Putting It All Together

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.

hey potato chips i want to eat you

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19 thoughts on “Putting It All Together

  1. I love that last gif. I think working a lot you really just have to be smart about what you pack and how to stay energized for the day. I tend to just pack a ton of snacks rather than bigger meals because I have time for that. Also finding cheap things is another priority of mine.

    • 🙂 hehe i felt like anyone who read through my latest soliloquy should be rewarded with a cute gif at the end! for sure i’m finding snacks are so important to keep me going and productive throughout a longggggggg work day.

  2. I hear you. And I feel the same way – about running, how I don’t like it still and I still stink at it. About eating, I tend to eat everything unhealthy lately. And about not being coordinated to do some workouts. Ugh. It gets better?

  3. Ahh I LOVE this post!! I know EXACTLY what you mean and how you feel and, just, YES. I’m saying YES to whole thing. It’s soo hard but even though you get mad at yourself and you feel like you’ve derailed from the course a few times, you really haven’t. You’re sticking with it and that’s seriously all that counts!!

  4. Girl, you’re never alone in the mental battle with health and fitness. It’s taken me more than two years to get to where I am and that has been two years of constant and continual internal struggles. Sometimes I hit snooze and skip a workout in favor of more sleep and wake up feeling so incredibly guilty. What can you do though? Some weeks are better than others and so long as you keep healthy eating and living a part of your life, you’ll keep scooting along. As for healthy food ideas, I tend to stick with any and all fruits that are simple – apples, bananas, pineapple, strawberries. I rarely purchase anything else. I would suggest buying tiny amounts of veggies to sample with yourself. Anything green is usually really good when tossed in salt, pepper, and olive oil and baked in the oven. Sweet potatoes can be made into healthy french fries and those things don’t cost much at all. Keep up your good work and know that tons of people have been where you are. 🙂

  5. You’re right – the mental battles are the worst! I’m always battling with myself, mostly over food choices. I want the things I’m craving and they’re not always the healthiest. I’m trying to lose just about the same amount of weight as you!

  6. I think we all struggle with this mentality. In the mornings, I literally have to coax myself out of bed. And usually, I start talking myself out of getting up and going for a run before I talk myself in to it. It’s usually telling myself that if I go for this run I will feel better and have a better day. It works for the most part and has become routine to me. Now, for the eating healthy. That’s my struggle. I love food and am tempted by everything. Before I can even convince myself to choose healthier, the “cupcake” or whatever it be is already in my mouth. 🙂

  7. Hi I just found your blog! I could relate to so many things you talked about in your post! When I first started lifting weights, I felt so out of place because 1) the weight floor is always men 2) I was going so light, I felt like what’s the point? Then I realized a bunch of other women were thinking the same exact thing. Everybody has to start somewhere, and I’m glad I didn’t quit because now I love lifting!

  8. I don’t think I’ve ever found anyone’s blog so relatable. And this post in particular.

    But please just know that the fact that a healthy lifestyle is something you are attempting at all means something! Every “good” thing you eat matters, every workout, whether you feel like crap or a total champion. it’s making a difference! Focus on what you’ve accomplished!

    Oh, also.. do you have a selve serve frozen yogurt place around? I was thinking it might be a good place to try a bunch of kinds of fruit at once. 🙂 Plus, you get frozen yogurt (score)

  9. When I was in my early 20’s, I had the same exact goals as you. I’m wondering if they have personal trainer services at your gym? That’s how I first started out since it kept me accountable knowing that someone was meeting me, and they also gave me the basics in nutrition (though they might also push supplements on you, which I had to adamantly refuse). It can get pricey, but maybe try it for a month and then maybe it’ll become a habit? Best wishes on your goals! 🙂 I saw your food posting above (yum) and it looks like you’re on the right track!

  10. I do the get home and pig out thing too. By the end of the day, I’m so exhausted, all I want to just eat and sit. Like you, I figured out that if I don’t buy the junk, I can’t eat it. One thing that really helped me when I was stateside (and one of the things I am most excited to have again) is a food co-op. I used Bountiful Baskets, but I don’t think they’ve made it to the east coast yet. You should if there’s something similar near you though. Food co-ops seriously rock.

  11. Pingback: Great Expectations | city & the cubicle

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