On Tuesday I posted this on Instagram.
Last year I put a lot of effort into my Fit at Forty goals. That effort showed dramatically and I had an amazing 40th birthday photo shoot.
I was recognized by my employer as a wellness “superhero”.
This year has kicked my ass.
My job has undergone major changes. I lost my sweet Mac kitty. There have been a lot of other “behind the scenes” stresses that I don’t share on here. I’m not trying to be cryptic, it’s just that not everything is for public consumption. That’s one of the reasons I haven’t been writing as much.
I am a stress eater. It hasn’t so much been binges as it has been a little extra here and there. My alcohol consumption has also crept up. Not a lot but enough to encourage fat storage. I’ve missed a lot of workouts. Sometimes that’s due to scheduling and life but there have been a lot of days when I’ve just curled up on my couch with snacks instead of moving. I’ve been having to make myself go to the gym rather than looking forward to it. I’ve planned healthy meals but we’ve wound up ordering pizza or making grilled cheese instead. It seems like every week I’m telling myself I’ll start over. I make new goals all the time and I don’t meet them.
It shows. My clothes don’t fit right. I’m not a fan of any pictures that aren’t selfies taken at just the right angle.
Last week I had a great workout. I hit some PR’s and felt really strong. Then a couple days later I had a pretty awful workout. On Monday my workout plans got messed up due to scheduling. Instead of figuring out how to get in a workout at home I ate a bunch of crap and curled up on the couch. When Girlie and I got back from her gymnastics class HH and I lamented how tired and chilly we were. We vented about the shortening days and how hard this time of year is for both of us. I put aside our planned meal of London broil and roasted broccoli and made grilled cheeses.
Tuesday I had to make so many deals with myself to get to the gym. I got there, got changed, and sat on the locker room bench for a bit. Suddenly I was able to identify the feeling I had been having, the one that had made me miss so many workouts.
I was ashamed of the regain, of the muscle loss. I was putting imaginary criticism into the minds of the other gym regulars. I was feeling hypocritical about the fact that I’m trying to build a health coaching business and I can’t coach myself out of this mess. The wellness superhero post was finally published and I’m not where I was then. I was feeling ashamed of how I felt about myself when I looked in the mirror. I was ashamed of my shame. I had done so much work with self love and body love during the Bikini Rebellion and I just wasn’t feeling it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: shame kills women every day. I’ve lived with a lot of shame in the past and it almost destroyed me. In that moment in the locker room I decided not to let it happen. I told shame that it can kiss my ass. I did my workout and every time my mind started to criticize what it saw in the mirror I forced it onto feeling proud of something. Proud of getting to the gym. Proud of lifting the weights I was. Proud of trying.
The rest of Tuesday night went great. I accomplished so much and felt great about it.
Wednesday morning dawned dark and cold. I had planned to go for a run after Girlie’s gymnastics class but by then it had gotten colder and was raining. I decided to go to yoga but then Girlie’s homework took longer than expected. I could have gone to a later class but I didn’t want to get home that late. I decided to take a bubble bath instead. I ate a bunch of Halloween snack mix while watching TV after dinner.
I looked in the mirror while getting changed for bed and wasn’t particularly thrilled with the condition my body was in.
But I wasn’t ashamed of it either.
This winter isn’t going to be easy. I know that. But if I can go easy on myself it’ll be a whole lot better. I’m not giving up. I’m going to keep doing the best I can. And I’m going to be proud of that.