when all is done

My husband's alarm sounded at 3:58am on Monday morning. I rolled over and drifted back to sleep and then silenced my first alarm that went off at 4:02am. At 4:10am, my husband asked if I wanted him to make me coffee. I said no and then drifted back off to sleep until 4:20am when my second alarm went off and I rolled out of bed.

I slept in my gym clothes the night before. It just seems easier to get out of bed and already be in work out clothes. There's something about changing out of comfortable pajamas and into comfortable gym clothes that just seems wrong, so for me gym clothes (the not-yet-sweaty kind) are my pajamas.

I was out the door by 4:45am on Monday and on a machine in the gym by 5:00am. It had been so long since I started the day off with cardio that I expected it to be difficult. But it wasn't. It was so much easier than I thought it would be and so much easier than it had been in the past.

Monday I felt invigorated. I still needed a large cup of coffee and then a diet dr. pepper to accompany my water, but I didn't drag as much as I normally do. I made excellent choices for lunch - researching my options and then selecting a salad without any dressing. By the time the first part of my work day ended, I was ready to head back to the gym and this time focus on circuit training.

30 minutes later, I was done for the day. My body was sore. But I was still energized - though I started to feel the effects of 75 minutes worth of exercise by the time 10:00pm rolled around.

Tuesday morning was much the same as Monday morning. I didn't hear my husband's alarm and had only one alarm set for myself. It sounded at 4:30am, and I proceeded to turn it off and hit snooze until about 5:30am when I finallly pulled myself out of bed and once again entered the gym - jumping onto the Expresso Bike (which I love - it's like spin class but you get to watch scenery as you bike) at 6:00am.

I squeezed in a 45 minute session of cardio and then made my way home so I could shower and pack snacks for the day.

I'm being careful and doing my best not to overdo the exercise. Balance is something I've never really attained throughout this process but it is something I am working towards. And so tonight I am taking the evening off from the gym and spending time with my husband instead of spending time with the elliptical.

One thing I know I am guilty of is jumping all in and then, when I don't see the results I want (or when life gets in the way), jumping all of the way out. I don't want to do that any longer. I want to continue this journey and stay the course. I know that I won't do everything 100% perfect, but I know that now is the time to do as well as I possibly can.

After my last post, when I admitted that my weight starts with a 2, I received several comments about my honesty and my bravery. I'd lie if I said I believed I was brave. So often I feel like a fake and like a failure. And I'm often not honest about that.

But I was on Tuesday night. I told a friend at our c-group about just how much I was struggling. And then, with her encouragement, I told my husband just how much I was struggling. Those conversations were difficult, but they were necessary.

Weight loss is my journey. It's something that only I can succeed at, and it is something that only I can fail at. But I can not do it alone. I've tried, and it does not work.

My husband doesn't understand all of it, but he does understand that weight loss is my own struggle. He understands what it is like to feel as though success will never come. He has his own struggles that have followed him from year to year, so he listens, offers me his love and his support, and then lets me continue on my journey. Just as I do for him.

Our conversation continued late into Tuesday night, and when my alarm went off at 4:30am this morning, I knew I needed to take the time to sleep rather than to sweat at the gym. So I did just that, and when I woke up, I showered and then immediately packed my gym bag so that I can sweat this afternoon.

(title from "eventually" by pink)


to lead me to the other side

What I have to say today is similar to what I have said in past posts. It's an admittance of struggle. It's an admittance of feeling like a failure. It's an admittance of needing help. It's an admittance of not following through.

It's also a call to action for myself. It's a reminder that I haven't lost this fight and that I can move forward and ultimately win. It's a reminder that weight loss doesn't just happen. I have to wake up every single morning and choose to be healthy. I have to sit down at a restaurant daily and choose to order foods that are good for me. I have to resist temptations constantly and remind myself of why this is so important.

I did well for a week this month and shed four of the six pounds I'd gained back. I made the choice to go to the gym in the evening after work and watched my portions. I documented nearly everything on My Fitness Pal. But I also wasn't honest during that entire week.

There were days I went over my calories. Days I ate pieces of birthday cake and larger than necessary servings of ice cream. Days I said I drank eight glasses of water but really only drank four or six. And the only person that dishonesty hurt was (and is) myself.

And then this week? I all but abandoned the idea of eating well. I went to the pizza buffet one day for lunch and made more than one trip. I was overly generous with leftover Easter candy. I ate more veggie straws than what was necessary, and I upsized my french fries at Chik-Fil-A. I also said no to water and yes to diet dr. pepper and a bit too much coffee creamer.

I don't want to do those things. At least I tell myself I don't want to. And yet I still do them.

