No No’s and Plateaus

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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.

The Truth About Love and an Update of Some Sorts…

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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.

Confessions…

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I was sitting thinking yesterday, I know, that could have ended up badly — but anyway, I was thinking and I came up with an idea that would help me get over some of the things that I see as being bad about myself.  I figured that I should have simple confessions about myself.  These will be the things that I usually associate with being negative.  I will confess to a fact about myself and then I will come up with positive things that can be used to replace the previous negative thought about myself.

I figured I’d do this for a month or until I run out of them.  Seems like a good idea, so I’ll give it a try.  Wish me luck 🙂

So, this is new.

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For those of you that have been following my blog for a bit, you have seen me stumble through my weight loss journey, learning things as I go and doing my best to really know who I am and succeed with losing weight – this time for keeps. As I’ve been learning and growing, each set back teaches me something. Each lesson has brought me closer to truly understanding how I got the way that I am and that knowledge has given me a road map to figure out how to get to my goal.

Today, something happened to me that was so different. So profound that I didn’t know what to do with it originally. I had the day off and decided that I deserved a lazy day. What I didn’t expect was the overwhelming wave of loneliness to hit me like a truck. I started sobbing. Not like your average sobbing, but gut wrenching, pit-of-the-stomach sobbing. It was uncontrollable and I could not stop it until it ran it’s course. In one of my very first posts, It wasn’t supposed to be like this…, I went through all of the reasons why I started this entire mission. One of the biggest issues of my failed relationship was my inability to love myself.

Many of us have self image issues, and I’m not down playing anyone’s past (or present), but my view of myself is extremely low. It’s been something that started many moons ago. Back when I was sexually assaulted at a very young age and something that continued on through being sexually assaulted again as an adult. I’ve always been overweight, even as a kid. I don’t want to get into the traumatizing situations I’ve been in due to my size — if you heard it once you’ve heard it a million times. Kids can be harsh. My point is that I’ve never had a healthy image of myself. So when I got into a relationship, I let the love that my ex had for me substitute the love that I should have had for myself.

This leads me to earlier today — during my sobbing session. I was so empty that it was a scary thought to even have. I wanted to just disappear (still want to slightly). Now that I’m single and working through all of my inner tangles, I realize that the last 10 months have been full of bravado. I have been putting on such a show to keep myself from falling apart. I’ve been through so much in life that it’s my usual reaction — suck it up and tough it out. Only now, I’m alone and I’m feeling extremely vulnerable — I don’t do vulnerable. Vulnerable isn’t even in my vocabulary.

How do I love myself? I’m not quite sure, but it’s definitely something that’s holding me back. I’m starting to have the fear that even if I were to lose weight, I wouldn’t be happy. I’ve associated my ultimate happiness with losing weight for so long that I’ve blamed all of my unhappiness on it. My fat has been my soul’s scapegoat. It’s been a way to look past the underlying issues in my life and ultimately has given me a centralized focus towards “happiness”. But darn near 60 pounds later, I’m starting to realize that I have been horribly mistaken.

I eventually will have to look myself in the face and like what I see, not aesthetically, but internally. I’m not completely sure how to do this. But I truly feel like I’m on the right track. Knowing is half of the battle, right?

It wasn’t supposed to be like this…

So… it wasn’t supposed to be like this.

When we were young, we were told that you go to school, you get a job, you get married, you have children and you then live happily ever after.  So, what did I miss?  Why am I 28 years old and just starting my life over.  Let’s see…

I did the whole school thing… great… I do have a career where I make a comfortable living… great… I DID have a boyfriend (8 year relationship)… and that’s where it all stopped.

There was nothing after 8 years.  I felt nothing for him.  I loved him to pieces, but more as a brother that I would give my life for — not as the love of my life that I felt deep waves of passion for.  We just grew differently.  our lives changed and BAM.

Here I am… I was left with no choice other than to evaluate my life and there were some things that I had to take the blame for:

1) I was the cause of my failed relationship.  Yes, I take FULL ownership for it.  I realized after 8 years, he was still the same person that he was when we met.  I didn’t know how important being with someone that EVOLVES and GROWS was to me, at the time.  This wasn’t his fault.  I can complain every day until I’m blue in the face, but at the end of the day — I knew EXACTLY what I was getting when I started dating him.  Had I known that personal growth and ambition was so important to me at the time — then maybe (maybe not) I would have done things a little differently.

2) I didn’t love myself, therefore I couldn’t love him the way a woman should love a man. Talk about a hard pill to swallow.  I mean, come on — feel the weight of that statement.  You see, I’ve been over weight my entire life.  A healthy dose of self loathing and hatred came right along with the extra pounds.  I could never accept that he loved me because, come on!!! How could he, when I couldn’t even love myself.  Every time he said he loved me, in the back of my mind, I would doubt it because I didn’t believe that anyone could love me.  Never did it occur to me that maybe some people aren’t shallow, maybe some people are genuine and can see straight through to the core of people.  I failed him, and I live with that fact every day.

3) I settled [see previous fault].  Yes, for the same reasons above (my very inconvenient self hatred), I am pretty sure I settled.  I was so happy to find someone that would say that they loved me (whether the motives be questionable or not), that I couldn’t say no to his love.  I had to take it, because no one else would love me.

What happened to the easy linear life we were all supposed to live.  Where did my happily ever after go?  I have quickly learned that life isn’t so easy and that things do not always come out with such happy results.  I’m sorry for all of the mistakes that I’ve made.  I’m sorry for letting my partner in life down.  Which is why it took me so long to end it.  I wanted to try, for him, I wanted to make sure.  But at the end —  I had to do what was best for both of us, and that was me suggesting that I went my own way and he went his.

Now that the tears are wiped away [mostly], I am ready to start over.  I’m not a blogger, I’m not an expert, I’m just someone who has a story to tell and wants a history of the adventure I’m about to embark on.  So whether I’m talking to my blog, or I touch one person with my story, I will be happy.

This is me in as rare form as I can be.