Status Day 18:
SW: 470 TW: 427.2 TWL: 42.8 lbs Lbs to Goal: 202.2
Yeah, you read that right. If you have been following my day to day progress, you will note that today’s report represents an actual weight gain. Hence the reason for my rather dour mood. My mood was so bad, in fact, that I really did not feel like writing.
For that reason, I am actually writing this post rather late, a day late in fact. You see, i know weight loss is tough. For that reason, and because generally I am an optimistic person, I try to keep these posts informative, yet upbeat. I could not be upbeat yesterday, I just didn’t “have it”.
But the more I thought about it last night, the more I realized that I wasn’t being honest. Further, since the purpose of this blog was to give an accurate account of the whole journey, I owed it to you and to my complete recovery to give the unvarnished version.
I stepped on the scales yesterday morning and was instantly transported back to a place that I had not been in weeks. Every echo of every person who has ever made a snide remark or “helpful suggestion” about my weight came flooding back. Immediately that voice inside my head starting telling me “See, you’re fat.”
I mean, c’mon, really?! It isn’t like at 425 I wasn’t fat but now that I reached 427 I was Blimpie King of the Tubbies. I know that. Heck, I knew that even when the thought crossed my mind. But, there is a difference between what you “know” and what your mind/heart believes.
If I had “cheated” in some way, If I had snuck in some chips or a burger I could rationalize the gain and think, “Okay, you fell off the wagon, this is your punishment. Now, get back on the program and it will be okay.” The problem was, I hadn’t cheated.
In nearly three weeks I have not consumed one thing that was not on my list, save for some store bought V8 when my schedule dictated that it was my only option. Since I had not “failed” the program, the program must’ve “failed” me. Again, in that moment, I felt that “If the most strict of programs could fail me, then I am without hope. Just resign yourself to being fat.”
On top of that, or maybe because of that, the cravings returned. I was feeling deprived (for apparently no reason, since I was gaining weight, right?) I was feeling pout-y and I felt like I deserved it. In my mind I even went so far as to being to rationalize going out to a restaurant and having a proper meal. It made sense, really. After all, my body had apparently grown used to this current program. My weight loss had slowed generally over the past week, and now actually reversed. The only way to break that plateau is to shock the system and one way to do that is to convince my body that it was not being deprived or starved; so you give it more calories for a day or so. I even went so far as to mentally visualize which restaurant, perusing the menu, and ordering my food.
By the time all of these thoughts had run through my head all day, I was just in a real prickly mood. To top it off, my interactions with people had not gone well, I had some disappointing news at work, and my juices had been awful. (the tastes was okay, the texture was miserable! Using a blender yields less than favorable results with things like celery and kale. You end up with a three-inch layer of what can only resemble algae or the thick plant-like scum on a stagnant pond.)
I actually thought, “Great, I’m drinking pond scum and am gaining weight! This isn’t worth it.” I have to admit that it did not help to realize that my wife is eating a wide variety of yummy foods and is losing weight at virtually the same rate as I.
Then several things happened over the course of the next few hours. 1) My wife came home from her job and I was able to talk things out with her. 2) We watched a truly delightful movie, a gift she had gotten me for Christmas, “The King’s Speech” starring Colin Firth which distracted me. 3) I remembered my experience running a marathon and I confronted all of these inner voices.
That last point is what I want to explore further. First, as I have mentioned previously I have run 2 marathons. 26.2 miles. That is something that no one can ever take away from me. Sure, they timed me with a sundial and a calendar but I finished.
I remember running along the highway somewhere between miles 13 and 17. I had just turned off of the main road onto the abandoned military base outside Kona, Hawaii. I had fallen behind yet another pack of ladies that I had tried to keep pace with for the past two miles or so, but could not any longer. I was alone with nothing to look at save for the hard-scrabble, frozen, black earth of an endless volcanic field. There was no breeze, the sun was climbing high and there were only a handful of groups behind me, about a quarter-mile or so behind.
I felt a slight pain in my foot and I looked down to see blood beginning to stain the tops of my shoes. I had already pulled off the course once and treated blister on the bottom of my feet, now this?! But I kept on going. I had a goal in front of me and I just kept going. One foot at a time, one step at a time, I kept picking them up and putting them down.
As I reentered the city of Kona, most of the fans and well wishers were leaving or already gone. There were too few of us left to warrant them staying out in the heat, plus it was lunch time and I am sure they were tired and hungry from standing and cheering all morning. The pain in my feet was unbearable now. I finally sat on a small wall and removed my shoes. The blisters on the pads of my feet were now the size of the palm of my hand and stretched across the entire breadth of the balls of my feet. I also saw the source of the blood that had now soaked the top of my shoes. I had lost two toe nails in the process of running. Funny, none of my training coaches or books I had read had prepared me for losing my toe nails!
I had a choice, the race was all but over. I was close to the 7.5 hour mark when they clear the course and pick up everyone in a lag-wagon. I was in a great deal of pain and the end was still a mile off. I could have quit. I didn’t. I gingerly put my socks and shoes back on and half ran, half limped the final 5,280 feet.
It wasn’t pretty, but I did it.
I realized last evening that I had not died. And, if not dead, then that same person was still inside of me. For the first time in 7 years I got in touch with him again. I made me another unpleasant beverage and sat down with my wife who was eating a delicious 3 oz. steak-and-pepper-on-a-whole-wheat-flat-bread wrap.
It wasn’t pretty, but I did it.
I can do this. I will do this. I am in the hard miles now, but the journey is worth it. Why am I gaining weight right now, I don’t know. I have some ideas, but I know this is only temporary. I have made the right decisions for the right reasons and I will stay the course.
For now, I will buoy myself with the following realities to confront the lies and the negative self talk.
I might not have seen a loss (weight) today but:
- I can walk almost normally again
- The pain has all but left my knee
- The patches of dry skin on my face are gone
- The rash on my inner thighs and around my trunk is 75% better
- The edema in my legs, particularly my left leg, is dramatically reduced
- I’ve had to re-tie and re-tighten my shoes
- I was able to bend over and pick a piece of minced bell pepper off of the kitchen floor this week without resorting to circus manuevers to get down and back up.
- I am exercising again
- I have lost over 40 pounds in less than three stinking weeks!
These are the realities. Things are not hopeless. I am not forever fat. This is not just about losing weight, this is about gaining health. Which I am doing in so many ways; ways that will never appear on the scale.
So, my apologies for not checking in with my update yesterday. I will check in later today with today’s report and will not miss another report, even if my news is not altogether pleasant. Hopefully the report will be better. I know my mood will be. Thanks for listening to me and letting me get all of this down on paper.
If you are on this journey with me, we’re gonna have bad days but we can make it. Together.
Juice on; Join the journey.