August 22, 2018

My 8-Week Challenge: First Month Update

Well, I'll start by spoiling the ending: there really isn't much to update.

(I also don't have any photos to go with this post, so I'll just share this picture of my cats making themselves comfortable. Jerry and I were watching a movie, and I had my feet propped up on his lap. The cats took over, as usual.)

A month ago, I wrote about starting "fresh" with diet and exercise--following a training plan and counting calories. After feeling mildly depressed for several months, and having picked up some weight, I was feeling fired up and ready to just get back to feeling better about myself. I'd been having such a hard time getting back on track with... well, my whole life, basically.

I did great at first! I started counting calories again, and it was really hard to get used to. But mostly, I was happy that I was following the training plan (Hal Higdon's Novice 8K plan). I was doing the cross training, the strength training. Everything!

And then I missed a day, and I can't remember why--I know I was busy with something, and I just told myself I'd do it the next day. I didn't end up doing that, and you know how it goes (or maybe you don't...) missing one day made it easier to miss a second, and so on.

Thankfully, I haven't gained any weight since starting the plan! But I haven't lost any, either.

I am most definitely not going to start any new "challenges" for myself. I can't even count how many times I've started a challenge, posted about it on my blog, and then quit. The first time is embarrassing. The fourth, fifth... (thirtieth!) time is just shameful.

So, I haven't totally quit trying--I try every day!--but I'm not officially doing a particular challenge or anything. It's been a crazy hot and humid summer, which has made running a pretty miserable experience. I did run in the worst of the heat and humidity, but I didn't enjoy it at all.

When I started feeling really good about myself last year, after my diagnosis, medication, and a great therapy session, I vowed that I would only do what makes me happy. Running does make me feel better, almost every time I do it; I wouldn't do it otherwise. But, running when it's 90 degrees and the moisture in the air is actually palpable is dreadful.

I'm not trying to make excuses, even though it sounds like I am. Over the years, I've said lots of things and then changed my mind later. I had hoped that by posting about my plan, and creating a challenge for myself, I'd be motivated to see it through. It was only eight weeks, after all! While it's embarrassing to admit that I didn't even make it halfway through, I like to think that it wasn't totally useless. Maybe it contributed to my not gaining any weight--and that's a good thing.

Last year, I felt like I had finally found the perfect balance--eating like a "normal" person, not worrying about calories, not forcing myself to run when I didn't want to, just doing what felt "right". I don't know whether it was feeling depressed that made me stop doing what felt "right", or if it was the other way around--if I started to run again because my body felt "soft" and I wanted to get back in shape, and then became unhappy.

Right now, my gut instinct is telling me to do what makes me feel happy--regardless of everything--but I'm feeling really torn. So, I'm not going to make any plans right now. Clearly, writing out my goals hasn't been helpful lately. It's also caused me a ton of anxiety. I'd like to just stop and take a breath and figure out what it REALLY is that I want. Do I want to work really hard and get back in shape? Or do I want to just do what makes me feel (genuinely) happy? Or, best of all, can I find some place in between?

I realize how irritating this must be to read... "Seriously, Katie?! Make up your mind for once in your goddamn life!"

I agree. I'm just as frustrated with my lack of decision-making ability about everything lately. So, I'm going to try to just go with the flow right now, and see what happens.

Interestingly, I'm actually not feeling that bad about myself right now, and I'm certainly not beating myself up about it--in fact, I feel pretty good about accepting this (never-ending) struggle. I know that sounds odd, but maybe I'm finally making a turnaround after switching up my meds. Let's hope it continues!

(Cross country season started yesterday, and I'm coaching with Renee again. I'll write more about that later, but it'll be nice to have a new focus!)


  1. Its great your not beating yourself up at thw moment. You sound less down.

    The never ending minor struggle is normal! At least for me and many other people too. The people who just naturally stay thin are the minority.

    When it was hot here water helped. Swimming or cheap water gun fights helped my kids get loads of exercise. Think of exercise that is less painfull in the heat.

    Lastly on the web page the 'comment'? blue bar under the no comment blue bar is blank on my phone. So its not obviously how to comment, I just guessed.

