Monday, November 28, 2011

The never ending mental battle

It is such a mental battle for me...all or nothing. I need to learn how to accept good and not always demand perfection of myself. Nobody is perfect.

I have known for a while that the mental challenges are the toughest for me and today was no different. There were a lot of things on my mind today before my stress was the main issue today. Lately I can't forget my constant stress concerning my mom's health. And most recently I have an odd stress that I think has really consumed my brain this past week- I am only 2 lbs from my 200 lb weight loss goal. I've been on this weight loss journey for 2.5 years and I am finally close enough to reach out and grab this huge milestone which will put me that much closer to my goal weight.

The reality is...I won't hit this milestone this week. I really have to truly be prepared for this reality because it is extremely difficult to lose 2 lbs in one week, especially given the fact that I have lost 8 lbs in the past 4 weeks. FYI- that is freaking FAST. Of course, it's not biggest loser standards but I also need to remind myself that I am NOT on the biggest loser and I can NOT lose like they do because I am not working out 8 hours a day. It's better for my body to lose the way I am anyway and I am happy with that.

But...I WANT IT!! When I woke up this morning I had zero appetite. So I ate like a bird, even though I knew I had an hour workout with Emily today because my brain was telling me- don't eat when you aren't hungry. Fat girl's dream, right- no appetite? Heck no, you need to eat to lose weight! Seems so counterproductive but you can't work out without enough fuel in your body....enter exhibit A- my workout today and all of the mental battles I put my poor trainer through.

First off my elbow is flaring up again...which isn't really helping with my stress level. So we did legs, abs, cardio today- all body weight exercises so a ton of squats, lunges, and crunches (all the hardest exercises for me). Enter exhibit B- my ever constant obsession with perfection. I was over analyzing my form to the point that I could NOT stay on the darn bosu ball during the first exercise- squats. If you have ever done bosu squats you know that they are hard, but not as hard as my brain was telling me because my body could do them once I allowed myself to. I literally could not keep my balance worth to save my life because all I could think about was adjusting my form this way or that way and how I needed to do each one perfectly. But, I talked myself through them with Emily's help and by my second set I rocked them out.

And then there was my cardio section....the first 15 minutes section was AWESOME. It was freaking hard because it always Emily pushed me to my limits, but I ran harder, longer and faster than any run I have ever had. Which as she said just means I can't run slower than today Second 15 minutes...well this is where my major mistake with not fueling my body kicked me really hard. I gulped water before I started running and less than 30 seconds into what should have been a hard but not impossible cardio section my stomach felt like it was turning inside out and all the blood rushed to my head making me feel like I was going to either start throwing up or faint...or both. I got about 15 seconds more into the run before I realized that there was no way I wanted to do either so I hit the stop and regained my senses. I told Emily the reality of this crazy day- I had eaten about 250-300 calories total before the workout which was at 3:30pm. That is obviously NOT enough especially when your heart is beating at 183 bpm (I just had to get that in- holy high heart rate!!).

What happened next I am actually proud of. After recovering and giving myself some positive self talk I started back and did the first pyramid....and then decided I could totally handle another one after about a minute of 4.0 where I had allowed myself to cool down. I could have quit with the dizziness but I didn't give up and I survived 10 minutes of the 15 minute 3 set pyramid! I definitely would not have done that even 4 months ago. This trainer thing is paying off.

So, true biggest loser style, through the pain and anguish I had a breakthrough today with Emily. I really do have an all or nothing personality. This obviously translates into my struggles with weight and my binging as well as my weight loss and fitness regime. When I start struggling with a specific thing I immediately start beating myself up and sometimes it helps...but mainly it just holds me back unless I have somebody telling me I can do it and forces me to- enter my sister and Emily, both awesome at encouraging and cheering me on when all I want to do is collapse onto the floor and quit.

But the king of negative thoughts is centered around my running ability. I thought for a long time that I could NOT run a 12 minute mile and that I would always just be a jogger not a real runner. Then I did, during the first mile of my first 5k race. So....that was just in my head after all. I thought there was NO way I could run at 5.5 mph on the treadmill. Then I did, a month ago with Emily during a killer speed interval workout. mind games holding me back. Running outside is also nearly impossible for me, but I fought through my head on Thursday and had a solid run outside for the first time in years and it felt great! And last but not least I thought there was no way I could do a 12 minute mile on the treadmill because the only reason I ran that fast during the race was adrenaline- until I did just that today. My self doubt needs to take a hike and leave me alone.

Can you see all these excuses and how they hold me back because I don't believe in myself?! So frustrating! Today Emily said that I will be running at 6.0 mph on the treadmill and that is our new cardio goal to get me comfortable there. My eyes bugged out and my brain started immediately telling me all the reasons why I couldn't run that. And then I realized....that's not that much faster than 5.5 and I CAN do it! I am only 2 lbs away from 200 lbs lost forever- I can do anything!


  1. What's a good calorie intake before working out? I'm really anal about going to the gym roughly two hours after I eat, and I think I go in with around 400-500 calories for the day.

    Your mental process about exercising is so much more intricate and complex than I realized, but that's totally a good thing. If all those thoughts didn't go through your head, then you wouldn't be human, hehe. The positive thing about doubt is that it feels so much better when we overcome it. You overcome it every day and that's one of the countless reasons you are so awesome! ;-)

  2. Great post, Colleen! Getting out of my own way must be an O'Neil thing because I struggle with it ALL the time. I can't do that, it's too hard, I'll look stupid, blah, blah, do I know if I don't at least try?

    My newest battle is going up in my weights in Pump. I already lift pretty heavy but I want to at least see if I can go up. How else am I going to get better or see results? I've got it all sorted out in my head that I'm going to load two bars, start out with the heavier weight and switch to the lesser weight when I need to. Have I done it yet? No. I'm too chicken and think that EVERYONE around me is going to be looking at that chick who's hogging two bars. Cause everyone is looking at me.

    Your comments on form were great too. I struggle with form because I want it to look exactly like the teachers. Once I started following the basics but also seeing where MY body was most comfortable I felt a bug difference. Again, getting out of own way to see that I do indeed hold the answers to progress.

    Your post today is going to make today's workout better.

    I love you, girl. You're doing a great job!