Category Archives: Motivation

April 2021

So I am feeling proud of myself in this moment. Cataloguing my hurdles here has made me understand them more completely. I understand now that my struggles loop, ever-cycling within my own brain. And I can’t fix anything just by cycling through the struggle loop faster. I need an escape from my own thoughts. I need help.

I hate asking for help, so it’s taken me almost 40 years to ask for help with my health. I have asked a psychologist for help with my mental health. I visit with her online every 3 weeks. I have asked a trainer for help with my physical health. I see her twice a week before the sun rises. I have asked a friend for help with staying motivated. We share our setbacks and accomplishments daily. I have asked my husband for help keeping it all going. We have shifted our finances to make the training sessions work. He is on standby every morning in case David wakes up early before I get home from the gym. And he is here loving me every day, even when I make missteps over missteps.

So now I have all these people helping me, and I am very thankful to be privileged enough to have access to their help. I am also proud of me for letting them help.

Half Size Me

I have stumbled upon the Half Size Me podcast. The creator Heather Robertson has successfully lost more than 170 pounds, but perhaps more impressively, has kept it off for I believe 8 years or more.

I have been looking for a way to address my mental health while tackling weight loss, and this I think could help me on my way. I have been listening to the podcast for about a week. There is also a group to join, and some modules to follow. I am waiting to see that I stick with the podcast and it helps me for at least 2 weeks before I commit with a monthly subscription.

It doesn’t seem to advocate any particular diet or fitness regimen, rather focuses on the mentality you need to adopt in order to attain long-term steady weight loss. So much of what Heather says rings true for me. The core of her teachings is that you shouldn’t introduce anything into your life while losing weight that you can’t sustain long-term. You have to know yourself fully, accept your flaws, work around them, and be realistic with your goals. There is a total mind-shift between “I’m doing this for now to lose weight” and “I’m changing what I eat and how I exercise forever”.

I have fallen into what she calls “the Diet Cycle” before. I lost 75 pounds through Weight Watchers once, but gained it all back. Although I lost in a healthy, slow way, I definitely did have the mentality that I was on a program temporarily and if I didn’t eat within the guidelines, that I was off my diet. This thought process gave me the option to stop, and I inevitably did.

She also advocates journaling your process, so huzzah, I’m already on my way!

Fall down eight times, get up nine.Japanese Proverb, modified

So apparently June is my month to refocus and restart. Man I hate being predictable. Good thing I have a terrible memory so I can easily forget my repeated stumbles.

So since we last spoke I have quit therapy, regained the weight, my son turned two, and oh yeah, the world has been gripped by a global pandemic.

I’m not upset with myself for quitting therapy, it wasn’t a good fit. I tried it for 3 months, but I always left wanting more from the session; some advice, a guidebook, homework, SOMEthing. It felt like I was paying someone to let me complain to them. And maybe that could help some, but it wasn’t helpful to me.

Since saying goodbye to my therapist, I’ve known that I want a more engaged and active approach to mental health. I still think that addressing my mental health is paramount to finally overcoming my weight issues. That’s proven by the fact that I know exactly what to do to lose weight, I just don’t do those things.

Right now I am trying to be more self-aware about my food choices and have more integrity. By integrity I simply mean being honest with myself. Not judgmental, just honest. I am less focused on the scale right now and more focused on my decision making.

Spot the Difference

Last week I found a “Weight-Loss Reflections” journal I wrote in 2008. I took “Before” photos that would now feel like “Progress” photos. I was 227 pounds when I started that time. This time I started 50 pounds heavier.

11 years ago I wrote, “It’s going to take A LOT of work and time to undo a lot of what I’ve done to my body.  This initial motivation is going to fade, I’m going to get frustrated with the lack of obvious results, and I’m going to want to quit. I feel as though I’m finally being realistic about that. That doesn’t mean I expect to fail.  My past habits will not be repeated if I acknowledge them, prepare for them, and battle through.”

