“Are you okay?” my Coach asked me. She’d noticed I was suddenly a brunette. And that my nose ring, Monroe piercing and dual eyebrow posts were missing. “It’s like a whole new you, but are you okay?”
I lost 1.4lbs this week. And I gained an inch over all. From my bust, to hips, to my midsection. How do you qualify that? How do you accept that despite running two 3ks in the same week after months of not being able to, how you wrapped up the garlic bread for your family without even sneaking a taste, how you measured and weighed every little thing, that it just didn’t work this week. How do you justify shin splints, and sore ankles? How do you just accept that this week just didn’t produce results. How do you just go, oh that’s okay.
It isn’t okay. It sucks. But it’s only a snapshot of the overall picture. And it’s not indicative of the journey. It’s just a piece. And if I think to it realistically, it happened at the exact same time last month – going into the third week of the program. Directly after shark week. This is my body saying – ah. Something is happening here.
My Coach said – “you know, you don’t have to measure yourself every week.” And I replied, “yes, I do.”
Because measuring yourself every week holds me accountable to painting a real picture of what’s really happening. The highs and lows. The ins and outs. The good and the bad. It’s like taking the photo without the filter. It’s like washing off the makeup. It’s like saying: I can be authentic. I love lipstick, but I love honesty, too. And not every thing is going to work out the way I’d planned it.
Can I examine this past week and come up with authentic reasons for the lack of progress? Oh sure. If you stare long enough, you can see Bloody Mary in the mirror. And if I want to scrutinize the past week, I can say – I didn’t walk on Saturday (it was raining), and I probably drank too much tea, and maybe not enough water, and, and, and,
and at the end of the day – I’m training my body.
I look at these legs, and these hips, this body. I look at it, and I think, you’re a baby. You’re so infantile in your potential. You spent years, and years, and years lounging. And eating the food you wanted. And enjoying the sweets. And the salts. You spent years bingeing Netflix when you could have been playing volleyball. You lapsed one gym membership after the other. You clouded your lungs in smoke so long you could barely take the stairs. I spent almost 40 years beating the shit out of my body. From pregnancies, to cigarettes, to fast food, to over indulging in portions. Drinking, laziness. Devoid of desire to do any better. And now, I’m breaking those habits. My brain made the decision, but it’s the rest of my body that has to do the real work to shed the pounds. And when it gets tired, and doesn’t feel like doing the work anymore, it gets comfortable and gives up, like a toddler in a tantrum.
So what do you do then? What can you do?
A few things.
One – accept the inevitable. Your body is going to hurt your feelings. It’s going to feel like it betrayed you. Despite your body feeling like you betrayed it by making it work so hard. And once you can stop being pouty, and mad, and frustrated that this inevitability reared its ugly face again, it’s time to keep moving.
Two – trust the process. This cliche I’ve been clinging to. If everything was easy, everyone would do it. Weight loss, and food prepping, and exercising is hard. It’s work. And not everything happens at once. No matter how accustomed we are to instant gratification in today’s world. Some things cannot just happen. And that goes for body transformation.
Three – eat the treat meal. The science behind the major calorie dinner is to poke at your metabolism and coax it awake. It was getting so cozy in its new routine, it was basically just punching in at the clock, putting in the minimal required effort, and punching out at 5, till 4, till 3, till 2, till suddenly it was snoozing off at noon and you’re no longer losing weight. Time to put your metabolism back to work. And when it goes into overdrive with that pizza and garlic bread I’m planning to pull double duty on tonight, the process begins again.
Listen, I don’t have all the answers. I just have my truth. And the truth is, you have to be 100% committed to wanting change. It takes time, and energy, and patience, and discipline to weigh your food. To not sneak a treat here or there. It takes real work to pull on your Nikes at 6 in the morning and go for an early morning walk because that’s the only time of the day you’ll get a chance. It is not easy to squeeze in the time between a career, a side hustle, a partner and five kids to go for a run. Especially when the trail is a 10 minute drive, and anything under 30 minutes doesn’t seem worth it.
But the sunrises are.
I can’t sugar coat the program. But I can tell you this is the best thing I’ve ever done. Accepting that I was ready, and prepared to make the leap into actually trying to undue 18 years of damage to my body was the hardest part. Nothing now, and nothing in the future will be as hard as committing to myself.
You can. If you want to.
This side x side spoke volumes this week.
Running has been my biggest victory.
And send yourself love notes. They’re important, too.
Food this week:
When I left the studio this morning to drop by and see Jan, it was everything to keep the tears from stinging behind my eyes. It was everything to not accept defeat. It was everything to show up and see him bold, and feeling brave.
I rolled down the window as he came across the parking lot. And he just said: “Hi Pretty.”
He didn’t have to know. He doesn’t have to know. He just knows. He knows what to say, how to make it better. As he navigates a new role in a new company, he hasn’t forgotten us. Our family. And he hasn’t forgotten me, or my dreams, or my goals. He’s still fighting to keep them alive, and exciting right alongside his own. He is my rock.
Maybe I only carved off a pound. But I ran. Maybe I added back an inch. But I’m developing shape.
Let’s not waste today being frustrated the weight didn’t fall off me this week. Let’s instead be excited that I’m going to be knee deep in a Gino’s All Meat pie tonight, with garlic cheese sticks.
— c ☆