Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Pride Smasher

It was the weigh-in I had always feared; the one I was determined to never see. When you’re on your own it doesn’t sting as much, but it seems to crush you when it happens in a team setting. The scale at the gym showed me up a pound (mine at home showed +0.8). I felt horrible!

Jenni and Debbie reassured me that it happens. After all, it’s not like I was the only one. However, I had worked out every single day (as I typically do) and this wasn’t supposed to happen to “me.” Despite the “it’s ok” talk, I could hardly stand it! “No, it’s not! It’s not me!” I said. I told them I would go get my five bucks and be back to give it to them.

I was fighting back the anger and the tears as I went to the van to get my purse and eat my after weigh-in/before workout snack (hadn’t eaten much all day because of the pending weigh-in). I was so upset that I didn’t want to eat at all, but I knew I shouldn’t workout on an empty stomach. All I could think was, “I hate you, food! I hate you!” as I cried and forced myself to eat. I felt humiliated, angry, frustrated, and like a miserable failure. I never wanted to “add” to my team - not ME, not EVER! Even staying the same would be better than a GAIN! HOW could this have happened?

Well, I knew what had happened. The same thing that ALWAYS happens! Everyone hits their plateaus, but it was more than that. Every time I start losing my focus or relaxing a little too much, this happens. I haven’t been reading my verses lately and last Saturday, when I went to a birthday party, I totally threw caution to the wind. Of course, in my mind, I always think that I can afford to blow it every now and then. Normally, that would probably be true but it’s a huge risk to do that so close to a weigh-in. Not only that, but I knew I wasn’t as good as I could have been and I didn’t burn as many calories as I normally burn (even though I worked out EVERY day). Yet, I had thought that my good choices would outweigh the bad - but apparently not.

As I tried to process my emotions in the van before going back inside, I realized that it was so much more than just the extra pound. Sure, the humiliation, weight-gain, and paying-in was awful, but I had also had a rough day. I was feeling pretty bad physically. Since eating better (the majority of the time) I notice the difference in how I feel when I eat badly (and Saturday‘s screw-ups must not have worked out of my system yet). When I eat junk (and I highly suspect gluten) I have a lot of physical pain and generally don’t feel well. That day, I had seen an endocrinologist (well, the nurse practitioner). Some blood tests have also been done. So, I’ll see what’s up pretty soon, but I was frustrated nonetheless. My emotions had been messed with a little when it was suggested that I go low-carb to jump start my weight-loss (even though I told her I had already lost ten pounds). ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!! I already measure food and count calories, and am trying to avoid gluten, and NOW I’m supposed to do one more stinkin’ thing?! Not that it’s an altogether bad idea, but really…….seriously…….ONE MORE THING?!!!! I don’t think so! I will try to be more mindful of my carb range, but I’m not going to “buy a carb book” or anything. I am not going to have my mind on food more than I have to!

You know, all I could think of when the low-carb stuff was mentioned was the fact that Jesus said all foods are clean (Mark 7:19). It’s about balance and moderation. If food becomes the focus and the obsession, this is just going to keep going in a bad direction. Counting calories is good accountability for me, but it’s not something I want to do forever. If there’s anything that “The Lord’s Table” course taught me, it was that I don’t want food to be my focus! I don’t want to drive myself crazy with the “wisdom” of people, doctors, and whomever is trying to tell me to do/don’t eat this or that. Gosh, we might as well not eat at all! Dairy is bad; except when it’s good. Carbs are bad; except for the “good” carbs (whatever that means). Meat is bad, gluten is bad, organic only, etc. We’ve heard it all! I try not to listen to all the “science” and restrictive nonsense, but it’s hard when food HAS to be a part of your life and someone is always out there telling you what to do to maximize your health, get thin, etc. However, we are told not to be deceived or let anyone judge and condemn us for our meat or drink. We should not destroy the work of God for the sake of food (Colossians 2:16, Romans 14:20). Whatever we do, or eat, or whatever, just do it for the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Let’s not be deceived by “fine-sounding arguments“ (Colossians 2:3-4). It’s exhausting! Don’t you think?

I think what upsets me the most is the fact that I’ve been doing this so long and feel like all I am ever doing is chasing a 150 lb. golden carrot on pole that is strapped to my back. No matter what I learn, or how good/bad I do, I just never get to that golden weight. I’m SO TIRED of being the fat girl in this house! Everyone else can eat whatever they want! They don’t have to eat what I eat (and WON’T no matter how much I want them to try) and I can’t eat what they eat. It’s unfair to us all and it frustrates me when I’m trying to think of how to eat at home (and all eat the same thing). All I want to do is cry because this is the hardest thing in the world to battle because you can’t abstain from food. Everyone has to eat. It would be so much easier to just go cold turkey from just about anything else and never have to go near it again,…but this? I hate that this is always going to be a forever battle in my life! Those of you, like my husband, who maintain a steady weight with little to no effort (and can eat whatever/whenever you want), you have no idea how blessed you are!

