“Yes,” the scale said. “Really. You gained 0.2 pounds since yesterday.”
Every time I go to the gym, I weigh in. I know that all those smart people out there will tell me I’m making a huge mistake, that I should only weigh in once a week. I’m not one of those smart people. I’m a dumb person. Hence why I have a “dumb phone.”
Ha ha ha! I crack myself up!
Since I came off the trail, as I wrote yesterday, I have decided to change many aspects of my life. My weight and fitness/strength levels being high among those priorities. I never again want to feel the way I did on Day 2 when I was hitting a peak and just about to sob.
I never again want to think about calling my husband on the first day because I was in over my head.
I will not share with you my starting weight. Sorry not sorry. That’s a secret held between God, the scale, and me. And I ain’t sharing. And neither is the scale. And I don’t think God’s about to write those numbers in the sky. If he does, take it as a sign of the apocalypse and start making your final plans and peace with all your loved ones.
I grew up convinced that “fat” was a dirty word, a four-letter word that was shortened because it was so bad. I also grew up battling my waistline, my buttline, my thighline, my bellyline. If I could have a line of no return on my body, I was going to fight trying to push and shove it into clothing that fit last week but now stretches painfully because spandex hadn’t been invented yet.
The word “fat” was a curse. It was worse than being called “bitch” or “asshole.” It was worse than receiving a bad grade on a report card or a phone call home from a teacher. And it didn’t help that I grew up with incredibly skinny parents and big brother.
Now, I am not reclining in a therapist’s chair, wringing my hands, sobbing for me and my sad childhood. I am not about to point my fingers at my brother and parents and blame all of my fat-girl problems on them. No, I lifted all those forks and spoons to my mouth under my own will. I snuck those candy bars….and ice cream cones….and pizza slices…and cookies….and……
I learned how to hide behind people in pictures so that I could conceal the curves that went outwards and not inwards.
I learned that not doing the huge grin meant not having the double chin or chipmunk cheeks.
The summer before I became pregnant with my daughter, I ran six miles a day and gloriously dropped weight. I felt amazing and proud of myself. Apparently, I developed some rather sexy calf muscles too. Woo hoo for me.
And then, I became pregnant (no, I’m still not reclining on a therapist’s couch nor am I finger pointing) and the running stopped and, well, the weight returned.
Every year, I decide that this is it. I’m going on the final diet of my life. I’m going to lose the weight and I’m going to look good and feel good and that’s it. I’m done.
And it works for a while. Last year, I shed over thirty pounds.
Guess what came back for a visit…
And then I tried to do a hundred miles on the AT but did over fifty instead and I knew that I could have kept going but I was hurting. And we ran out of bear boxes. And I knew that the adventure ended.
I won’t deny that I was pretty hurt and upset. I won’t deny the surge of grief and shame. I won’t deny the frustration.
I will say, though, that since the AT trip’s end, I have been exercising for an hour daily. And I have been shedding the weight. And staring mournfully at the doughnuts the kind parent groups brought for the teachers today and instead gnawed on my carrots, Clif Bar, and orange.
I have been meeting my weekly goals for the last month and am proud of myself.
And then, today happened. Yesterday, I was at something.9. I had gone beneath the pound mark. Woo hoo for me!
I ate healthy yesterday. Did yoga. Had a great day. Today, I ate healthy, drank tons of water. Did all the right things.
And gained 0.2 pounds.
“Yes, really,” the scale said. “You gained 0.2 pounds since yesterday.”
I stared at those stupid numbers. They were supposed to be lower. I had been rigorously behaving myself. Eating all the right foods. Drinking water. I allow myself one huge cup of coffee every morning to keep away the caffeine withdrawal migraines. Otherwise, I drink water.
I barely touch sweets. I munch on carrots for a snack. I eat friggin vegetarian most of the time.
And I gained weight. You see, by going up those 0.2 pounds, I went over the pound threshold. Which meant that I was a pound heavier than yesterday. And I’m trying to lose two pounds a week.
Yes, I am successfully doing this and I’m not starving myself and I’m not going crazy with my workouts.
I am one for doing the extremes. I will either work out in an extreme fashion (try losing 1500 calories in an hour) or not working out at all. I will either eat crazy healthy or just slough around and eat whatever I can fit in my mouth.
But, this time, I’m trying to remember that facet of myself that I generally deny. my humanity
And so I gained 0.2 pounds from yesterday. I have to confess, the instinct was to start beating myself up. To go back through the day’s food that I had eaten and figure out where I went wrong.
I will confess to feeling discouraged. To feeling like all of this is pointless.
And then, I just sort of shook myself.
Really? Really? You’re going to act like this over 0.2 pounds?
I mounted the stair climber and went for 20 minutes. I ran 1.8 miles. I spent 20 minutes on an elliptical.
And then, I hit my hour’s worth of time and snagged my kids and went home.
I made a dinner that’s not high on the healthy list, but I had burned off all the calories I had eaten today and knew I could afford to enjoy this meal. And it wasn’t that terrible either.
And now, it’s seven o’clock in the evening and I’m going to spend some time grading.
But, see, another thing I took from hiking the trail is that I keep on moving from one end of a spectrum to another, an all or nothing. And it’s wearing me out. I throw myself completely into a task, which is nice, but then I go at such speed and velocity that I burn out like a shooting star. One minutes, it’s brilliant and lovely. And then, the next…
I stopped writing because I was so consumed with x, y, and z.
I stopped editing.
Many of my summer dreams were kind of waylaid.
But the nice part about dreaming is that, eventually, I have to wake up and start making the dreams a reality.
Tomorrow is weight lifting day. And I’m going to weigh in. And I’m not going to argue with myself or the scale.
Tomorrow, I will dedicate some more hours to grading. And if I don’t finish everything that I want to do, I’m not going to complain. I have time. I have time. I have time to grade. But I won’t always have time to be with my family. Or my writing. Or whatever.
And then, tomorrow, I am going to spend time doing what I love. I’m going to write. And I’m going to edit. And I’m going to read.
And if I have another 0.2 pound weight gain, my shoulders will likely slump a little but then I’ll buck up and go to the weight machines and choose the appropriate pounds and move the seat to the correct location and then I’m going to start pushing and pulling and building the strength I should have had a month ago.
But if I lose those 0.2 pounds and maybe a few of their friends, you are going to see me throw my arms over my head in my triumphant YES! pose.
Just don’t stand behind me…you might get punched.