Sara – What will it take

Last week Barbara tweeted this quote to Sasha:

You can have it all just not at the same time

And I feel like I am living proof of that.  In fact I should have it penned on my arm or forehead as a reminder because I am trying to do too much.

Here’s what I learned in June

  • You need sleep especially when you’re working out.  5-6 intermittent hours a night, only to awake at 5 am to work out, is not wise, especially if you plan to (a) remain upright during the day (b) compose any coherent thoughts or sentences
  • You cannot work 30 hours a week without childcare.  If you feel like trying something dangerous or risky go bungee jumping instead.  Full time hours with a patchwork of childcare is not for the faint of heart
  • Passing your husband like a ship in the night as he enters the house and you leave is crazy-making.  Communicating via slips of paper and emails isn’t fun when that person you’re trying to keep in touch with is your best friend

That one little sentence “you can have it all just not at the same time” has been catapulting around my head for the last week.  I have made health and fitness my priority for the last 10 months and in June it wasn’t and as much as I accomplished I didn’t like the fact that working-out and healthy eating took a back seat to the rest of my life. Because even though I complain that this journey is miserably hard work and often sucktastically un-fun I actually like how I look and feel and I don’t want that to slip away.

But when I was 50 pounds heavier it was easy to stay motivated because the weight dropped off a lot faster and I still didn’t like how I looked or felt: the pull towards the 50 pound weight loss goal was strong.  As much as I would like to be noble that this weight loss journey is first and foremost about the long-term gains for my health it really isn’t: right now I’m tired of being fat, of looking fat, of not liking how I look, and of judging myself and my body (and having others judge me because of my weight)

The challenge now is that I’m the lowest weight I’ve been since I was 19.  I’m still overweight and I still need to lose weight but for the first time in a long time I don’t cringe when I look in the mirror.  My friend took this photo of our kids playing together last week and my first thought when I saw it was that I no longer hate how I look.  I no longer cringe at the thought of seeing pictures of myself, even from unflattering angles.  I’m also in good shape: I no longer huff and puff walking up stairs or hills and I can run around for six consecutive hours doing photo shoots and not feel exhausted.  On Friday I challenged myself by running 5km continuously at noon, in the heat, and finished my run in 35 minutes.  I have never run more than 20 minutes at a time and even then it was more of a very very very fast walk then a true run.

I truly believe my motivation is still there (albeit hidden) but that I don’t have the energy to turn it into any semblance of action towards my goals.  I suspect that the last six weeks have been a lesson in the fact that you have a finite amount of energy and you can have everything you want but not at the same time.

I miss working out five days a week and I miss seeing the numbers on the scale drop and writing this post has made me realize that I need to re-focus my priorities.  We’re a month away from the one-year Losing It anniversary and I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be.  This might just be the wake-up call I so desperately needed.

Because plans are worth absolutely nothing unless you actually take the steps to back them up here’s what I’ve done:

  • Registered for the Xerox 10K on August 16th to keep my shoes on my feet and my tired legs out on the road: I need something to work towards
  • Scheduled five appointments in my calendar this week for exercise (running, personal trainer, and classes at the gym)
  • Delegated parenting duties to my awesome husband for two mornings this week so that I can fit in work AND working out without stretching myself to the max
And now I’m throwing the ‘how do I stay motivated’ question out to all of you.  What would you do, if you were me, to stay on track?  
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16 Responses to Sara – What will it take

  1. Karin says:

    Do all the things you’ve listed above and ………… fill a camel back with ice and water first thing in the morning, put it on and use it all day. Water is key and when you’re so busy it’s easily the first thing you forget :)

  2. Shona says:

    I agree with Karin – do those things you listed! I was feeling terribly frustrated last Monday and this past week I went back to how I behaved in the beginning, super strict with food, drank all kinds of water, and I went to the gym 6 times (that one is newer though). I pushed myself to do my best, and I am looking forward to seeing results tonight on the scale (they better well be there!) Either way, I am proud of how hard I pushed this week and am feeling good. Sometimes I just need to give myself a kick in the butt. That said, you have WAY more going on in your life than I do… which definitely makes it trickier. I still recommend going back to what worked in the beginning, and looking ahead to feeling even better!