All of this weighed heavy on my heart as I sat in the van. All I could ask was “why?” God doesn’t always answer the “whys”. Instead, he sometimes answers with another question. Mine was, “Well, what did you learn?” The temptation was to go with Satan’s twisted view: “I learned that no matter how hard I try, it will never be enough - and neither will I. I failed my team, my blog readers/supporters, You, and myself. I don’t want to workout here tonight. I feel like everyone is staring at me. I’ll just go home and workout.” However, I knew that those were lies and that the BIGGEST failure is if I refused to tough it out and face the gym (and my peers - who were already working out anyways). Furthermore, most of us know that if someone is trying to victimize you, you NEVER allow yourself to be taken to another location (your chances of survival drop). I immediately realized that if I allowed Satan to take me to another location, there was a chance that I would allow myself to engage in more self-pity, tears, etc. and excuse myself from working out at all.

Realizing the assault for what it was, I made up for my bad decisions by making a good one. I decided to force myself to look at and accept the blessing of failure; because I needed to fail. Sometimes, that’s the greatest gift that God can allow. Like Karen Kaehr once said, “when we’re broken, we’re teachable….God doesn’t waste our pain.” I remember that EVERY time I feel so low that I just want to give up (or give all to the point of overcompensation). I had to remind myself that it wasn’t “all or nothing” and that the weigh-in was a total pride smasher. I needed to know what it felt like to be a “gainer” instead of a “loser”. I needed to be reminded that I am not “above the law” and can’t “win” every time. Furthermore, I will be more compassionate of other “gainers”. I haven’t purposely looked down on anyone for gaining, but I admit that being part of a team has made me more adamant about not gaining. Hence, if anyone gained (my team or not) I would find it slightly irritating. Now, I am the “irritant”, and I needed that!

No matter how much we would like to think so, this isn’t “The Biggest Loser.” Not everyone is going to lose every single week. Our real lives aren’t a reality show and we can’t expect the same degree/rate of success. Our personal bests are good enough and if we have “gains”, it really is “ok”. Well, not REALLY “ok” as in “it doesn’t matter” but “ok” in the sense that if we are all at least putting forth a good effort, we don’t have to shame ourselves. I don’t have to feel bad. My gain wasn’t the result of a complete lack of effort. Who knows, it could be muscle gain or just the stockpile of the small mistakes starting to catch up. Overall, I’m happy with how I do and even though I am tempted to agree with Joy that my “the scale isn’t all that matters” talk from last week is rubbish, I think I will still stick with that line lol. ;) The gain sure does entice me to think that the scale really does hold all the sway, but deep down, I know it doesn’t. Like I said a while back, it can “Judge A-Weigh” but my true progress can’t be measured with a scale!

I paid my five bucks and worked out at the gym that night. Even though my Monica wasn’t there (missed you, girl!) I did treadmill and weight-machines (Blake wasn’t there either!). It wasn’t the most fun I had had at the gym, but it was definitely one of my more focused times (and I feel I ran/strength trained well). I left the gym feeling better and it’s always nice to vent via exercise rather than venting through self-pity (or a big food binge of comfort!). I also felt peaceful as I got ready to drive home. I had a “be still” and “breathe” type of moment. It felt nice and relaxing. Praise God!

This is going to be a better week! I am going to refocus the way I should and do a better job of listening to my wonderful personal trainer: God. I am also going to do my best in the next level of the Power 90 workouts (which I started today). I definitely burned more calories (and I think I felt it more too) so hopefully, that will show in the days/weeks to come!!

Thank you, everyone, for your support (and for reading my updates). I’m always happy to share the good/bad with you and what I learn along the way! God bless you all!!


Shane Gilreath said...

plus- or minus- a pound, you're always an inspiration! Elton John once said--and, I guess, he would know--that food addiction is the worst addiction of all, becuase you have to eat, you have to be around food. I think that's very true. Of course, more recently, he's also said that Jesus was homosexual, so take it or leave it!

BTW, do you all pay Blake? It seems like he misses a lot of your workout sessions, and you all might benefit more from his guidance if he was present.

I'm glad you've regained your composure, M. You really are doing wonderfully!

Melissa said...

Thank you, Shane! ;)

Elton John's opinion doesn't hold much sway with me! But, he's right about the food thing.

No, Blake isn't paid. It's all a volunteer thing. I think he works overtime at his job and couldn't make it or something. Even when he misses, I still benefit from being around everyone else (and Jenni is always there - she's heading everything up and is a personal trainer as well).

LOL....every time you call me "M" I think of Judi Dench as "M" in James Bond. LOL Is that as creative as you can get (aside from Meslissa) for a nickname, Shaney? LOL

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