Friday, March 18, 2016

Post-Illness Weigh In, and Attitude vs. Results

I feel like my brain turned back on today! Wow, I feel better. More like I have a bad cold (still coughing, tired) but the lung stuff does seem to be finally resolving. I weighed this morning, 232, so I have a few pounds to get back off over the coming weeks. I'm eating better already and put myself on the exercise bike for 5 minutes this morning. It doesn't sound like much, but when you've been barely moving for a month it is a good start. It felt good to get the blood moving again and I'll take a walk later today (I did get a short walk in yesterday as well).

I was watching Extreme Weight Loss last night (Jason and Rachel) and I was struck by the difference in their mental state and attitude towards the opportunity to have the resources of the show (Chris Powell, trips to work with him and be his focus, and a brand new fancy gym in their garage). The wife had written a letter to be considered for the show and was thrilled when they were chosen. The husband, also very obese, acted like he was happy but once he got there to work with Chris he immediately said things like "this isn't who I am" and "I don't want to do this" and claimed that this was his wife's "thing" but not his. He had no desire to work hard, exercise, and change his eating. Rachel, on the other hand, was all in from day 1, putting in every effort to follow the eating and exercise plan no matter how hard it was.

I thought to myself... oh, how embarrassing. That guy is on the show with all this opportunity and admits he doesn't even want it. He doesn't care and would be fine with staying how things are. How sad he isn't even interested in putting forth the effort to change his life. But I also thought, I totally relate to this guy. I am fat and not in my best health, I know how to change it but I don't really want to. "That's not who I am." I am not a person who pushes beyond comfort, even into pain, to get results. I am not one who feels like working hard for weight loss... who wants to get outside my comfort zone to change my body and my health. Like Jason, I'm too comfortable with the easy path. After all, it's not that bad being fat.

I relate to Rachel, though, too. There was a time I pushed myself and worked hard to lose weight. You can read about it on my blog, especially during the months I biked almost every day, walked often, was very strict in my eating and just did things I didn't really feel like doing to get the results I wanted. And over time, I even enjoyed the exercise and eating plan. I learned to comfort myself from stress with exercise instead of food... getting on my bike and pedaling hard when I was upset rather than eating cake. I embraced the opportunity to change.

I noticed, though, that Chris Powell did not tell Jason to go home because he didn't want to do the work. He just gave him a hard workout and an eating plan and let Jason work through it. And after awhile, Jason started to lose the doubt and embrace the hard work and change. He had times of struggle and wanting to quit, but in the end, he and his wife both reached their weight loss goals and became strong and healthy.

What I got from this: whether you start with a good attitude or not, if you jump in and do the work, eventually you will get a good result.

I have not been terribly motivated to dive into the exercise this time around. I think that's okay, as long as I do the work. I am going to start pushing myself to move more in the exercises I like (biking, walking, swimming, yard work) and in one exercise I don't like at first, but grow to enjoy as I see results (strength training). I am easing into this slowly as I continue to recover from being sick, but I think by April I will be able to really push myself and get results.


aec5940 said...

The story of the man in that TV show is a great example of the old recovery saying that goes something like: You can't think yourself into right-acting, but you can act yourself into right-thinking!

Thanks for your insightful post.

TheAgonyOfBeingFat said...

I'm glad you're feeling more like yourself now!

I think I can relate to both Rachel and Jason too. Unfortunately, I'm more Jason right now.

Lyn said...

Thanks! I think starting something new is the hardest part. After about 5 workouts I start to feel the difference physically and mentally and it starts getting easier. I got in a nice walk yesterday afternoon and will walk again today and do another 5-10 minutes on the bike. I gained 4 pounds since I got sick a month ago, and I think moving is key to melting it back off.

Lori said...

I am glad you are better and are feeling like getting back with a plan that works for you.

Margaret Wolfinbarger said...

