I had to slow down to walk for three minutes at the second mile marker on my three-mile run last Sunday because I was getting tired. “I ran a half-marathon two weeks ago? Seriously?” I asked myself. Good thing we took pictures or else I wouldn’t have believed it.
Lately, a couple of people have asked me how I’ve managed to hold down a full time job, maintain a blog, promote that thing I’m promoting (that you’re probably sick of hearing about), and keep up a diet and fitness regimen. The answer is: not very well! I’ve been spending so much time running around telling people about all the running I’m doing that I haven’t had much time to do all that running I’m telling people I’m doing. Also, during the last month of half-marathon training, I stopped doing Pilates and weight-lifting regularly to find the time to complete those 45-minute training runs during the middle of the week. In the past two weeks, I’ve only gone out to exercise three times, which is totally unacceptable. I haven’t been this lazy about exercise since before I started losing weight over three years ago. The net result: I’ve gone up one jean size and three miles suddenly seems like a lot longer to run.
Strangely, my weight has only gone up a couple pounds, but I suspect I’ve lost muscle mass and gained fat, so I’m a fatter 180-something than I was a couple months ago. I still have to remind myself that 5 pounds actually is a lot of weight to gain and can change your clothing size. When I was morbidly obese, losing 5 pounds had basically no effect on my size and appearance, but now that I’m smaller it’s not insignificant. I keep forgetting that.
What I’ve realized is that there really are a finite number of things that you can accomplish in a day, no matter how hard you work. And the way I’ve been living my life recently is not sustainable if I want to keep the weight off. Thankfully, things are starting to let up a little in my schedule, so I can start going to classes at the YMCA and doing my exercise DVDs again.
I’ve always heard that maintenance is harder than weight loss, and I’d have to agree with that sentiment. You have to earn a healthy body every day and if I keep slacking off like I have been I’m just going to get fat again. I view my relationship with my body like any relationship – it takes work to keep things fresh. I’ve got to work to keep the spark there and keep things interesting. So, I’m going to look for a 5K to sign up for and work towards setting a new personal record. And when I have some time in a week and a half, I’m going to start shopping for a new bike. (BTW, the winner of the Lipton Tea bike contest has already been contacted and confirmed her information. Congrats, Christy!)
I know sometimes people can be hesitant to admit their struggles or gains on weight-loss blogs. I mean, the point of the blog is to lose weight, not gain it, right? But I don’t think anyone just loses the pounds and then gets the same exact number on the scale every day after that. There are always fluctuations and there will always be forces trying to pull my weight up higher again. The name of this blog isn’t “How skinny can I get?” or “How I lost weight and never struggled again” or “How can I pretend to be perfect?” It’s called “Half of Me” and I always try to keep it true to what is going on with the half of me that’s left. So that’s the situation and that’s the plan and grrrrrr I’m ready to knock off a couple pounds again. I’m sure it won’t be the last time I’ll have to do it.