  2. This isn’t irritating to read at all, it shows that you’re human! I’m sure a lot of people identify with you too. Glad to hear you’re not beating yourself up, and all the best for finding what works x

  3. I have been reading your blog for a year now, and this is the first time I've posted a comment. I am definitely not going to tell you to make your mind already. I love these posts so much. While I totally get that you're frustrated with yourself, it's extremely helpful to me because I do the exact same thing. I started WW again yesterday, for the umpteenth time. My husband rolls his eyes. But I refuse to give up. I make lists, I make grand plans - and then I ditch them all. Maybe I'm addicted to making plans? Whatever. It's my life and I'll figure it out eventually. Don't be so hard on yourself. You help so many people - just do what you do :)

  4. I have said it before and I'll say it again.....I could have WRITTEN this POST!!! MY HEAD/THOUGHTS ExActLY!!!

    So, does that make us BOTH crazy?? Well, maybe but I would also think we are like many more out there.

    Too many hours/days/weeks spent talking about weight and food. Feeling bad when we don't do as planned. Feeling awful when we sit with a big bowl of ice cream watching Bachelor in Paradise, when its 75 and gorgeous outside and we should be out walking b/c January will be here before we know it....(OH, MAYBE THAT IS JUST ME...hahaha!)

    I just don't want to spend all this energy focusing on my food any more....I too just want to be happy and do things in moderation ....I guess if that means 10 pounds heavier than I would really like then I need to accept that too.

  5. Well regardless of your success or lack thereof, I admire you for being honest and open on your blog. Seeing you struggle helps those of us who also struggle know that healthy living (both physically and mentally!) is not all sunshine and rainbows all the time. Ah, if only... ;)

    "It's been a crazy hot and humid summer..." This. So much this. :s I swear it seems like the humidity has been off the charts for all 9 weeks of my marathon training program so far!! I think I picked the wrong year to try the Hanson's method, lol!!

    Keep fighting the good fight, Katie! We are all cheering you on!

  6. This isn't irritating to read at all! It's refreshing to read the honest journey of someone. It helps me remember that I can fail and fail and fail, but I need to keep trying.

  7. Glad you're not beating up on yourself. We all go through these peaks and valleys of our life. You have been amazing and are such an inspiration to those of us who have lost weight and need to know that keeping it off can be done. We are doing it!

  8. Not gaining is a big victory even if it doesn't feel like one. I'm so glad you're feeling a little better and I know you'll find that sweet spot again soon.

  9. You are not alone! I think we all do this. If changing our lives was so easy, we would all do it and be perfect. I don't know anyone who is "perfect" and even if I think they are, they don't. So stop worrying about what everyone thinks. If we cared how many times you tried something and didn't follow through, we wouldn't be your dedicated followers. The great thing about you, regardless of where you are on your journey is that you are so relatable. You make me feel a bit more "normal" because I have so many of the same struggles. Never apologize for being you. You are what we are here for!

  10. It's not irritating to read- it's real, and relatable.

  11. Goals are great but trying to grin and bear through them sometimes can be torture. Having the ability to let go and be flexible is more important, I think. If Im too rigid, then I hate myself when I mess up which leads to anxiety and depression. I've learned this a lot this summer with my riding. My horses hate when I get on and say "I'm going to make it work today!!! I'm going to ride like an Olympic Grand Prix rider!!" It all falls apart and I get mad and frustrated and feel like a failure. If I go out and go at it like I'm doing a fun dance and smile and laugh, then everything seems to work and both of us end up happy and loose. I think I need to start living my entire life this way; with love, compassion and light heartedness. Thank you for you honesty and ability to share your goals and mess ups. That's what I think the whole thing of life is all about.

  12. I can't even count the number of times I've had to start over because I didn't do what I planned. Thank God every day is a new chance and like you, I keep trying.

  13. Thank you! Thank you! I lost 80 lbs over 10 yrs ago and, like you, have been up and down about 10 lbs through the years. Since early this spring I am up 15 and am binging much more, just can't seem to get a grip on my eating. I have been on upteen new diets and have done challenges, journaling, and on, and on. I can't seem to get my head in the right place. Your post was not irritating at all, on the contrary it was very helpful and "real" to see how difficult it is to maintain a weight loss. So I start over again tomorrow to tackle those darn 15 lbs. You are very motivational to me!


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive