Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Clawing My Way Back

I'm sitting in my new office. I am finally an official employee of the University of Oregon with a paycheck and benefits and an office with a window. I think my title is Research Associate. This is a huge relief because I haven't seen any money since March. The stress level was critically high. It's still unclear whether or not I'm going to be able to keep my car, but my CrossFit membership is safe for now.

Which brings me back to my fitness saga. I was looking over my journal where I am tracking my weight, exercise, food, etc. In the past 4 months, I've lost 9.5 pounds. Obviously, that's a significantly slower pace than what I was doing in the beginning. There were two big periods of time in there where I was completely off track, eating fast food again, and even a three week chunk where I didn't exercise because of my ruptured eardrum. It's been a depressing Spring. I feel like I undid a lot of the progress that I made in the Fall and Winter.

But the reality is that I did NOT undo that good work. For the first time, I made a different choice. I could have given up completely. That's what I've done in the past. I'd lose some weight, take up jogging, and then when things got off track, I'd throw in the towel. Not this time. I held my ground. I even kept inching forward a bit. I keep going to CrossFit, even though it feels like I'm not making any progress. That is a miraculous change for me. Half of me really wanted to quit. The other half of me was disgusted at the half of me that wanted out. I don't want to be a quitter. I want to make real change. It's just so freakin' hard some days. I still have to psych myself up to order salad instead of a cheeseburger and fries. I still have to force my body into the gym. There are days when I am still convinced that I will never be healthy, so why torture myself like this?

But clearly something, however small, is changing. I'm making new choices. I'm still down 40 lbs. I am NOT going to gain it back. I'm still attempting to get fit. I keep going to the gym even on days when I know I'm going to have to run. (These are the most depressing days for me because every step reminds me how fat I am.) I am angry and sad, but I keep doing it. Last week I counted every single calorie that I ate, and I was well within my allowance. I lost weight. This week, I'm on track to do it again. I went to the gym for two brutal workouts on Monday and Tuesday. I'm going again on Thursday and Friday. I may not be emotionally happy with how things are going, but I'm sticking with it. That itself is progress. I'm praying that the emotional satisfaction will come eventually.

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