Thursday, 22 January 2015

Always try one more time

This is a blog post for myself: for me over the past 11 months and for me in the future.  I won't be writing it conversationally or in the first person because that just sounds weird.  But it is, at the same time, a bit of a keepsake post for me.

As always though, this is also a post for you!  And so it should be, when I check the date of my last blog post!  That's a bit embarrassing!  I didn't post once in December!  I'm sorry that I've had a bit of a break, it wasn't intentional.  December was beyond insane for me at work, and then of course it was Christmas. And hey, it's also just me! #hopelessatcomms

The only social media that I'm 'good at' (as in, actually use, regularly), is Instagram.  Someone described my Instagram as a bit of a 'mini blog' the other day, and I liked that description, because that's really what it is.  You should always be able to see where I'm at, pretty much day to day, on my Instagram.  That doesn't mean I'm going anywhere here!  Quite the opposite.  I need to blog for myself this year, so be ready for an (appropriate amounted) onslaught of posts coming up. :)

I have heaps to catch you up on, but I wanted to write this out first.

So, where am I?

My last post I was up to Attempt #39981 of my weight loss journey.  I was going great guns, I
Me training last week
was 13 days into it, and....

Would it be any great surprise if I said I stuffed it up?

I then attempted for the 39982nd, 39983rd and 39984th time throughout December.  I failed each of those times, also.  I didn't get to where I wanted to be by our Straddie boot camp camping trip, nor did I reach many of the other goals I set myself around that time.

Because that's what I do - I fall over and fail all the time.

But if you've followed me for any short amount of time, you'll also know the other thing that I do.

I get up every time.

Every single one of those 39984 times, I got up.  Sometimes I wonder to myself, how on earth I have the stamina, the desire, or the confidence to get up - all the time.  And I guess, the answer is, because deep inside, I want it bad.  The stamina comes and goes at different levels.  Usually I don't have the confidence, or I fake it.  But the desire - that's what keeps me going.

After the several new restarts and fails through December, I started again on the 1st January.  A totally cliche date and I couldn't care less.  It suited me.

I have so many goals for this year - so much I want to do, big, huge dreams.  But the first 3
weeks of 2015 has seen me focus on just one thing: getting back on track.  Yeah yeah, I do that with every attempt.  But this year, I have put my heart and soul, and all of my effort into it - and have been focusing on getting into a routine that works for me.

It's now the 22nd of January and I really haven't done much else towards my other goals yet.  But this goal is one of my biggest this year and it's so important to me - so I've really put everything else to one side to get this one going well from the start.

And I'm happy to say, that I've made it work.  I've gotten my nutrition and exercise star every single day of this year, as in, I haven't strayed once from what I set for myself, and so far I've lost 5.9kg.  Yep, it's only Day 22 - but this is the longest I've stayed completely on track in about a year.  I seem to fall down at the 2 week mark, usually.  When I surpassed the 14th January, it felt pretty good, and just further cemented what I already feel inside: that this time it's working.

Now do you know how embarrassing that is to say?  If you've followed me for even a month - let alone the whole 2 and half years I've been on this journey, you would have heard me say that very thing before.  "This time it's working."  "It's early days but I know I've got it."  "I'm back on track." etc.

So to be saying it again, as public as this blog is, is extremely embarrassing.  But that's the very reason for this post.

Back in December, when I got on track one of the recent times, I told myself that I need to
More stars than I've had in a year!
record this!  How did I turn it back around?  I needed to write down how I did it!  Because in a years time, I may want to remember, or someone might need some encouragement, and I wanted to be able to tell them what I did.  I was all set to blog about it, my turnaround point, and ......

Yeah you guessed it, I stuffed up.

So here I am again.  I've turned it around (again), and now I want to record how.

This is for anyone out there who may have fallen down for the 6000th time and be feeling a bit hopeless. 

This is for me, in a years time, when I want to look back and think 'wow, that time actually worked.  How on earth did I do that?'

And it's for me - the past 11 months me - to show myself that it is possible to pull yourself back out.  It can be done, and I did it.  (Well, I'm starting it at the moment)!

To go so far backwards in your weight loss journey isn't an overnight thing - just as how you got there in the first place wasn't.  Nope - it starts off gently, and it develops gradually.  Little by little, things: behaviours, feelings, thoughts that you thought were long gone, creep back in.  Clothes that you worked so hard to fit into, begin to become a little tight, until they no longer fit. 

Gradually though...

I think if you went to sleep and woke up (in my case) 11 months later, you'd be horrified and jump straight into action.

But when it's gradual, it takes a while for you to notice the little things.

I wrote this blog post when I started this journey.  It was about why I started to lose weight.  I didn't have one big defining 'moment', such as an awful holiday photo or publicly breaking a chair.  Instead, I had a multitude of little moments that built up and finally got me to the point where I knew that I wanted to change.

