Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Getting real with myself

I'm not sure if anyone has noticed, but I've been pretty vague about posting actual numbers when it comes to my weight lately. I've gained. And I haven't hidden that fact, but I haven't exactly been writing openly about it, either. 

I can remember the exact moment that it started, too: I was at the hospital with Mark, and he offered me a piece of chocolate. I started to explain that I couldn't have it, because I had to count my points, etc., when I realized how ridiculous I sounded. Mark, who was lying in a hospital bed, dying, offered me an innocent piece of chocolate. I thought about how petty it was to worry about something like weight when he was suffering with cancer!

At that moment, I decided that I wasn't going to worry about numbers or counting my points, or anything like that. I wanted to just enjoy life while I still could! I didn't want to binge; but I didn't want to worry about everything I ate, either.

For a while, I did pretty well without counting. I wasn't bingeing, or overeating; I ate a couple of pieces of candy with Mark, and I never felt guilty. My weight stayed the same, around 139--that was over my goal by 6 pounds, but I honestly wasn't bothered by that, as long as I didn't continue gaining.

In early February, shortly after my birthday, I had my first binge in a long time. That's when the weight gain began, and I really started to feel out of control. I was constantly telling myself, "I'll start fresh tomorrow", and then later, "I'm going to San Diego soon, so I'll start over after that." I had wanted to be in great shape for San Diego, but I was starting to feel like there was no hope of ever getting back on track.

Through all of this, I was feeling really depressed. This was another thing I hadn't wanted to write much about (one of the downsides to having family members/friends read my blog is that I don't feel like I can be as open about sensitive subjects like that). This winter took a REALLY difficult toll on me--the kids were home from school with about 16 snow days, Jerry was working every single day, it was too cold and too snowy to go outside, and the roads were too bad to drive anywhere. I had to do my running on the treadmill day after day, so I wasn't getting any fresh air or time to myself (sans kids). My weight was up, and I felt like I was just one cookie away from returning to my old 253-pound self.

I didn't see my friends very often, and it wasn't their fault for lack of trying; I just didn't care to see anybody. The only person I really saw was Mark, and when I discovered he was on his last few days, I felt devastated. The only time I really felt better was when I was eating, and that made me feel like the "old me". 

My running was definitely suffering from the weight gain and depression. My pace continued to get slower as my weight got higher. I even skipped a few runs here and there, which was completely unlike me. I started to get very, very worried that by next year, I'd be 253-pound inactive, unhealthy Katie. I've had my ups and downs over the past four years, but this time felt so much worse.

The trip to San Diego for Ragnar SoCal couldn't have come at a better time in my life! I made it a goal that I was going to have a blast in SoCal, forgetting all of my worries, and when I returned, I would focus hardcore on getting back to my fit, healthy self--mentally and physically. The day I left for SoCal, I really didn't want to get on the scale, but I did it; I wanted that starting point. The day I left, the scale read 148.

I had more fun than I even imagined I would--my Sole Mates team is amazing, and spending a few days in sunny SoCal with them did more for me than anything else could have. I didn't binge while I was there, but I also didn't give a single thought or care to what I was eating and drinking--and still, I don't regret any of it. It was all worth whatever gain I had while I was there!

Thomas and me at the finish line in SoCal--I don't think
I look terrible, but I can definitely see the weight gain.

When I returned home, I "knew" the damage was going to be terrible. I was looking through my teammates pictures of the trip, and I could definitely see the extra weight I'd packed on (not just from the trip, but in comparison to where I was in the fall). I was mentally preparing myself to see a scary number, but I told myself that it didn't matter. When I got on the scale, I was a little surprised to see that I'd only gained 3 pounds in California, bringing my weight to 151. I had sworn I would never see the 150's again, so I was disappointed to see that number; but I wasn't feeling as depressed as I had been before going to California.

First thing, I made sure to get back on plan with my running schedule. I didn't want to skip runs, or cut them short, or anything like that. So I followed the plan right to the letter, and I've been following it ever since I got home. That was a big weight off my shoulders! I had been worried that I'd start skipping more runs, and eventually, stop running altogether. (Maybe that's a little dramatic, but it was definitely on my mind).

And eight days ago, I went back to counting points very meticulously. My weight when I started doing that? This is hard to type: 154. I had gained 15 pounds from February 1st to April 14th! When I had joined Weight Watchers in September 2012, my starting weight was 156. It was so hard to see that I was just two pounds away from being there again.

Tomorrow, I'd like to start doing my Wednesday Weigh-in again. I kept hoping that I'd get my weight back down before posting it again, but the longer I avoid it, the less likely it will be that I actually do it. Getting on the scale at Weight Watchers in early March was really hard, because I was no longer a "free Lifetime" member. So my first goal is to be a free member again. 

I've been doing well for the past eight days--I haven't gone over my points at all, and I've stuck to my running schedule. I came home from California a much happier person, and I've been reaching out to a few friends to hopefully reconnect. The weather we've had for the past week or so has been wonderful for my mood! I feel like I'm starting to get back to the person I was in the early fall. 

The hardest part about all of this is just admitting it. I've been wanting to write this post, but dreading it at the same time. Every time I get an email or comment telling me that I'm an inspiration, I feel a big sense of guilt, and I just don't want it to seem like I'm hiding anything. Right now, I'm feeling very confident that I will get back to goal over the next 3-4 months. Mentally, I'm feeling like I've done a 180 from where I was even a month ago. 

I know that a lot of you, my readers, struggle like this sometimes as well; and I appreciate the emails and comments that assure me I'm not alone! It's not the first time I've struggled, and I'm sure it won't be the last. But thank you all for being here for me, even if you hadn't realized it!