Saturday, October 22, 2005

Working Hard

Sometimes it seems to me that this process is ridiculously easy. I've not really had any huge binges or traumas doing this, I've not plateaued and the weight has come off far more quickly than I ever anticipated. Sometimes I feel like I've just got lucky.

But then other times I know that I haven't. Even though I constantly downplay what I do, I realise that I actually work incredibly hard at this. I constantly astound work colleagues by my discipline in eating and exercising, and maybe I need to reflect on how hard this actually is sometimes.

I was talking to my boss about pain the other day. She's recently had a baby, and we were talking about how people say that you forget the pain of childbirth relatively easily. She said that she didn't think it was just that particular sort of pain, and asked me if I could really remember how much my ankle hurt when I broke it. Thinking about it, I couldn't. I can remember it hurt a lot, and I can remember what particular things really set it off hurting, but I can't remember precisely how it hurt or how it felt.

I think it's the same with exercise in a way. When I'm on the treadmill it sometimes kills me. Trying to get another minutes worth of running out of my tiring legs, or trying to haul myself up one last hill. But once I'm in the shower I forget how hard I've worked and how much it was hurting, and the daily chore of going to the gym dissolves into just a question of getting up early and getting there. When I'm not actually exercising, it's the getting there rather than the doing it that seems like it's the hardest part.

Maybe that's why I don't see it as that hard. I concentrate on the relative ease of getting to the gym, rather than how damn hard I work when I get there. I see people posting about their exercise, and it sometimes amazes me how much harder I work. Of course there are a multitude of reasons for that, I could be younger, I could have been building up my fitness for longer, I could have had better base fitness to start with, I could be (and I sometimes forget this bit) a far amount thinner. I'm not intending to say that other people should work harder, but rather that I shouldn't downplay what I actually do.

And with food, it's similar. People constantly comment on how healthy my diet is and how they're amazed at my willpower. Yesterday I ignored a huge pile of free Kit Kats at a work training session, whih is just one of a series of daily battles. Just because I've hit on combinations of food that I like and that are good for me doesn't mean that I should say it's easy. I still have to eat them every day, and not go back to my old habits. It's funny, when I'm wandering round the supermarket I keep on seeing foods I used to eat that I'd completely forgotten about, and it's only at that stage that I realise what I've given up. I don't crave them as such, but because the changes to my diet have come about very gradually I sometimes feel like I've not made any changes at all, which is of course complete rubbish. I have, even if I don't realise it most of the time.

It's nice that it doesn't feel like hard work most of the time, but I think it's also nice to sit back and realise how much I've changed, not least so that I feel like I've earned this all the more.

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A WTF moment when I stepped on the scales this morning. 13 stone (182) dead on. Which is 3lb down from yesterday. I know it's mainly water (believe me, I did expect a decent loss, the amount I was on the loo yesterday), but I also know that I'd been retaining water for the past week or so, so I'm hoping that this is the "real" weight rather than a freaky one. Usually once water has gone it stays off for me, so fingers crossed. Whatever, I seem to be firmly back in losing mode after my time off, and very pleased to be back on the wagon.

I cleared out my wardrobe today and swear I now have more clothes to throw out then I have in my wardrobe. There are some lovely clothes in there, but I really can't allow myself even the thought of wearing them again. Almost everything size 18 or above has now been chucked out (except my work suit which I still need to replace before chucking), and I need to promise myself that I'm never going back. And work to keep that promise to myself.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mich said...

This post struck several chords.

First, that supermarket thing happens to me too. I'll see a food that I used to eat in massive quantities (fresh bread, butter, Haagen-Dasz) and I'll just shrug.
Second, I get funny looks or the "I couldn't possibly do that" reaction from people when they find out I'm at the gym five times a week.

No, it isn't easy, but it is damn well worth it.

I was at the gym a few weeks back and this woman gasps at me, "I hate this. When does this become easier?". And without thinking I replied, "It doesn't become easier, it becomes more fun".

11:36 AM  
Blogger kathrynoh said...

Something that really got me through when I first started at the gym was a thing someone said to me - he worked out every day and he told me that once you've been at the gym 10 minutes, it does matter how you felt before you got there. You can be full of energy and ready to go or you can be dead tired but after 10 mins it's all the same.

After he told me that, I stopped worrying about whether I wanted to go to the gym or not - my job was just to get there. And it really works.

I think too that it's those extra minutes you put in at the end - the ones where your legs are so tired and you are aching all over - that make the difference, especially with weights. And like you say, you forget it as soon as you hit the shower. Sometimes, the next day, you are even pleased you did it.

11:45 AM  

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