Late last year, I started recognising myself revisiting many of these moments.  It's horrifying stuff.
  • I started wearing mainly all black again, because it hid so much.
  • I went back to only having a few outfits that I could wear and having to wash clothes every 1-2 nights.
  • One day last month, my thighs started chafing from rubbing together, and bled.  This used to be a regular thing for me, when I was 141kg.  To have it happen once again was awful enough.
  • Buttons that were loose earlier in the year, began gaping.
  • I went out to dinner with some friends from boot camp and was so hot - I'd been wearing a jacket all day (in December!) because I felt so uncomfortable with what I was wearing.  It was now a spontaneous dinner and I was just over it and all I wanted to do was to take my jacket off.  I texted my trainer who knows how I feel, who was seated across the table, to tell her how terrified I was (and how hot I was).  She had to coach me, via text, through taking it off.  Earlier in the year I was wearing tight singlets.  And here I was seated amongst a group of girls who I'm comfortable with - they see me sweating and heaving with weights etc., and I was feeling like this.
  • I became slower and less agile.
  • Aeroplane seatbelts still fit, but I started having to lengthen them to do them up...
  • My sides started touching the plane seat arm rests, as well.
  • I started shopping occasionally in the 'big' clothes sections again.
  • I started worrying about my weight on chairs again, and stopped sitting as much.  I thought those days were over...
  • And the most heartbreaking one: Last year I sat on a couch next to Mish and told her about how I used to hide behind poles in nightclubs when I was younger, because I was so embarrassed about my size.  She commented on it, something about what a sad thing that was, that I felt the need to hide in my every day life.  Her response resonated with me and it was a pretty defining and special moment, because I was able to smile and say that I'm not like that anymore - now I can walk around now with my head held high.  That was in February.  By December, I started hiding again.  Not exactly behind nightclub poles (!) but I started hiding away again, rushing through the shops with my head in my phone, trying to avoid eye contact, and trying to get out of there as soon as possible.  Every time I 'hid', in whatever form, I remembered that special conversation and it disappointed me so much that I was heading back to that state.

I guess it just gets to a point where there's just too many moments reminding you of how you used to be, and you realise that you have to change things soon, otherwise
you're going to have ALL of the moments again.

But this time is different to how you were when you started out, at your heaviest.  The good part is, this time you already know what to do.  You've done it before, so you have personal proof that it's possible.  But the bad part is, this time: you've beat yourself up so much, you're feeling horrified at where you are, you have zero self esteem or self confidence, and, for me anyway, you're also feeling pretty down, or depressed.

This time it feels harder to get into it, if that is possible.

Me now (on the right lol)
It took me a good 11 months to both stuff up to ridiculous proportions, and to turn it all back around.  11 whole months.  What was more heartbreaking than seeing myself stuff up some very hard work of mine, was to recognise what I was doing, but seemingly have no power to stop it.  There were some times last year where I thought that I really can't do this!  I'd stuffed up so many times, I stopped believing in myself, I'd gone so far backwards and I had no confidence.

How do you try again when you're feeling like that?

You do it anyway.

I realised to myself that when I started back at 141kg, I didn't feel confident, or great about myself, or happy.  But I started anyway, and those things came over time.

So I decided I had to do the same now.  I didn't have to feel amazing to start.  Those feelings would come, once I worked for them.

And the other thing is, I just had to keep trying.  No matter how many failed attempts I had in the last 11 months, I had to keep trying again.  Sometimes it takes a few attempts to make something happen.  In my case, it can take 9214 attempts.  But hey - whatever it takes.  If I didn't try that 9214th time, I would have never have known if that was the try that I would actually make work.

I guess my little #operationcomeback has been a combo of:
  • Knowing that I can't let myself go back to where I started from.  I was moving so dangerously close to my start weight (I'm still a long way off - but heading there!) - and I know in my heart that I can't let that happen.  Those little moments that were starting up again, terrified me as much as they did when I started at the beginning.
  • 'Trying anyway' - no matter how bad I feel right now, just doing it anyway.
  • And just trying, time and time again.  Never giving up.  It's funny how when you don't believe in yourself, there's something inside you that helps you try just 'one more time.'  If you keep going, eventually it has to work.

So, this post is for me, and for anyone out there who may have 'stuffed up' like me.  You're not alone.  There are so many people in a similar situation.  This is just life, we're human, and it's just one of those hurdles we have to jump over.  Ok, it's a frigging huge ass hurdle.  But it's normal, and it's ok.  Whether you've slipped a little, or gone the whole way back, I want you to know that it is possible to move forward again.  Yes, it's heartbreaking.  It's also embarrassing.  And it'll probably be harder than when you first started out.

But it is possible.  Just keep trying again and again, until you get it right.

And you will.