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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Learning To Not Focus on the Scale

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere.

For over a year now I've been so focused on the number on the scale.  Don't get me wrong, I've worked on other stuff too.  More than I could ever list.  But, whether I want to admit it, my main focus was the weight loss.  After all, all of this started because I wanted to lose weight and feel better about myself.  Throughout the last year, I've looked forward to Thursday mornings.  I was excited to see the number change.  For me, it was weekly motivation to keep going.  It's how I could see the progress I was making.  Once I started to see it in my clothes, I had double reinforcement :)

So, since Thanksgiving I think, okay, actually I know, (darn rainman memory) that I've lost 3 pounds.  Now, keep in mind that is in addition to losing 94 pounds since the end of January 2013.  So, I have nothing to be sad or upset about.  But, as the weeks have gone on and I haven't seen that number go down on a regular basis, I've struggled to not be frustrated.  I haven't struggled with sticking with this lifestyle change.  It's just who I am now.  Never thought I'd see the day that I'd say that.... :)  I really don't see myself ever going away from the way I eat on a daily basis now.  But, I've struggled because I've had to find other things to celebrate about what I've been able to accomplish.  I felt like I was changing up my food (to an extent, we all know food is a bit of a challenge for me..) and trying to do different types of workouts and I still wasn't seeing any results.  My body apparently just likes to be stubborn.  But, I've started to figure out this is just an obstacle I have to overcome.  And I will.

So, here are some things I can think of off the top of my head that I've accomplished besides losing weight over the last 3 months:

1. I ran 3.1 miles on the treadmill in 34 minutes
2. I picked up two 20 lb dumbbells.  I didn't do anything with them...but still!
3. I've fit into smaller pants.
4. I did 3 normal push-ups (sort of)
5. I stood on a bosu ball (I call it a wobbly thing) and didn't fall.  And I held a dumbbell on it today!
6. I completed a "100 day" at boot camp.  100 reps of 10 different exercises.  And I get there late so I was really shocked that I finished.  And geez my arms were sore the next day!
7. On the same wobbly thing I was able to do what I think would be called a shuffle type of thing (although it was very slow)
8. I made soup - all by myself!!
9. I didn't break down and think the world was out to get me every time I had water issues in my house over the last couple of months (knock on wood, I'm good!)
10. Reading recipes and actually sorta understanding what they say!

Out of this frustration came the decision to take a week away from the gym.  You may have already read about all of that so I'll try to not repeat myself :)  

But, as I went through the week, I realized that, in more ways than one, I needed to stop focusing so much on what I see on the scale.  I told a couple people that I would get mad at myself because I would let the number get to me.  Those people (Renee' and Kristin) were the first ones to say - you're human - you're allowed to be frustrated.  I don't know why, but I think I needed to hear that so I didn't keep thinking I was going crazy.  I want to keep losing weight.  It's really important to me.  Plus, I am so close to hitting that 100 pounds lost mark that it's difficult to not focus on it.  But, I can't let it ruin an entire day for me when the number doesn't change.  So, I made a decision that, in addition to taking a week off from the gym, I would take a week off of weighing myself.  I felt good about the decision and am hopeful that it helps me reset my brain on what is truly important.

If you're wondering, the short list of what is really important in this journey (so far):

1. Being happier than I ever thought I could possibly be in every aspect of my life
2. Having more energy than I ever thought I would find.  
3. Finding physical and emotional strength
4. Being a little more social every day
5. Finding one of the best friends I could have ever asked for or thought I would find. 

Muscle weighs more than fat and I know I am building muscle.  I am so thankful every day for everything and everyone in my life.  I know the weight loss will happen in time.  Whenever my body decides it's ready to listen :) 

So now I get to start a new workout plan.  I have no idea what that will entail but I'm looking forward to it.  The last week and a half has been very refreshing for me.  I needed it in more ways than I realized.  

I know this adventure is ongoing and I seriously love it more and more every day.   And I think this quote describes another lesson I've learned recently - 

Motivation is what gets you started.  Habit is what keeps you going.

I'll keep going.  And I know I will accomplish all my goals in time.