything anymore. Ever since, I’ve adapted a theory of having a sound set of personal values and sticking to them. My guilt around not believing in there being a God has fueled my hatred of myself. I’ve been ashamed of this for so many years, it’s quietly tucked in the background and lurks in my mind.

Positive: I know that I’m a good person, and I know I’m not the only one that struggles with beliefs. I also need to understand that it’s never too late to go back to my old beliefs. I don’t think that I could stand “organized religion”, as of yet — but what’s stopping me from picking up a bible and reading? Easing my way back into what I felt before? Or who’s to say that my current belief system is wrong? Maybe I should shed the guilt and keep on with my life the way it’s been? The jury is still out on this, but I do think that I should drop the guilt regardless, and let my faith be something that comes to me when I’m ready to receive it.

Truth #1

O#1

Fact: I’m extremely self critical.  I judge myself harder than anyone else could ever even imagine.  I don’t really give myself credit for anything.  This trait has always left me in a state that leaves me falling deeper and deeper into the abyss because I continually beat myself up even over the little things.

Positive: I’m usually able to make corrective action relatively quickly when it comes to my professional life.  In a work environment, I’m constantly aware of my short comings therefore I am able to come up with a plan to correct any issues that I have.  In my professional life, this trait manifests itself in a positive light and in my personal life it manifests in a negative one.  If I can see my personal life through the lens of my professional life, maybe I won’t be so hard on myself and then I could even learn to be more positive when it involves my personal affairs.

Heavy.

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Disclaimer: It’s early, I’m exhausted, and there’s really no point to this post, just my ramblings that I felt I should get out of my system and not carry them around with me all day.

I’ve been plagued recently with a heavy heart.  In my current circumstance it’s not actually a bad thing [it’s a part of my growth process], however, it’s been the timing that’s been horrible.  I have a nagging sinking feeling that I can’t seem to overcome.  It’s not in my nature to sulk or to cry over spilled milk.  I usually have a “tomorrow is a brand new day” type of attitude about most things.

If I were to over analyze things as I usually do, I would realize that a lot of this is coming on because of the holiday season.  It’s the first one that I’ll be spending alone and due to financial climates at work, the demand for my time has increased significantly.  I’ve been working roughly 65-70 hour weeks, 6 days a week.  I feel as though I’m in an alternate universe and I’m looking in on myself.  I don’t feel real, I feel as though I will wake up from a dream in a few minutes and things will all be different.

Only I’m not waking up.  The dream continues and as it does I’m following the current that life has set for me.  I don’t feel like I’m in control anymore and that feeling alone is frightening.  If I was to be completely honest with myself, I would say that hints of these feelings began months ago and that they are just manifesting into these trumped up feelings that I have.  If I were to rationalize things, as I also do quite often, I would just say that I’m tired, sleep deprived, and just drained.

Happy Medium? I will have to clunk my way through this, not only because it’s what I do, but because I can’t afford to break down right now.  I have to be full speed, I have to give 200% to work and still have a pretty smile on my face for the minuscule amount of time that I’ll get to actually spend with my family this season.  I’ll have to save all of the breaking down for a different day, tuck it away somewhere safe so I can deal with it when it’s convenient for me.