Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Weight Loss = sucks!

I like a challenge. I'm a goal-orientated person and there is usually something I'm working towards that when I get started I will finish. Usually it's writing-related, but with a 3 and 1 year old, my writing life is pretty much on hiatus for the next few years. So I've turned my attention from emotional/mental/imaginary purging (i.e. writing) to physical purging (i.e. that extra baby weight).

Weight loss is hard. There is no quick fix, unfortunately. There is no fab diet, no perfect exercise, and trust me, no amount of wishing will make the weight disappear. Like most women, I've taken up this challenge before with varying levels of commitment and success. But there are now added hurdles than when I was 18. I've had two kids, take sleeping medication that often causes weight gain, and am 30 (soon to be 31). So I have those issues combined with all the normal difficulties that come with weight loss. 

The hardest part is the waiting. Like I said, there is no quick fix. It is a slow process that can yield great results, but patience is a virtue with this goal. And something I do not have a lot of! I want to see the results immediately. That's partly based on the impatient person that I am, and partly based on how our society functions nowadays. We need the instant results, but they just don't come when trying to slim down. I want to wake up tomorrow and have all my old clothes not only fit, but be too big. Like other people, I find this very frustrating and at times discouraging. You're doing all you can, working hard and cutting out all the food you love, only to have no results after a month or two. It is frustrating, and it does make me want to say "fuck it" sometimes and eat a whole bag of nibs. I think "it's not working, why keep trying?" So not only is losing weight a physical challenge, it also requires some emotional and mental discipline.

I'm taking this so seriously I'm counting calories, and trying for putting more out than I take in. I've heard from doctors that it will give positive results. There are some difficulties with it, though. I don't like my veggies. Never have, so when I'm calorie counting that is extra hard. Veggies have little calories for lots of food, but unfortunately they have never really been my thing. I've discovered the ultimate truth: calories = flavour. The more calories, usually the better something tastes. And don't drink juice, but I cut that little fattener out mid-summer and now drink 2L of water a day. This again is where the discipline comes in.

Finally there is exercise. I love to be active. I'm lucky enough to work at Dal, where I have access to a free private shower and an hour for lunch so I can get a good cardio workout in. I had been running 5K since Christmas, but Halifax is not doing so well with sidewalk management. I don't have time to run at home, and now I don't have a place to run during my lunch hour. My boss suggested I try doing stairs. My office is attached to the Tupper Building - Dalhousie's 16 story medical facility. I started off running up the stairs, and after 3 flights was exhausted and needed a breather. But I made it up, and down, and did it for a total of 4 times! that's 64 flights of stairs I conquered. And if the weather is any indication, I'll be doing it tomorrow, too. Again, weight loss does not come quick. If you start working out and don't see immediate results, that's normal but tough to deal with. Find alternatives when you're slowed down and don't give up. I am not looking forward to those stairs tomorrow, but I am looking forward to looking like my pre-baby self in a bathing suit again! (maybe even a little bit better this time!)

It is super easy to get discouraged and super hard to deal with whatever issues you have with your body. But one of my mantra's while I'm working out is: "I'm not doing this to look good while I do it, but to look good when I'm trying to." Find something that works for you. I often think of the scene in the Empire Strikes Back, when Yoda lifts the ship out of the swamp using the force and Luke says "I don't believe it." Yoga replies with "That is why you fail." I never believed I could run 5K without stopping, and now I've registered for my first run (Mud Hero). It sounds super cheesy, but if you want to be successful (with weight loss or whatever), you have to acknowledge your limitations, find ways to deal with them, and never stop believing that you can do it. Because that is when your fail.

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