Oy. It hit me really hard listening to my own optimism that in time proved to be insufficient. What struck me more was how I could have written so much of that journal again today. Have I learned nothing? Have I not grown at all? Is this weight loss attempt also futile?

Oh Sisyphus, I know that feel brah.

I let myself feel sad and broken for a few days after reading it. I’m still sad, but also a bit more determined to do better. I have to be honest with myself about it. I have already come to terms with the fact that weight is my battle in this life, so I haven’t really learned anything new. It was a bit of a smack in the face nonetheless.

So how is this go-round any different? Besides of course, being older and fatter. And does it even need to be different for it to work this time?

Well I’m finally going to therapy to address my broken brain. That’s something. I also have a much better support system now. My husband is damn near perfect, but don’t tell him I said that. Plus, I’m taking everything much slower now and have accepted the fact that this will be a long journey. I also appreciate my current body and its capabilities more now, even though it’s older and creakier.

So who knows? Maybe I will be reading this again someday wishing my starting weight could be 278 pounds. If that’s the case, here’s my message to me: “Hey you, glad you found your way back to a healthier mindset, despite what you’ve been through. I’m doing my best to help you out, but we are both aware of this cycle, and how flawed I am. Try to be kind to yourself and do something today to feel more in control. You can think about your issues for ages without gaining insight. Action matters more. Love to you.”


A Lot to Unpack

Starting Weight: 278 pounds
Current Weight: 262 pounds
Weight Lost: 16 pounds

My current weight may be a lie because I was a bit dehydrated this morning. Note to future self: DO NOT be disappointed if your weight next week bounces up a little. A small gain does not mean that you are on the wrong track. For goodness sake, keep it together!

I’m dehydrated because in the last five days I have been a lot more active than usual. I’m sorting and organizing my mother’s basement as a birthday gift. I’m happy to help, but didn’t quite understand what I was getting myself into:

Mom's Basement Mom's Basement 2

I don’t feel like your eyes can do the heap justice. It’s not until you dive into it that you realize the density of the undertaking.

As I was sorting last night, I was thinking about my earlier therapy appointment (second session ever). She started talking about schema and how families create their own culture, be it healthy or otherwise. I’ve definitely grown up with some unhealthy schema, but it’s so difficult to define clearly. I come from a family of over-eaters. Food is a loving indulgence that is deserved and joyous. Preparing and giving food is a loving act. Food makes us feel better when we are sad and it’s the center of celebrations when we are happy. We hardly ever get together and not eat. And getting together is a cause for celebration afterall!

Years ago I remember being flummoxed while watching this scene from Dan in Real Life:

It stuck out to me as wholly odd and unrealistic. No one does that. No one exercises with their family. Clearly it’s just a silly device to showcase Dan’s awkward sexual tension.

But then I couldn’t get the scene out of my head. Yes, it’s a little contrived, but not nearly as alien as I had read it initially. A lot of families do workout together, or play sports, or go bike riding, or do something active. We just never did.

So how do I change the schema without annoying or alienating my family? Should I even try at this point? I’m 37. Our schema is so ingrained it seems pointless and almost cruel to stir things up now.

Instead I think I should focus on my little family of three and get them excited about awkwardly dancing outside with me. That seems a lot more doable.

Fall down seven times, get up eight.Japanese Proverb

Starting Weight: 278 pounds
Current Weight: 267 pounds
Weight Lost: 11 pounds

I’ve been wanting to get this started for a long time, and it looks like today’s the day. Two things are on my resolutions list every year: lose weight and make more art. So here we are.

My weight loss journey has lurched and stumbled many, many times; I have even tried to start this blog once before. So I’m trying to figure out how to make this time more successful. If I’m being honest with myself, I must say that I have never addressed the mental aspects of my weight struggles. So on Tuesday, I start therapy. Dun dun dun!

There is a lot of stuff rolled up into what I want this blog to be, but rather than explain it, I’d rather just do it. I tend to over-think and under-do, but I’m working on that. I’m working on a lot of things.