Sara – The Social Media Diet

Two weeks agoI talked about how I’ve lost 50 pounds and the oftentimes disappointed faces I encounter when I tell people the secret to my success is eating less food and exercising.  There is also the refusal to make excuses for myself and the fact that I found my tribe: I have surrounded myself with amazingly supportive and endlessly wonderful people who are there with a hug or a swift kick in the behind when I need it.

And last week I needed them oh so badly.

Because although what I’ve accomplished in the last 10 months is amazing more often than not it’s a painful, exhausting, and frankly not very fun.  Not binging means I no longer have food as a crutch to quash those emotions I detest dealing with.  Getting up at 5 am to head to the gym is ridiculously exhausting.  Running 25+ km each week hurts my knee and my shins and I’m in bed before 9 most nights.  Losing weight is hard work and it’s no surprise that people try and try and still have trouble reaching their goals.  A few months back a friend commented that my weight loss efforts are the equivalent to a part-time job and she was right: running, working out, and healthy meal preparations take up at least another 10-15 hours of my time each week.  That’s on top of staying at home with my boys, taking care of our household, and running my own photography business.

Because who really needs to sleep?

Unfortunately last week all my ‘go’ caught up with me and the physical fatigue and exhaustion felt insurmountable and overwhelming.  After 160 days of tracking my food intake on My Fitness Pal I didn’t log in for three days straight.  We had restaurant meals three days in a row: a signicant jump from our average of 2-4 times a month.  After months of regular thrice weekly runs I didn’t lace up my shoes for an entire week.  I managed to get myself to the gym to see my trainer but he took one look at me on Thursday morning and started with 15 minutes of gentle stretching and warm-up.  This from the guy who has me on the Jacob’s ladder or hopping up and down not 60 seconds after I cross the threshold of the gym.

Like so much of this journey I sat down at the computer and shared my struggles.  Not long after my comment I was inundated with support and suggestions

And I can’t tell you how much I needed to read each and every one of those messages

Shout-outs of encouragement and ‘you can do it’

A reminder that running is hard but it gets easier and feels better the more you do it

That I’ve been challenged by physical challenges before and persevered

Offers from two friends to go running with them

A pact to run in the next 48 hours from someone who was struggling with the same dilemma

A reminder that it’s bathing suit season from a best friend who knows that as much as I want this to be about health right now its more about vanity and the fact that I’m tired of looking like I do

Another best friend who reminded me that my body is trying to tell me something: that I need to slow down and listen

A link to an amazing blog post about a young woman who ran and ran and ran and then stopped and still lost 135 pounds (and kept it off)

My screen capture tool ran out of room and I couldn’t even get an image of all the comments that followed

Another friend on My Fitness Pal saw my status about not logging in and posted this:

Another friend on Twitter, who knows how badly I want to run the half marathon, cheekily reminded me of my goal:

Despite the differing advice and suggestions I needed to read each and every one of them because they’re all true.  My body is trying to tell me something and I need to listen.  But I also need to keep going, doing something, anything, to maintain the changes I’ve worked so hard for: tracking, getting my body moving, and being mindful of the slippery slope of “tomorrow I’ll do better”

I muttered “suck it up buttercup” laced up my running shoes and on Sunday morning had my husband leave me 4.5 km away from the cottage and I ran the rest of the way in.  Pretty well entirely uphill I’d like to add.  And I logged into My Fitness Pal and tracked everything I ate.  And I reminded myself that this is not a sprint and I need to slow down but slowing down doesn’t mean stopping.

So I’m eating less food and I’m exercising and I’m relying  just as equally on my social media diet lifestyle to keep me keeping on.  I hope you know that every time you leave a comment or send a message it really and truly makes a difference.  Thank you.

Tale from the Scale

I’ve lost 1.2 pounds in the last two weeks for a total of 51.6 pounds.  As for the other goals I set two weeks ago….

(insert crickets here)

What were those goals again (with some revisions)?

