Monday, December 14, 2009

Never give up

I'm still struggling. It's been an awful 2-3 weeks and I don't like what I see every day when I wake up in the mirror. I've been uber emotional, stressed out, pissed off, sad, crying, yelling and feeling disgusted. Instead of turning to exercise or talking to someone about what is going on, I've been turning to food. I feel bad in my clothes, I feel swollen, dehydrated, fat and gross.

So WHY can't I get my act together and stop this behavior?

I honestly don't know. I have made every excuse in the book for the past few weeks about WHY I can't do this. And about it's not good enough that I've only lost 30 pounds in the past year +. I've become hateful to myself and I keep putting myself down because my progress doesn't compare to what other people have done. I think I should be farther along than I am and thus, I just want to give up because I don't feel like right now I can keep going. What's the point I keep saying?

But I'm not a quitter. And as much as I feel like I'm giving up and I can't keep going, deep down I know that I can't let that happen. If nothing else, I'm about to give up my current life and career path to take one of the biggest risk's of my life and become a RD. Being a successful RD hinges on my own health and my own ability to motivate myself and others, and I can't do that if I give up right now.

As much as I've made excuses, I know what several of the reasons for recent demise are.. I just have no idea HOW to fix these problems. Recently I feel like I've lost a big portion of the really personal support I had for becoming healthy. If you aren't trying to lose weight right now, you have no idea the support you find in others that are doing the same thing as you - especially the people that are doing it the RIGHT way. Over the 1+ years I've been trying to lose weight, I've constantly had a huge support system in place via sparkpeople. Lately, I haven't felt like I had all of this support and I feel myself slipping because of it. Spark obviously offers a blanket level of support but I have been used to some really up close and personal support that has recently stopped. Without spark, it's mostly just Matt and he cannot support me the way I need him to when it comes to weight loss. And frankly, that's fine. He supports me through a lot of other things in my life and this is not one area. So clearly I need to get this support back, but it's not that easy. I don't want to dedicate time to challenges on spark.. those never really work for me. A lot of the friends I have on spark are much farther along than me and sometimes seeing their progress makes me feel depressed about my own. Lately in fact, seeing anyone's progress that is greater than mine puts me into a dark hole (so much in fact that Matt has forbade me from watching the newest season of Biggest Loser). I know I still have the broad level supporters and friends on spark that are there for me (as evidenced by my latest blog which I will discuss in a minute), but it's not the level of personal and instantaneous support that I have grown accustomed to.

I have to be my own person though and I can't blame my lack of progress on others. Ultimately it's my decision to be healthy, not anyone else's. I'm not doing it for other people, I'm doing it for myself and I just have to prove to myself I can do it. Matt and I have talked about my expectations and how my expectations are too high. As much as I THINK I should be someone that can lose 2 pounds a week, I can't. So we have talked about redefining what my expectations are and possibly taking a break from some of the things that are discouraging me right now (insert no more Biggest Loser). He suggested taking a break from spark. I'm not really sure if that's the best idea for right now. I still need the food tracker and fitness tracker to FEEL in control of my health. I still have a LOT of great friends and supporters on spark that are always there to offer me a kind word and I do appreciate those people more than I can say. I feel hesitant to make a lot of changes right now and would prefer to wait until I start school and have that situation figured out, but I know that I can't keep putting it off until then. I need to do SOMETHING right now.

The last time I hit a plateau and felt myself slipping and becoming discouraged, I focused all my energy back into running. I had taken a break from running at that point and I told myself that I WOULD run a 5K. I signed up for one, I trained for it and I felt amazing for  the months I worked towards that goal. I ran a second 5K, shaved 5 minutes off my time and really felt incredible about the experience. But now, with no goals in sight other than weight loss, I just feel lost. I am discovering that I am definitely someone that NEEDS a goal to work towards and that goal has to be something tangible and something I can control, like a race, other than a particular weight loss goal.

SO the plan for now is to focus back on running. Dallas has a running club with a low membership fee that offers like 8 races for free in 2010. I think Matt and I are going to join. His goal has already been to run a half marathon before the summer is over, so I think I'll run a 5K in February and he'll run a 15K in preparation. I want to complete this 5K in 35 minutes. That means I need an average pace of 11:30 and right now I'm at 12 minute mile. Doesn't seem too hard right? Well that 12 minute mile pace is for ONE mile and not 3, but I'll give it a shot anyway. I am going to go ahead and order the garmim I've been wanting. I feel like it's going to help me tremendously and that's really what I need right now so I'm going to do it. In all honesty, I need to reward myself more. I have this reward jar that I have never emptied and I only have rewards based on weight loss, which is not working, so it's time to start reinstituting rewards. I'm not sure yet how I'm going to reward myself and for what accomplishments, but I know I'll figure it out. For now, I will come up with a reward for a sub 35 minute 5K and focus on that until I've completed it.

As far as the personal support goes.. I don't know. I spoke with spark BFF Stef this morning and we made a plan to make weekly goals and check in with each other more often. We both are swamped now and will be even more swamped as we BOTH start school next semester, but we're going to try. I hope we can both commit to it and help each other out. I think both of us have been missing the level of support we were used to and so we are going to try to fix things (as much as we can). I don't know if this is going to help me feel the level of personal support I need, but all we can do is try!

I want to end by saying that I don't write blogs to become famous. The point of my starting this blog is nothing more than getting my thoughts out there for my friends and family to read and if the occasional stranger pops in - so be it. I'm not longing to become blog famous and I definitely am not actively trying to gain new readership. I do, however, love to hear responses from those that I care about and love. Knowing I have the support of my friends and family means the world to me and it really pushes me through the difficult times. For those of you that responded to my last blog (mostly sparkers but there were a few others), I REALLY appreciate it. I appreciate anyone that took time out of their day to say kind things to me and to show me their support. I read everyone's comments and felt like I was not alone in my struggles.  Obviously I love this support and I can't tell you how many nice things were said to me after the last blog. So thank you to all of you!


  1. Laura, honey, I wish I had some great sagely wisdom to offer to you or something that could help you get back on track without any more struggle or frustration.

    I didn't comment on your last blog because you said no cheerleaders, and you know how I struggle to not be a cheerleader. I am here for you though. I'm not the kind of person that reaches out to friends very often, but I am always there for them if they ask. If you ever need to chat or vent or bounce ideas off someone, or whatever, please don't hesitate to send me a spark message or an email or an IM (my email and IM are both on my Facebook page).

    I really hate seeing you struggle, but I know you will get out of this funk. You're a strong and driven lady, and you will come out on top. It's a busy stressful time of the year, and you've got some major changes on the horizon. I'm sure most people would striggle in the face of everything you have going on. We've got a new year ahead of us and you'll soon be past the stress (and scariness) of starting back to school. You'll be able to establish yourself a new routine and get back into the game.

    Setting a new running goal and joining the running club seems like a really great idea. It's obvious you're very passionate about running. I totally understand how not being as "committed" to running can through you off track. I realized this weekend the fact that I haven't been able to run outdoors very often is what's throwing me into my funk. It's too dark by the time I get home from work (the side walks dangerous uneven in my area and it's wet, snowy and slippery outside so I don't trust myself to run in the dark without injury!) which means I'm lucky to get in one outdoor run on the weekend. I find this so depressing that I don't even feel like running on the treadmill or at the track.


  2. I think these are all good ideas, too...I work best when I'm working towards goals. I also concur on being depressed watching everyone else succeed. It takes me, like, a month to lose a pound it seems. And I know what I need to do...I just don't want to. Good luck with your new goals and the running club! (Hope that's not being too cheerleader-y?)