I was tired, felt like 5 hours of running...what, only 5 minutes, when did this become so hard? I started working out this week. It's been 4 months now since I last picked up a weight or put foot to pavement to get jogging. Wow has it been difficult. I remember being able to lift so much more weight, I remember being able to run for miles and not be tired, to fit into those really sweet looking jeans. I remember just plain feeling good and being able to share that joy with others, in some cases even motivate them to start a diet and exercise themselves. What happened to those days? Where did I go wrong?
It's funny what one week of not working out does to you. They say it is good to take a break from time to time, but that shouldn't stop you from eating correctly and that certainly shouldn't stop you from maintaining the right mind set about your health. I remember when I started working out, I had all these restrictions in my life. Sure I wanted pizza, but I knew the benefit of eating properly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. People kept telling me I was being extreme, they kept telling me to take it easy and "live a little." The doctor told me that either I restrict my diet, or I follow the deadly path of high blood pressure and diabetes.
Results came slow. At first I didn't see much of a change. Then people made comments about my weight loss, then I started to notice the change myself, so I kept going and going. I started comparing pics of my old out of shape self to my new in shape self. I could see the difference, no longer was it a feeling, I saw it, I knew it was happening, and in seeing that change, people wanted to know how I did it, why it was I started, what motivated me, and what they needed to do to get it done in their own lives. I felt better, while sure my life was restricted, those restrictions brought forth so much more fruit that I could ever have imagined. I was free from the worry of blood pressure, diabetes and any other controllable cause of death. I had so much more energy, the energy just came natural. I went from doing it because I saw results to doing it because it was the right thing to do, and with perseverance and dedication I could continue.
So with all that good, where did I go wrong? Why did I stop the healthy lifestyle? Of course a lot of it I attribute to my surgery and my inability to do much of anything for a good month and a half, but that shouldn't have stopped me from eating properly. So where did I fumble. Well if I remember, it all started with a box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I remember buying a box of it while I was in recovery and thinking to myself "Oh man, so good, well you deserve it Chris, you've been good about the diet for a while now, it's time you reward yourself, and besides, you're strong enough to resist it should you gain some weight, you'll burn it off." Cinnamon Toast Crunch became Pizza, Pizza became over eating, and that became not feeling up to the gym, which became not eating 6-7 times a day (small meals) to keep my metabolism going.
A box of cinnamon toast crunch, sounds like a good thing, but to a person who is on a diet, that can spell disaster? I remember eating the first bowl. I remember the taste, (in fact now as I think about it, I want a bowl of it) I remember the crunch, so good! The sugary, sweet, savory taste of toasted goodness. So one bowl turned to two and two to four, and well you get the idea. Rather than gaining control of it, I let it gain control of my diet and as a result it, over time, exploded and ruined my entire diet and routine. Now the crawl back is even more painful than before, but I know what will come of it.
So how can I get back? Well I need to return to what I know worked, do what I know works, and never grow tired of doing it. I need to become motivated. Will I eat bad here and there, yes, but each time I do, I know I'll have to work twice as hard to be sure it doesn't occur. If I don't get ruthless with my eating, it will get ruthless with me.
Did you catch the parallel? We'll talk more on this in my next post :-)