Friday, February 22, 2008

Where Did The Fire Go?

This week has been a rough one for me. I've been trying to get re-motivated in regards to my diet and fitness and I just can't seem to do it. Although my weight has stayed stable my body fat had started creeping up. This is not too surprising considering that I had really let my workouts take a back seat ever since December. And try as I might I just can't get the same kind of fire burning under me that I had when I was actively losing weight.

I realize that in many ways I am in a fairly enviable situation... I have reached the thinnest weight of my adult life and have found that I can maintain it with little to no effort. But that isn't my goal. My goal is to be the healthiest, fittest, version of myself and in some ways my current weight is irrelevant. Now don't get me wrong, I'm happy with my weight and ecstatic that I can maintain it. The thing is that the weight was only supposed to be step one on my journey. This time last year when I was starting my journey I couldn't have imagined that the unstoppable focus and passion I had found for weight loss would putter out so quickly.

I still have work to do but find that without the daily reminder of snug pants and matronly arms that I don't have the motivation to go further. And this is problematic. Because if I don't have the motivation to go further who's to say how long it will be until my weight creeps up and my new clothes get just a little bit tight. I want to find that thing that got me moving everyday that inspired me to pump out six days of crazy cardio no matter what was going on with no excuses. These days I'm all excuses all the time. And every day I get further from my last workout the harder it is to get back into my routine.

While I may be maintaining I know that there is a reason this is my lowest weight. And my revved up metabolism is only going to continue to burn at this level if I continue to challenge my body and build more muscle and burn more calories. I know it and I get it.... and yet... I've spent the last four nights relaxing on the couch.

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

First...LOVE your blog!

Second....In my opinion, I just think you have burned yourself out. I've done the crazy cardio. A time when crazy cardio was my top priority. I loved the way the pounds melted!! During college, I was addicted to the hour long walks/runs on my treadmill.

For whatever reason, I found myself slipping away from them. Years later, It's hard to get back to that mentality because it's a bit draining, honestly.

Now that I'm 35 and have 2 kids, the exercise has changed from crazy cardio to "activities". Sure, I get some elliptical sessions in here and there, maybe throw some DVDs in the mix, but the majority of my exercise is from activities with the kids. (I want spring so my activities are not basketball in the garage or shoveling snow anymore...I need the outdoor walks and bike rides!)

You get your calorie burning throughout the day...you are a MOM! Just supplement it with a 30 minute treadmill session for the cardiovascular effect.

Go easy on yourself for a bit. Doesn't mean you have to slack off, just shake it up.

I hear ya on wanting to be in the best physical shape, I do. I'm not the thinner self I used to be. But in a lot of ways, I think I'm healthier!

Hang in there!

Claire

Chris Howard said...

Hey, I know exactly where you are now. As I've mentioned before, I lost 50 lbs in 1998 through diet and exercise. I exercised 30 minutes nearly every day and was very strict about what I ate. I got down to 167, my lowest adult weight.

Then I got happy with my weight and stopped exercising because I never really enjoyed it anyway. Over the next few years I gradually increased until in 2002, I had gained back about 40 lbs. I finally started exercising again and have been able to keep up a pretty good schedule for about 4 years now.

Right now my issue isn't exercise, I'm good about that, to the point that I don't feel guilty anymore if I need to skip it (like today), if I have an appt or something. I know I'll be back in the gym Monday. Right now, my problem is controlling my eating. Since about mid-2005, I haven't been able to get properly motivated to watch my diet.

I'm just offering my experience up as one example. Here are my thoughts on your situation - I get the impression that you, like me, don't enjoy exercise for its own sake. You like what it does for your weight, your energy, your overall health. But it's still a bit of a grind to climb onto the treadmill. I don't think you'll be able to maintain the same level of devoted motivation as you had last year, over the course of years. I think your desire to relax now is probably a combination of being very worn out from Baby and the other stress in your life, and a bit of a reaction to your iron-willed resolve that got you to where you are.

So, not that it's an original thought, but I think you need to find a middle ground, where you can be happy with your health and weight, and also happy with your lifestyle. From my own experience, that's easier said than done, but I think it's realistic.

Anonymous said...

