Starting over is often met with apprehension and a strong dislike. Starting over seems to suggest something didn’t go well. Starting over means you are back to square one. Or does it? What if we change the way we look at the idea of starting over? It’s a new opportunity, a new chance, a clean slate if you will. Truly none of us really want to be in a position where starting over isn’t an option.
Right now I’m speaking directly to, you guessed it, weight loss. Fuck. I’m even bored with myself at this point but here we are. I finished the bet I was in at the end of March and I even won. Then without competition and the fear of losing and being over watching every morsel of food that went into my mouth, feeling guilty about anything less than ideal; I took things a little too far the other way.
I stopped meal planning, I almost gave up vegetables all together. Water became optional and soon I was mainlining sugar with such a vengeance I made Willy Wonka look like a goddamned health nut in comparison.
And now my pants don’t fit.
Legit. I am limited as to what pants I can wear and have to make choices based on how long I’ll have to wear said pants, if I’ll need to sit down or not, and if I do have to sit down for any length of time will I be afforded the opportunity to undo my button if needed? Flowy tops are my new BFF. I mean we were always pretty tight but now we’re back to sleepovers and braiding each other’s hair and shit.
I was still working out though. Then I wasn’t. My last workout until this morning was May 4th. So yeah, I know, 10 days off isn’t the end of the world but it’s a slippery slope. I was quite content to lie in my bed in the mornings and scroll Instagram until I dragged myself downstairs to drink coffee and maybe have cookies for breakfast. Some days I put on my sports bra and workout clothes on to do this. I would throw a hoodie and sweats over top under the pretense that I was going to maybe do some yoga after I finished my coffee. Then one cat video or offside meme after another and before I knew it, I had plumb run out of time to get my workout done!
I was trying to be chill, accepting, and forgiving of myself. I told myself I’d just go buy new clothes. I looked at other women, when out, and decided all shapes and sizes are pretty fantastic and history has taught me that men just like the female body, in just about any form, my husband doesn’t have any complaints, isn’t a real fit guy himself, and so screw it, another round of Blizzards on me!
It’s like I forgot who I am.
I’m not saying I shouldn’t love and accept myself as is, nor am I negating the idea that all body types are beautiful. I’m saying I should have realized that when I put on jeans Saturday (May 13th) that were bought March 30th, and I could only wear them for half a day and then nearly had to have them surgically removed? That this would bother me.
It bothered me for a couple of reasons: 1) I am cheap as fuck. I got 2 new pairs of jeans that day and they are both easily the most expensive pairs of jeans I have ever owned in my life and NOW SIX WEEKS LATER THEY DON’T FIT BECAUSE I CAN’T SAY NO TO A PEANUT M&M?! #mynameisno That’s not okay. Also up until this week my husband was unemployed and has been so since June of last year.* I feel so guilty about spending that much money on pantses when money is tight and now they are basically just keeping a couple of hangers in place in our closet. Gah. 2) I like to look a certain way and I’m not going to apologize for that. I am not aiming for perfection but I am aiming for a fit, toned body, sans back fat, and would prefer to rock just one chin. 3) I’ve literally worked my ass off for just over 2 years now and I am not actually willing to throw it away because I’m lazy and immature. You see part of my problem is that I throw hissy fits (mostly in my head) about not being able to eat whatever I want. Delayed gratification is not my strong suit. I’m impulsive and impatient by nature so when I decide I want a chocolate bar, I WANT IT NOW because it will taste good NOW and I’ll feel good NOW and not eating a chocolate bar (or bars) will make me feel and look good later and I don’t want to wait until later when the Twix bar is right there and it will taste sooo good.
Don’t tell me I can have ‘a’ chocolate bar. I know one piece of candy does not make or break anyone’s fitness level or overall health and well being. I know I can eat one chocolate bar and still be healthy. Problem is I’m still working on one chocolate bar not leading to a bag of candy, five cookies, and a half a box of cold cereal washed down with a handful of chocolate chips.
So here I go again. I worked out this morning. It felt good for the most part. The conversation that took place in my head was the following: ‘Ugh. I don’t want to do this. Does it really matter if I’m ‘fat’? I’m tired. I hate Autumn (instructor on the video with 0% body fat and an annoying way of telling me I can do anything for 60 seconds – bitch you don’t know me).’
Halfway through: ‘I feel great. I’m a fucking beast. I need heavier weights. I am the queen of fitness and She-Ra Princess of Power!’
Last couple of exercises: ‘This hurts. This is dumb. She never eats any real food to have abs like that.’
What’s described above is me basically every time I work out, no matter what the workout is – unless it’s cardio and then it’s just rage screaming with the word HATE intermittently echoing throughout.
I never regret doing it though but have learned if I don’t have an external motivator I lose focus and drive. Right now those jeans are my motivator. I 100% believe if I didn’t have those in my closet I’d have very easily and unhappily let all I’ve worked toward slip away. I’d just be out right now shopping for a pair of nice sensible slacks with an elasticized waist and maxi dresses. Except not because see above re: cheap.
I realize it’s not like I’m starting from ground 0. 10 days sans exercise isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things. I did not physically struggle with today’s workout the way I did when I first did that very same workout in June 2015. Where I’m starting over is in my head. I still don’t know that I’m going to go back to a strict meal plan of any sort. For now my goal is not to eat cupcakes for breakfast and re-visit my friend and yours, the vegetable. The reason I’m not going hardcore diet-wise is I am going to finally respect what I’ve known all along and that’s when I feel deprived or restricted, I fail. I binge as an act of rebellion (against who or what I’m not sure because ultimately it’s only me who pays the price!).
So whether it’s your health and wellness, your career, a relationship, or growing out your hair after a hastily executed self-bang trim? Don’t think of starting over as negative or a failure, it’s not. It’s an opportunity to do it better, do it right, forgive yourself, and leave the rest behind. Maybe it won’t be the last time you have to start over; maybe you’ll struggle and fall, but you will have learned something and as luck would have it? You can try again!
*My husband got a job this week and starts Thursday. That’s all I’m going to say about that because as much as I share every second of my life with you, his life is his own. That being said I’m proud of and excited for him!