Ok, so up until this point, I would not have encouraged myself or anyone to take, post or even admit to progress photos. I felt like it was discouraging and depressing to bother and I hated looking at myself in the mirror quite frankly. I started the Fighter Diet on July 11th and this program invites participants to take and submit progress photos. Now you don’t have to but A) you don’t have an opportunity to win the prize at the end of the challenge if you don’t submit weekly progress photos. B) how can you actually see progress that is so incremental that the scale nor your clothes report it right away if at all depending on what you’re working toward. So I reluctantly sent in my week 1 pictures… then I stalked and judged everyone else’s pics and compared myself to them. Maybe to feel better about myself or maybe just to feel a little less insecure about what I actually look like. I mean after all it’s hard looking at pictures of yourself scantily clothed and be objective. So I did it knowing I would have to look at it. Low and behold every week since I started the program I have seen visible improvements when I look at my side by side pics and especially when I compare them to my before pics. Every week I say the same thing to myself “I don’t know why I’m posting, there won’t be any changes” and every week there are. I am speechless but motivated to keep going. There’s nothing more motivating then seeing progress. I’m especially interested in seeing pics in the coming weeks because I’m doing my own rather intense workout program that focuses on one body part per day per week. My son is helping me with that and as much as I struggle with doing abs once a week I’m trusting that this process is going to work. Stay tuned!
I don’t go to the gym often because I have most of the weights here at my house. My stationary bike is here too and I run outside most of the year so I don’t need a treadmill all that often. Occasionally I take a spin class or Barre class or something but for the most part I am paying more than $500 a year for very little use. I’m now changing gyms to Planet Fitness because it’s half the cost, I can bring a guest for free every time, they have hydration beds and massage chairs free of charge too. No classes but I don’t really care about that honestly. Anyway, this month is my last month at my current gym. When I got home last night my house was hotter inside than it was outside. The central AC unit is too small for my house and the pipes freeze all the time so we can’t run it all the time. My kids pretty much live in my room where there’s a portable stand up AC unit and it’s cool. I can’t work out in that and actually be successful so I headed to the gym. I compiled all the weights and bars, Bosu ball, matt and step platforms I would need to stay in the corner and do my thing. I start my routine and I am looking in the mirror and think to myself that I look ok in my arms and shoulders at the moment. Not perfect, not horrible either. I’m 49 after all and no spring chicken. I am doing supersets today which is 2-3 exercises done in succession without a break for each set that you do. I like this and it gets more done faster. I do my triceps and pushups quietly in my own space but then I get to abs and legs and she started in on me. That fucking bitch! As I squat with a plateless bar I can hear her saying “look at that fat ass trying to squat. She’s drawing so much attention to herself! She looks ridiculous!” Shut up asshole! I think to myself. Just ignore her I chant, you’ll be done soon enough and she’ll be just a memory. Now my sons ex-girlfriend walks by…great, I’m sure I’ll now be the fat beast at the gym story later. I press on. She starts in again when I get to my sit ups on the Bosu ball with and without weights. “Do you want a plate of pasta with that giant roll ya got there honey?” God, GO AWAY! I hear her during all the lower body exercises relentlessly bullying me to stop. Making me want to go home and quit, but I don’t. Now that’s all I can look at with each rep, my roll, my fat being squished up. It’s now in my head and I’m dreading the next “UP” because I will see it again. Is it over yet?…..
Do you know what I did at that point? I picked my head! up, looked right at that girl….the horrible bitch in the mirror and told her “Not today bitch! You won’t get the best of me today and you won’t make me quit! So Fuck you” and I finished without another word from her.
Sometimes you have to be strongest against the person in the mirror, the one in your head that just won’t back down or leave you alone. The person inside who taunts you and gives you self doubt. Don’t quit! Quitting is the easy way out and that is not how we will be successful at anything if we let our inner nay sayers get the best of us. Don’t Quit, Keep Going! You can do this!
These pictures have become the weekly bain of my existence. Weekly progress photos as I progress through this Fighter Diet program. Don’t get me wrong, I like seeing progress but it’s incremental and I’m anxious to see major results. All I see some days is a big butt, cheese legs with a side of back rolls looking back at me. I’m proud that I’ve stepped up my workouts and I’m working hard most days for sure but the improvements are so minor that when the scale says +3lbs I get a little discouraged. I’m in better shape than a lot of the people doing this challenge but I’ve been working out longer. I’m trying to take my own advice which I would give to anyone and that is to be patient and just keep going. It’s like anything really, like growing up and not seeing daily changes in my kids but one day I would look at them and all of a sudden WOW they found their adult bodies / faces. It’s going to be like that I figure so it’s just a waiting game. I’ll tell you what’s hard… what’s hard is posting these pics for the entire challenge community to look at and judge. There’s a hard pill to swallow for sure but I did it. Who really cares…no one. So as I am about to plan and put together my meal for tomorrow I’ll try and keep in mind that patience is a virtue and the scale does not rule my world.
