Comparison is the enemy of self love and the enemy of moving forward.
I fell into a few brief moments of deep despair during this past phase and much of it came because I fell down the comparison rabbit hole.
My addiction to food and fashion blogs can be a bit disheartening at times. Why are fashion bloggers almost always thin? Why are so many of the food bloggers I follow so thin? Is there anyone out there in the blogosphere who isn't thin?
I found myself feeling this weird sense of resentment after reading this post on the food and fashion blog Cupcakes and Cashmere (a wonderful blog I otherwise love to peruse). Here you have this gorgeous, thin woman who has had a baby recently*, and she says she struggles to stay active. She struggles to stay active and can wear a loose-fitting, spaghetti strap dress with no visible means of support and no saggy or jiggly bits waving in the wind. Her body is enviable in its ability to wear almost anything. She manages to accomplish this without making fitness a priority in her life.
I am active every day. I lift weights three times a week. I ride my horse two times a week. I take a weekly dance class. I do a weekly Zumba class (usually via my Kinect rather than at my gym). I do other random cardio sessions. I take long walks. I love to swim and kayak and hike whenever I have the chance.
Yet I'm still overweight. I struggle with hunger. I struggle with cravings. I eat my fruits and vegetables, but my body won't move an inch if I'm not perfect with my eating habits. Even if I am perfect, my body doesn't want to move that inch. With perfect habits it takes forever to move a half inch.
To make matters worse, whenever I make any sort of progress, I invariably find myself injured.
I have friends slim down beautifully just by taking whatever trendy class is in vogue or doing a popular BeachBody DVD a few days a week. The only change PiYo made to my body was it make my body better at doing PiYo.
I have friends who run (RUN!) and have played all sorts of sports and never seem to have any sort of injury. Their knees, shoulders, backs, hips, elbows, and feet never hurt.
Sometimes I just don't want to struggle anymore. What if I stopped thinking about what I ate and have the only physical activity I do be the ones I consider hobbies?
My guess is I would become diabetic or have some other serious health concern within the next 10 years. No matter what happens, I can't win.
After spending some time in a pity party I realized the damage I was doing to my progress. I'm trying to move forward, to be the best I can be, to be the healthiest version of myself. I can't move forward if I'm mired in comparisons to woman with completely different bodies from mine. I'm stuck with the body I have. I should be grateful it is capable of doing everything it does. Not everyone is so privileged. Besides, just because I'm not thin doesn't mean people don't often look at my life and say, "I can't believe you do all that."
I think I am continuing to make progress. This phase has shown me a few limits on how much I can lift. I have been experimenting with raising the amount of weight for moves like squat and deadlifts with varying levels of success. The elbow is still an issue. It can handle much more weight than it used to, but I can't load it up too much. I also have a weak grip. Sometimes when I try to increase weight for a deadlift I find my hands, forearms, and elbow hurt too much even though my legs are ready for more weight.
I still do feel I'm getting smaller. I made a few more clothing purchases this month and again I overestimated my size. I like to think there are some visual changes. I was beginning to despair about my stomach. It was only growing bigger for a while and gravity has been leaving its mark. I had a large, slow, avalanche of flesh hanging off in front of me. That has improved slightly. It won't improve more until I work on those eating habits.
Eating habits weren't great this phase. I would often forget to eat slowly. I am still managing to do well with the fruit and vegetable thing and my sleeping habits are still better than they were a few months ago. I think part of the reason why I am sleeping better is because I'm no longer on Facebook. I don't sneak a few peeks at Facebook before bedtime and I am less bothered by inflammatory posts, so my mind is more at peace.
For this stage I am going to attack a beast I have struggled with for ages. I am going to work on my evening eating.
When I come home from work in the evening I am often hungry and it could be at least another two hours before dinner. I will walk into the kitchen and begin shoving anything edible down my gullet. When I start preparing dinner, I sometimes consume half the ingredients before dinner is served.
How will I combat this issue?
1. Do at least one item on the evening to-do list before going into the kitchen
2. Have a designated, healthful, high-protein, after work snack readily available
3. Chew gum while cooking
I will also continue to work on eating slowly this month and I will keep adding those fruits and vegetables.
Sunday: AM: NROLFW workout Stage 5, PM: Riding
Monday: Dance class
Tuesday: NROLFW workout Stage 5
Wednesday: Zumba or interval cardio on bike or elliptical (40-45 minutes)
Thursday: NROLFW worout Stage 5
Friday: Interval cardio on bike or elliptical (40 minutes)
So pity party over. Move on to progress.
I have decided to wait until after I finish all phases of TNROLFW before I do another weight/measurement.