Friday, November 2, 2012

Positive Thoughts, Negative Thoughts

Do you ever feel like you have a love-hate relationship with your body? Does one little thing make you look at yourself like you're a big ol' cow? Then does something happen to erase those thoughts and make you feel like you're amazing? And back and forth, and back and forth...

This happens to me... A lot.

Just this morning I was feeling rather fattish. My scale decided to hate me and give me a number that I didn't want to see. It was a little higher than a couple days ago. I was annoyed and felt like a cow immediately after seeing it.  I forgot the fact that I'm currently retaining water. And that I ate more sodium/higher sodium foods yesterday, which only makes retention worse. My pants still fit normally though, so that made me feel about thismuch better. I also forgot that I had drank about a cup of water before I weighed. Despite all that, I still felt like a horrible failure.

I was annoyed at the fact that I went up a little bit instead of going down, when I feel like I've been working hard. Then I thought maybe it was the Halloween candy I ate earlier in the week. However, I did not ingest enough calories to equal even a pound. I've been working hard this week; haven't missed a workout. I've added to my running. I'm doing DVDs too. I'm doing everything right. Yet the scale moved in the opposite way.

I know that when a person starts strengthening, they can retain water in their muscles. How much though? I don't know much about that.  I've researched it before and remember some of the info, but not all of it. What I do remember has caused me to be a doubter in the whole "it must be muscle" justification for weight gain because more times than not, it is not muscle. That's just something we tell ourselves to make us feel better if, during a time we're striving for loss, the scale goes up. We gain other weight (water, fat) much faster than muscle weight. Taking your measurements will show you more than a scale will. If you are losing inches, but your weight remains, then you're likely building some muscle. If your body fat percentage decreases but your weight remains, or even goes up, you're building muscle. Tracking measurements is the only way you'll know for sure.

I need to do this. I haven't measured in a while. I think I'd feel much better if I measure and see that I'm smaller than a year ago. I'm also afraid to measure because I'm afraid that the gain is fat, which would be reflected in the measurement.

I obsess. Too much.

As far as my weight this morning... I don't even remember what it was! I've forgotten those numbers!  Well, I remember two of them but not the third and fourth. I don't remember what my weight was this morning. Something that was enough to annoy me and make me feel awful about myself has been forgotten in less than 12 hours.

In the past I'd have been stuck on that. The number would bother me so much that I could picture exactly what the scale said.  Now I've forgotten it, moved on, and am feeling much better.  I like that it is not as important to me as it once was. I do not like that it still bothers me to the point of feeling badly about myself.

As the day has gone on, I'm fairly certain that the small jump on the scale was due to fluid retention....Probably from one or more factors (retention, sodium yesterday, muscles) I've been drinking like a beast and also took a pill (to address a headache as well as that bloated feeling) this morning and I'm pretty sure that whatever was retained has been in the process of being released! The short version of that? I'm sick of peeing.

I also manage to let those negative thoughts creep in regarding workouts.  I let myself think I "can't" run faster. But when I go outside and I don't know my speed, I do.  I have the ability. Something about seeing the speed on the treadmill makes me think I can't though. It's like I doubt that I'm faster than I am....Like I cannot possibly be able to do that.

I also doubt my ability to complete the upcoming half marathon. If I keep telling myself I'm going to tank it, I'm going to believe it. My brain needs to allow myself to realize that I CAN finish it. I look at myself after running a much shorter distance and wonder, "if I am like this after that...How in the world do I think I can do hat half marathon? Maybe it's too soon. Maybe I won't be ready."


Shut up, shut up, shut up... Negative voice; go away!
So that's my story about the negative feelings. They creep up so quickly and make us feel horrible sometimes. They can stick with you and make you start to believe them. The upside is that they can be easily forgotten. The positive thoughts can outweigh the negative, if you let them. You have to start listening to the positives; from yourself first.  Comments from others are helpful but what's in your head is what you'll ultimately listen to.

The positive.

Okay part of my positivity came from a co-worker telling me I look like I've lost more weight in the last few months.  She's the second person to tell me this recently. My weight has actually gone up.  Maybe I still had some post-op swelling a few months ago and compared to that I do look smaller. Again, measuring and comparing to prior to surgery would be helpful here. I need to do that in the morning. I need to remind myself to do that in the morning.

I'll probably forget, because it's what I do.  Forget, I mean. I can totally forget things so easily.  Like the other day, I forgot how old I am.  I couldn't remember if I was going to be 32 or 33 this year. I had to stop and think of the year I was born to realize that I will be 32, not 33 as I thought for a moment. I'm constantly leaving myself reminders in my phone, setting alarms, or writing out notes to myself. Maybe part of this is being busy. Or the fact that I think of great things at inopportune times. Or both.


In addition to my co-worker making me feel positive (by the way, it was volunteered info, I did not ask), I made myself feel positive.

I looked at the workout plan I'd written the other night. Only I looked at it by each specific day rather than a long list of workouts I'm doing between now and the end of the year. I'm totally organized with workouts.... Run days, DVD days, some days are a mix of both. I don't have to think about what I'm going to do when the day comes. I think that'll make it easier to resist saying "I can't."  I've done some workouts this week that have sucked because I've been sore from a previous workout, or because I'm tired from running before doing a DVD. But? I've finished them. Thinking of the work that I did this week erased that "I'm fat" thought.