HAPPY RUNNING! KEEP GOING!
So we started week 3 of the Fighter Diet yesterday and for the first time I stayed on plan over the weekend! I feel really good about that because on the weekends I don’t necessarily eat badly, but I don’t usually count like I should. Now, it’s bad enough that I don’t eat the menu the way I’m supposed to but I’m ok with that because I still count and I still stop when I should and I’m working out almost perfectly. My issue now is fitting 3 weight workouts in in the week. You see, Sunday is long run so I do M-W-F weight days or try to. I used to be able to run every day in succession without an issue. That was 9 years ago. Now, running two days in a row and even every other day when there’s a weight workout in between that includes squats and leg stuff, my legs are generally lead on the run / cardio days. I’ve been taking Saturday off and running on Fridays because I have a race in a few weeks to run. It’s not far, 7 miles but I can’t skimp on running training. When the race is over it will be easier to not worry about running days as much not to mention I really want to follow the planned weight workouts better than I am. There’s always something that gives us a challenge or at least there should be I think. So I will do my best to actually get a third weight workout in this week. It might be easier since I’m joining a new gym where I get the use of a trainer as much as I want. Maybe that will help. We’ll see but I’ll keep going as hard and strong as I can to wherever the week brings me. Week 3 and I’m not discouraged so that’s good. Other people in the group for this challenge / diet may be but I found my happy medium and that’s all that matters.
So this past weekend I thought my son was missing. He’s 20 and abroad for an internship that was a surprise find. He’s super smart and resourceful and mostly street smart but above all he’s human. Now we hear from him every day even if it’s just a text saying hello. Friday he said he wanted to call on Saturday which was fine. Negotiating the time difference can be challenging but we make it work. Saturday came and was nearly over and his girlfriend texted asking if we had heard from him yet. She is a little bit of a nervous person so we work with that when it happens. She said he wasn’t responding to any communication to her at all. No texts, Facebook messages, Snapchat, email …. nothing. We hadn’t but we figured we would. I reassured her that it was probably a dead phone and told her to relax and go do something to keep herself busy so she didn’t think about it. By 11pm I was a bit worried because it wasn’t like him not to send at least a quick note. I sent him a text before I went to bed for what would end up a restless poor sleeping night and laid my head down. In the morning….no John. No messages from John and he’s not even answering his father. Ok, in my head my son is now a missing person. I go about my morning trying not to panic but the plants in my yard know what was really going on as I sobbed and confessed my horrible fears to them as I watered them. By 11 am we were now compiling the numbers of all the people we need to call to find him if he doesn’t show up to work on Monday. The internship people, hospitals, the police and basically anyone breathing. My head was already on the plane and headed for the morgue to identify my son. There is NOTHING scarier to me than missing a child and not being able to do anything about it. No Bueno. The world is a very big place and helpless isn’t just a state of mind for me any longer. I start to lose my shit. I rode my stationary bike for 30 minutes but needed to keep moving so I don’t have a full on panic attack. I headed out for a walk in 95 hot humid degrees because running really wouldn’t have gone well and I walked 4 miles. Miles that kept me in motion working the problem. Miles that made me feel better and prevented the world from closing in around me. Miles that kept bad news away. All the while I realized that it’s probably what I told his girlfriend the night before and is some stupid thing that prevented him from calling us. When I get back home I begin looking for his location on my find my friend map and I see it’s not changed in hours. So maybe he dropped it and isn’t dead. Maybe it’s at some criminals house who relieved my son of his phone before throwing him off a bridge in another country that I can’t get to right now. All of a sudden I get a message “Hi Mom” from Johnny…. before I throw up from stress relief I ask him to tell me the name of our dog. We no longer have a dog but John would know that and I needed to just make sure that it was really him. Do you know how long it felt like for those bubbles to pop up … not long really but to me it was like an hour! His answer was “we don’t have a dog you loon”. Magic words!!! No John we don’t. I said back to him, just answer the question. My much needed confirmation came through with “OK, (name of dog)”. Best two words I have ever seen, almost as good as “it’s a boy” the day he was born. RELIEF. It turns out he lost his phone in a café and by the time he went to get it, the place was closed. A good Samaritan had turned it in and he went and got it on Sunday. It was all just nothing and he said he sent a Skype message to us but we never got it. All of that internal turmoil for nothing. I can’t imagine the horror for a mother and father who really do have missing child. My heart goes out to you all.
