Sunday, 2 February 2014

Working for the dream

I know I always say this :)  But I have so much to tell you.  I still have a few stories to catch up on from the last two weeks including my triple event day, my latest half marathon, and to tell you
about some exciting things coming up and other stuff that's happened.  But I want to tell you firstly about birthday :)

If you follow me on Instagram or have seen my posts on the forums, Twitter or Facebook, you will know the outlines of how it went down...but I wanted to tell you all about it here, because, of course, I would anyway, but also as a bit of a keepsake 'diary entry' for myself so that I can remember it forever.  It was one of the best days of my life :)  

Because I have no filter on the length of my posts (lol), I'm going to split this story up over two posts.  This one is a summary of my round and the lead up to my birthday...the next one will be about the result :)

To refresh, or to explain if you're a new reader, Wednesday was my birthday, and it was also the last weigh in Wednesday of Round 4.  I decided at the start of the round that this would be a perfect goal date to make some big goals happen by - and that is where "Operation Birthday", or #operationbirthday, was dreamed up.

I made some big goals, some fairly intricate plans, and I started on my mission.  I threw everything into it.  

My completed star chart for #operationbirthday
I made my goal sticker star chart which kept me on track like nothing else.  Every single day for 12 weeks, I stood in front of the chart, usually late at night in my pyjamas, and gave myself a star sticker if I had stuck to my nutrition, exercise, water and sleep goals for that day.  One sticker per category, per day, and extra big weekly stickers every Sunday night.  I made a beautiful rewards jar to go with it, and for every star sticker I got, a dollar went in the jar.  I didn't know exactly what I would spend the money on, but I knew that it would be a reward of some type.

I focused more diligently on pre-season and Mish videos, on my diary / calendar and on food prep.  At the start of the round I did the hugest cook up in the world and overloaded my freezer, introduced pillow cases instead of my pencil cases, and most weeks I prepped all of my food on the weekend, for the week ahead.

I did more exercise, I tried to get out for more runs and I started doing a lot of stair climbs in the safety of my apartment block.  I continued to surround myself with people whe support me, and used anything I could to keep me on track.  Countdown apps on my phone, motivational wallpaper, anything I could do to keep me on track, I did.  I scheduled days off to keep me excited, and the rest of the time I was super strict.  

I have no idea how I managed to do this at the same time, but I also tried to improve my relationship with food and cure my own eating disorders.  I've asked unsuccessfully for professional help for that one too many times and to be honest, I have given up.  There's only so many times I can handle being turned away from professional help before I refuse to ask again.  I had to suddenly get really strong and have started curing myself.  And it's working.  I feel more in control of it than I have in 17 years.  My relationship with food has improved and I have never
My bra comparison last week!  Double GG to ... smaller
been more proud of myself.

I faltered as well - for the middle few weeks of the round, I was pretty slack.  The first 4 weeks were brilliant, and it was kind of like I became a little complacent for a few weeks.  I didn't go off track, but I also didn't put 100% into it.  Complacency + slackness unsurprisingly eventuated into 3 days of complete and utter bingeing.

Because of this, about a month ago, it got to the point where I had to readjust my #operationbirthday / Week 12 goal.  I stressed about it a bit, I don't like changing goals!  I am very determined and once I make a goal, I like to stick to it!  But there comes a point where you have to be realistic.  And your goals are yours to adjust as needed - they are your goals.  So even though it was a bit tough, I adjusted it and refocused.

My new goal was to get to 91kg.  91kg meant so much.  Not only did it mean I would have lost 50kg in total, it would also have meant I would have lost over 20kg in the round, and would have officially have shifted from the BMI category of 'Obese', to 'Overweight'.  And that I would have less than 30kg to go until my goal weight.  Being a member of the 30+ crew, this is significant milestone.  It would also mean I would have hit 35% of my weight loss.  So many cool things rided on that number!  As much as I was upset at having to make a new goal, this one was still so, so cool, that I started to get excited about it. 

