Monday, September 1, 2014

When Motivation Fades

I'm glad August is over. Some happy-but-food-challenging events happened this week, like the birthday of a good friend who has been away for the summer, whose celebration involved three giant pizzas for ten people. Then there were some stressful things, like someone close to me going through some crappy stuff, and storing 20 boxes of our friend’s random crap in our tiny apartment. Apologies for the vague-blogging, I’m mostly just trying to get across that this week was hard, and I let worrying about food and calories fall to the bottom of the list. I was trying to track, went to the gym a few times, but couldn’t get myself to feel motivated.

I did end up tracking everything as best I could, and it seems I came out about even, and maybe even a thousand calories or so under. So maybe I’m actually getting better at this, at least a little? That a crappy week which followed an indulgent weekend, where I’m trying to track but all I really want is a vanilla twist on a cone with rainbow sprinkles, doesn’t have to set me back totally? (Chocolate sprinkles are for people who hate joy.) Perhaps I’m getting better at having a crappy week?

Right now, even for the last couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to push through, trying to keep going, waiting and hoping for some of that motivation to come back better. You know the cliches about how “The days when it’s most important to exercise are usually the days you most need it” or "if you wait for your perfect conditions to start, you never will"? They feel true. It’s not about what I did in June and July, when I had a whole “eight week reboot”, all energetic, tracking, motivated, feeling excited for the start of something.

But I joined in February!

Rather, it’s what I do now, when the newness (of another restart) has faded, when the weight loss slows, when life happens - that’s what matters. When I lost those fifty pounds, I certainly wasn’t feeling all go-getter and motivated during the entire process, because that’s impossible. But I still tried and still did it, even when I wanted to do anything else but. I kept trying, and all those little days added up (or rather, down) to a weight loss of fifty pounds.

Yesterday, I was trying to get right back into it.  I went to Zumba with my new workout friend and we walked to and from the gym. I still dance like a drunken zebra and can’t figure out how some of these people manage to move their feet, hips, and arms in different but synchronized ways, but it’s fun and burns 500 calories a class. It was a good day; we did some apartment organization and I made us gnocchi with marinara, and roasted asparagus, for dinner.

Today, we went to my parent’s house to celebrate Labor Day and my grandmother’s birthday. I made a chocolate cake for the occasion. I managed to have a good lunch and not eat 2/5 of the frosting. I wouldn’t call my food at dinner a success, but it wasn’t a total fail either. I’m still plugging along, trying to at least eat mindfully and decide if something is worth it.

Moving on - Despite the fact that the last couple of weeks weren’t too bad, I did not make my goal of getting into the 170’s by September. That kind of sucks, since it was well within my reach and I just want to get out of the 180s already. Thus I have an obvious goal for September. Begone 180s, and your little dog too! Beyond that, 175 is my next small goal, mostly because it’s a round number and solidly in the 170s.

This month is going to be hard. There are some Jewish holidays, one of which will involve a long weekend in Michigan, away from habits and routines. Work is going to start getting busy again, as all the attorneys come back from their summer vacations and realize how much shit they need to get done. But I’m going to remember that cliche that is so right, that my weight loss will not be accomplished on those few days when everything is right and I feel great, but rather on the normal, mundane days, where I try to eat right, to shape my habits and reshape my relationship with food.

Minor motivation: I got to see a friend of mine who just had a baby and meet her teeny, beautiful, week-old son. We took a photo together and I looked more like I had given birth a week ago than she did. I still forget that I weigh 180-185 pounds, despite seeing it on the scale.

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