Karen – Week 23 – Reflections

It’s week 23 and I am frustrated with myself. I don’t really have any progress to report this week, because I don’t think I made any and perhaps my subconscious decided to conveniently forget that today was my weigh-in day.

I don’t know how to get re-motivated. I’ve been struggling for over 8 weeks now and I’ve tried faking it but that isn’t working. Like any addict – and I think I am a food addict – you have to want to make a change and I’m starting to doubt that I have the will at this moment in time. Unfortunately, since I’m not spending every spare moment exercising, something’s got to give.

I spent the weekend and today reflecting on what I’m doing, why I’m not making progress and what’s keeping me from getting back on the wagon. I knew my post was coming up and, with just one short week before we give our 8-week results, I felt the need to figure out what I’m doing, because I’m sure not meeting the goals I set – truly, not even close.

Three days of reflecting and I came up with nothing. I don’t know why I can’t seem to move forward and that’s probably the most discouraging feeling I’ve had since we started this journey.

I’ve had legitimate setbacks – far more than I expected. But I’ve made excuses too – far more than I’d like to admit. I’m embarrassed about that. I feel like such a stereotypical fat girl. The one who’s on a perpetual diet without ever losing weight – eating salads in front of everyone she knows, talking about the great healthy steps she’s taking, all the while sneaking chocolate when no one is looking – the great saboteur.

I’ve begun to seriously doubt the value I’m bringing to this blog each week. I have lots to say, but if I can’t back it up with results, why am I here? Am I failing my readers? Failing my fellow contributors? Failing myself? When I posed these questions to myself, the answer I came up with was a resounding, “YES!” The one that bothers me the most is that I’m failing myself. I have good reasons to need to lose weight.

Somewhere along the way, I lost my focus on just how important this is to me. I got caught up in everything that was going on and forgot to pay attention to what I’m eating one meal – one mouthful – at a time. I forgot to make exercise a non-negotiable priority. I let myself begin to make excuses, the rationalizations becoming easier with every instance.

And maybe that’s the answer I was searching for this weekend. A need to re-focus and take this seriously once again.

Though I’ve had to face some hard truths this week, there were a few things I was happy to have accomplished. I had my second day of reaching 10,000 steps and I actually got over 12,000 that day. Given the cold weather this past week, I’m pretty happy about that. Several other days, I hit the 8,000 mark, but I haven’t been walking around outside as much in the bitter cold. I’ll be very happy when the deep freeze weeks are over.

I also re-started two goals I began at the beginning of this 8 weeks. It’s been quite a while since I stepped on my elliptical since I’ve been doing other activities to get my exercise in, so I jumped back on tonight. I did 30 minutes after weeks of not touching it and I think I could have gone longer. I know it’s only a week away, but I think I can get to 60 minutes again. That was a goal I had at the beginning of this 8 weeks, and it’s the one I want to achieve the most right now.

The other goal I re-started was the 100 Pushups challenge that Lara started back in December. I did the initial test and one more night and then completely flaked out due to complete forgetfulness. I have no other excuse, but that was genuinely why I didn’t keep going. This time I have a reminder set up three times a week and I’m posting my results after each day on Twitter/Facebook. Tonight I did week 1, day 1.

It’s a start. I still feel like I’m trying to fake it ’til I make it. My enthusiasm for this process is low at the moment, but some success can change that. I have to start somewhere.

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18 Responses to Karen – Week 23 – Reflections

  1. Shona says:

    Karen, this is the moment where it really counts. The decision to stick with it and keep going even when you aren’t feeling the same motivation as before is the best thing you can do for yourself. Don’t give up. You are not letting down readers. You are just expressing what we have gone through ourselves at different points in our lives. As long as you write posts that are from the heart and honest (like you do!), you are not letting readers down. And the only way you will let yourself down is to quit outright. You can do this! If things aren’t working so well right now, go back to what was working for you before (for example your elliptical workouts). You can do it! I have faith!!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your encouragement, advice and understanding. I’m making up with my elliptical this week and letting her know I haven’t forgotten about her. ;) I enjoy that more than anything else I’ve tried, so I’ll probably have the most success with it.

  2. Lara says:

    I have been feeling much the same way. Life has been getting in the way and I just haven’t had the energy to do what I need to do. And I feel very guilty!

    But Shona is right – we need to push through. And her words are encouraging to me too because I often worry that nobody wants to hear me moaning and groaning that I have yet again not done what needed to be done.

    We’ll get there!!

    • Karen says:

      The guilt part is awful. It kills me that I feel guilty because the person I’m hurting most by not following through is me. At the same time, I worry that my half-hearted (is it even that much?) attempts lately may bring others down too.

  3. Brittany says:

    You can do it!

    Congrats on making it this far, though. Maybe try thinking about the feeling you got when you started? Did it feel great to work hard and get even the tiniest results? You seemed pretty happy to reach your steps goals. Focus on small things like that and the bigger picture will become more clear.