I considered that what if I worked so hard and didn't actually make it?  There's only so much we can do to help us shift weight - we physically can't dictate numbers on the scales.  Our bodies are biological, not mathematical.  Having everything riding on a number goal is risky.  I didn't want to be upset on my birthday because I didn't make my goal!

I had a good, long, hard think about it and decided that if I made it to the 29th January and fell
Me at my half marathon on Sunday
short of my 91kg, it was ok, as long as I could know, within myself, with true conviction, that I had put absolutely everything into trying to make it happen.  If I knew I had given 110%, even if I didn't make the number, then that was present enough for me.

But I had to work my backside off - I needed to know within myself that I had given it everything.  I was pretty proud of how mature and reasonable I was being.

Then, somewhere in between being reasonable and the 29th January, in about Week 10, for some reason, my mindset changed.  I somehow decided that no, I would in fact be upset if it didn't happen.  OMG Kate!  Am I annoying or what?  I reasoned with myself and thought it all out and tried to get back to my old way of thinking.

But no matter how much I tried, I couldn't do it.  I had to make this goal happen, or I would be disappointed.  Far out.  Way to make a rod for my own back!  I knew I was being silly.  I knew there was only so much I could do!  I couldn't control the scales!  But - my mindset had other ideas and I decided it had to happen otherwise I would be really upset.  Don't worry, I kicked my own backside with my silly mindset!

I decided that fine, if I'm going to be unreasonable with myself and want this so much then I had to continue what I started, and continue to work hard.  I put absolutely everything into it, and every day visualised making 91kg / 20kg lost for the round / 50kg lost overall by my birthday.  I also tried every day to calm down and tell myself that it was ok if I didn't.  But the pig headed side of me wouldn't allow it.  I had to make it happen. #iamsoannoying

I was nervous.  Week 11 saw me putting on weight.  This was after a week of absolute 100% perfect nutrition and exercise.  It was a stark reminder to myself, that no matter how much you try, your body has so much more going on inside, and you can predict all you like, but you just cannot control what the scales decide to do.

I refused to give up and kept going.  I tried to keep focused and one major thing that I did was learn to listen to my body.  In Week 11 I started to get sick - I knew it was from being run down.  Work has been manic, I was exercising like a nut case some days, I wasn't sleeping much and my body started to show it.  I had absolutely no spare time - zero.  And that was on 4 hours sleep a night - if that.  When I found myself crying like an overtired baby a couple of days in a row, I knew I had to change.  As much as I had only a week or so to go, I listened to my body.  I gave myself a couple of unplanned rest days.  I got a bit more sleep.  I stepped things down a notch.  I wanted this goal more than anything but nothing was worth stressing my body out to the point of getting sick.

I am blessed with a pretty amazing immune system, and after a couple of quieter days, I managed to halt the cold in it's tracks and got better.  I jumped back up and kept running for that 29th January goal.  To be honest I didn't do too much exercise in that last week.  I did a half marathon on Sunday so I had to taper down for that, and then recover after.  It was difficult to combine tapering, resting to avoid being sick, and bringing home #operationbirthday with a bang, all at the same time.  But I did my best.  The main thing I focused on was nutrition.  I tried to do that 200%.

In the last couple of days, I realised I couldn't do anything more.  I had put everything into the 12 weeks.  I had put my heart and soul into each and every day.  Even the days where I slackened off, my goal was still in my sights.  I wanted this just so much that I could taste and visualise it like nothing else.  Having a number goal for a certain day was risky, especially when you have my dog determined mindset!  But even though my unreasonable measure of satisfaction was
Thank you Al for sending me this the day before xx
at stake (!), I realised the day before that all I could do now was to step back, go to bed, and see what the scales brought me in the morning.  I could do nothing else.  I may be disappointed if I don't see 91kg, but I knew I could also rest assured that I had given it my everything.  And no number on the scale could take that away from me.

Call it apprehension, call it fear, call it excitement, but I went to bed very early on Tuesday night, like a kid on Christmas Eve, waiting to see what the result was in the morning.  It had all come down to this.

And that is Part 1.  Like a TV series cliff hanger, I'll tell you what happened next, in my next post :)

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