When I made the decision that this was going to be the year when I was finally going to commit to exercising and eating healthier (which would hopefully lead to the ultimate goal: losing 15-20 pounds), I thought the hardest part would be physically. I was going to be sore. The exercises would be hard. My body would hurt. I thought there would be a few mental uphill battles but I’d get over them because I was really DETERMINED. Now that I was DETERMINED, those mental battles would be a swift and easy defeat.
Oh, no. Oh, no no no no no. How wrong I was.
This weight loss/get fit journey is most taxing mentally. Now I roll my eyes and laugh when I think about how I underestimated the mental battles. Have you caught onto the underlying theme of this blog yet: progression is so freaking slow, I am impatient, I really like to complain and I’m totally and completely ignorant about everything? Oy vey.
I’ve touched on the mental battle before but me oh my, it never ends. And I get so easily frustrated with my own self-destruction mentally or how I can’t seem to put it all together. I get frustrated that I’m so uneducated about this whole shebang: fitness, nutrition, healthy eating habits, healthy living habits. I know it all takes time. There’s so much I don’t know that I’m (again, slowly) figuring out.
I allow myself one day to skip the gym during the work week, but twice I’ve taken two skip days. And the whole drive into work on the second skip day, I’m furious with myself. I was so mad at myself for sleepily convincing myself to have another skip day even though I was more than capable of getting up and going to work out.
Then I’d get mad at myself for my adamant refusal to go work out in the afternoons. The gym I go to is a chain, and there are two locations so close to my house that I could go to. But I don’t. Because the one location I do always go to is the one with the cardio cinema where nobody can see me huffing and puffing away in the dark. And I like watching the shows & the movies in a theater environment. I never want to go in the afternoon because then I’ll hit rush hour traffic on my way back. I refuse to consider afternoon work-outs at the other closer locations because:
1) I’m tired after work: This is true but everyone else in zee world is tired after work and most of them can do it, so I could too.
2) No cardio cinema. Uh, no, that’s not diva-ish at alllllllll.
3) There’s going to be a lot more PEOPLE!! It’s going to be so crowded. At 5 AM there’s nobody and I love it. And all these afternoon / evening people are going to have the bodies I want to have but don’t yet and I’m going to be embarrassed and intimidated and assuming they’re silently mocking my paltry efforts: Sigh.
When I am on the treadmill, I still have to talk myself down from the That’s It I Quit This Was A Dumb Idea I’m Never Going To Succeed Because Even Though It’s Been Two Months I Still Suck At Running And I Don’t Yet Like Running STOP THE TRAIN ledge. Oh yes, such a ledge exists and I’m usually always precariously perched on it.
Or when I’m doing Tone It Up exercises and it takes me 15 minutes just to figure out what the hell my left arm is supposed to do in one of the moves. And then I’m still not sure that I do it right. I think about how easy it would be to stop the madness, get up from my floor and to just lay on my bed watching Real Housewives of Atlanta Reunion Part 3 for the 12th time and eat a whole box of Goldfish Extra Cheddar. I should go do that instead because I can do that. I’m really good at that and have lots of practice in that.
When I do that, I’m content. I wouldn’t say happy because I know what I should be doing: lying on my floor, thinking “NO PAIN NO GAIN DIG DEEPER” or something, and trying not to drop 5 pound dumbbells (are they even called that, I don’t know) on my face. I’ve always been a resident of Easy Street but now I’m doing something that’s hard.
Of course after every workout I’m congratulating myself and feel like a rockstar. If only I could bottle that up and drink in my times of weakness.
With food, I’ve been all kinds of horrible for the last few weeks at breakfast and lunch in The Cubicle lately. As in, I’ve been skipping one or both. I know it’s beyond awful, is not at all helpful and teetering on a slippery slope. There have been a few days where I decided I was NOT going to skip and I am going to eat because I’m hungry dammit. So I go to the vending machines and spend the .50 cents on a bag of pretzels because my bank account number never seems to go up and for some reason, to spend the $6-7 at Subway on nourishment seems like an unnecessary expense and I’d rather have a hunger headache all day. Then, of course, I get home and gorge on everything in sight. And everything in my sight is not healthy. I know it’s bad but I can’t seem to talk myself out of it because AHGRGHTRKYTLYTEJKTR I’M SO HUNGRY SHUT UP BRAIN.
There was one day where I stopped into the grocery store in the morning before work to stock up on frozen dinners and oh my gosh, they’re having a sale on Tostitos & salsa so I ate that all day at my desk and hated myself because I know it’s not healthy. Mentally, I know it is a badbadbadbad idea but I lack the willpower to talk myself out of it.
So as of late last week, I’m working on reading more about nutrition & healthy eating habits. When I’m at home, where I’m so much more susceptible to over-snacking, I make myself pause and think “Dear Caitlyn, are you actually hungry? Or are you bored? Are you sure you’re not thirsty and mistaking it for hunger?”
At work for the last 4 days I’ve been bringing breakfast & lunch that I enjoy and have been even packing healthy snacks for my afternoon cravings so I don’t pig out the second I’m home.
I started figuring out a few months ago that if I didn’t buy junk food, I couldn’t eat it! But then another problem arose: I didn’t know what healthy food I did like. Again, slowly and surely, figuring it out. And yep, I bought a container of blueberries only to try some and find that I hated them.$5 down the drain. My roommates don’t buy too much healthy things so I can’t sample from them.
If there’s a smarter financial way of figuring out what healthy foods one likes, please oh please let me know.
It’s a balancing act. Before, I wasn’t exercising, and I was eating somewhat healthy although my snacking habits on weekends were a mess. Now I’m exercising and I recently let my healthy eating slide. This self-sabotage is frustrating and annoying because I know I and I alone am the one doing it. I know I need to figure it out and yes, it’s taking time and will continue to take more time and it’s a lifelong marathon that will have a lot of stumbles and in this age of instant gratification I can’t get stupid. Just have to keep plugging away and realize there’s as much value in the journey as there is in the destination.
I would also like to note, for the record, that this post was written with “Next Episode” by Dr. Dre playing on repeat 22 times.