The Challenge of Transitioning

I’m in zombieland.
Mono-focused. I know what I want. I’m after it. Period.
Brains. Nommy brains.
Mmkay, no.
I want life to be my bitch. That requires me being strong, fit, and healthy.
It requires me undoing bullshit that caused me to gain back 8 pounds — and probably several inches — of the 70 pounds I’d lost.
That shit’s done, yo.*
A small part of me was enjoying the summer before I destroyed my back, 2008. I was becoming a jock:  strong, powerful, and often making my “fit” friends feel like chumps because Fat Girl could work circles around ’em.
They loved it, I loved it. Good times and great laughs. What a change from them always having to slow up and check on me.
There’s nothing more important in my life to me right now than taking that back.
I fucking love the pride I feel when I know what I’m really getting done.
Nothing says empowered like being able to change a day that’s had me bent over and taking it by having a set of fitness goals and blowing that out of the water. Whatever else life did that day, it couldn’t stop me from killing that workout.
There’s something that comes from that place of knowing you scaled a mountain, rode 30 km, or did a crazy set of highrise stairs.
I love that place. I’ve owned that place.
Since May 11th, I have worked out on more days than I haven’t, usually five days a week. And, on most days, I’ve tried to really leave it all on the floor. I’m getting better at that, and intend to keep pushing boundaries.
Today, my whole body cries for release. This is the consequence of those actions.
All of me is so tight and sore. From my ankles to my jaw, I hurt.
There’s only one thing I know I can do to help it: Work out more, but differently. Like my chiro doc tells me, “Motion is lotion.”
Move it, or lose it. Two days slack is asking for a world of pain. Days off are harder than days on, when you get used to the workload, but there’s a point in between where everything you do’s an effort, and I’m there. So fucking spent.
It’s with weary resignation I know I can’t rest. I know I don’t want to go cycling later, and most of me would rather crawl in bed and die today, but… I know: I can’t.
My “rest day” will be tomorrow or Saturday. Maybe both, since much walking will be required tomorrow and anything else might overdo it.
I cancelled plans last night. Didn’t have it in me, and saw that coming from morning light. I’m sure feelings were hurt. They’ll understand someday.
I know what’s important to me right now, and it’s not parties and big crowds of people. It’s not about finding my contentment through others, or getting their validation, or needing their company.
It’s about rediscovering that place inside that gave me the power to change my world in such a dramatic fashion once already.
And I know what it takes.
It takes cancelling out on parties.
It takes that inevitable night at the end of the week where you’re just fucking DONE and all you can do is crash at 9:00 at night and sleep for 10 hours, waking with already-weary bones that know they’re in for more, and soon.
It takes vitamins, big healthy meals, water all day, planning food in advance, total time-management, prioritizing yourself before anyone else, and avoiding engagements that are too heavily centred around dining and drinking.
I know what it takes.
It takes a total life change.
And you know what else it takes?
It takes pissing off other people who don’t understand what it really takes, when you just can’t find it in you to go and be happy and fun with other people. You’d rather just die on the sofa with only one thing on your mind: You met the goal this week.
People don’t get how hard it is. You can’t POSSIBLY get it. If you think losing 10 pounds is hard, or 20, try 70.
Just fucking try it. I did it. I know. I did that. And it’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done. And I’ve kept 62 off for 18 months!
