Well, this blog is turning into a real mish-mash isn’t it? Ah, c’est la vie. That’s how life goes. We change and so do the things around us. Not necessarily all at the same rate unfortunately.
I find that lately, I am really forcing myself day in and day out, to remember that this health thing? This ‘losing weight’ thing? This ‘get fit and strong’ thing, isn’t overnight. It’s not a sprint. It’s not a 100m dash. It’s a God damned marathon. The longest marathon EVER, I’m convinced. Screw that 26.2 miles. I’m on mile 123432423433.3. Truth.
It can be so frustrating, to know you’re eating clean and working your tail off, but see no budge on the scale. I’ve added some serious weight training to my regimen. I’m doing some high intensity interval training (HIIT) on every other day. I’m taking rest days. I’m doing massive bursts of plyometric cardio. I am seeing a change in my waist as it tucks in, but my crazy brain doesn’t allow me to really praise myself just yet for that. The scale is still not budging, and in fact, I’m up nearly 20lbs from where I was a year ago.
Now I know you’ll all start a chorus with, “But the scale is just one number, Sarah! You’re building muscle!” and you’d be right. However, it’s pretty hard to remind yourself of that in the moment, isn’t it? You’re right. The scale is only one measurement of health, wellness and fitness, and really? It’s not a terribly good one. Yes, you’re right. I’m probably building muscle that weighs so much more than fat. It’s just not easy to really hammer that home. The brain knows, the heart feels something completely different. Inadequacy. Overwhelming failure. All tied to one number. Fun.
Every diet plan out there advertises how much weight you can lose on their program. Even a relatively healthy plan like Weight Watchers, is purely focused and fixed on the number on the scale. I remember going to my meetings and waiting to see the face of the woman recording it in my little book, only to hear a “Oh, keep working, you’ll get there!” as I see I’m up 0.5 lbs. (Later finding out, the medication I was on, was ‘helping’ me to gain weight even as I spent unhealthy number of hours at Bally’s and ate what I thought at the time to be healthy.)
I also read a lot of “Healthy Living Blogs” and while I give credit to many of them for the successes I’ve found, and for the healthy spins on favourite recipes, it is also sometimes hard to follow them. Very few that I have found (I’m sure they are out there – share them in the comments below!) are real and honest. I admire the positive outlook, the upbeat personalities, but I refuse to believe that life is awesome 100% of every day, every week of every month of every year. It can’t be like that, and reading that every day sometimes creates a false reality of what is ‘normal’. It’s forcing me to hide the feelings that I want to cry and break down sometimes, because I just want an entire pan of brownies. And no, not black bean-gluten-free-sugar-free-made-with-fairies-and-air brownies. I’m talking, Paula Deen butter y’all, brownies. As a side note? I’d love to see some more honest posts from HLBs on the daily marathon of making the choice to be healthy.
The truth is, I’ve taken my blood pressure and pulse rate a few times lately. My blood pressure is right around 125/70. Pretty good right? My pulse rate? 51. FIFTY ONE. Folks. This is craaaaazy good! I’m also noticing that my pulse recovers a lot more quickly than it used to after every interval. Those are pretty good indicators of inner health and heart health, wouldn’t you say?
I’m a muscular gal. I always have been. I put on muscle like nobody’s business. My quadriceps are like rocks, (rocks that are always tired lately!) I wear heels specifically because I actually love to see my calves in them. My belly might be soft and jiggly, but I think, if I squint my eyes and tell my low self-esteem to shut the hell up, I can see the beginnings of where the muscle will show through once the fat burns off. I swear. I can see it.
I’m able to do more than I could 3 or 4 weeks ago when I started getting really serious. I’m less winded. I’m more driven. I’m more motivated. 9pm? Pshhh, not too late for a workout! What? Cookie from the coffeeshop? Nah. Not worth it. Quinoa, quinoa and more quinoa? Yep. I am determined this time, more than I ever have been. Committed is really a better term for it, because I know this isn’t about how great I’ll look in a swimsuit. This is about my health for the long haul. I am committed to being healthy. I’m committed to using exercise as a drug to clear my head and quiet those negative thoughts that spin around so freely and unfettered. I want this. I desire this. I’ll have this. The swimsuit really is a side benefit.
So, why should the number on the scale matter so much? This isn’t a race. I sure as hell didn’t get like this overnight so it’s not going to change overnight either. While I tell all of you that a small brownie isn’t going to ruin the day, that’s not how I feel right now. I feel like every, last, morsel in my face will change the outcome. I feel that no matter how many vegetables I eat, how many litres of water I chug, that one square of super dark chocolate will just RUIN EVERYTHING! EVERYTHING PEOPLE! So numbers obsessed! I was in tears over chocolate chips this morning, I kid you not.
So, this post is me saying, I’m kind of over that today. It’s also saying – I’m with you people. It’s a tough road and sometimes, knowing it’s not a quick sprint is frustrating and makes you wonder when you’ll ever get there. Wherever there is for you. I’m here with you. I’m finding healthier options for heavy winter foods I want and love. (I’ll keep sharing them on Twitter and Pinterest!) I’m going to continue to exercise like a madwoman because, damnit, it’s really good for my head. I feel clearer and just like a better person when I’ve sweat. I’m going to continue making the good choices, fighting the good fight because I want this. I’ll get there, and so will you. I know it.
Just sometimes, we need to be able to throw our hands up, get grumpy and say, “This SUCKS and I’m kind of done with it.” have our pity party, and then get on with our lives.