2013 has been a ‘back to the beginning’ year. In late 2012, I met a Liverpudlian, my now-fiancé. A couple months later, I had to leave the United Kingdom after 4 years, and move Back to the Bricks. My hometown is the last place I wanted to end up, but alas here I am.
Not only did I have to leave behind the man of my dreams, but I had to abandon this whole new life I had created for myself – friends for life, a surrogate family, and the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen (Edinburgh). February 1st I touched down in Flint, Michigan, American’s most dangerous and miserable city (seriously, there are two lists – Flint is 1 on both).
It goes without saying I let myself attend a self-pity party and I didn’t leave. For quite a while. Plans were set forth to marry the love of my life and get me to Liverpool as soon as possible. But it was so far away at the time! I was unemployed. Living with my mom and on her money. It’s been a low point. I gained 20 pounds very quickly. Who was I? I’ve spent the past couple years at a prestigious university, travelling all over Europe, and now I’m back here? Is this seriously my life right now?
For a long time I said, “I’m joining the gym up the road”. For even longer I said, “I’m cutting my carbs again.” I bought running shoes, a sports bra. I ate meat and cheese. But then I’d drink two bottles of wine, cry because all my friends here have new lives and learned to live without me, and sleep all day. I even smoked again, here and there. All of my self-respect and self-control was back in Scotland. I became an inactive participant of my own life – watching it happen to me and doing very little to make it better.
In May, something snuck in. It rode in on the back of my usual Inspiration. I had a cycle: I’d change my diet. Get super excited about it. Set intense goals. See results for the first two weeks or so, and then I’d let the excuses roll in. I don’t even need to list them because I could talk myself out of anything. But in May, I found that hitchhiker.
It made me look at my cycle and find the problem. It illuminated it with perfect clarity. My goals! I always set these specific goals.
“In x days, I will lose x pounds.”
“In total, I need to lose x pounds.”
Pretty standard idea, setting goals. However, my language and mindset always focused on the Number. That number on the scale. In May, I went to the doctor for weight loss pills to give me a running start and control my emotional-eating. I stepped on the scale – of course I had to wear all my heaviest clothes! But I can’t use that excuse – and I was at my Recorded Adult Heaviest. Fuck. I was so unhappy with myself. I was 45 pounds HEAVIER than I was at my Recorded Adult Lowest. I’m getting married in September to a HOT PIECE OF ENGLISH ASS – is that the best I can be for him?
From that scale my mind raced for days. This was no longer about the number on that scale – although that was a rude awakening. This was about LIVING. I lost my grandma in March. My grandpa, now alone, ended up in the hospital as well. My aunt was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. My little sister lives with type 1 diabetes and grave’s disease. My mother has osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. I smoked for 10 years! For the first time I realised I was no longer living and surviving just for myself: I have to – I want to live for my partner as well. I will be the healthiest I can be. If I can control it, I MUST because I want the rest of our lives to go on forever. We’re suffering being apart enough this year to last us a lifetime.
It took the whole of May for me to understand and accept the hitchhiker. I started the month with Adipex and anxiety and ended with a new outlook and a gym membership. Lifting weights at the gym showed me how phenomenal it was to feel stronger. I started slow but did whatever I wanted. I immediately felt better about myself. I gave half of my month prescription to my best friend who needed immediate results. But a month later and the scale had only budged 5 pounds. I felt happier, but I was still so frustrated! I was back at doc’s a month later, in excruciating pain. (Turns out my spine is completely out of alignment. Oh.). She told me to focus on measurements. To keep building my strength.
I left with more Adipex and my hitchhiker became my fairy godmother.
For the first time in months, I was building muscle again. For the first time, I no longer stressed about the scale. I can SEE muscles again! Beneath the fat, but they’re there!! Will I lose 30 pounds by my Wedding on September 6th? Who cares! If I can keep on jogging (girl still don’t run) down the path to a healthier STRONGER me then I’ll be okay. I get it now. It’s not about Time Limits. As soon as I set an (almost always) unrealistic Time Goal, I get discouraged a few weeks later realising I won’t hit it.
Do I need to lose around 100 pounds? Yes. But I want to take my time getting there. I should rephrase that — I’m not going to purposefully go slowly, but with my specific diet and evolving exercise regime, I will accept however fast and slow the results decide to occur. Will I find ways to break plateaus? Of course. I will continue to be ACTIVE in my Goal to Be Healthy. But I will not say “In 3 months, I want to be HERE.” That pressure is unnecessary and potentially harmful to my mindset. Especially if I add “I must lose 10 pounds by my Wedding!” Then the journey becomes more about an event, doesn’t it, rather than a Lifestyle Choice. How often does as Bride to Be lose 30 pounds for her wedding only to find it again a year or so later. I’ve done it before. It’s about making lasting lifestyle changes and fixing the bad habits that got me to R.A.H. in the first place.
And here she is. A new mind. A healthier mind. Now trying to get the body to catch up.
This blog will chronicle my very specific diet (Keto) and my loosey-goosey exercise regime (n00b). I will track it with as much scientific evidence as possible (aka All in the Results). I want to monitor my mood, my mindset, my health, my life. I’m doing this for me, because talking about it keeps me going, keeps me excited. And seeing the results so far is thrilling. I’m also doing it because I Believe in Keto. Society needs to keep up with modern research and drop the bogus ‘low-fat’ crap and learn the facts. The government isn’t going to change yet – too much money wrapped up in the corn industry and low-fat craze. So adding another personal experience blog to the mix will just help build the scientific database for it and maybe, eventually, marketing will catch up.
That’s my long intro. No one’s reading and I’m very okay with that!