    I’m (definitely) not a personal trainer or anything like that, but I support this initiative of the blog and everything that you’re all doing. I think it’s great that you women are brave enough to put yourself out there like this. I envy your courage and dedication: to exercise, to blog and blogging about exercising! So celebrate the little things and don’t get down. You’ve come this far and you’ll find the motivation soon enough. Best of luck! :)

    Britt (@trickstah)

    • Karen says:

      Britt, I’m really glad that you are liking LIO. This is great advice, too. I’ve been taking a few steps to recapture those feelings from the beginning. I think that at least a small part of it is due to the time of year. It’s hard to stay motivated when it’s so cold and gray outside. But that doesn’t mean I want to stop trying. I know it’s a tough one, but I really want to push through. I’ll feel better in the end.

  4. Barbara says:

    It’s as though the bleakness of January is infecting our motivation. You have the knowledge and tools you need to lose the weight and become healthier but you need to rediscover your motivation. Maybe you should spend time thinking, reading or listening to podcasts about making change happen. Maybe you even need to try ideas that seemed silly at the beginning to get yourself back on track.

    You can do it. You will do it. Once you decide to dedicate yourself to the task. (That pep talk was for you and me both ;+)

    • Karen says:

      The bleakness of January is a huge part of this, I think. I do have more energy and pep than usual thanks to our efforts so far, but it’s not been enough to keep me going. So, I’m resorting to exactly what you suggested (before you even suggested it)!! I downloaded the Cut the Fat podcast you’ve talked about and I’m finding it’s helping get my head back into the right place. I’m getting some ideas about ways to give myself a little extra jump start, too.

      Thank you – you’re brilliant! ;)

  5. tracey says:

    I do believe as well January does have something to do with it. The days are getting longer, it is supposed to warm up. I know how you feel (really I do). Hang in there, you can do this.

    • Karen says:

      I wish this time of year wasn’t such a downer for so many people. It’s hard to help people through it when you have to try so hard to get through yourself. But I guess it is what it is. Maybe we can start an LIO lottery pool and when we win, we can winter down south somewhere warm and sunny with personal trainers to keep us on track. :D

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  7. Finola says:

    I really love your honesty here.
    I agree with the others about January. And it will be the same in February, but come spring I’m betting it will all start getting a lot easier. Keep going, keep writing. Everyone is cheering you on!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Finola. This one was brewing in me for a while. Now that the floodgates have opened and poured out, I’m feeling like I can finally get some perspective and regroup. Getting it out has helped a lot. I’m so glad I have a place to do this where people understand.

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  9. Sasha says:

    Well excuse me while I respond with a resounding

    NO!

    You are not failing anybody, not yourself and certainly not us. You’re writing about the challenges you’re facing, and that helps. I’ll tell you a secret – when I first started reading Losing It, it was at a time when everyone was just so darn cheerful and optimistic – and I wasn’t. It was dead depressing, honestly, and made me feel like a failure. So I stopped reading. Or trying, for that matter.

    It’s not that I like to read about other people struggling, but it’s good to hear about all sides of the weight-loss struggle. The ups and the downs.

    Are you logging? Even when you’re sneaking the chocolate? I’ve found it’s been making a difference – the days I thought were lousy weren’t as lousy as I thought, and it helps break the cycle of “well, this day is a write-off, I may as well just eat.

    Hang in there! Hope things start looking up soon.

    • Karen says:

      I’ll tell you a secret right back – when we first started, I was not as honest as I am now. I didn’t actually outright lie about anything I did or progress I was making – all of that was real. But I definitely focused more on the positive of what was going on, purposely looking for the successes. I think that’s a good thing to do, but I’m also a realist and I held back those things that were less than flattering. Perhaps I was afraid to be completely transparent back then. I think I can safely say that fear is gone. ;)

      I’m getting back into the habit of logging again. Thank you for your reminders. It’s amazing what a difference that can make to how you eat from meal to meal rather than lumping it all into one day labeled as a success or failure. I’m trying to ensure that everything goes into My Fitness Pal, though I don’t necessarily log right after I eat something. That’s always been hit or miss for me.

  10. Jennifer says:

    What you wrote really resonated with me. So much of the battle is setting realistic goals and achieving them. The biggest problem with being a self-saboteur is that sometimes we subconsciouly word our goals in ways that make them harder to achieve. Sometimes though, you need to include an “out” with your goal.

    I’ll use eating chocolate as an example. If you love chocolate then you need to set up a goal (guidelines) to include it. “I will allow myself one serving a week of one of the following: a brownie, a regular size chocolate bar, two chocolate chip cookies, etc.” It gives you something to look forward to without making something you love “forbidden.” If you know you can have it you won’t feel compelled to sneak it.

    You can also do something similar with your exercise goals. By setting a goal of “I’m only going to allow myself to flake once a week” you have the out in your mind that missing okay won’t kill you but knowing you’re only allowed to miss once in a week will be a motivator for you. You might not feel like exercising today but you won’t know how you’re going to feel later in the week so maybe you’d better save your free pass and get to it today.

    You don’t have to use your outs but as long as you allow them in your mind then it is easier to sneak around the saboteur and keep yourself on track.

    • Karen says:

      This is a really stellar piece of advice – I’ll be pointing back to it in my post next week since it’s time to set new goals for the next 8 weeks. Thank you for this!

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