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Late-night self pillow talk: “Tomorrow is the day… I am getting up at 5:30 and going running, and then after work I’m gonna hit the weights. LEGS! Yeah, it’s a good day for a leg day. Oh my god, it’s gonna be the best workout I’ve ever put together.”
Tomorrow: 5:30 alarm goes off; snooze. 5:40 alarm rings; snooze. 5:50 alarm blares; snooze. 6:00 alarm annoys the shit out of me; turn off. “I’ll do it tomorrow.” Back to sleep. And the wheel of personal let-down keeps turning: a wheel named Tomorrow.
Finding the motivation to get off your ass and get to the gym or just head outside for a morning run is easy… Well, it used to be.
I used to get up and go to the gym, sometimes twice a day just because I was bored at home. In doing so, I lost 30 pounds within four months. I felt so good; I felt like I could hug myself for feeling so comfortable in my own skin; finally! My jeans fit just right, I wasn’t ashamed of going shopping for clothes anymore, and I wasn’t constantly adjusting my shirt because it was showing some of my not-so-flattering stomach pouch. I was extremely content with myself. Insert sigh of relief and pride.
And then guess what! Life happened and things got in the way of going to the gym. I began to gain a little bit of the weight back… then I gained a little more after that, and some more after that. Before I knew it, the number on the scale climbed back up to my previous weight and my jeans weren’t fitting perfectly anymore. I had to buy new ones and I went back to the habit of forever adjusting my shirt every time I sat down for fear of showing the flab. Great. All that easy work I put in at the gym, down the gym.
No big deal, right? I thought, “I’ll just go back to being in the gym every day, twice a day, and lose it again.” That’s what I did, and I learned quickly that it wasn’t as easy to lose that weight as it was the first time. My body had grown accustomed to exercising, so it wasn’t being fooled again and the weight stayed on. “Crap.” Now my motivation was taking a hit. What was I going to do about this unwanted weight?
Plan after plan, I sorted out which workouts I wanted to do on certain days, which foods I wanted to eliminate and which ones I intended to add into my diet. It felt great knowing exactly what I wanted to do and how I wanted to do it all. But when the time came to execute… somehow I fell short. What the hell is wrong with me? Why can’t I just do it like I used to? I enjoyed it so much before. Where did my drive go?!
I’ll tell you where; wherever the weight I initially lost went… I didn’t gain back my old weight; I gained “new” weight. The kind of weight that wants you to sit around and eat junk food all day, no matter how much you know it’s not good for you. The kind of weight that whispers to you, “Never mind, it’s not a big deal. You don’t look that bad,” as you study yourself in the mirror. The type of weight that convinces you that you deserve an extra scoop of ice cream, even when you did nothing to earn it. It ate up your self-confidence as you ate through your self-loathing. It didn’t want what’s best for you; it pounded you into the ground until you couldn’t see a way out. It was not a good kind of weight at all, and it was ruining my body and my brain.
I had lost the drive I used to have, and I didn’t know where to start looking for it again. And the worst part of it is, I want to be motivated; I want to lose weight, damn it! It’s so much more than just looking good. That weight loss meant more to me than the lesser inches and number on the scale. It meant I shed my old self away and I was this new person who was actually confident walking in her own skin for the first time in her life. I had taken that girl for granted, and now this ugly thing has taken over the place. I hid my motivation from myself, and it was really pissing me off.
I know it’s all a conscious decision. I personally choose not to get back in that race against myself. But you know what I’m talking about, right? You know how it feels to look at yourself in the mirror and be so disappointed in what you’ve allowed yourself to become; you know the feeling of complete and utter disbelief of how far you’ve strayed away from the woman you loved being; you can relate to the pain I feel whenever I begin a workout and realize that this tiredness I feel is a lot heavier than before. Just the downright disgust with yourself is what crowds your mind as you gasp for air after only jogging for five minutes. I’m not alone in this… am I? Tell me somewhere there’s someone else who decides against his or her own desires for fear and disappointment of facing the cold hard truth of self-defeat. Tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with this.
Fighting to win me back is one of the hardest battles I’ve ever had to face, and I know I will find some sort of strategic way to advance toward the front line. It will happen and I will win.