When kid had her surgery, your stress level was through the roof. Your body is most definately affected by that stress and needs to come down at some point. My guess is that you are finally settling down and your body just needs down time. And the thought of doing 60 70 or 80 minutes of cardio is just too much for your body. So, allow yourself that time to just get back into rythm. Then when you hop back on, set a goal of like 30 or 40 minutes and then at that point you will probably find you can keep going. But if not, at least you got in what you planned on.

You are human and we are not super human. Downtime is needed and it is not a bad thing. It becomes a bad thing when it turns into laziness. There is a difference. Doesn't mean your motivation has taken off for Florida. =)

Jennifer

Chris Howard said...

Doesn't mean your motivation has taken off for Florida. =)

It's not down here, I just checked :)

Amy said...

It is hard to keep the fire in your relationship with health/fitness just as it is in any romantic relationship. Much of the work that I do in staying fit (maintaining a 45 lb. wt. loss since last January) is keeping things interesting.

I too have changed much of the time spent with my kids to activities, but it is truly not enough for me. I need the time to exercise so that my kids have a nice mommy; and if I'm bored with my workout - it's just as bad for me as not having a workout at all.

The funny thing is, your blog (along w/ Phit-N-Phat, sister skinny, bootcamp buddies)helps keep me motivated to be healthy, active, and "on top of it" at home.

The ebb and flow of our focus is natural, and you'll get it back. It's just a matter of making tiny goals and finding creative ways to pursue them. Thanks for keeping me motivated!

amyp

Nutmeg said...

I agree with everyone else.

But, I did want to offer a possible motivation that might be exciting for you... or it totally might not. And it's probably not something you didn't already think of.

You could try to gear up for an event. A tri-athalon, a bi-athalon, a 5 K. I can't swim worth a damn (and it's hard to START swimming when you've got bad asthma... unlike running you can't just stop). But my friend has been doing tri's for a couple of years (she's by no means super-fit, and she started them to motivate her). She is doing the swimming and I'm doing the biking and someone else is doing the running (walking really). But you can always just do the biking and running part.

And I did a run with her. She can actually run 13 miles straight without stopping, I can't run a block without stopping, but the 5K was fun anyway. (Of course, I can't run at all right now, because foot-ankle-knee dysfunction until I can see an orthopedist, hence I'm doing the biking).

I can't imagine trying to find the motivation to exercise through pain, either. My chronic neck pain is helped by running/walking so that's a good motivator right there.

Good luck Mrs. F!

Mrs. Furious said...

Claire,
Thanks for commenting :)

Yes it is draining to maintain the mental energy involved in keeping things going at maximum velocity.
I too think that once spring hits and I can actually leave the house I'll feel better and really enjoy fitting exercise into my day with bike rides and stroller walks. That I think will do a LOT to ease my anxiety about keeping active and really help with the flow of my days and let me take my evenings off for relaxing. Because we all need to be able to have a little down time!




Chris,
"I get the impression that you, like me, don't enjoy exercise for its own sake. You like what it does for your weight, your energy, your overall health. But it's still a bit of a grind to climb onto the treadmill."
BINGO
When I'm in the groove and have very few days off I can get to the point that I "enjoy" it... or at least look forward to it. But the last couple of months I've remembered that I also "enjoy" sitting on the couch and watching TV ;)
And it is true that I don't want to gain weight back. And although I probably wouldn't gain back 50 pounds... even 15 or 20 would be a fair amount on my frame and perfectly reasonable considering what I previously weighed.
Yes I think I need to find some sort of middle ground that is more doable and less time consuming and just keeps me in the habit of exercising regularly. It is also pretty important to me that my girls grow up thinking exercise is a normal (not dreaded) part of life... something I never had modeled for me.

Amy said...

"since last January..."
2007, just so you know that I don't think that I have it all figured out because I got to goal a month ago.

BTW, I'm also secure in the fact that I'll never have it "all figured out."

-ap

Mrs. Furious said...

Hey guys!

I've got to wrangle the kids up and go to the mall so I can finally make some Christmas returns before it is too late!!!

I'll be back.....

Southern Fried Girl said...

This could very well be your body's way of telling you that you just flat out needed a week off. You had an incredibly stressful week last week and yet continued to work out which, HI, is more than most people would have done. I say quit being so hard on yourself and get back to it next week. Enjoy this time of vegging out (we all need it, darlin) and when you go back to climbing treadmill mountains, you will do it with a renewed vigor. :)

Marie said...

