Confession: I’ve been about as bad as you can get the past two month. You ever heard the expression “What you eat in private you wear in public?” Well I’ve got 20lbs of chips, cookies, ice cream, pasta, soda, beer, turkey, tamales, tostadas, tacos and various other kinds of breads, sweets, salts and all around fat making camp in my thighs, arms, and midsection. Let me put this another way: In April of last year I celebrated the anniversary of my fitness journey and having lost 70 lbs. Form April to November I slowly worked my way to a 90lb weight loss. It took me 7 months to lose 20 lbs that I gained back in about 6 weeks. The weight didn’t come back from just the food, it was also from a lack of activity. I think I can count in one hand how many times I went to the gym since the middle of November to the end of the year. The math is simple: a bad diet with a lack of physical activity equals a very predictable outcome.
And how does that make you feel Jos?
Well it makes me feel like crap is what! To elaborate more: it makes me feel like I failed, miserably. To see all that work disappear in such a short time definitely feels like I kicked myself in the gut. It’s easy to let that disappointment snowball into that negative self-talk I know so well.
As much as I preferred to grumble about it for a few days after I stepped on that scale I cant’ say I was surprised at all by it. I know that those chips and cookies were a big no no when I put them on my plate but I CHOSE to ignore all that ‘oh no you don’t” talk my conscience yelled at my weak will-power. This was not an accident, I’m aware of that. Nobody sabotaged me and I can’t stand here and wonder aloud how I got this way. I knew what I was doing and I decided to forego the consequences believing instead that whatever weight gain I might have it would either be minimal or something I could quickly recover from. It wasn’t until I thought about the work it took to lose the weight and the ease with which it came back that I realized how much harm I’ve done to myself.
What did you do about it?
I sat on that sad revelation for a few days until I chose to talk to someone about it. I needed to sit in front of someone that wouldn’t take my excuses and soft handed jabs at my lack of self-control to call me out on the truth. There’s no one better to do that than a trainer. I got the chance to talk to one of the guys that helped me lose that weight and he did not disappoint. He pointed out that he’s seen people lose 50, 70 lbs and gain it all back and he didn’t want me to be one of them. I certainly don’t want that to be me. I promised myself long ago that I would never go back to the way I was before this weight loss. But he understood that it happens and all that matters is that you get back at it. What made the difference in our conversation was his sincerity in telling me I could do it, because he’s seen the effort I’ve put so far. He reminded me that I’m not alone in this. I have a support group that is so vast I can’t believe my good fortune sometimes. I have friends and family who support me 100% and they tell me how proud they are of my progress. That makes a big difference in my life: to know that I’m not alone.
What happens now?
Seems to me that I have two choices. I can a) stay the course and do nothing or b) get back on track. In situations like this a contrast and compare table usually comes in handy.
|Stay The Same||Do Something|
|sleep in||wake up at the butt crack of dawn|
|eat whatever I want||eat what’s good for me|
|get headaches||lose weight|
|gain all the weight back||achieve milestones|
|high blood pressure returns||I’ll be able to run|
|predisposed to diabetes||do more Tough Mudders|
|doctors visits||become a badass|
|start back on medicine||look good|
|hospital stays||feel great|
|feel defeated||feel accomplished|
|feel ashamed||be a success story|
|be a cautionary tale||help others|
When I put it like that choosing anything other than getting back to work seems like nothing short of a slow suicide. Here I am, a year older a little fatter but a whole lot wiser. What is there to do but get back on track? It is very humbling after feeling invincible and unstoppable like I did during most of 2013. Now I feel like a bit of a failure. But the thing about failure is it can either be your undoing or your teacher.
The truth is that I’m human. I have my times when I’m less than stellar and all that discipline and dedication fall to the wayside in the face of a strong impulse, no matter how self-destructive I know it to be. I ate, slept, drank and had a laid-back time but I can’t escape the reality of consequence.
I started running again a week ago. I have to say that writing with those 20 lbs back in my body felt absolutely awful. So much unnecessary strain on my joints and my lungs just weren’t working the same. Nothing but grit and anger had me finish that run. What a wake up call. What I need to do now is make sure my priorities are in the right place and stick to them. I can’t say discipline is my strongest point but I found it somehow over the past two years and I’ll be dammed if I don’t find it again.
I feel embarrassed and ashamed writing this post. It’s not something I wanted to admit to, but I know I’m not the only one out there that’s dealt with falling off the wagon. I won’t be the one that lets it all go though. I refuse, with everything I’ve got, to go back to that person I used to be. There was too much hurt and humiliation to live with. My life is good now, and I want to keep it that way. And really there is not point in beating myself up anymore than have already. After this more self-flagellation is counterproductive. Times like this a little self-soothing, understanding and encouragement that comes from within helps as well.
I do have moments that remind me I’m still in a good place. I’m traveling a lot this month and the simple fact that I can buckle an airplane seat belt without struggling is a victory in itself. Sometimes I just need to let the little things carry me through.
I’ll be posting my exercise and meal plans soon.
Until next time.