January 18, 2009

on work it out weekends: being good enough for me...

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Aaaaand here we are again. I think that this past week went by entirely too fast. However, it was full of goodness, and that's always nice. (Except when "goodness" actually means "too much food". Which it does in this case.) When I over-indulge, I have this mentality of telling myself, "Welp, I screwed this week up royally. Best start off on the right foot next week." Let me tell you, it's not a good indication of how my week is going to be when I'm already chanting that mantra ON MONDAY. But, whatever. That's my life. Moving on.

HURRAH:

  • Running twice. The second time was yesterday evening, and five minutes in I was already thinking, "Oh dear sweet mercy. Why am I doing this to myself?" Yeah. I think I need to rediscover some sort of stamina.
  • Using the Wii Fit three times.
  • Hiking for two hours on Friday (anyone who says you can't go hiking in silver flats is a liar).
  • Deciding on green tea as opposed to coffee this weekend at work.
  • Listening to this guy's book on CD and learning a lot about health and wellness (despite my now growing hatred for the FDA and paranoia about absolutely EVERYTHING I EAT BEING POISON AHHHH!).

FAIL:

  • Consuming entirely too much alcohol. And I'm not talking about being belligerent. I'm talking about a couple beers here and there throughout the week - oh, well, and Jay and I may or may not have enjoyed two bottles of wine at the classiest Motel 6 in all of Palm Springs on Thursday evening. (But I'll never tell.)
  • Continuing on my beverage rampage, I hit up Starbucks a few times, as well - but "only because I have a bunch of gift cards from Christmas".
  • Nighttime snacking.
  • Afternoon snacking.
  • Eh, snacking in general?
  • Ruining my "perfect year" with several moments of the grumpies.

I feel good about getting out for two runs (and even more proud of surviving a hike through the wilderness wearing silver flats and somehow managing not to slip off a rock and break my face) but for some reason I still don't feel like I'm doing enough. And it's really frustrating.

I'm at the point now where I have to continually remind myself that I'm healthier at this point in my life than I've probably ever been. (Unless you count being eensie in my teens due to a brilliant metabolism that I seriously miss. Stupid thing.) Still, instead of focusing on all I've accomplished, part of me still constantly feels like I could be doing more, like I could be doing better. Even my Wii Fit told me the other day, "Even when you're making progress, there is always something else to improve!" My chin dropped. Seriously. I was all, "Am I not GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU? This is like an abusive relationship!"

(I think the thing was just trying to be encouraging, but I just felt abused.)

I hate to admit it, but I'm afraid that I'm going to become one of those people who will always be trying to lose "the last few pounds". And I've never, ever wanted to be like that. No matter what, there's always those last few pounds that I think I could lose. Even though I recently realized that I'm at an even lower weight than I'd hoped for two years ago. I mean, why can't I just be content with that? Why can't I be content with simply being healthier? It's ridiculous. I hate feeling more caught up in the physical (as in outward appearance) aspect of health, and not feeling content - thinking that losing a bit more weight would help that. I still seem to be convinced that if I lost a few more pounds, maybe then my stomach wouldn't create rolls when I hunch. Maybe then I wouldn't feel like I have jiggly arm fat. Maybe then I'd be less paranoid about having a double chin when I'm having a laughing fit. Maybe then I'll stop the constant comparison of myself to, oh, pretty much everyone.

There is that constant struggle to just be content, to realize that I'm good enough for me. That I am working hard. That I am eating better and shaping my body into a healthier one. That I do deserve a guilt-free cookie sometimes when I've been eating healthy all day long. That I will probably never have a perfectly flat stomach, but the one I have isn't really that bad. That I'll probably never be completely happy with myself until I suck it up and I decide to be. But it's just tough sometimes. Especially when I'm apparently my own worst critic.

How do you find ways to be content with yourself and your body, and all you're doing to be healthier? How do you fight those ridiculously guilt-ridden thoughts of not doing enough?

