The beginning of a year is often a time of reflection for a lot of people. I’m not normally a resolution type of gal. However, as almost all blogs that I read are focusing on this topic, I can’t get away from it! I’ve been doing a bit of reflecting in my own life with both my boyfriend, J, and a close friend, S. One of the things I have just become serious about, is losing weight. A lot of weight. 75 lbs of weight. I’m overweight, morbidly obese technically. I carry it well. I’m kinda fit when I apply myself (particularly after my weekly hiking binge last summer), and I have a lot of muscle tone and shape under all the fat. But I get winded going up stairs. I walk slowly now (I used to be a lot faster). I’m not keen on picking up the big heavy bag of groceries and lifting it across my body in the car. Part of it is loss of muscle, and having not been fit for a few years (since a series of 2 car accidents and the recovery time I’ve had).
We’re all supposed to have this mental image of who we think we are inside, or who we feel like. I don’t feel fat inside. I feel strong, a little stout, but shapely, and fit. But in reality, I’m not. I like muscles, I like weight lifting, and I’ve never considered myself thin, weak, or overly feminine. I don’t wear frill clothess, makeup, or a lot of jewelry.
I had an intriguing discussion with S recently (while driving up to Mt. Rainier for our New Year’s snowshoe hike), about setting fitness goals in order to achieve them, and how I’ve never ever had “goals.” Now, I should preface this with a little background about me. I was completely unfit in highschool and college – the only thing I ever did was horseback riding every week. I have good glutes and traps from this, but that’s it. I progressively became heavier and heavier over the years. I did activities, eventually hiking in my 20s and some biking in my late 20s, but not much else. I have flirted with the gym in the last 12 or so years, learning weight-lifting routines, trying out step classes, hitting the treadmill. When I apply myself, I can work really really HARD. But then something happens, I get distracted and stop going, or I get sick and the 2 week recovery (from bronchitis or example) turns into several months, you know how it goes. Or I get a wierd recurring injury. I get rashes in my groin that makes taking steps painful and difficult for several days (right where the undees go), from repetative rubbing and mositure. I know this may be TMI, but it’s the single most frustrating thing that happens to me the most common reason for me missing time at the gym!!!! This happens ALL THE TIME when I work out. The second main problem I have is with my ankle/foot joints – something in the bone structure drops and I get sharp pains when I step just below my ankle. I have tried to have my chiropractor readjust the bones, but it takes several days to fix. I’ve gotten to the point of having my boyfriend yank on my foot several times a day to try and fix it/pop it back into place. Both of these issues are frequently occurring and always make me slow down, go less, and eventually stop. This time I won’t let them stop me, for long anyway!
Ok, so back to my discussion with S – I said that I had never really seen myself as achieving my goal weight, which is 150. I’m 5’4, have a very large frame (I have very wide shoulders, good child-bearing hips as they call ’em, and my wrists are very large), and I tend to pack on muscle pretty well, so I think that is probably a healthy weight to try and achieve. The lowest I’ve gotten is 178, following a major hiking trip to Nepal and Tibet for 3 weeks in 2000. I walked a lot and by the end, I had gotten so ill from the smells and food in Tibet (try drinking yak butter tea, trust me) that I just couldn’t eat, so I lost a lot of weight in addition to the daily hiking. But of course that didn’t last. I’m now 225. I’ve gotten down to 200, even hit onederland a few times, but not much lower. I think mentally, I never really considered that I *could* get there. I get to 200 or just under, feel how amazing my body has become, look at all that muscle, and look, I’m in smaller clothes now, and start slacking off.
Well, I’ve decided that I can make it. Really make it. I have to keep going. Maybe go a little slower at times to prevent injuries and/or recover, and increase the quantity of time I spend exercising. Not just an hour at the gym, but 2 or 3 sometimes. Not just 3-4 days a week, but minimum of 5. If I really want to lose 75 lbs, I will really have to work at it. Long term. Not just 3 months and then let something sidetrack me. This time around I have a little more support than I’ve had in the past (which was always just myself). Maybe that will make a difference. Maybe having a final goal I want to get to, rather than just “seeing how it goes” will get me there.
I’m also going to try and practice a self-realization technique. I will envision myself as 150 lbs, and believe in it, in my mind, in my thoughts. I will think myself there. I will realign my inner vision of myself to be completely fit and healthy, not just strong. The physical can only follow, right?