Jun 1, 2011

Backsliding: The post I’d rather not write (Inevitable, but sucky nonetheless).

The growing SantyKlaus belly I’d prefer not to notice.  Averting eye contact with the scale on the bathroom floor.  Rationalizing why I can skip “just this one more work-out.”    The signs are all around me.  People may not see it, they may be generous, but when it comes down to it,  I know it’s true.   I’m in a backslide.  I don’t know how bad the “damage” is, (the weight gain), but the longer I put off finding out,  the worse it’s going to get.  And we can’t have that.  I’ve come too far!  I’ve come too far and know too much to allow that now.  I will not give up! I will not give in.  I can do better.  I am better! “I’ll start tomorrow” is who I used to be.  “I am change today!” is the person I am now.  Every moment is a new opportunity to transform, to realize the greatness that we are meant to be.
How did this happen?   Am I afraid of success? Am I complacent?   Am I slipping into avoidance mode?  Do I just not care?  I’ve been feeling tired.  Foggy.  Not at my best.  A haphazard sleep schedule has left me discombobulated.  But, I will not give up.  So, the question is, where to go from here?

Step 1.  I think I have to Get Honest.
I have to get on the scale and confront my fear.  It’s only a number.  Yes, the number may be higher, but it doesn’t define me.  Its simply a landmark.  A place where I begin.  And then I need to wipe my memory clean.   Yesterday doesn’t matter.  There is only today, this moment.  I am not in relation to yesterday, I am today.  I am moving on.

Step 2Forgive Myself. 
Love myself.  Applaud myself for not giving in.  Celebrate that I am BACK on the treadmill. Believing in me.  And remind myself that this is all to be expected.  This is normal.  This is ok.  RELAPSE IS JUST PART OF THE PROCESS.   I choose to forgive myself because forgiveness & letting go & and unconditional positive self-regard are my tickets to liberation.   I will pick myself up TODAY, and moveon.  I will NOT give up.  I will wage relentless love for my body, my spirit, my soul.    I will reparent myself with tenderness, and kindness and compassion. And while I’ll be gentle, I’ll also exercise tough love, and will hold myself accountable for my behavior. I’ll set boundaries, and continue working to stay honest about my feelings and progress.

Step 3. Create Some Structure
Unemployment has brought a whirlwind of thoughts and emotions, fears and hopes.  I vacillate from feeling nervousness to confidence, forlorn to blessed.  It has also brought a new sense of freedom which, like most things, can be both a blessing and a curse.   For example, how do I spend my time?   I can do anything I want at any moment.  I can stay up all night into the morning.  I can stay up for days on end, I can sleep for days on end.   But none of that is really making me feel good about myself or happy.
I’ve always been someone who felt confined and trapped in a 9 to 5 set schedule job.  For as long as I could remember, I used to hate waking up.  As a kid, when my Mom woke me up for school, I would BEG her to let me sleep “just a few more minutes” and would have gladly fallen back asleep for hours.   I thought it was all so oppressive.   So imagine my surprise to find myself actually now missing  a morning alarm!  Lately, in the absence of a schedule, I’ve really come to accept that there is something to be said for the structure and stability of routine.   In fact, I never thought I’d be saying this, but lately I have LOVED experiencing DAWN – the chirping morning birds, the crisp fresh feeling of a new day.  It’s such good energy! It’s a burst of excitement and hope.   It makes me wonder, COULD I become one of those crazy “morning people”?!   I don’t know for sure, but I do know, I NEED SOME STRUCTURE!  I want to know when to eat, when to workout, when I should sleep for godsake!  Right now, everything is all just crazy jumble.  All mushed together.  I don’t know up from down.

Step 4. Just Start Moving.  Every Day.
When I was losing the first half of my weight, I would hit the treadmill FIRST thing, before work, and then once again when I got home.  At first, the morning runs were the hardest. It felt BAD.  Like hell-on-earth-BAD.  Like nearly impossible.  But it didn’t take long until I realized that afterwards, I FELT SO FREAKIN GOOD, and the benefits were so amazing, it overshadowed any discomfort.  In fact, the discomfort made me feel all the MORE POWERFUL because I HAD CONQUERED it!  And it was SUCH a GREAT feeling to know that I had done something so pro-active, so life affirming, so AWESOME before most other people had even opened their eyes!  WOW.  It made me feel UNSTOPPABLE!  And I used this sense of pride and achievement to carry me through the rest of the day.   I walked with my head just a little bit higher.  I felt just a little bit stronger.  I had a just little bit more hope.
And no matter what the rest of the day would throw at me after that, I carried with the knowledge that I had already demonstrated THAT I WAS A PERSON MADE-OF-AWESOME so the world had just better watch out!

Steps 5 – 10   And the Rest Will Follow
There’s something so powerful about MOVING physically that seems to set EVERYTHING in motion.  Before, once I started moving every day, like magic everything seemed to fall into place.  I started with small, gentle goals – “just put your tennis shoes on every day and stand on the treadmill”.  Which turned into, “Well, I’m on the treadmill, the hardest part is done now.  I might as well just walk a few minutes since I’m here.”  Which turned into, “Ok, I can handle walking 15 minutes a day”.  Which turned into 30, to 45, to 60.   Which turned into 30 seconds of jogging, into 45 seconds, to 60.  And then 1 mile and so on.  I had just hit the 10 mile mark and 60lbs.  Then I lost my job, and my downward weight loss trajectory screeched to a halt.   Now, I will likely have to “start over” and rebuild that running base.  If this is what I have to do, I will do it!  I will not beat myself up.  I will not give up. I will start from where I am today.   
Gradually, I’ll start reincorporating all my other tools & routines: 1200 calorie allowance using LoseIt, logging miles at DailyMile, drinking water, eating non-processed organic food, cooking, using constructive positive coping mechanisms, feeling my feelings, journaling, tracking my daily burn using my Bodybug or Heart Rate Monitor and so-on
But, for today, my goals are 1 through 4.  That is where I will begin.

The rest will follow….
I’ll get there…

How about you?  Have you experienced set-backs?  Relapse?  Have you been afraid to confront where you are?   Are you getting back on course?  I would love to hear about your journey.   Rarely are they a straight line.  But don’t worry!  It’s the twist and turns that build character and make us interesting!  Your comments are greatly appreciated.




  1. Love the post on blogger. Isn't it easier?

  2. Avoiding the scale... yeah. "I'll check next week after all the working out I'm gonna do"

    Next week "I meant two weeks..."

    Gotta know the damage to fight it!