Friday, January 29, 2016

My Biggest Hurdle: My Own Brain

Today's session with Scott was bad. Really bad. Not due to anything he said, did or asked of me. It was 100% on me.

It's been a long week. Work stuff has just completely worn me out. I'm trying to eat better, but I know I probably didn't get enough to eat yesterday (my pre-prepped meals ran out on Wednesday....I'm still trying to get myself organized in that department) - which Scott has repeatedly warned me is a problem. I walked into the gym feeling drained - physically and even more so emotionally. It was a recipe for disaster. And it was a disaster.

I did my walk while we chatted. Don't get me wrong - I still don't love my walks - but they've become much more tolerable. But today I just kept looking at my Fitbit praying for it to be over. While I was finishing up, Scott starting putting together the equipment for the next phase of my workout. "Shit. Shit. SHIT." was all that was going through my head as I realized it was going to be a lower body day. Lower body days are the worst...I have to haul all of this bulk along with me for all of the exercises. I'm hopeful one day that will be much easier than it is now - but for the time being, it is awful. A very necessary evil, I know....

So damn true.....
So I made up my mind before I even started that it was going to suck. Then Scott told me the duration I needed to do each station. That was it. My brain had already decided I couldn't do it. Well - truthfully, my fear decided I couldn't do it, and quickly got my brain onboard. And how do I react to fear, feeling uncomfortable and insecure? That's right - by being a raging bitch. I instantly turned into a petulant child. I was so sure I couldn't do it before I started that I didn't even give myself a chance to try.

Instead of just doing the best that I could - and listening to Scott's direction - I pouted, gave half-assed effort and smarted off to him. I behaved horribly. To his credit, he didn't tell me to get the hell out of the gym and never come back. I suspect I may have done that if I had been in his shoes.

I went to Scott because I need someone to push me. I trust him. I know he knows what he's doing. I obviously do not, or I wouldn't be in my current situation - - so where does my brain get off thinking it knows best? I made him aware of what my goals were, and asked him to help me. I told him I'd do what he asked me to do. He is more than living up to his end of the deal. I am the one who is not.

This is about enough of that shit. I am looking forward to so many positive changes, I should probably start with my attitude. So this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to fight my inner bitch. She is ruled by fear, and I no longer need her to protect me. I'm going to prove to myself that I can do things my fear immediately tells me I can't. I'm going to get mentally tough. I'm going to do the things Scott asks me to do. I'm going to do them as well as I can. And I'm going to keep my mouth shut. And in the event that I forget, I'm going to ask him to please remind me to tell my inner bitch to shut the hell up and get to work. Because that hag is not going to keep me from living my best life.

It's time to toughen up buttercup. Physically, and most importantly - mentally.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

All the Feels

Over the last couple of months I've been going through a few changes - - most notably, I've started exercising on a regular basis. While that  has been hard and painful and exhausting - it has also given me something I feel like I hadn't had a good long time - a sense of accomplishment. Seeing what my body can do after just a couple of months of activity - even though my weight is still much higher than I'd like - makes me feel like I'm doing something. I'm being proactive. I'm changing for the better.

Over the last month I've witnessed another difference in myself - - I'm really emotional! I get teary-eyed at the drop of a hat! I've always been one that will cry at sad movies. Get a little misty during those commercials meant to pull at our heart strings. I shed a tear that the beginning of "Up" - but who didn't?!?! But I've never been so on the cusp of tears for such an extended period of time! It would take next to nothing for me get weepy. Real tears!

So I did what I normally do when I don't like something - I pretended it didn't exist. I just figured I was PMSing or something. But a month of PMS seems excessive. So then I thought maybe I was starting "the change". I mean - I am 40 now. Maybe I could be starting menopause? And since I'm trying to behave myself so I can get to my pre-surgery weight loss goal, I didn't get to do what I normally do when I start to feel things - - shovel Cheetos into my face.

This was all very new to me - and I will admit - completely unsettling. I am just not used to this! I'm typically not an overly emotional person - or at least I don't think I am. My fastest go-to emotion is to get angry if anything - so this new sensitivity was really unsettling! And with every instance of my new-found tenderness came frustration. What in the hell is making me so damn emotionally delicate!??!!?

I think this partially played into my going rogue for a week from the gym - I was just completely emotionally beat. I felt like I could have slept 20 hours a day if I would have allowed myself to. I just didn't feel like doing anything. I didn't feel sad. I just felt wiped out. I like to try and self-diagnose - so in addition to PMS or menopause - I thought maybe I was having an acute case of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) because it was absolutely freezing here in Minnesota. But to Scott's credit - he didn't just let me skip and tell me it was ok. He told me to get my shit together and get back to the gym. Exactly what I asked him to do, and exactly what I needed.

