Thursday, September 8, 2011
I Don't Have What It Takes
I am reluctantly coming to the conclusion that I do not have what it takes to get where I thought I would like to be in terms of weight loss and fitness levels.
Before you and I both have a hissy fit, hear me out.
One of the ways to get to a goal is to gain knowledge about how to get there. I have gained lots of nutrition knowledge over the years due to my time as a Weight Watchers leader (before points, when the plan was based on the food pyramid), and also due to my thyroid issues. If the best self defense is offense, I’m your candidate. Because these situations made me go out like a hunting dog to find out anything and everything I could about nutrition both to be a good example (when I was a WW leader) and to have the power that knowledge brings.
As for exercise, my knowledge comes from experience. The term “adult onset athlete” describes me well. The most athletics I ever did growing up was cheerleading and back when I did it, it was not quite the sport it is today. In the 1980s I dabbled a bit in some aerobics classes but truly, they were not something I loved or even did regularly. It took a 60 pound weight gain from quitting smoking to get me to do anything at all on a regular basis. By then I was in my thirties and miserable. Between my damaged lungs and the pounds of fat, about all I could do, at first, was walk on a regular basis. Once a few pounds came off, I discovered step aerobics and bought the VCR tapes and step so I could do that at home. But still, only a few times a week – most certainly not everyday. In the early 2000’s my doctor started noticing a trend towards hypertension and I had gained a bit weight back – maybe 10 pounds. He encouraged me to add running intervals to my semi-regular walking to see if I could lose the weight and stave off medications. It took most of 2002 but by 2003 I was calling myself a runner, and began to enjoying ‘racing’ even though I still had to start taking a pill for that hypertension (Helen, some things are just genetic…) In any case, I loved running and suddenly I was one of “those” people who exercised most days of the week.
Then in 2005 I gained 40 pounds while training for a half marathon. It was the thyroid. Ever since then, my doctor has been working with me non-stop to try and figure out what I need to do to get the weight back off. While I have weighed less than I do now, I never have been able to get back to pre-diagnosis weight. It really is miserable because between the extra weight affecting my running and feeling like I’ve been on a diet for 6 years, I often go through times when I just want to completely quit and be fat and lazy.
But I digress. Lately, I have tried several things to see what the heck I need to do (see ‘miserable,’ above) and have been completely unsuccessful at figuring out anything. I reached the point where statistics were saying I should have lost 6 pounds in the last few weeks only to see a gain of 2. Explaining my stats to Shelley (that is not a joke, I made her look at them), I yelled, “I am going on a liquid diet. I am so sick of this sh*t!” Shelley of course ignored me at first then threatened me if I tried anything so drastic.
My next step was to start looking at other people whom I see as successful at their weight and fitness. While I get lots of inspiration from fellow weight loss bloggers there’s nothing quite like actually seeing in reality (vs. virtuality) what folks are doing. And this is where I’ve reached the point of knowing that I do not have what it takes.
These people – of all different ages so don’t think I’m looking solely at those who are much younger than me – just live differently – specifically in one area.
The food varies from person to person – vegetarians, junkatarians like Mr. Helen, calorie counters and lifetime WW members. While this does prove to me that we all need to find our own path – that there’s no one right way – I haven’t been able to see what I could do differently than I’m doing now.
Where they differ from me? They exercise multiple times; every single day – rarely take a rest day. Or they exercise for hours at time, which is something I do only if I’m in half or full marathon training. Which I haven’t been. As an example (and this is just one example of what I’ve seen over and over again), one individual exercised THREE times on a recent day: 1 hour aerobics class in morning; 5 mile run pushing her forty pound 3 year old in a jogging stroller at noon, then 1 ½ hours of Muay Thai and conditioning training in the evening. Even Mr. Helen, who does not have a sedentary job, additionally exercises for 2-3 hours at a time 5-6 days a week.
I am not willing to do that as there are other things in life I want to experience and that much exercise takes up more time than I'm willing to give up. (See Debby, I told you I'm not an athlete.) This in turn seems to mean I won’t get where I want to either weight or fitness wise. Very sobering thought and obviously I need to rethink it all. I’m just like a computer that needs a reboot and I’m not happy about it at all.