I get it. I really do. Because not only did I use to feel that way about people who exercised, who enjoyed it, who felt the need to move and be active, I still sometimes feel that way about people who eat healthy. They make it look so easy, it's infuriating. I find it nearly impossible to believe that they truly enjoy it, or that their body craves it, because I have to work so hard at forcing myself to do it. And there is still a voice in my head that sometimes wakes up and says, "you're doing ALL THIS ... and you still look like THAT? What's the point?"
Yeah. She's a raging bitch.
We all hit a mental wall sometimes. I hit it hard back at the end of November. After a weigh-in that caught me off guard, with results I really was unprepared for, I just about gave up. I had a terrible hour with Mat because I was grumpy, frustrated, and distracted by trying to decide whether I had the nerve to walk out and throw in the towel completely. I might have, had I been doing this on my own, without a fitness coach to break the fall.
See, I had lost sight of my original mantra: this is not about weight, it's not about body size, it's not about looks, it's about getting healthy, fit and strong. But I had also been gaining and losing the same 10 lbs for pretty much the whole year. I'd had a really good week, both with food and with exercise, and I went in to that training hour happy and confident. And then I stepped on the scale, and the measuring tape came out, and it all changed in an instant. Old Me, who'd been pretty quiet for quite awhile, woke up with a vengeance.
"This isn't working. It's not worth the monumental effort. Why are you bothering, when you're not seeing results? You are going to have to keep doing this for the rest of your life. It is exhausting. What if this is as good as it gets? You're too broken to fix. All the kings horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty together again." I was not on a plateau. I was on a wall. A wall I'd just fallen off of then dizzily run into head first.
Blogging about my experiences has been one way of smashing through that wall. There will be others, of course, along the way. I'm just trying to get past this latest one, by leaving myself breadcrumbs of hope, which I can follow when (not if) I hit another wall. It should make it easier to find my way back. As a result, my blog posts have been more or less positive. My Facebook statuses talk about what I do. Having to write and reflect in an uplifting way is motivating for ME. But I realized, with that comment about de-motivation, that I'm showing only one section of a carefully cropped picture. You're not seeing the whole scene.
What you don't see is how hard it is to get out of a warm, cozy bed during a cold snap and winter blizzard when it's still dark out. How many times I hit "snooze" before I finally get going, late and frantic and forgetting things.
What you don't see are the days I talk myself out of going at all, negotiating and promising that I'll just do a home workout, or I'll go after work, until the day has passed and I've done only the bare minimum - or nothing at all! - when I had planned on doing much much more.
What you don't see is how hard the food choices are for me, how much energy is depleted over the day by using up my willpower over and over again, until it's all gone and I go home at night and eat and eat and eat.
What you don't see is the frustration I feel when I stand in front of the mirror. Or the tears.
What you don't see is the war in my head between New Me and Old Raging-Bitch, sparring round after round, dancing between "we can do this, we're strong, we're tough, we're worth it" and "puh-leeze, you fraud, you're never gonna be good enough."
What you don't see, when I show you only the part of the picture that is well lit, are the dark corners that were over or under exposed, edges damaged by rough handling and water stains.
I never meant to make any of this seem like it's easy for me, or that it should be easy for anyone. It's not. I don't want to de-motivate someone from doing what they can, where they can, because they are comparing themselves to me. I've lived on that road for too long, and even though I find myself back at the intersection of comparison and envy every so often, looking at others and assuming it's easy for them, I don't want to give that illusion myself.
I've made this - fitness and health - a priority now because I didn't for so long. I'm coming from a really different place than a lot of people. What I've put my body through, both in gaining and in losing, is not comparable to someone who has gained a few pounds with age. The reasons the weight go on are significant. The percentage of weight to lose is significant. The physical abilities and limitations are significant. They're all factors in the journey. Which is why each of our stories is necessarily different.
Why look at me and think either "she can do it, so can I" or "look at what she's doing, I could never do that." Neither one is completely accurate.
The only constant is that it's hard for all of us. It's just hard in different ways.
So. What about that wall?
Well, sometimes you hit the wall.
Sometimes, you ARE the wall.
And sometimes, you find a way to smash through the wall and move on to the next one.
When I used the Humpty Dumpty reference on Mat, his response was "Then get off the wall." In other words, don't put yourself in the position to fall. Don't set yourself up for failure by living on the edge, or sitting on a wall in the first place. My wall was losing sight of my original goals and mindset. I'm taking that wall down, now.
The thing about Humpty was that he was passive. He relied on all the King's horses and men to rescue him, when he should have saved himself. No-one can do it for you. Put your own self back together again every time you fall, smash through your walls, and while you're at it, pick up a brick and chuck it at the raging bitch's head.