Anyway, I found Johnny because he wasn’t missing and because of my 4 mile walk I won the step challenge last week. Kind of a funny way to win a challenge but it happened. May it never happen again quite that way!
The one person I hate to hear from when it comes to my weight and my eating is myself. I can be so hard on myself and so mean and make myself lose sleep sometimes. So just one day ago I wrote about my new endeavor taking place in 11 days. I’ve weighed food, measured, counted and been really really good to MyFitness Pal. Now I have deviated a couple of times like the over buttered popcorn two nights ago but I did a super vigorous bike and weight workout that night so I felt like it was ok. Last night I was so good all day and then went to a work function with a friend of mine and pigged out on pizza and of course the car drove itself into this little delightful ice cream shop on the way home. I had most of a sundae until I was full. After each slip I beat myself up bad. Yelling at myself about why bother trying to diet and workout to look and feel better when I’m going to just go and throw it away on a whim of junk food.
I’m right you know, holding myself accountable not only to eating good and sticking to my plan but for the moments when I just throw caution to the wind and eat whatever I want. I use the semi colon for the same reason that the suicide awareness groups use it… to identify that a slip up is just a blip in process and that nothing is over or ended. There’s tomorrow and more opportunities to try again and start over. Brenna bashing doesn’t happen back to back like that all the time but sometimes it does. How can I hit the purchase button on the new bathing suit I’ve picked out if I’m just not going to see it through all the way? I have to do better not just one day or one week but every day. Once in a while junk is ok but I have to stay on track and that’s where my biggest critic will come in handy. Today is a new day. 3 miles down before the heat and on track with what I’ve consumed thus far. Start again….
So there’s this fight I’ve been having with all the many PCPs that I have had over the last say 10 years. They all agree that I all agree that I have Hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism is a condition in which the body lacks sufficient thyroid hormone. Since the main purpose of thyroid hormone is to “run the body’s metabolism,” it is understandable that people with this condition will have symptoms associated with a slow metabolism. My number is always 7 or above when it should be in the range of .4 – 4.0. My Mother has it and now I have it so my kids may have it too. I’ve fought off being put on medication the entire time since that first blood test with a once new and now replaced doctor. Hypothyroidism causes weight gain, fatigue, depression, sensitivity to cold, weak hair, low sex drive, depression and anxiety and all because your body does not have enough thyroid hormone so your body processes slow down. I have all of these. Now that could be written off as just the roll of the dice and bad genetics. I’m not one to make excuses for anything, in fact I hate excuses with a passion. I can’t even listen to myself make them. So I did the do and have had many blood tests all of which tell the same tale…. Hypothyroidism. OK, so new doctor says the same thing that old doctors have said….Levothyroxine. There is no food or exercise that I can eat or do that will correct this. It’s genetic. I can’t do yoga or eat grass or anything. I’ve searched the internet countless times to no avail and have pretty much conceded that medication is a must. I told my doctor that if I wasn’t going to die, I didn’t want to be on medicine. Technically I don’t HAVE to be on this but it’s better long term for my health if I do. Not taking medication for this, like any other of the side effects to not taking medication, include all the things listed above but now also potentially include heart issues and in some extreme case the most serious of all a myxedema coma which although uncommon, can be fatal. So here we are where I have lost the battle but won a bigger war by agreeing to take this medication. SOOOOO back to my original point which almost got lost in the back story. Yesterday was my first day back on Levothyroxine and perhaps I imagined it but I felt good…like not rushed or like my day was out of control. I came home and rode the bike on a fair amount of resistance with real effort. When I was done with that I did my full scheduled weight routine then came up and ate dinner, did the dishes and still had energy when I sat down. I wasn’t wiped out and I’m in the middle of my period so that always wipes me out! I felt wonderful! Was it my mind that told me that I’d feel better on this medicine or did I actually feel better? I can’t say for sure but I am not going to complain. I feel like something is fixed in me. I can’t wait to go run to see if my body feels better. I’ve been stopping on the miles for a while, because I want to rest up a minute. Is that because I have Hypothyroidism or because I’m just fatter than I should be? Who knows but who cares anyway! I care that I feel better and have more energy so regardless of whether it’s invented or due to my new pink little friends, the outcome is the same. I’m feeling better than I have in a long time. I’ll take it!