30 comments :

  1. i always feel like where i'm at just isn't enough... like if i could just lose five more pounds i would be so happy. then, that time comes and i'm all geared up to lose ANOTHER five pounds. its a vicious cycle that will never stop if you don't make it.

    truth is, women are more beautiful with some curves. i don't mean "curvy" as a nice way of telling someone they are fat either, i mean it like... don't be lindsay lohan. (seriously, google a picture of her. disgusting.)

    if i were you? i'd totally be motivated by your HUGE list if hurrahs! that's awesome. you're 24... what are you going to do, give up that bottle of wine and those beers or pass on a cookie everytime it's offered to you? that's no way to live! you're supposed to be having fun right now, not obsessing over what you need to change.

    truth is, you're skinny as heck. i look at pictures of you and i'm like "whyyyy can't my body look like kerri's!? my legs are so FAT." seriously. you're gorgeous, you're fit and you have an amazing personality. five more pounds isn't going to change that one way or the other.

    also? when i get down about my body? i think to myself that there are girls out there that probably look at pictures of me and think the same things as when i see pictures of you. someone is like, damn, she's got a rocking bod... i wish i had that. :)

    xoxo

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  2. Rach is so right. You are gorgeous and it's great that you want to get fit to feel better about yourself. You really don't need to lose a lb, so anything that you are doing is just making you a healthier person! :)

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  3. I wish I had some advice for you! I think the same things as you even though I *know* I'm tiny. I feel like I could always tone up or something.

    Anyway, I totally agree with Rachel. :)

    I hope you don't mind that I started my own Work it Out Weekends: http://chorusesandsingalongs.blogspot.com/2009/01/wishcakes-work-it-out-weekends.html

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  4. I know what you mean about post-book paranoia. I'm in the middle of The China Study and it's definitely having the same impact on me. Suddenly I'm convinced that all dairy products are going to kill me one day (and, in spite of that, I still had macaroni and cheese for lunch. Apparently I'll never learn).

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  5. It makes me feel a little better that even you feel this way, Miss Hottie McHotterson. Since the bf and I started our Get Skinny challenge, I've lost 3 whole pounds! Which is awesome, right? But it's so easy to dismiss the accomplishment, saying things like, well, when we first weighed ourselves, it was right after three mondo holiday dinners in a row, I'm still far from bikini-ready, blah, blah, blah. Plus the bf has lost 6 pounds, which is great, but I don't really like how it makes me feel competitive. Anyway, this is great what you're doing -- tracking your successes and failures (which aren't really failures, just teensy setbacks that come with life). By the way, dude, I think we live like 10 min from each other.... crazy! I think another SoCal blogger meetup is in order!

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  6. I have always struggled with exercise and weight. But recently, I really have tried to make my workouts a part of my daily schedule. I kept thinking that I was getting older and needed to make sure I was healthy. It was hard at first to go to the gym instead of directly to the couch after work, but now I feel horrible if I don't do some sort of exercise at least 5 days a week. Running just happens to be my exercise of choice.

    I lost about 10 lbs after my wedding simply from working out and not eating as much junk food. I did not by any means diet or count calories. I actually just felt better when I ate better. I think I just finally stopped obsessing over everything I was eating and stopped punishing myself for having that glass (or bottle) of wine or that cookie.

    It took 29 years for me to finally become somewhat okay with how I look. Do I need to tone up more, sure. Could I lose another 5 lbs, sure. I am just not going to obsess over it anymore. I know that exercising and eating a fairly balanced diet is making me healthy. I also know that if I don't have nachos or pizza, I will be an unhappy gal!

    Maybe you shouldn't force yourself to run if you really don't enjoy it. Just a thought.

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  7. First off, it appears you've finished Nikki Sixx' book. I'd love to hear what you thought. And second off, it also appears you're re-reading Twilight (which I did as well). I'm curious what you think about it the second time through!

    But, as for your post...and Rachel's subsequent comment, I say this: Most women struggle with the "if only's" -- if only I could lost five more pounds, if only I could quit snacking. And then there are the, "Starting this week, I will do better's."

    I know both of these mindsets well, especially after suffering from eating disorders and low self-esteem.

