Monday, January 7, 2013

When does this get easier?

That's a question I keep hearing over and over now that people are about a week into a lifestyle change.

I don't know that it ever gets "easy" as you can see from my struggles and challenges.  But let me tell you what DOES get easier:

Exercise - let me tell you what hurts like hell - exercising when you are obese and exercising when you are out of shape.  If you are BOTH, like I was when I started - well, there is just no way to describe to someone who is fit and thin how badly it hurts.  You sweat, your head pounds, your heart feels like it is going to propel itself out of your chest and every muscle in your body hurts - including muscles that you didn't know existed.  GOOD.  That's what is supposed to happen.  I remember early on doing 2 sets of 10 squats - and the next day I could barely walk.  Now I do tons of squats - with weights - and it barely phases me.

Trust me, it gets better - your body learns quickly.  But you need to push yourself.  Being fat is NOT an excuse for not exercising hard.  You aren't going to break.  You aren't going to die.  I remember doing the 30 Day Shred and Jillian Michaels was saying there was no modifier for the jumping jacks and that on her TV show there are 400 pound people doing jumping jacks and to just DO THEM.  And I did them - with my knees killing me and my belly fat leaping up and down - and I was like "YOU STUPID BITCH!"   I was absolutely SURE that I was the only one in the WORLD who hated exercise and who hurt as bad as I did.  What a joke - how in denial was I?  Now jumping jacks don't hurt a bit.  You will be AMAZED at what your body can do.  

Any exercise is good exercise - BUT if you want DRAMATIC change a 2 mile stroll 3 times a week is not going to cut it.  Trust me, I wish that it did.  But you have to work for it.  And that means being uncomfortable and tried and sore and angry at times.  But when it's over - both physically and mentally you feel GREAT.  Some days you don't want to work out - I didn't today at lunch.  But I did and I would have totally been mad at myself if I had copped out.

Food - Learning to eat healthy is a process.  There is a lot of evidence to show that sweet, salty processed food has a HIGHLY addictive quality.  You are going to CRAVE these things if you have been used to eating them.  Like a dope addict in withdrawal type craving.  I haven't had french fries from a fast food place (I do BAKE my own at home - let me know if you want to know how to do this - they are delish!) since at least April of 2010.  But for months afterwards - MONTHS - I would smell them when a co-worker brought them in or I drove by a fast food place and I would literally feel weak and shaky and want a taste so bad.  The other night I was working out and an advertisment came on for Burger King and their new Whopper with fries and it held absolutely no interest for me.  It wasn't that I talked myself out of it, it's just the thought of eating processed CRAP like that - ick!  It truly grosses me out to even think about it.

Now let's talk about something here.  In the substance abuse field we talk about picking up where you left off if you relapse.  So let's say a cocaine addict has 7 months completely clean and sober.  And then he relapses and smokes crack for an evening.  His brain VIVIDLY remembers cocaine and it mentally takes him back to SQUARE ONE.  I could go into the brain chemistry on that, but I don't want to bore you...

Sorry to break it to you, folks, but with these processed foods it's the same thing.  So you go a month without eating fast food and then you decide you deserve a cheat day and you pig out at McDonald's.  YOU START OVER AGAIN.  So if you cheat - and I cheat on occasion - make sure you are doing it with as non-processed food as you can get.  I.E. you are better eating a HOME BAKED chocolate chip cookie then a Keebler's packaged cookie.  Make sense?  And I wouldn't cheat (and I didn't) until you are a ways into your journey and really have a grip on your eating.  That includes drinking as well - stay away from soda!

 Trust me - I know it doesn't feel like it now, but your tastes will change.  Your body knows what it is supposed to eat and as soon as you "detox" yourself from the crap you've been putting into it, it will start telling you what to eat.  I now eat things like tomatoes and onions that I never ate in the past.  

So please, hang in there.  Cry when you workout, throw a pity party for yourself when everyone else is eating crap and you're eating carrots.  But do it.  Don't give up. Remember why you are doing this.  Life is important, not dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment