Have you ever owned a piece of clothing – say a pair of shorts – that you wear all the time? They are just super comfy, fit you well, you think you look good in them? You even have a bit of a sentimental attachment to them? Then, one day, a new hole. Not like the little ones on the edge, but a gaping hole you can’t cover appears in your shorts. You have to toss them. You go buy a new pair to grudgingly replace your very favorite shorts. And then, wouldn’t you know it? These new shorts are awesome. Supportive, hug you in the right places and are even more comfy. They look way better than the old pair of shorts. Why did you wait so long to get rid of those old shorts? Dang it!
That’s my transition into what I’m covering today. I have dug myself into a hole with NUMBERS. I have been obsessed with numbers. I have, at some time, tracked numbers of calories burned or consumed, protein/carbs/fat eaten, my weight, hours of exercise I completed, mileage (walk, run, bike, etc.), pace, steps taken per day and more. I had a notebook where I kept track of all of these. Why? I’m not even sure. When I first started losing weight, I found it very beneficial to track using an app, my calories eaten and burned during exercise. This helped me reach a happy and healthy weight. As I tend to do, I go overboard and obsess. I do this with everything, especially food and exercise though. I’ll eat the same thing over and over or workout no matter how tired I am. And right now, I’m not happy.
I have always set goals for myself. When I am determined and put my mind to something, I can get a little (lot) stubborn. I am trying to continuously improve. Over the latter half of this summer, I was training for a half marathon, a sprint triathlon, trying to improve my run pace and also doing high intensity cross training. This means many days I was exercising for at least and sometimes more than 2 hours a day. I was exhausted and always hungry. BUT, I thought I had to do these things to get better. I think this resulted in injuring my foot and becoming overtired. I needed to take a break. I quit journaling everything around the time I hurt my foot. I have quit wearing my heart rate monitor as I have a rash (I hope not a scar) from wearing it so much during sweaty exercise. I quit tracking my exercise and threw by Fitbit in the back of a drawer. I stepped back and asked myself what I was gaining from this lifestyle. My answer was nothing.
- I’m not losing weight
- I’m not gaining muscle mass
- I’m not performing efficiently
- I’m tired
- I’m over emotional
- My jeans are tight
- I was missing out on social events
- And probably other non-positive things
I need to find my joy in fitness again. I had lost myself in HAVING to run x amount in x amount of time. Swim this far, cross train for at least one hour or else I had “failed” somehow. AND, my jeans are tight. I try not to weigh myself anymore (numbers) but go by how I feel in my jeans. Too much exercise and not enough sleep have meant bad eating habits.
Losing a large amount of weight isn’t only physical, but it is very mental. The photos I see are of a normal, healthy weight, happy woman who is fairly in shape. The photo of myself in my head is still the chubby faced, muffin top, overweight person of years ago. That is something I need to work on.
All that said, I really enjoy working out. It has went from a “must-do” to lose weight, to a hobby, to somewhat of a passion. My husband loves to golf, I’d much rather ride my bike or go for a run. I love the endorphins and the feeling after a tough workout. I enjoy my Saturday mornings doing a long workout and then settling in for a weekend of fun with friends or family.
The catalyst for this change was hurting my foot. So what is in the future for me? I like to have something to work towards without obsessing. I want to spend time with friends and family and enjoy celebrations but stay fit. Here is what I am going for this fall once the weather turns too cold for outdoor biking and running.
- Hit the weights. This is where I saw the most actual change in my body when doing these workouts (doing at home body weight exercises), 2-3 times a week.
- Continue with my cardio. I like being in cardio shape but I will try some interval training and keep it to an hour at a time for the most part, 2-3 times a week.
- Eating. Gosh, I love to eat and all the exercise I did this summer allowed me to really house the food. I need to find a more “normal” balance with my food. I’d like to try some new recipes and be a little more adventurous in the kitchen again.
- LET IT GO if I don’t get in 6 workouts per week.
My husband, my pets, my friends and my social life are all more important to me than a run or workout sessions. Overall, my health ranks very high up, but I don’t want to be missing a get together with these people if it means I feel I have to workout. Not worth it. I won’t lose my fitness if I take 2-3 days off. I am nervous to change my habits and I am terrified of gaining weight back. But I know I can do this smartly. For me personally, there is no benefit to exercising more than about an hour a day. I am just a normal gal trying to live healthy. Fixating on hours of exercise was only detrimental to me so I’m trying to change my ways by putting myself out there a bit and writing this. Bringing it all back to the old pair of clothing, sometimes you just do something for so long you don’t realize that while it might be your “normal” it isn’t right and doesn’t look good on you. Time for a change.
I am using this as a catalyst to motivate myself to try new healthy recipes and share them as well as what I learn about dialing back on exercise. I hope you follow along – I’ll be posting an easy recipe idea on Thursday!