I second the idea of training for a sprint triathalon or 5k. My dh decided to start training last year for his sprint triathalon after losing a significant amount of weight. Before this, there was really no exercise. But knowing on xxx date that you are going to have to swim/bike/run really gives you a goal to strive for. At first, his goal was to just finish. Then, as he trained and got stronger, he wanted to "beat" his training times. And the actual race was awesome! He did great, and the sense of accomplishment was GREAT. He did a few of them last summer, but over the winter has really let the exercise thing go. Now he is starting to talk about training for an olympic sprint in the spring.

Just an idea, and gives you an "end point" to reach for rather than the indefinite "well, this is for the rest of my life....". Plus, how awesome to say, "oh, yeah, I do triathalons in my spare time. no big deal." That will make some jaws drop at the playground!

katieo said...

You can't do it.
Just give up.


(no I don't really think that. But I'm just in the same boat and was thinking the other day maybe if I had someone to prove wrong I would kindle the fire a little more...)

I was going to suggest an event, but I'm running a 10K in a couple of weeks and am no where near the motivational push that I was when I had more weight to lose.

Here's the thing. I just don't think a lower body fat percentage is going to be something that makes you push. (just my opinion, of course). It just doesn't seem like something you're willing to sacrifice that much for. Is there something else that's more exciting to reward yourself with? I know the reward should truly be great health blah blah blah, but maybe a shopping spree at your goal would jumpstart you? Just a thought...

B2B SEO Copywriting said...

With me nothing I do really works to make the scale go lower, but to keep at it, to keep being healthier and more fit, which is my true goal I just have to set goals for myself. That is the only way I stick with my fitness.

Maybe if you set a goal to run a 5k, half marathon, or something like that you will be motivated. It really helps me. If running isn't your thing maybe you could start an adult club, like softball or something. could be fun for you, and the kids.

Mr Furious said...

I think your desire to relax now is probably a combination of being very worn out from Baby

DOUBLE BINGO! Or maybe, YAHTZEE!

GIN!?

I think it is this more than anything else. She is a maniac. She keeps you from recharging at night, and then runs you ragged all day.

Re-aggravating your shoulder isn't helping either...

Mr Furious said...

And...I'm not exactly motivating...

Aaron said...

Baby is still doing the maniacal night wakings? What, is she getting ALL her teeth at once or something?

katieo said...

it's me, not aaron

Amy said...

I'm right there with you. I have been having the worst case of PMS in history and just want comfort food all day. And night.

Part of it is the looming plan of procreation. I feel like working on weight loss at this point is futile.

I am just feeling blah-y.

eurydice said...

i'm surprised at all of these "excuse" comments. you aren't exercising because of this or that etc. i love working out, but i still have to psyche myself up EVERY time i go to the gym.

maybe your goals are too high. maybe you should only aim to work out 3 times a week, but do it! and if you miss one day, make it up during the same week. 6 cardio sessions a week is a lot of pressure and isn't realistic when you are dealing with things you can't control, like babies who cry or won't sleep. so you could aim for 3, as a minimum, and anything else will just boost your esteem more.

eurydice said...

ps i don't mean to sound too harsh lol!

Mrs. Furious said...

Okay I'm back.... give me a sec to read through all these.

Although I will say I read the first line of Katieo's comment and started cracking up!

Mrs. Furious said...

Amy P,
"The funny thing is, your blog (along w/ Phit-N-Phat, sister skinny, bootcamp buddies)helps keep me motivated to be healthy, active, and "on top of it" at home. "
I know.... I hate when I'm having a de-motivation phase ;) Mostly because I do want to keep everyone else motivated that all this is doable and maintainable... but at the same time maybe validate that we all have our "I'm just not that into phase" too. Hopefully I'll find a way to snap out of it and get back to my motivational roots ;)

Heather said...

I think it's a matter of your perfectionism, Missy. Dial down your expectations. Cut yourself some slack, and realize that for whatever reason, you needed a break. Maybe mentally. Maybe physically. But make a no-more loafing deadline or a day when you'll start the new plan for the week. Aim for 3-4 times a week, and maybe do a new routine (possibly shorter). Then the following week, add more time to your workouts, or make things a wee more challenging. Work back up to where you want to be, but do it in baby steps.