    I totally agree with Rachel: we only live once, we're only young once. Eat the damn cookie. One cookie is not going to affect us. If you can manage to do one positive thing every week (and it appears you do this quite comfortably), then focus on that rather than the negative. It will change your life!! And then, the positives will come more easily. It's when we focus on the negative that we get ourselves into trouble.

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  8. I completely agree with Rachel.
    Seriously, where you're at is so far from where you were when you started- and that should be more than enough to make you at least a bit happy. Congrats on all the hurrahs- I'm sure there's more to come.
    And, for the record, the Wii Fit saying? Kinda rude. ;)

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  9. I understand wanting to avoid being "that person" who is always wanting to shed the extra weight... But it's hard not to be sometimes.

    Being aware of what's negative and positive for your health and making a consistent effort to keep a balance between the two is a great way to keep that in check. Maybe make it less about a number and more about a state of being...

    If you're working towards being healthy and happy then the occasional slip-up is totally acceptable in my book! Either way you are beautiful inside and out :)

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  10. umm.... i feel your pain. I've been doing the work out/diet thing as well. For a couple weeks now. even though I've had my bad days (chocolate and starbucks as well), I've worked out a good bit... but I feel like I see no results. I guess it doesn't happen in 2 weeks... LOL!

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  11. Aww, you sound so sad! Don't beat yourself down. Forget body weight, fat and fads. It's just about being active and healthy. And you're doing a good job at that.

    Want to feel good about yourself? Then check out my Work It Out Weekend. After having such an embarrassingly awful week, I decided I should follow suit to your wonderful idea. If I have to confess my exercise "cheating and exceptions" then maybe I'll keep it more under control!

    http://anxietysaxioms.blogspot.com/

    Point is: you're not alone. We're all in this together :)

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  12. God made cookies, starbucks, margaritas, nachos and all kinds of other good stuff that's meant to be enjoyed. it's just all about moderation.

    i try to have a 'fun day' where i have an indulgent drink (or 2. or 3) and a dessert and focus on eating a healthier dinner. or i'll reverse it and have an indulgent dinner (such as nachos or cheeseburger&fries, etc) and then a healthier dessert (like a fruit cup or pudding).

    oh yeah and i TRY to fit in some exercise when i can.

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  13. Ok, I'm not going to lie. Every time I read about you getting on Wii Fit, it makes me want to do it. So feel inspirational...because I've totally been on it TWICE in the last few days (I had to blow the dust off first). Have you unlocked all the goodies? I'll have you know that boxing pretty much makes my arms incredibly sore the next day...but I love it nonetheless.

    Running...meh. It's too darn cold in St. Louis right now to do any of that. I suppose I could do some mileage on the Wii, but it kind of freaks me out!

    Thanks again for the inspiration!

    :)

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  14. I think that it's about being happy with who you are on the whole - we get trained to focus on the physical from when we're SO young, but you're so many other things than your body!

    You have your crafting, your work, your husband, your faith, your family...and yes, the little Wii Fit No-fun-nic too. And those things are all as much a part of who you are as your body is. Sometimes it's hard to see it, but if you can zoom your perspective out so you get the other things you're doing to make yourself happy & healthy in the picture, you might feel better.

    When I'm getting down on myself I try to take stock in those other things - and to realize that I AM doing a lot for my body, so I need to stop being so hard on myself. I find that distraction really helps - as does listening to podcasts and taking walks so I feel like I'm being active.

    If you're really having trouble, I would say go either or - baked goods/chocolate OR alcohol in a week, not both. I've been doing that and it lets me still treat myself without feeling like I'm failing on two or three fronts at once.

    When I was going through a really hard time a few years ago one of my most beautiful friends once grabbed me by the shoulders and forced me to say 10 things about me that are wonderful in front of the mirror. And then she did it every time she came over until I could actually pull 10 things out off the top of my head without struggling. Saying positive things out loud feels dumb, but honestly after a couple of days it feels really, really good.

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  15. First off, I would like to say, a flat tummy does not equal no rolls when hunching. Tummies are supposed to roll. Which sucks, but I think it's better to accept this fact than beat yourself up over it. That was my goal (years ago), and I was continually disappointed.