  1. Drink at least 3L of water everyday.  Running in the heat means I need to hydrate.
  2. Eat a salad everyday with lots of tasty additions like sunflower seeds, feta, and lots of colourful vegetables OR eat a fruit/vegetable from every colour of the rainbow everyday
  3. Run at least once a week with my family, twice a week with the Running Room
  4. Make time for yoga at least once a week 


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17 Responses to Sara – The Social Media Diet

  1. Lara says:

    It’s a hard hard journey. The online community will give you what you need when you ask for it and that’s what’s most amazing about it. You deserve the bolster. You deserve to make it to that 1/2 marathon goal that somehow, apparently, became a goal you WANTED to achieve.
    But I don’t think that means you cant slow down everyone once in awhile. As long as it means you don’t stop all together – you’re too close for that! :)

    • Sara says:

      I still wonder at what point did I bang my head and decide I wanted to run a 1/2 marathon ;) It felt good today to re-commit…I’m too close to give up now!!

  2. Shona says:

    Asking for help when you need it is smart, and so is slowing down a bit when your body is exhausted. And you are smart. You just aren’t perfect, and you don’t have to be. :) You will do that half marathon and you are continuing to do a great job!!! Go girl!

    • Sara says:

      I’m not perfect….what?!? There my friend is my biggest problem: I expect way too much of myself :P I’m so grateful to have all of you

  3. Sasha says:

    I remember a very very long time ago (at a weight I would now consider skinny, although nobody else would), running into someone who had lost quite a bit of weight since I’d last seen her. When she told me it was “diet & exercise”, I believe my response was something along the lines of “oh, I was hoping for a silver bullet”.

    Ultimately, it does come down to burning more than you eat. But I think it’s about as close to a silver bullet as you’re going to get. Certainly falls into the ‘pretty, shiny things’ category, at any rate. Because it’s reading posts like these, where I can feel your pain and admire your determination, that make me want to keep at it.

    PS I really hope that “WHAT?!?!” came across the right way.

    • Sasha says:

      PPS Don’t ask me what the “right way” is.

      • Sara says:

        The “WHAT?!?” definitely came across the right way because 160 days is a long track record to break!!! And I need every reminder to keep moving even though I’m tired and its hard right now. I hope you keep at it along with me because I could use the company :)

      • Sasha says:

        Oh, never fear. I’m keeping at it. But after my little hiccup I couldn’t bear the thought of seeing “logged in for 5 days in a row”. So I turned that off. Which is silly, of course, but that count had been bothering me for a while, like teetering on the brink of a fall.

  4. It is such hard work – you’re doing a great thing to LISTEN to your body and give it some time. But getting what you need from all of us is also super smart. ’cause we have good ideas and are pulling for you to succeed more than you can know. Reading about your struggles but also seeing you succeed IN SPITE of them.,…that’s proof positive that this is all possible. I need that. I crave that. Thanks for satisfying my cravings, friend!

  5. Sara says:

    The cravings are yours for the taking!! There are so many challenges and everyday when I wake up I remember what I’m facing. I really wish that once I lost the weight it could be over and done with but I know I’m going to have to fight for it everyday for the rest of my life. Thinking like this is probably why I’m feeling tired ;)

  6. sherrilynne7 says:

    I’m struggling too. Try to keep strong.

  7. Annie says:

    Sara! I was a walking exhaustion last week. I was telling my best friend that i’ve never felt this drained since high school when I had mono. It all caught up to me after our big work event.
    I now have the feeling of needing to get back. Im starting tonight. :)
    Running along the canal even though the weather is threatening to come down on us again, but if so, ill run up my 9 flights of stairs for a good half hour.
    THank you for sharing this post!!! :) and motivating my shrinking butt.
    You. are. AWESOME!!!!

  8. Jennifer says:

    Oh, I loved this post… You know what else is awesome about it? That you had the courage to ask for help at all!!! I’m going to go out on a limb here, and guess that there may have been a time when asking for help was hard – because it usually is for women. Women who are strong. Women who are moms. Women who work hard.

    But you asked for help, and you got it….

    I think you are amazing! Keep going. Keep going. Keep going. Slower is better than not at all.


  9. Pingback: Barbara – No one plans to become unhealthy | Losing It In Ottawa

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