seems like it's been forever

The truth is that I have not stepped foot into the gym in a week. The girl with not one but two gym memberships hasn't worked out in seven days. The girl who loved going to gym and the endorphins that rushed after a sweaty work out has lost the motivation to run on the elliptical, to lift weights, and to move my body to the beat during zumba.

The worst part of it is that I don't know how to get my motivation back.

I don't think this is only a wall that I'm hitting. I think it's a wall combined with exhaustion combined with a body that needs rest combined with life combined with trying to figure out what works best for me.

You see I haven't gained any weight during my time away from the gym. Time away that began before last Wednesday. Time that began weeks ago when I got sick and then struggled to get back into my routine.

When I stepped on the scale this morning, I prepared myself for a gain in weight. I haven't been wonderful at counting calories or limiting my intake of delicious frozen yogurt and peppermint ice cream. I've eaten more than I have in weeks. And I've started consuming more coffee and diet coke.

But my weight has stayed the same over the past week. And I'm happy for that. But this journey is, at this point in time, a weight loss journey not a weight maintenance journey.

I'm excited about where I am right now on the scale and in the sense of the size of clothes. I'm three sizes smaller than when I started. And I'm close to the weight I was when I got married in 2008.

At the same time, though, I have a ways to go. I've lost 33 pounds so far and about 20 inches. My goal includes losing another 67 pounds and however many inches that works out to. I would say another 40 inches but that seems almost too much.

Knowing that I still have 67 pounds to lose, and no time to just maintain, I realize that it is time for me to step out of hiding and announce my struggles so that I can once again make my way back into the life of healthy.

How to get back into the life of health and exercise is different for everyone. For some people, they can just do it. And while I could be like those people, I know that just doing it won't work long term. Because I always get to a point where I am too tired to just do it.

So it comes down to planning for me. Being a Type-A personality, I am a master of planning in many ways. But most of my plans involve what will happen in the future and not necessarily how to get there. I'm also a person who struggles with focusing on the here and the now as I prefer to focus on what things will be like five and ten years down the road.

My biggest downfall, over the last almost 8 months, has been lack of planning. I've failed to plan out my workouts for the week, meals for the week, snacks for the week. My life is picking up speed in several different areas, and I'm finding my time stretched between different commitments to myself, to work, to friends, and to my family. I want to keep all of those commitments, but I can only do that through lots of planning.

That's how I will spend this week. I'll plan grocery lists for two weeks at a time (and then stick to the lists), exercises for two weeks, snacks and meals, and also how I spend my time. My plan will look different from another person's plan because my life and responsibilities will differ from another's life and responsibilities.

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't nervous about what 2012 holds. Because I am. I'm at a make it or break it point. I know I never want to go back to where I was in April, but I also know that lack of planning and follow through could easily lead to just that. And I realize that I need accountability in the way of friends, family, and blogging. But accountability doesn't work if I refuse to admit to anyone that I am struggling. Accountability also doesn't work if people do not know what to hold me accountable for.

Along with the planning, I need to focus. That focus needs to be placed back on me and my journey instead of on other people's journeys. I love success stories. They motivate me, but lately I find myself frustrated because I haven't succeeded in the same way another person has or in the same time frame. And that needs to stop - for my healthy and my sanity.

When I see success stories, I forget about the rest of the story. I see where another person is now but not how they got there or where they came from. Even though the might share their struggles I don't realize they are still there in the background because I am too focused on wishing I could be right where they are.

There's no perfect way of getting to a point of losing 100 pounds. And losing 100 pounds isn't going to fix any person's life. The weight isn't the issue; it's a product of the issue.

I've moved past a lot of my struggles - the reasons that I got to a point where I needed to lose 100 pounds. There was a lot of excess baggage I carried for years. Now that it's gone, I feel great, but I also know that more baggage could load itself onto me in the way of pounds if I don't share during the times when I want to do nothing more than eat a huge bowl of macaroni and cheese or pepermint ice cream (or both - not from the same bowl) rather than sweat and move at the gym.

And right now, I would much rather sit on the couch. But I am going to plan out how to not do that. And then I am going to stick to that plan - confessing when I am struggling and celebrating when I am succeeding.

Here's to 33 pounds lost and another 67 left to lose.

(title from "where'd you go" by fort minor feat. holly brooke)

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