    I'm inspired by all your Hurrahs. Heck, I'm inspired by all your so-called "Fails" since I'm failing in many more ways than that currently.

    I don't feel any better when I eat healthier, and I only crave junk food more when I have little or none. So it's always a struggle to pick the right foods. And I fall off the wagon continuously. But I always feel great after a workout (no matter how little). And I seriously bask in those endorphins, and get pumped up for my next workout. Getting started is the hardest for me, but once I start, it's easier to keep going.

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  16. Way to sweep the 20SB awards, lovely lady! Congrats! You deserve it!

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  17. The sad thing is that we all sit and think about this. We obsess day after day over our weight and cellulite. We worry about the jiggles and the wiggles. We calorie count, find exercises, yell at our Wii Fit trainer, and get upset to the point of tears when our jeans don't fit. Is this fair? No. Is it ever going to change? No. Can we have days when we feel great about ourselves? Sure we can. Are there days when we can dislike our bodies? Heck yeah. We just have to remember that we are harsher on ourselves than other people are.

    Being a young teenager we don't think about how hard it is to get rid of 5 pounds. Then we turn 22 and all of a sudden stomach rolls hang around longer and legs get cellulite. We have to embrace our bodies for what they are. Don't let each of these bad days get you down. You want a cookie...have it. You want wine...drink it. Just remember to run an extra 5 minutes. Just be happy with who you are. The happier you are, the better you look.

    I am one of those, start over on Monday people. Every Monday I make a pledge to be a little healthier than the week before. Before long I hope to be healthier than I started 2009. Will I give up sugar and soda forever? No. But I will be healthier than I was before. I will work towards a goal of running a 5K...and if I lose weight doing it, great! Maybe set a goal to get to so you are working for something.

    Just remember you have a community of people that are rooting for you all the time!

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  18. As females we seem to be cursed with irrationally never being happy with our bodies.

    I am a thin girl and I know this, but I would never even consider that my body is good enough as is, that I don't have to worry about feeling guilty about eating junk food or not going to the gym.
    It's silly, but we are trained to think this way.

    Still, I think that striving for something is a positive thing, and being healthy is about more than being thin. You know this too. I think you've been doing wonderfully. Someone who doesn't occasionally (okay, often) cheat definitely isn't having enough fun!

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  19. im always body conscious too, but i gotta learn to be content with what i have, whats funny is if i try to restrict myself so much it usually backfires..but by not putting strict rules and only be intuitive and moderate when eating, while at the same time staying active and busy..i usually lose weight..

    I guess girls are just used to think that way, the way we brought up with all in the medias and people around us..whats important is we dont go overboard with it..

    thanks for posting this, all the comments are really helpful for me too..and congrats on winning the bootleg awards.

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  20. guess what hot stuff? i know courtney already awarded you, but i'm giving you an honorable mention (basically an excuse for me to pick more than ten blogs)!!

    http://bigskygirl.wordpress.com/2009/01/19/when-life-gives-you-lemons-grab-some-powdered-sugar-liquor-and-a-hottie-and-make-yourself-a-lemon-drop-shot-or-lemonade-whatevs/

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  21. I actually think you're SUPPOSED to hike in silver flats...so you were right on the money :)

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  22. I try not to be too hard on myself.

    Try.

    But I find that it's much, much easier said than done. I just keep reminding myself to be nice to myself, and I make sure I go to sleep thinking about the positive things I accomplished that day (in all areas), instead of the things I didn't.

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  23. From what I've read of your blog, I think you're doing really well with trying to stay active. This year that too was my resolution, and while I don't get to the gym everyday and only make it two or threee times a week, I still feel like compared to previous years, I'm doing a lot more.

    I think that no matter how much exercise you get, or how many pounds you lose, people will always find something they don't really like about themselves. It's human nature.

    It's taken me a long time to grow in to my faults or "trouble areas", but I eat well and do what I can, and know that I am more active now than I ever was. You're only one person and all you can do is try. With that being said, you're also still young, and I am a firm believer of living it up while you can.. so what's two bottles of wine every now and again?

