I just filmed a video. For those of you who know me well, you realize what an insane concept that is. I hate taking pictures, recording my voice, and most of all, I LOATHE making videos. I worry too much about how I look or how I sound. Having to be on video makes me SO uncomfortable and zaps my confidence—especially if I’m trying to express myself eloquently. I feel like I can get very disorganized in a video and start babbling, missing key talking points and basically looking like a moron. (Which I’m sure I do in this video, but sometimes, getting uncomfortable with yourself is a necessary evil.)
I love writing because I can express myself without worrying about any of those things. I can be in my pajamas with messy hair and no make-up. If I make a mistake, I just erase those words and fix it. I can organize my thoughts and come across as a coherent human being. Hence, this blog and everything else I do. But I made this video today for a variety of reasons. If you watch the video, you’ll hear them, but for those of you who prefer to read, I’ll try to outline my points for you. It can be like one of those books you read along with. I’ll make a dinging noise when you need to turn the page. I’m just kidding. There are no pages to turn.
So, I got a shock today. It’s been about 3 weeks since the holidays have been over and I figured it would be safe to weigh myself. After all, I’m not drinking eggnog every night and saying to hell with calories, the holidays once a year anymore. Too be honest, my “holidays” started back around Halloween. I mean, is there really any point in trying to be good once the giant bags of Reese’s are in the grocery store? Well, anyway, this is what I saw when I got on the scale:
And before you say, “Well that’s not that bad” or “Hey, I weigh more than that”, let me explain. I am less than 5 feet tall. I’m 4′ 11″ and shrinking rapidly. Yes, I know muscle weighs more than fat, but this ain’t muscle, baby. You know how I know that? The weight I am at today is actually 25 pounds MORE than I was 5 years ago when I ran my first half marathon. Back when I was in the best shape of my life—I had endurance AND strength. THAT was muscle weight. In addition, I weigh 10 pounds more than I did when I stopped weighing myself, probably around the middle of the summer last year. If I’m going to be completely honest, I weigh only 5 pounds LESS than I did when I had my first child in 2001. Yikes.
I know it’s just a number and the number isn’t as important as how you feel, but I’ve got to be real. I don’t feel all that great. And I don’t look my best either. I can’t run for more than five minutes without stopping. I can’t go up two flights of stairs without getting winded. My stomach hurts all the time. My fat jeans don’t fit. Hell, my underwear doesn’t even fit anymore. Everything is getting uncomfortable.
Bottom line? Telling myself that the number wasn’t important was one of the many EXCUSES that I was making. Along with blaming my stress fracture, heel spurs, and plantar fasciitis. The fact that I told myself that I was just trying to live my life and enjoy it to the fullest after a family tragedy that we experienced in 2015 was just an excuse as well. Or the excuse that I was concentrating on my writing career, and I couldn’t dedicate the same amount of time as I used to to being in shape because I didn’t have the time. In fact, I even used the excuse that I didn’t want to work out too hard because I didn’t want to wash my hair every day!
I threw on scrubs to go to work so I didn’t have to think about all the weight I was gaining, and practically lived in sweat pants outside of work. I told myself I was happy the way I was and life was fine.
But it wasn’t fine. Sure, I was happy, but I was still getting uncomfortable with myself. The reality was that I knew it was going to be TOO HARD to get back into the shape I was 5 years ago. I’ve done it before—in 2008, I lost 15 pounds in 4 months and it was PAINFUL. Not just physically, but emotionally as well. I had to get really uncomfortable to do it and that’s what I was avoiding. I did not want to think about getting uncomfortable like that again.
But who WANTS to get uncomfortable? No one. But sometime, like right now, we have to. I have to. This is a slippery slope I’m on. Yes, I’m not obese, but I feel like I woke up in this body I don’t know any more. And it’s a slippery slope—I could end up 20, 30, 40 pounds more than this—when does it stop?
Sure, I’m okay with not having a perfect body. I CAN love myself. I don’t need the perky boobs and the butt you can bounce a quarter off of and I don’t need to be a size 2 or even 4 or 6. But I can still strive to be the best version of myself, which ultimately includes being in better shape and at a much more manageable weight.
So how will I do this? Well, it’s not going to be some gimmicky diet thing. I know what I should be doing, I just don’t…because it’s about getting uncomfortable.
First off, I’m going to stop “dialing it in” during my exercise. Instead, I’m going to start dialing it UP. No more walking at a zero incline while watching TV. No more 3 lb weights. I won’t give up when my calves burn after five minutes of running. Hardcore, balls to the wall, sweating buckets, puking your guts up exercise.
Next, I’m going to make better food choices. This means less eating out at restaurants and getting take out. This also means eating in moderation—I don’t need to eat everything on my plate. I don’t need to deprive myself, but I need to be reasonable. I’ll have pieces of cheese instead of um, 8 (or 12). The calories in have to be less than calories out—it’s simple math. (Even though I’m horrible at math.)
Finally, no more EMOTIONAL eating. Otherwise known in my brain as REWARDING MYSELF FOR A JOB WELL DONE WITH FOOD OR A DRINK. I need to stop the food using food to soothe myself or making myself feel better. I can’t use the excuse of “enjoying myself” anymore. Put the cookies down and step away from the sangria.
How will I hold myself accountable? That’s where the video comes in. I am going to video my progress, including my weigh in. Yeah, talk about getting uncomfortable. Every Monday I will check in. It will hold me accountable because I tend to slide on the weekends, rewarding myself for working hard all week (ahem, emotional eating). I will be less likely to do that if I weigh in Mondays. And I will have you all to hold me accountable. I will have to face you AND the scale. It will give me the motivation to do this.
Until next Monday.