Mrs. Furious said...

Jennifer,
Yes you are right about the surgery stress and whatnot... I think I am definitely crashing from an extreme stress overload.
and
"Downtime is needed and it is not a bad thing. It becomes a bad thing when it turns into laziness. There is a difference."
I agree but for me I also fear there is a really slippery slope between the two. And that does make me nervous.

Mrs. Furious said...

Nutmeg,
you touch on the pain issue...
If I'm working out all the time my pain is much more manageable... but if my pain flares I want to "rest" which seems reasonable, but the lack of exercise only exacerbates the pain and it becomes a bad cycle. Even if I'm aching I kind of need to keep it up just to stop the cycle from continuing. Knowing that and doing it are two different things unfortunately.

The idea of competing in a 5K or some such thing doesn't really appeal to me only because I am so injury prone.... but I do need to try and find something.



Marie,
" Plus, how awesome to say, "oh, yeah, I do triathalons in my spare time. no big deal." That will make some jaws drop at the playground!"
Okay that is hilarious and I might have to reconsider ;)
Can you just walk 5Ks and whatnot though? I really shouldn't be running on my knees.
I could see getting into wanting to beat your previous time like your DH does.
Okay maybe I'll look into it.

Mrs. Furious said...

Katieo,
"I just don't think a lower body fat percentage is going to be something that makes you push."
LOL... apparently not, right?!

I would love to see if I could do it (in theory) but in reality I'm not even sure 3% loss is a big enough deal that I would even notice.
Shopping spree? You know I'm too cheap for that;)
But you are all right I need to find something. Because I do honestly fear (as it has happened in the past) that when I get comfortable and start easing up everything stays great for awhile... and then.... I slowly and almost imperceptibly start to gain it back.

What should my goal be????

Mrs. Furious said...

Mr F,
"And...I'm not exactly motivating..."
I almost spit my drink out at that one!



Katieo,
"What, is she getting ALL her teeth at once or something?"
Yep. Literally. All four top broke through and then I had a one week reprieve and now she is clearly starting on the bottoms. Her clothes are so drenched in drool it is disgusting. And of course now she is coming down with something. I cannot wait for summer... no colds and all these little teeth will be through. It's been rough but there is nothing that can be done but just wait until she has cut them. Kid's came in much earlier and were not nearly as disruptive.


Amy (CA),
"I'm right there with you. I have been having the worst case of PMS in history and just want comfort food all day. "
There is also a little of this going on. My cycle has been lot more exaggerated the last few months... I think I'm still getting evened out postpartum and it is definitely making me feel more erratic hormonally and energy wise. I'm due to get my period this week and I feel like the life force has been sucked out of me. I also just ate a rice crispy treat....

Mrs. Furious said...

Cara,
I was just talking to my niece about maybe taking dance classes with her. That would get me active in a way that I enjoy and also fuel me to keep working out so I wasn't both the oldest and most out of shape woman in a class of teenagers ;) could be humiliating... could be motivational ;)


Eurydice,
Not too harsh. And I actually think of you when I don't work out ... and when I wrote this. Because you always do it. You're maintaining and you still don't take a break. I want to be like you when I grow up ;)
I've been still doing like 3-4 workouts a week. The thing is that I like to eat and I don't really want to have to go back to worrying about that part. I really want to exercise enough (which is feasible considering I am maintaining) to just live w/o counting calories, etc. I also really want to add strength training and I think that is the part that is problematic. I think 3-4 hours of cardio is enough for me to maintain.... but I need to keep that and do strength on top and that is hard to fit in. I don't have unlimited time to workout... I really only have an hour and typically stuff doesn't happen in the week to disrupt my schedule so I can't workout.


I think if I had a way to workout in the day I would be more motivated to do it. It is really hard to do it after dinner and right before I put the kids to bed... I just want to crash on the couch by then.
Maybe it is time I joined a gym with a daycare folks.
It would also allow me to change my workouts up a bit. Lets face it hitting the treadmill is getting old. I hear about people's ellipticals and I get jealous...LOL.