Looking at it made me feel pretty strong. It made me feel accomplished. It made me feel good about myself. Tomorrow is a five mile run day. I was dreading it when I looked at it the other night. However, I won't get to half-marathon level if I don't work, and a little five mile run is part of the work. I like to run but sometimes I'd easily skip it; mostly when I'm tired. My motivation just isn't what it should be when I'm tired.  It's silly of me to dread these runs because I KNOW I can do them.

I have a workout scheduled every nearly every day between now and the end of the year.  My hybrid BBL/RB program ends around Christmas, but I scheduled some other workouts to last through the end of the year, in addition to my half marathon training. I will be working out six days a week. Sundays will be my rest day. Some days I'll workout for a up to couple hours (long run days which are getting longer as time passes), some days an hour. It looks like the average day will be between an hour and an hour-and-a-half.  There are some days when I'm just doing the DVD workouts that I added some biking to the schedule.

I have high expectations for this program, combined with healthy eating. I have a goal to lose ten pounds by the end of the year. I feel like with all of this working out, that now includes strength-based moves, I should be able to accomplish that goal. I guess having that goal is part of why the scale going in the wrong direction annoyed me so much! I'll also be tracking my measurements during this time. Last Saturday was my official weight start date for my little mini-challenge. I forgot to take measurements though, so I need to do that tomorrow so I can monitor those weekly as well.  I'm going to be keeping track, weekly, in a notebook. The goal is to see everything (measurements, body fat, and weight) go down. However, if only measurements and/or fat go down and my weight loss doesn't hit ten pounds, I'll be okay with that.

For me, the weight part of this is as much about how look as much as it is about (if not more than) weight. The number on the inside of my pants (yes I KNOW no one else sees it) is probably the most important number to me at this point in time.  That's from an appearance perspective. Obviously weight, measurements, and body fat are important to me from a health perspective.

That's another thing (gosh, this is getting long!)...

What happened to me looking at this as my health rather than my appearance? I'm thinking that because I'm in good health, and dramatically improved everything with weight loss - even if all tests showed me as healthy. I think that part of it is where I am in this journey. I changed my lifestyle. I've achieved living a healthy lifestyle by eating well and working out. My health is good. I want to continue to improve my fitness, which is a huge factor in why I continue to workout.  Of course, that comes from a bit of a vanity point too.

I mean, if I can run a race in a good time, people will see that. Just like they will see what I look like. Also, if I'm more fit, it'll be reflected on my body.  I don't have much more weight to lose to get to where I'll be happy. I think that, despite my BMI still being "overweight," I'm pretty healthy overall. My doctors are no longer concerned with my weight. They think I've done well. They know that I'm healthy, that I eat well and that I exercise. They're pleased with me. That "healthy" BMI range is a goal, and once I'm within that goal range, I think I'll accept staying there.

I've left the "I need to be healthy" thought process behind, for now. Because I am healthy. I'm no longer striving for it.  Now I look at weight loss from a vanity perspective more than a health perspective.

And? That's okay.

Yes, you read that correctly. It is okay to want to lose weight for vanity reasons. Most people don't want to lose, say, 30 pounds or less because they're striving for health. Some do, and of course that will lead to improved health. Some people, though, start because they want to look better. They want to get into those size eight jeans. They want to run. Whatever it is, they start with a goal that might not be to improve their health.

Some people will read that and think that I'm some horrible person for wanting to lose weight to change my appearance. I used to think that about people. I've said a million times that for me this journey has been about health first. Until now, it has been. I'm, of course, still concerned with being healthy but I know that in my effort to lose more weight, I will continue to be healthy.

As far as health, now I "get" it. I know how to be healthy. I AM healthy. Mission accomplished.

I desire continued weight loss to improve my body so that I look better. That's it.

Hmmmm... I wonder if coming to this realization will help me bust through this plateau. Sometimes an "ah-ha" moment is what it takes. That's what got me started on this journey in the first place.  Maybe now that I've accepted that I truly care about what I look like I'll start going in the right direction. Maybe all I needed to do was be honest with myself and accept the fact that it's okay to lose weight just because I want to look better.  It doesn't have to be just about health anymore. Now that I'm healthy, it's okay that it's appearance-driven.

Wow... My thoughts were a bit scattered today. I blame it on being tired. I feel like that post was a bit all over the place and like it didn't flow well. I apologize for that. Hopefully it still, at least, made sense!! I'm sure that it is long enough.

I'm ready to get this weekend started (right after I do some BBL)!! Tonight will be spent decorating the birthday cake for the birthday princess. Tomorrow will start with a five mile run and I'll be at the birthday party in the afternoon. Those are the only set plans for now, and I'm excited about them all.  I'm particularly excited to go work on sculpting this booty!!

Have a fabulous weekend - stay positive!!!!


1 comment:

  1. I go through this a lot too. One day I can feel like I'm making real progress then the next day I feel like "Why am I even trying?"
    Sticking with it no matter how I feel is what I am aiming to do. In the past(as in yesterday) I throw in the towel when the negative thoughts creep in. I've GOT TO STOP thinking that way. Progress is progress no matter how I feel about it.