Monday, January 26, 2009

Delusions of Slendor

For the last two months I've been doing a diet and exercise routine to lose weight and get in shape. I've battled the idea for a long time....mostly ok with my body but knowing I should be in better shape and should lose weight, but not quite motivated enough to do something about it. Well, when the Riverside Activity guide came out with an ad for "Boot Camp", I inquired and signed up.

The first week of working out was painful!!! Apparently even though I worked out a lot in high school, not working out (besides walking or hiking) for the last 1o years made it kind of hard to maintain that same level of fitness. Novel. I know. =) Anyway, I was so sore that first week I could hardly sit down or stand up. Getting on and off the pot was a serious chore. It was ridiculous. But I stuck with it. After one week of workouts, can you guess the total weight loss?!?

Zero. Yep. A pitiful, measly nada. It was super frustrating. So then I got started on the diet. It's called a carb rotation diet 1) High carb, 2) Low carb, 3) No carb. (Just for the record, "high" is not high in my book....I'm the kind of girl that eats cereal and a bagel for I'm lucky if I get a piece of bread on a high carb day). After one week on the diet and two weeks of working out, total weight loss: 3 pounds. Better. For sure.

On and on it went. The workouts got harder (in intensity) but easier because I was (re)gaining strength etc. I did fairly well that first month--a total weight loss of only 8 pounds, but 17 inches came off my body from all sorts of places. I was pretty stoked.

It was interesting though to see how my motivation flexed and changed. Even though I signed myself up for the program (all willingly and without coersion), those first two weeks I was primarly motivated by the thought "I don't want to let the workout lady down" (or catch flack for being a slacker). I wasn't motivated by my own desires, it was purely external. By week 3 or 4, I was making enough progress and looking better to the point that I became motivated for myself. I even started getting feedback from the other women in the class and that too was encouraging.

Then I hit the wall. The wall of I-just-want-to-eat-what-I-want-when-I-want. It's a big looming wall that can knock all motivation to stick to a diet clear out of the park. It's hard to go out with friends or family or parishioners and constantly be refusing tortilla chips at the Mexican food place, or a biscuit (my favorite), or dessert, or even something other than water to drink. It's tough.

And early on I made some theological equation to where exercising (after a period of not) was like adding in the good stuff (worship, Bible study, prayer, etc), but that dieting was what really made the difference (abstaining from sin, addictions, bad habits etc). Can I just say that was not helpful?!? Equating foods you want with sin is not a healthy idea.

Unfortunately it sort of stuck. So now I have a nice shame/guilt relationship with food. Woohoo...... It's not that bad, but it isn't great either. And at this point (4 days from being done with the diet and the exercise class) I'm so over the diet it isn't funny (which at this morning's weigh in I was not only done with losing weight, but was back to gaining...).

Part of me thinks that this might be a little like my relationship with books in seminary. Apparently I don't like "requirements" because whenever there was "required" reading, I drug my heels about doing that work. But then as soon as the class was over the reading was no longer "required" I was really excited about reading the books. Odd, I know. So part of me thinks that because the diet is "required" that I am dragging my heels and that as soon as it becomes a choice of free will, I might actually go back to it.

It's all really maddening actually. And if you don't have to fight the weight battle....thank your lucky stars because it is a BEAST!!!

I enjoy being in shape. And I like the compliments about how good I look. But it's not like I was in horrible shape either. It wasn't my high school cheerleading body, but it was liveable, likeable even.

I've tried to restrain from blogging about all of this because I'm not sure it's really anything you all are even interested in. But yesterday the sermon was about perseverance and this morning I kept thinking "that idea of just getting in shape and being skinny and getting back to life as usual was a delusion. You were thin in high school because you worked out 5 days a week almost all year long. And you had the metabolism of a teenager...let's not forget that little tidbit." To be in shape now is going to take a lot more work, dedication, and perseverance.

I'm actually hoping that I can go back to a healthy diet (of veggies and fruit and the occasional indulgence with fewer carbs in general) and that that will help me keep losing weight if I can keep up with exercising on my own. If not, guess I better learn gratitude for being able to eat so well and exercise when I want without physical limitations. Or maybe I should learn that anyway and just get over myself....

1 comment:

David said...

Must be a family kick as I am dieting now too. Good progress, now for the exercise