Mrs. Furious said...

SFG,
"Enjoy this time of vegging out (we all need it, darlin) and when you go back to climbing treadmill mountains, you will do it with a renewed vigor. :)"
I do agree with this... and tried this intentionally last month and found it to be true. I think taking a scheduled break is effective and also removes the guilt. Saying I'm going to pump out 5 workouts and then just not doing it isn't working for me physically or psychologically.

Mrs. Furious said...

Heather,
"But make a no-more loafing deadline or a day when you'll start the new plan for the week. Aim for 3-4 times a week"

Okay. You are right. I'm going to workout tonight and Sat & Sun... just 30 min of cardio. Then next week I'm going to give myself a smaller than usual goal... so I can get back in the groove.

emmyjw said...

I totally agree with Heather, you just need to dial it back a bit, do 30 minutes because it really seems like nothing when youve been doing 60-90, and when you feel like it, do more. You look fantastic and you aren't getting any sleep so you need to cut yourself some slack. I need to tell myself this same message, I get very all or nothing with my perfectionism and it really derails me when things get crazy and I have to change my goal.

Amy said...

"...but at the same time maybe validate that we all have our "I'm just not that into phase" too."

That is one of the reasons why I find motivation in blogs like yours. Your posts are very honest and often reflect how I'm feeling.

Also, interesting comment from Mr. Furious. I have to say that I was seriously de-motivated for close to a month, I dragged through my workouts and just didn't feel like I had it together.

My husband? Was taking a break from his running/ swimming routine since Christmas and I think that I was maybe just a smidge ticked at him for not taking care of himself. Now that he's back in action, it's like the whole family is re-energized. Definitely not a solution to de-motivation, but an interesting angle.

Mrs. Furious said...

Amy,
well hopefully I can continue to motivate you with my de-motivation tactics;)

God... I really DON'T want to workout... but I am going to go do it. I've just got to break the cycle.
I served dinner a little early so I can do it and still relax a wee bit.



Emmy,
"I get very all or nothing with my perfectionism and it really derails me when things get crazy and I have to change my goal."
word.
Yes... I'm just going to go try and do 30 min HIIT and just actually get back into doing it.
But I really AM tired :( I just have to keep telling myself that the exercise will energize me.

Deb said...

I know most people won't cry you a river over that news, but I can identify. I'm thin. My metabolism isn't what it was when I was in my early-30's, but I still consider myself genetically fortunate. But I want to be muscular and athletic looking again. I took the baby weight off ages ago, but can't seem to motivate myself to do anything more. The winter chill is not helping... excuses, excuses, right?

Soooo... how to get out of the rut... Suggestions?

Kelly O said...

My suggestion for getting out of a rut? START. Just START. You have to START doing whatever it is you are going to do ~ running, elliptical, a weight session, whatever. And START NOW. Because whatever it is that YOU DO, once you START - seriously, within 10 minutes of that workout, I can virtually guarantee that you will be saying, "Wow, I'm so glad I"m doing this, this feels so great". And when you are done, you will feel good about yourself because you are doing something that is good for you, for your health and well-being - and that ends up being good for your family. Don't wait until Monday or Sunday, start NOW. And some others might hate me or totally disagree, but I do not agree with setting lower goals and just "accepting" that life is busy and so on and so on. We all have the tendency to create a "snowball" situation ~ its our choice to decide if that is a good snowball (i.e. starting a workout program and then the first one motivates you and makes you feel great so you do it again the next day, and then you find yourself eating better and enjoying your day more VS. not working out, then feeling tired and lethargic and being tempted to eat crap, thus feeling guilty and more tired and lethargic and not motivated....I'm sure both have happened to all of us, but I personally like the former NOT the latter) or if we will CREATE and maintain a bad snowball. Its our choice and no one else's. But if I chose to constantly give in and not remind myself how important these personal goals are ~ well I'm destined to build up unhealthy fat and compromise my health. Right now I'm working with my trainer to counteract all the years of mediocre attempts at diet/exercise. Not everyone has the same goals, and that is fine. We should not compare ourselves to others, but, the same rules do apply to all of us; as we get older, our bodies change and it is harder to get and/or stay fit. So it will be an effort, it must be a focus if we want to be at our own personal best health and fitness level.
There is that old saying that says, "Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels" right, well I choose to look at that in a slightly different way. For me, I feel SO GOOD when I'm working out, when I'm challenging myself and reaching new heights; I feel good physically, emotionally - and it carries over in to my day to day life. I love hearing from my co-worker who says, "Your dedication inspires me daily" - and she has lost 30lbs in her late 40's and looks and feels amazing. And yet, on the contrary, when I get in a rut, I FEEL LIKE CRAP emotionally. I feel lazy and lethargic physically. I look at myself in the mirror and start to think negative thoughts. So, I think for those reasons alone, not to mention, heck yes, it sure is nice to look GREAT, but for the feel great vs. feel bad stuff, I choose to continue to Press On. Never Give Up. You will thank yourself for it within 5 minutes. I know it!!!
And Mrs. F I second what someone else said in that your blog inspires and teaches a LOT of people ~ maybe you use that as yet another thing to motivate you to start again.....you are making an impact by your example for others and that is a great feeling. I love seeing that in my own small way I've been helping others, its a great feeling to motivate someone and watch how much better they feel about themselves and life in general.
I know I'll be reading a post from you soon about how fantastic you feel again. Look what you did with your CLEAN HOUSE!!! you can do ANYTHING!!! Anything!
;-)