My sis Wendy sent me this after our chat. I love it.
On Sunday I was chatting with my sisters and had a full on psychotic break. In public. At a restaurant. Crying. Seriously crying. That was a first. To their credit - they didn't look at me in absolute horror. My sisters are seriously the greatest. Both of them offered up many possibilities for the cause and were very supportive. They both agreed it likely had something to do with the changes I'd been making - especially the physical ones - being more active, etc. I didn't know that was a thing - so just sort of dismissed it, and assumed I was losing my mind. When I got home I watched "Terms of Endearment", thinking I just needed a good cry - - and boy did I cry. Sobs. I did feel somewhat better after...

Monday I met with Scott. I did my walk and then we were chatting a bit. I confessed to him that I was feeling more than a little bit like an emotional nutball lately. Without me mentioning my sisters' theory - he concurred. He told me that physical demands on your body tend to manifest themselves with heightened emotions. Maybe that is why everyone cries so much on shows like the Biggest Loser? They are really pushing themselves physically - and I'm sure there isn't a cheeto in sight!

This revelation did make me feel somewhat better about my new sensitive state. It could be tied back to something positive I'm doing for myself. Getting stronger allows me to be more tender? Maybe? I guess I could probably use a little move touchy feely-ness. Not to worry - I'm sure I'll still maintain sarcastic, a-hole side...that's not going anywhere.

So Monday I will be taking my newly tender self to my appointment with my nutritionist where I will hopefully be cleared for surgery by her department/division, and will have lost the amount of weight necessary to get an appointment with the surgeon. Fingers crossed, people.

At least I know I have tears at my disposal if she doesn't cooperate with me... 

Friday, January 1, 2016

Happy New Year!!

Sitting at work, waiting for 2015 to close itself out, I did some thinking. I don't recall the last time I went into a new year feeling as positive, and excited, as I am about 2016.

Sure - I've gone into years with my list of resolutions...losing weight always at the top of the list...but somehow knowing in the back of my mind that my resolve would flame out like so many others' - but fiercely hoping that it wouldn't. I'd have many self-talks about all of the things I would do - the gym visits I would make, the clean eating I would do, the health I would attain. But inevitably it would all just fall apart after a few short months. I'd stick to my diet. I'd work out. Occasionally I'd really feel like I was getting somewhere - but then I'd get discouraged. Whether that was from limitations I'd still experience due to my size, or seeing myself in a photograph and realizing I didn't look any different in spite of working my ass off. There have been all sorts of tiny things I can point to that discouraged me - but the reality is the task of losing all of the weight I needed to lose would just get too damn daunting. I'd dug myself into too much of a hole, and the benefits weren't appearing quickly enough to keep me motivated to stick with it. As my sister would say: I had a lot of quit in me.

I will forever look back on 2015 as the year I finally allowed myself to be honest. To admit that my weight is something I needed very serious help with. To admit how strict my limitations were becoming because of my size. To admit that it was very unlikely that I could do it on my own without some major help. To admit that surgery was likely my best, if not only, real option of reclaiming my life. And while that was scary, and honestly a little embarrassing, it was also extremely liberating. To finally be honest with my family and friends about what I was able to do, and not able to do. Finally sharing there were situations I just wasn't comfortable forcing myself into. I will look at 2015 as the year of honesty. And that has allowed me to look at 2016 with a whole lot of something new: Hope.

Today marks 5 weeks of working with Scott. Although I'm still very limited based on what the average person can do, I'm improving. Today I walked 2000 steps (my most to date) and pushed the damn metal sled back and forth across the floor a few times. I could not have come close to doing that just a month ago. My knees no longer swear at me with every step I take. I am actually able to think about something other than my misery while I do my walk. It's getting better every day. And that's just the beginning.

I'm hopeful by the end of January I'll have lost my 50 pounds, or at least be close to it, so I can get my meeting with the surgeon. I'm very much looking forward to being able to get some of this weight off quickly, and start kicking ass from there. I'm proving to myself that I'm willing to do the work to get myself healthy, and I'm just so damn excited about all of the things I'm going to be able to do!!! By the time it's warm out again I'll hopefully be able to go walk without limitations - - just get out and enjoy being outside! Scott has already said we'll be going for hikes and longer walks - which makes me a little nervous because he grins when he says it - but I LOVE hiking!! I'm seriously like a kid on Christmas morning when I think about all of the things I should be able to do this summer! Don't get me wrong - I'm a little nervous as well - but the excitement far outweighs any apprehension.

So here is to 2016. The year of change. The year of bravery. The year of kicking ass. The year of joining in. The year of embracing the chaos. The year of going for it. The year of yes. The year of dedication. The year of gratitude. The year of pushing limits. The year of reclaiming youth. The year of laughter. The year of joy. The year of being present. The year of work. The year of struggles. The year of victories. The year of love. The year of kindness. The year of firsts. The year of self discovery. The year of the unknown. The year of getting to wear jeans again. The year of family. The year of friends. The year of positivity. The year of tears. The year of health. The year of HOPE.

I wish you all the very best in 2016. Thank you so much for joining me on this rollercoaster. Your support means the world to me. I want nothing but the best for all of us. Bless you all.

Let's make 2016 ridiculously amazing. 

Love, Natalie