Down 43.8 pounds so far
Did you miss me? I missed me. I have been pitiful of late, and am in the process of turning around my pity party.
A few weeks ago I was at the gym, working on the Hack Squat machine, with my trainer Thayne right by my side, and I felt something pull in my lower back. Something hurt. Felt off. So I babied it, took Advil, used a heating pad, but as the day progressed I stiffened up, was in terrible pain, walked like Quasimodo, hunched over to try and find the exact gait that would lead to the least pain. And it just went down hill from there. After 3 days of pain and self-pity I went to quick care, got an x-ray, and learned the good news: no fracture or obvious injury. And the bad news: evidence of degenerative arthritis in my lower back. So I went right into solution mode. Just kidding. I started eating.
Eventually I was taking prednisone, muscle relaxers and prescription strength Advil. My weight and my eating became wildly erratic.
I was whining to my friends Karen and Sue about this turn of events, and my reaction to it. I was saying: I went right into “poor me” mode.
And Karen said: “You’re good at it.”
She said it gently, matter-of-factly, as someone who gets me and knows my flaws and loves me anyway. I didn’t feel judged, I felt understood. Yep. I am good at going right into “poor me.” Which is gross, in the face of all the abundance in my life, but there it is. Poor me.
I let my attitude get really shitty. But I’ve already started turning it around. I think what helped more than anything was unraveling in plain sight, instead of hiding. I tracked every morsel that I ate. I ate in front of my family, who were supportive but alarmed, instead of stuffing myself in secret. I talked to supportive friends about what was going on. I didn’t blog here, but I journaled. I never went completely unconscious about what I was doing, and that willingness to look at my negative thoughts and behaviors helped me put on the breaks so much faster. I’d call that a type of success, for me.
That success might seem puny to someone who say, is young and fit, an athlete trying to shave a fraction of a second off of a sprint. It’s not like I think I’ll never say “poor me” anymore, but maybe next time I can shorten the time that I stay there, and then shorten the time after that. And the less time I spend feeling sorry for myself the more I feel optimistic, the more I feel energized, the more I search for solutions, the less I feel like I have to eat over it. Which is awesome. So my weight is going back down. Overall I am up about 5 pounds but now I see that an just a small road block, nothing insurmountable. I know what to do to get it back off and keep progressing.
In the middle of all of this I had three friends die. In less than a month. And a hand full of friends of late have been battling serious ailments. It’s heartbreaking and a little scary; harder and harder to stay in denial about my own mortality and aging. But what are my options? Poor me? Or straightening my spine, literally and metaphorically and finding the gumption to take the best care of myself that I can as I grow older. My back still isn’t 100 percent, but today is my last day on steroids, and I am done with the muscle relaxers and super strength Advil. I am stretching and walking. I am going to try Pilates for the first time, and may go back to Curvy Yoga.
Chipping away at a chronic, lifelong battle with obesity is pretty damn flinty. I see now that I shaved a fraction of a second off of the time I spent in “poor me” mode and am lumbering my way back to what has worked: Eating at a (small to moderate) calorie deficit and tracking everything I eat. Being more active – not as much (yet) as a few weeks ago, but moving my body nonetheless. But most of all getting back to savoring slow and steady progress, and not giving up on me.