Racing the 800lb gorilla

Ever feel like no matter what you do it isn’t enough?

There was a time when I was proud of myself when I got a workout in for the day.  “I got my run in!” I would beam…  And if I got 3 or 4 of those in a week, I would be so excited…

Stupid, type AAA personality triathletes.  They’re a bad influence.  First they sucked me in to triathletes by telling me I wouldn’t drown.  OK… they were right about that… barely.  Then they “encouraged” me to upgrade my equipment (read: sell my soul) so that I would be faster.  ok… they were right about that too… barely.  But the whole concept of multiple workouts a day was beyond me.  I didn’t have time.  I didn’t have energy.  I didn’t have the desire.

Yet here I sit tonight, lamenting the fact that I ONLY got one workout in today.  And worrying that the light snow that is falling will screw up my opportunity to exercise 4 or 5 times THIS WEEKEND.

What the hell happened to me…

Yet I will never blame my well intentioned, if a bit obsessed, friends for this condition I find myself in.  And it’s not my “fault” either.  It’s my choice.  I want to do this.  And I don’t think anyone would find “fault” a good term to describe wanting to lead a healthy lifestyle.  Although some in my life may lead a healthy lifestyle TO a fault.  …and you know who you are…

But it’s hard not to get down a bit sometimes when I look at what I’m doing for exercise (3-4 swims, 4 runs and as much bike trainer time as I can tolerate, plus lifting with my son 3 days a week) and the fact that I have cut ALL the fun out of my diet AND cut back on portions of what’s left… and nothing is happening.

I hear all the chatter about older people (physically, but never mentally and certainly not emotionally), over 40 having a tougher and tougher time losing weight and it makes me worry.  You know the old saying about doing the same thing over and over yet expecting a different result.  I hope that is not my future.

But I guess if it is…  I don’t really want to change it.  I enjoy the exercise and all my type AAA personality friends.  They give me perspective.  I may work out a lot and feel obsessive about it sometimes, but then I hear their stories and… I’m good with where I’m at… 😉

What I really hate though, is knowing what I REALLY need to do as far as eating goes, but not feeling like I’m able to do it.  I “should” be managing every calorie.  I SHOULD be drinking water constantly.  I SHOULD be eliminating even the occasional Coke Zero.  But me asking myself to do that is going to take some time.  Food is comfort for me.  I LOVE food.  I love to cook.  I want to own my own restaurant or coffeeshop someday so I can show people how to do food right.  So asking me to cut back to tiny portions of lifeless, tasteless, squeeze it out of a bag, triathlete feed is a big struggle.  I’ve cut out all the other culinary pleasures in life.  No beer (I used to make my own), no chips… nothing.  And now, like tonight, even though all I had for dinner was an apple, an orange, some greek yogurt and a small piece of cheese pizza, I felt guilty for all of it and REALLY guilty for sharing some popcorn with my daughter during our evening movie.  I hate that.  Feeling guilty for eating.

But I can’t help it.  That’s just how I feel.

But my friend Beth popped off a quote last night on Facebook that was like a punch in the head.  “You can’t out-exercise your diet”.  I’ve known this forever on the inside.  I just wouldn’t admit it to myself openly.  I used to say that it was cool to have a beer or two, a pizza, whatever I wanted because I had just exercised and it all balanced out.  I told myself this lie for years.  As much as I hate to make this the 800lb gorilla in the room, I have to in order to deal with it.  I guess that’s where the guilt comes from.

I know, I know.  One day at a time.  Then 21 days.  Then 21 more.  That’s easy for all of my fit, type AAA triathlon friends to say in encouragement.  And it’s appreciated.  But they have no idea what it’s like to be fat.  Even if they were at one point.  They beat the 800lb gorilla in their life somehow.  Mine keeps wanting to buy me dinner and drinks.

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