Mrs. Furious said...

Kelly O,
" We all have the tendency to create a "snowball" situation ~ its our choice to decide if that is a good snowball "
Very good point. And that is definitely where I am coming from... knowing that four days off is the start of a bad snowball. I worked out yesterday it didn't give me quite the "I'm back on the horse" feeling it usually does... but I have to move forward. Because I am not willing to move backward. I'm just not.
Yeah it was kind of interesting how many people were willing to give me an out on this. But you are right in that with my life and my kids I will always have perfectly reasonable excuses lined up for me if I chose to use them... but it won't get me one step closer to where I want to be or who I want to be, etc. I envy your training and your competition goals. I do wish I had something to work towards that was a "real" inspirational goal and not one I just pull out of my ass ;)
And you are right about the blog and the motivating others... that itself is often a motivation and does re-inspire me. It should be noted that I am due for my period and I could just be down and uninspired because of that. I'm going to get it back! I AM!

Kelly O said...

Mrs. F ~ you absolutely will get it back. Sometimes, you know, we all go through our ruts and I've had to have someone else encourage me for several days, and then when I finally get back in my groove, its a great rush. I see that in others, that thrill of excitement/achievement of doing the kick butt thing vs. the give up thing. Take a look around each day and see how many people in this country are just plodding through life; I was out to dinner last night and it really made me SAD to see all these overweight, really overweight men and women come in and they don't even look like they are having fun in life anymore....I wish I could movitate all of them to do more, to be more so they can have more and give more in their lives......
and also, the time of the month is killer. I'm amazed as I get older how much my body/mind changes during TTOM, I hate it!! This week, I'm facing my own issues because I fell on Monday on the ice, totally wiped out and injured myself pretty bad. I had to cancel an upper body workout Tuesday, then I had some kind of odd food poisining thing Wednesday and had to cancel my session with my trainer. I worked out Thursday night, had plans last night, and now today, I'll be honest, my shoulder is still REALLY kind of hurting and I'm fighting with myself - should I push it and work out today, is that pushing it too much when I should rest my "injury"? Or am I taking advantage of this lame "injury" to be lazy? Its a constant battle between my Good Kelly and Bad Kelly. Bad Kelly wants to lay low, read fitness blogs, and take it easy. Good Kelly says get your buttocks to the gym and KICK BUTT.
We'll see if I can have Good Kelly kick Bad Kelly's butt.
;-)

Mrs. Furious said...

Kelly O,
"should I push it and work out today, is that pushing it too much when I should rest my "injury"? Or am I taking advantage of this lame "injury" to be lazy?"
Oh that is COMPLETELY what I do to myself. Sometimes if I let the self debate get out of hand I'll get annoyed enough with myself and just workout so I can shut up about it already! I actually have a shoulder injury this week too... ugh it is really painful...but I know if I'm on the treadmill I'm actually NOT using my shoulder so it isn't really a good excuse. Okay I'm doing it. I'm going to do at least 70 minutes.

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