The Fear of Hurting

9 04 2012

And so begins week 16 of my journey to better health and wellness through a plant based diet and exercise. After not seeing the scale move at all two weeks ago, this past week I was able to lose three pounds which brings my total loss to over 59 pounds. Of course just after I posted last Monday about not losing any weight, the weight started flying off. I’ve noticed that every 10-15 pounds of weight loss, there is often a significant lull before my body starts dropping again. It’s like my body is adjusting.

This week I switched things up and I know that made a difference. In addition to walking and lifting weights, I added my first two days of the DDP Yoga program. I’m on track to do this workout 4-5 days a week. So far I will say this, I’m extremely happy with it. I’m not in great shape so it is definitely challenging. But its not so hard that it is impossible. It’s completely doable because there are alternate ways (modifications) for many of the exercises. These are offered depending on physical ability and skill level. The modifications definitely make it easier. Because I don’t want to feel like I’m cheating myself, I try to go all out though and don’t use the modifications as much as I probably should. I’m not sure if that is wise, but we will see what happens. I should be patient and just gradually build up to where I want to be. But like so many of us, I want my results and I want them now. I can definitely feel the burn afterwards; sometimes for hours or even into the next day. I never expected to get such a great workout from a program like this. I would have saved a lot of money on weights, had I started this program first.

Realistically, the mental component of this is the hardest part. Over the years, I’ve conditioned myself to avoid pain. Somewhere during football season of my senior year of high school, I became afraid of pain. I was tired of double sessions (day long practices at the start of the season during the heat of August). I was tired of running so much and being pushed to my limit. I remember it being very humid and feeling very tired and thirsty. I just started to get mentally weak and began looking for short cuts as the days went on. That is how it started and its been a slow descent ever since. At times I’m a wimp and that is something I don’t like about myself. It’s not easy to admit. Guys my size are supposed to be tough and I have been in the past. But somehow that gradually fell away. So that is something I will need to change. And it’s scary because I still fear pain. It’s crazy though and I’ll be the first one to tell you that I don’t know what exactly I’m afraid of. Its not like exercise is going to kill me…at least it probably won’t if it hasn’t done so already. Maybe 59 pounds ago, but probably not now.

I need to keep telling myself that this pain is truly only temporary. At some point it will end and out beyond it is where I will find success. But it’s hard to tell yourself that and actually believe it when you are in the midst of it.

For the yoga program I also had to take pictures of how I look and what my flexibility looks like so that I’ll have something to compare my progress to down the line. I hated that. Despite feeling so good about my weight loss so far, the pictures are terribly unflattering. I look at them and I really dislike what I see. I look at the pictures and think to myself, “I thought you’ve come farther than this”. So this is both depressing and motivating. The road is long and I do have much more to go.

The last two weeks have been a good reminder that sometimes it just takes time. Sometimes the weight is going to come off easier than at other times. I just have to remain steadfast. I didn’t put it on overnight and it’s not going to come off that way either. I just have to keep my head in the game. I have to stay focused and determined. As Eric Thomas said in the videos I posted yesterday, I have to want this as bad as I want to breathe. I cannot become complacent. 60 pounds is not enough. 120 pounds is not enough. I need to see this to the point of actual health and wellness. There is no end to it. It will take working at it every day. I can do this.

Listen to The Body

26 03 2012

And so begins week 14 of my switch to a plant based diet. This week I lost a pound which brings my total weight loss through diet and exercise to over 56 pounds. Not bad considering I went out to eat three times during the past week.

Well after three and a half months, I guess it was bound to happen…I’ve grown tired of eating wraps nearly every day for lunch. Are you like this? I find something I enjoy and I eat it nearly every day for weeks until I finally burn out completely on it. Unfortunately this comes at a time when I have 3 packages of wraps at home and plenty of vegetables already made for the week. I’m just going to have to power through and come up with something new and interesting to have for lunch next week.

Physically things are going well. I continue to have increased energy and require much less sleep than I used to. My daily vitamin regime has been cut to 2-3 days a week. I’m taking a lot less supplements. With all of the healthy food I’m eating, I feel like a lot of this stuff could be overkill. I’m trying hard to let my body be my guide. If my body feels like it needs extra vitamins, then I give it some. If after two weeks or three weeks I feel like I need a little fish, then I give it some and then return to a plant based after that. Last week I had a small piece if chicken for the first time in over 3 months. It was not at all enjoyable and I did not have more than the initial bite. I find it interesting how my taste has significantly changed.

As I wrote about several days ago, losing a significant amount of weight can mentally put you through the ringer. It seems like this will be the hardest part of this process – working through some of the issues I had been attempting to cover through my overeating. A few of which I didn’t even know existed until now. I’m thankful for the free therapy that this blog affords me. Writing on a near daily basis is very beneficial. It helps many buried things bubble to the surface. I just need to be still and listen.


The Fear of Being Small

24 03 2012

It’s weird, I don’t know who I am anymore. I look in the mirror and I don’t fully recognize the person looking back at me. 13 weeks in and 56 pounds down and people are starting to really notice. And so am I. And I hate to say it but I don’t always like it. I find myself missing the way the old me looked. I don’t miss being tired, worn out and sluggish. I do miss being that giant guy sometimes. I’m sure it sounds ridiculous. Its probably nothing a bunch of therapy can’t fix. I’m just not looking so forward to being “small” one day. I have a lot more energy now, I feel freer and a little less self-conscious about my size. Hopefully I’m extending my life and I’m definitely improving the quality of it. But there was something about being big that was nice. It felt safe. I never had to be anything but peaceful because no one screws with a guy that big. And as that weight comes off, I’m left with a lot of mental debris that I need to sift through and make sense of. Things I didn’t know I was still dealing with, things that I’ve never realized that I’ve been struggling with. There is a vulnerability in getting smaller. And honestly, I don’t like it one bit. There was a vulnerability in being so big too, but I felt strong at least. As the pounds fall off, I can’t help but feel like I’m losing myself. But I also know that the real me will shine through more and more as the journey goes on. I’m feeling physically good but emotionally conflicted for some reason. It’s strange, these are the things I never contemplated when I decided I was really going to lose the weight. I look back at the before picture and I miss that guy.

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