I'm really glad to read you are feeling better. Recovering and building up momentum after illness takes grit. And I can relate to your stories about not wanting to do the work and staying "comfortable." Except for me I have never been comfortable staying heavy. That's what drives me to keep pushing. People want to understand how to maintain the motivation to lose weight or maintain weight loss. There is no quick/easy route. As you state, you have to put in the work.

And while some people have genetically "lucky" bodies, and they don't have to work their buns off to stay trim, I say we are the lucky ones. Facing our struggles makes us better in the long run--no matter what you look like or how much you weigh. Just keep swimming! Just keep swimming! And thanks for the great post.

16 blessings'mom said...

You have made an excellent point here! I have felt discouragement sneak in because my attitude towards living a healthy lifestyle, aka losing like fifty more pounds, has been so blaaaah lately. But so what! It's one foot in front of the other, and taking it one day at a time, making good choices and exercising when I don't really feel like it. I too like to be comfortable, and for me, that's in my chair with a good book and a cup of coffee, not walking up the evil hill down the road. But that doesn't mean I don't get out of the chair and do it anyway. I'll never love exercise, and I will never love turning down a piece of cake, but...I'll do it anyway.

I'm glad you're on the mend.

Rachel rbs said...

It's amazing how fast we can fall off that exercise habit and how hard it is to get motivated to do it again. Hang in there - you've made some great observations!

Annette said...

I understand! I have never been big into exercise. Ive been losing weight and hit a point where I know I needed to exercise. I signed up for a 5k!!!! I started the couch to 5k so prepare. I signed up for the 5k to push me to train!!! I did day one today and wanted to quit after 5 minutes but pushed through it. You can do it!! Just push through it!

Anonymous said...

Hi there! I stumbled upon your blog by accident when I was looking for a shirtaki noodle bake recipe. I'm making yours tonight! Anyways - - I started reading your blog and just wanted to say I also have had the virus going around and am starting to suspect possible pneumonia. I am on antibiotics for a sinus and ear infection but it's been three week already of being sick! I'm finding my scale isn't budging a bit while on Dayquil / Nightquil, Antibiotics and Alleve. I just went for my first walk yesterday and may have over done it. I feel like I'm worse today. Anyways - just wanted to say thank you so much for putting your story out there and blogging. You are an inspiration to me. And I hope you feel better soon. I can't imagine this virus can go on for much longer! Take Care - From A Different Annette

JDET said...

I'm just now getting over some cold/cough/congestion thing. It hung on for over a week. The weather here has finally gotten better so I have decided to try to get some exercise. I genuinely HATE working out. My late hubby built a gym in the basement with all sorts of equipment and a Wii with the workout stuff. Do you think I'd use or? NOOOOOOOOOOOO! The only thing I'm doing at this point is wearing my new cell phone. It has a step/distance/stair counter built in. Just seeing how little I have been moving has been shocking. Perhaps that would help you, too. I've learned that the wrist ones aren't necessarily accurate because if you move your arms a lot, they can misinterpret those as steps if they aren't GPS based. I hope you can find something to do that won't feel like a chore.

Frank said...

I found your blog via the fitness section on AllTop.

This post made me want to watch the episode of Extreme Weight Loss you reference, so I'll probably do that tonight. It reminds me of my fitness journey. I am always pretty good at the first step. Some people say that's the hardest, but I don't know. As soon as I lose some weight and get to my skinny fat body (which can actually be indicative of even worse health!) I always lose motivation at this point.

Because of this, I found motivation in writing about it and putting myself out there just like you. I am a gym amateur, so I bought a program that tells me what to eat and what to do at the gym. My girlfriend and I are tracking my progress at and she is gonna track her own progress on a different site (yet to be put up).

I think the biggest realization for me was that the kind of working out needed to get the next level of fitness was a lot more intense than I thought or would have done on my own. The next realization was that after 2-3 weeks, my mind did switch from "ugh this sucks" to "oh this feels nice"