I Can Do Hard Things

I have another blog that I’ve kept since 2004.  I recently skimmed back over the number of entries that were tagged “diet” or “diet 2010” or “diet 2012” – and recognized recurring themes.  Defeat and Victory.  And Defeat again.  And dissatisfaction for where I was currently – even at my lowest weight. Still not good enough.

Most entries described dissatisfaction with the number the scale showed. I was quite focused on that number and whether it was going up or down.  If I could just reach THAT number, I’d have succeeded and victory would be maintained of course – because really, wasn’t this just a math thing?  Calories in, calories burned.  Simple.  The number – at least initially – proves that my efforts are being rewarded in a tangible way.

Except that there is a monotony in keeping a food journal, and exercise is mostly dull and certainly – when done right – HARD.  Diet fatigue, lack of self-discipline, and self-indulgence tend to reappear eventually.

I never really struggled with weight until I had a few children. I spent a lot of years in denial that this was truly a problem that would not go away without effort.  Then there were some short-term efforts.

My sole lengthy success in exercise and weight loss was in 2005-2006/7 and I was proud of my efforts.  It tended to be what I talked about, what I thought about – every day.   I have since been quite humbled.  If I eat what I want when I want in the quantities I want – my “set point” is close to 200 lbs.  For now. The years go by and that set point seemed to be rising – thank you Menopause.

So here I am again – exercising regularly – at least 3 times a week ( now starting 40th week – and yes, I am counting) and logging my food (counting again).  Thoughts I experience while exercising include “wow, this is hard” and “almost done” and “I KNOW why people DON’T do this – it’s hard”.   This time around, in addition to logging my food – I’m trying to pay attention to appetite and reducing portions to what satisfies (vs. what makes me feel stuffed).  I do not worry if I clean my plate – even in a restaurant where I’ve paid good money.  (this is a challenge since I am cheap)    I am taking this process a week at a time.  I eat most anything I want but in portions that are budgeted for my day’s allotment.  I have an occasional day I go over.  I weigh myself daily and record every week or so.  I use an online site to log food – and the app on my phone.  (myfitnesspal.com)  I say no to myself sometimes and yes to myself at other times.

Most days eating less food is hard.   But I parent the me that wants to indulge daily and say NO or Not So Much.   Discipline is hard for me. Sometimes going to exercise is NOT what I want to do.  I cannot ever picture loving it – and it’s not important that I do.  That does not mean I cannot make myself do it.  (Grateful that I can!)

I encourage myself with goals concerning health and future mobility and clothes that fit better.  I try to be patient and not be too concerned with the scale.  I try to not talk about it ALL the time.  I try not to get TOO hungry or to bake TOO much.

I don’t wonder about why it’s hard to do. I know why.  Food tastes good and exercise is hard, and my metabolism is not fast.

I CAN DO HARD THINGS (a day at a time).


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