I know Biggest Loser’s the biggest cheese going on TV sometimes, with the sound editing and the seemingly simplified weight battles edited to fit a TV format, but the emotions those people feel — the breakdowns at the end of the season, of trying to juggle real life with friends and families and weightloss — and how it’s the people around them who always lose out, that’s all real.
Wanting to cry because you’re so fucking tired, but LOVING the joy you feel inside about what you’ve accomplished? That dichotomy is a weird place to live, and the tightrope one walks to sustain each is the toughest balance ever.
To be successful with a “180” health-wise, to take on a radically active life after years of sloth — the focus and drive they take are impossible to explain.
The pain with which your body screams at you after years of giving into gravity and laziness, after decades of shovelling processed food into it, after years of losing lung capacity… that isn’t a one-week adjustment.
And I’ve had a decade of injuries to overcome on top of all that pain.  For me, it means I have to spend hours stretching out the hours of working out, every single week.
That whole-body-fatigue keeps hurting — week after week, month after month — because every pound you lose means you need to work harder to remove the remainder.
It’s why 80% or more of people can’t lose weight and sustain it.
This is the HARDEST mental battle of your life. Win the weightloss headgame and no other game will out-think you in life. I guarantee it.
The resilience you need to get past 50 pounds of weightloss, and to sustain it, is something you can’t learn from a book or buy from a specialist. You create it and nurture it.
I may have gained 8 pounds back out of 70, but I don’t feel like that’s a failure at all. I think 10% gain back after 21 months spent with a life-altering injury, then caught in a year of burn-out, is fucking awesome.
I’m proud as hell of that. GO, ME.
And what a gift for getting back on path, being still so close to the goal I’ve wanted to achieve since I was 17: Being under 200 pounds.
I hope to reach that goal by Canada Day. Scared I won’t. But I’m gonna try real fuckin’ hard.
I won’t feel guilty for focusing on myself right now — be it meaning that I cancel plans, or whatever else it takes.
I’m not likely to cancel on one-on-one time with friends or small groups, but, parties? Yep. The full-body fatigue that comes from this doesn’t tend to always make one a real cheery camper to hang with when it comes to maintaining a “vibe” a host/hostess is trying to create. Can’t do it.
I’m tired. I’m sore.
I’m dreading how much further, harder, and heavier all this shit’s gonna get before I’m at where I want to be.
I’m not some 140-pound chick climbing those highrise stairs or cycling 35km, man, I’m 210-plus. I literally haul every pound of that on this frame — it’s actually there, it’s actually heavy. It’s real fuckin’ heavy.
Gravity finds every ounce of that weight when I’m fighting it, and, believe me, I feel like it after a week like I’ve had.
But I’m elated.
It has begun. I’m at the climax of where it gets real, real hard at the beginning, where every day is filled with hurt and fatigue, but, soon, I’ll hit my pace where it’s just about keeping the wheels spinning ‘cos momentum’s been found.
I’ll be one seriously weary girl for a while. My BEST friends understand it and WELCOME it.
Soon, it’ll just be a new normal, and the determination that emerges from meeting small success after small success is its own feeding frenzy.
And I’ll be Mojo Girl again.
I’ll get that cocky grin that makes people wonder what the fuck I’m on. I’ll get my twinkle in my eye, the smirk that says “Look out.”
Then it all gets very, very fun. Very.
Just you wait.
*I think I’ve lost the weight already, or close to it. But I’m waiting until one month in for weigh-day and that’s next Wednesday. It’s really about the feeling. I know the weight will come off gradually — it did before. It’s nice to see the numbers change, though. Rewarding. But not really what it’s about. It’s important to know that before you step on the scale. It’s important to believe it.