    • Sara says:

      Back to the beginning I go ;) I don’t like how I feel after a few days of not exercising and not eating right: that was more than enough reminder why I’m doing this. I’m excited to get back to the gym today…boxing here I come!!

  3. Look at your arms in that pic, strong and toned! LOVE IT :) And 35min in the heat…that’s fast! I know you have a lot on your shoulders, a lot to balance, but take a moment and give yourself a high five :)

    • Sara says:

      lol thanks Katie – I do like my arms ;) High five to myself this morning for eating right and going to an hour-long boxing class!

  4. Sasha says:

    I feel your pain – it’s a fundamental problem that I’ve been having to face as I work on my latest draft: “Getting It Done for Tidy Up Tuesday is my Happiness Project for the Summer of Awesome”. Because you’re right, and Barbara’s right, you can’t do it all (and I remember that tweet – I just wish I could remember the context).

    I suspect you’re taking the right approach: getting help, and making goals like the Xerox run that help keep things chugging along, without actually being weight-loss focussed goals. And I’m taking notes, because as usual, I’m nipping at your heels and I expect to hit the same mindset – and probably around the same milestone.

    And for what it’s worth, I think we’ve now met one-on-one what, twice? And I could totally see the difference at the park the other day. You look great. If dislike of where you are is a motivator, then yeah, that’s going to evaporate ;). Is there anything else about where you’re going that you can use instead? Bigger races? Smaller clothes?

    • Sara says:

      I have the half marathon in September but right now that terrifies me more than motivates…I guess I’ll find out if fear is enough to keep me on track ;) I’m about 12 lbs away from another big goal but because I’ve been hovering nearby that for so longer I think I’m frustrated about it. But after 48 hours of much thinking the number has reignited my “I’ve been doing this, I can do this”. And smaller clothes would be nice too…like a L on the bottom instead of an XL!

  5. Annie. says:

    You are absolutely gorgeous lovely! Love your determination and your hard work has paid off. :)
    You are also very inspiring! Everytime i see you (even though its only been3 times), you give off a very positive aura and that in itself is awesome.
    Im struggling with not being where i should be right now and its tough to accept.
    But i keep telling myself to just plug away and take it one day at a time. One meal at a time, one workout at a time and give it my all.

    I hope you know how amazing you are and look and your smile is infectious. :)
    Have a great day!

    • Sara says:

      aw thank you Annie! It’s hard to reach a point and realize you haven’t met your goals: right now I’m trying to not let that distract me from still chasing after them as fast as I can :)

  6. sherrilynne7 says:

    Sometimes life gets so busy that I don’t have time to check out this blog daily. It’s a false economy really, because reading posts like this one sets me in a positive frame of mind for the day. Thanks!

  7. Erin S says:

    Army Half will be fun, you just have to believe…. Believe in yourself, your feet ;) your heart.. and hell, Im running that day too :P

  8. Sara says:

    I just discovered this site and was initially captivated by y(our) name.

    Keep up the good work! You’ll get your goal and if you don’t, as long as you feel better and are happy with how you look, that is all that matters.

    Just remember that with motivation and a positive attitude, not to mention a little elbow grease, anything can be achieved.

    BTW, where do you box? I’ve always wanted to try it.



    • Sara says:

      Thanks Sara! I box at the Athletic Club in Orleans but there are lots of great places in Ottawa. Pre-kids I took classes at a martial arts club.

      This will be the week of slippery, greasy elbows ;)

      • Sara says:

        Thanks for getting back to me.

        I used to be one of those people who vowed to never work out in a gym but since I’ve hit this dang plateau I’ve been thinking about a gym. Are their membership fees reasonable? I know they just opened or opening one in the Trainyards.

    • Sara says:

      I find the price reasonable – about $26 every two weeks. I love the boxing (it’s the same instructor that teaches at Trainyards), the spinning classes are great, TRX, and Interval. What I appreciate most is the variety of the classes – there’s always something going on!

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