I'm at a pivotal moment in my weight loss. The weight I'm at is not healthy. It starts with a 2, and then follows with other numbers I don't like to see on the scale. The number is one I am ashamed of, one I hide from myself and from my husband and from my friends. Because I feel like if everyone knew the number... well, then no one would want to be friends with me, my husband wouldn't find me attractive, and I would be afraid of the judgements that would follow.

But by not sharing it, by not admitting even that the number starts with a 2, I allow myself to hide and pretend that I'm okay. When clearly, I am not. I've been on this journey for nearly a year, and I've lost a total of 33 pounds. Had I continued on the right path that number would be much higher.

The question now is what do I do? The question now is how I do hold myself accountable? The question now is how important is this to me?

I know what to do - the steps to take, the foods to eat, the ways to push myself. I know what works, and what doesn't work, as far as accountability is concerned. But knowing those things is nothing without my continued commitment to the journey and the process.

Weight loss is important to me. I know it's not necessarily about the number on the scale. It's more about how I feel, how healthy I am, how my clothes fit. And I agree. But I also know the number on the scale is important because it should not begin with the dreaded 2.

In the past, I would promise that it was going to be better. But I can't promise that because I have to take this journey day by day. I have to allow myself the chance to make it happen - and looking to the future and not focusing on tomorrow and then the day after that does more to hurt me than to help me.

So tomorrow I am going to the gym. My husband leaves for work by 4:30am, and he's going to help make sure I am up and nearly ready for a sweaty early morning work-out. After the gym, I'm going to take a shower and then eat a healthy breakfast. I'm going to pack snacks for work, knowing I'll be out of the field all day, and then for lunch I am going to order a salad and skip anything fried. A grilled chicken sandwich isn't really healthy when you eat all the french fries that come with it. And after working my first job, I'm going to do my best to make it to the gym for a second work out before heading to my second job. And then on Tuesday, I'm going to see if I can't repeat all of that.

I'm also going to do my best to post more. It might just be pictures and limited thoughts. But something is better than nothing. And when I post the pictures, I'm going to post the full picture - not editing them to make it look like I am thinner than I am. I've done that in the past, and it does nothing but hurt me in the end.

And I am done doing things that do nothing for me. I'm done hiding and lying to everyone, especially myself. It's time to be honest about everything.

(title from "on my way here" by ryan tedder)


what you need to know

It's after 9:00pm on a Sunday night. My nose is red from the overuse of tissues, and my body is winding down - the DayQuil having departed from me hours ago. Both dogs are falling asleep on either side of the couch - taking up what little room I had reserved for folded and clean clothes.

It's after 9:00pm on a Sunday night, and my mind is racing with thoughts on the upcoming week. Do I have everything I need for work? Am I going to squeeze the gym in after work, or will I force myself out of bed before 5:00am and then stumble into the gym in the morning? What does this next week look like for me as far as the hours I am working?

It's after 9:00pm on a Sunday night. But it's not just any Sunday night. It's Easter Sunday. And yet I don't feel like I've spent any real time truly meditating on the fact that it is Easter Sunday. Instead I've rushed around, blown my nose, gulped down DayQuil, and sprawled out on the couch.

This past week has been one of the better ones. Busy as anything but successful. I've counted calories every day since last Friday. I'm down at least 1.5 pounds. And I made it to the gym four times. All while fighting through some sort of cold or virus.

And yet I feel like none of it really matters. And none of it does - at least not on Easter Sunday.

There are so many times I think of something profound - when I know God is giving me words that are much too smart for me to have thought of. There are so many times when I feel convicted - when I know God is leading me towards something (or somewhere). But I let those times pass away so easily. I miss out on those moments because I tell myself it can wait.

It can't wait. That's something I have been reminded of today. None of it can wait. The only time there is is now. And those moments of profoundness and conviction pass if you don't grab hold of them right as they pass by.

This weekend I've thought a lot about time. How I spend my time. Not just how I spend it but also how my mind spends it. Because sometimes I am physically present and emotionally absent.

This weekend I've also thought a lot about control and what would happen if I just let go a little bit. Would the world end? I know the answer is no, but I'm so wrapped up in the idea of knowing exactly what is going to happen and when it is going to happen that I feel like the world would end if I were to let go of control.

And then I am reminded that it is Easter Sunday, and I'm hit with the thoughts of how this life is not about me and how broken I am to have spent so much of the day consumed with my own life instead of focusing on the reason I celebrate Easter.

I clearly have nothing figured out. And I am okay with that - as okay with it as I can be at least. But I am working towards holding onto those moments of profoundness and conviction. I am working towards letting go of control (still). I am working on my life pointing towards Him and away from myself.

(title from "on fire" by switchfoot)


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