    Everything in moderation :P

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  24. Welll, I woulda had somethin to say if Rachel didn't say it all first! Haha, I keed. But seriously, Rachel is soooo right. She said it perfectly.

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  25. I read books to deal with my muffin top and my pooch. Bitchin' Bodies, written by my favorite professor: http://www.amazon.com/Bitchin-Bodies-young-women-dissatisfaction/dp/0980230012/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232376627&sr=8-1

    And Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters, written by a young, hip writer I'm honored to call an acquaintance: http://www.amazon.com/Perfect-Girls-Starving-Daughters-Frightening/dp/0743287967/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1232376700&sr=1-2

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  26. You have been TAGGED for a Meme!

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  27. nice work! you did a lot this weekend. absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. and hell, a girl has got to eat. i just hope when i am working my butt off and sorta watching what i am eating (at least more than before) that it must balance out or at least be doing better things for my body that i was doing before. right?

    as for your question...i think its a constant struggle of finding contentment with your body. you work so hard for months and start to see change, but is it enough? will it ever be? who knows...that's when i have a beer and forget about it.

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  28. You've been doing such a good job! I am starting this week over because I've been failing miserably. I am really trying to kick my beer habit. Drinking red wine is so much better than beer, but for whatever reason if you put a bud light in front of me after a long day (and night) at work I will drink that beer without a second thought. Bleehh not the best habit. I told Cale to stop buying beers that I like, so hopefully I won't get so desperate and actually drink his dark beer and will drink a glass of my wine instead.

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  29. i wish there was an answer to this, but there really isnt. With all the pressure in society to look a certain way and to be a certain size I think its only natural to feel bad about yourself. Its hard to remember that all those pics of the tiny beautiful people are usually airbrushed and they people are often unhealthy.

    The truth is you look great (although I know that doesnt change anything about how you see yourself! It doesnt matter that many people would love to look like you because thats just not how you see yourself.) Im in the same boat. I think all we can do is just strive to be as healthy as possible and take pride in that!

    For myself I find its easy to not think about weight and just think about how you feel. In fact I dont even own a scale because I truly believe that they only help feed into the negative images in our society. If you dont actually know how much you weight you can really be too concerned about 5lbs. So stay off the scale, keep doing what your doing and focus on how you feel!

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  30. First off you are human and us humans look at the setbacks more than accomplishments that we have overcome.

    I have been on Weight Watchers since April 1, 2008 and so far have lost a total of 40 lbs which is crazy to even think about. I was never a get out there and exercise kind of girl until I started losing weight and feeling like I could actually do some exercise without killing myself.

    In June/July I started running/jogging and now I want to train for a 5K even though I know that I'm terribly bad at running/jogging. I work out almost every other day, doing ab workouts, running/jogging, adn lifting weights. (And yes for all you winter weather people I run in the cold outside sometimes even snowing!) Since December I have been struggling on losing more weight (I have 20lbs to go even tho no one thinks I need to my W.W. chart says I need to). I have maintained my weight only gaining a pound or so through my 8 holiday dinners I had consumed. I have been struggling so hard to keep myself on track and to work out every other day and I feel like nothing is good enough. I know exactly what you mean by feeling like you could do more. I know that I can and should do more because exercising all the time isn't going to help me lose any more weight I'm just going to stay the same but its just so hard. After having consumed 8 holiday dinners one starts to have the mindset that those cookies are just really good and that I should have as many as possible in one sitting. I need to get out of that mindset and really start to work on losing the last 20 lbs. W.W. always says that whenever you are feeling setbacks and feel you aren't getting anywhere just remember where you came from and where you are going. If you can picture what you felt like, what you looked liked in the past it helps to picture a future of what can be. They also tell you to stay positive and appreciate the small things of what you have accomplished and not to look at the big picture. Make small goals each week and then you can see the bigger picture.

    In any case, I just wanted to share my story with you that you know where I'm coming from and that I thank you for your workout weekends because you make the workouts honest and I love reading that someone else is dealing with the same issues I am dealing with.

    Thanks for helping me and others keep on track through the though times.

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