6 thoughts on “The Challenge of Transitioning

  1. Rebecca

    Awesome, and so timely. I feel like crap today after putting my body through daily, hard workouts this week. But I won’t stop. I know my muscles are just getting stronger, and my brain needs to keep working hard to keep up. Your weight loss posts have been so important to my own work, so thank you again. And I have a similar goal – to get under 200 lbs before my birthday in early July. So let’s work our asses off! I’m at 210 right now, and I know I can do it. Being at a plateau for almost 5 weeks has sucked, but I’ve lost another 4″ off my bust in that time and my clothes are getting looser. Can’t lose the momentum though; being honest about where I’m at is a huge win, and reading posts like this helps to keep my eye on the prize – a strong, capable me, ready to take on whatever life throws my way. You rock.
    .-= Rebecca´s last blog ..Back to life… back to reality =-.

    1. A Scribe Called Steff Post author

      Rebecca: Yep. Buckle up, it’s a long ride. I was able to maintain my weight with 3-4 hours a week working out over the last 18 months, so that’s the thing to keep in mind.
      You don’t always have to have successful weeks where you’re increasing numbers. Sometimes a little less is okay. There’s nothing wrong with plateauing. Your body’s probably still changing.
      It’s not a big deal. I want to reach my goal because I’ve spent a lot time chasing it. You may not reach it because you’re stressing about getting there. I’m not. If I do, I do. I don’t, then I don’t.
      The point is, if you can go to bed every night knowing you ate right, were active, and lived a better life than you did a year ago, then that’s what to focus on.
      Every single day.
      Because, you do that, then it’s about the accomplishment and about what you did, not what what you wanted and didn’t achieve. Deep down inside, you know it’s actually about how it feels and about knowing you’re healthier, so you have to consciously remember that.
      Plateaus happen. A lot. I had them all the time. It’s why I weigh myself once a month. Then I have a better idea of what’s really happening.
      My things, but I’ve had success doing that. And I’ve found it very important to write a lot about the experience when I find it getting hard and drawn out. Then I refocus and realize, “yeah, you know, it makes sense to feel that.” Acceptance is everything.

  2. BlissfulGirl

    Was this supposed to make me cry? I’m not sure if it was, but it did. Gut wrenching, soaking my keyboard, ugly kind of crying.
    I am your former self. The numbers are almost identical. Injuries sound similar.
    You are where I’ve longed to be for months or even years. I keep making false starts only to fall back into my old habits. But, I do keep making those starts. It’s the mental game that has undone me each and every time. I must find a way to conquer that.
    I’m about to make a major life change, relocating to a new city in two weeks which will leave me with few local friends and few distractions beyond work (which I do from home). This sounds like the perfect time to leave my old way of life behind me and fix my gaze on a new horizon. Once more into the breech and all that crap!

    1. A Scribe Called Steff Post author

      Heh. I’m glad it resonated. Sorry it’s a tough spot for you.
      I think the most important thing for me was knowing two things: It’s supposed to be hard, and most people fail.
      Then you have to tell yourself you’re not most people, and you’ll fall down, but you’ll get back up.
      My road wasn’t all success. I’ve had many bad lapses where life got busy and pizza solved my problems. But I’ve always done it CONSCIOUSLY, so if I’m not working out, and I’m eating that shit, at least I’m doing it to a minimum.
      And the most important thing?
      Time for yourself. You really do need to cancel plans. You need to choose between the temporary false high of hanging out with friends for drinks and snacks — and the inevitable guilt & crash that come the next day — and the wiser choice of just staying home, watching some Grey’s Anatomy, and instead of sitting down to watch it, lying on the ground to stretch out the week’s workouts, maybe lift freeweights and do a few light calisthenics, and eating healthy, and getting an early night’s sleep.
      Sure, it sounds lame, but you make those little choices — allowing television but using the time for your body, cancelling plans to stay home and have quiet workweek nights, so you reach the weekend alive, and eating slightly better — are what had me dropping an average of just 1 or two pounds a week, which added up to 70 pounds in a year.
      It doesn’t have to mean always being at the gym. Find ways to work out that simplify life. Walk to the store, climb highrise stairs, park further, cycle for a weekend activity, work out with freeweights and plyometrics while being a TV addict.
      Just eat 100 or 200 calories less a day, but eat wiser, and don’t drink your calories.
      Most important is writing about your weight. How’d you get there? Why do you do it? Don’t share it if you don’t want to, but really be honest and go there. You need to understand it, and you need to find out why working out is important to you, and what you love to do.
      Working out is hard for everyone. It’s supposed to hurt. It’s supposed to be the hardest thing you ever do.
      But you’ll love the feeling you get after you drop 50 pounds and people drop their jaw they’re so impressed. You’ll love the way jeans feel when your ass is sore after the bikeride of your life.
      It’s worth it. Do it. 🙂

      1. BlissfulGirl

        You’re inspiring in a real person doing very real things sort of way 🙂
        You’re giving great advice and not sugar-coating (pun intended) it and that is much appreciated. I’ve bookmarked this post to come back and read every time my inner voice tries talking me out of staying the course.

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