Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Realizing My Normal Life

What a weird past couple of days I've had.  I say weird not to describe the activities I've been doing, the places I've been or the people I've been with - I'm using the word just to describe me.  I came to a realization this morning of how different my life, and the inner me has become.

For seven months I've exercised and eaten healthier foods.  Have their been days when I didn't feel like working out and skipped it? Yes.  Are there days that I've eaten unhealthy foods? Yes.  Have I felt guilty each time, and then decided to work my butt off for a week after to make up for it?  Absolutely!  Things are different this week.  I'm feeling something I've never felt before - or should I say I'm missing a feeling that I always feel....the guilt is gone.

Since Saturday, I've encountered my worst few days I've had since starting my journey.  I've eaten pizza, I've eaten hamburgers, I've eaten at Golden Corral (and didn't stick just to the salad bar), I missed boot camp, the only exercising I've done since Friday night is swimming (and I mean the leisurely kind).  If I was confessing these sins to you a year ago - the outcome of the post would be quite different.  I would go on to say "I've steered off course too far these past couple of days, I've probably gained a couple of pounds, so it's time to throw in the towel and give up".

Don't worry, that's not what I'm going to say.  I know that I've spent the past couple of weeks talking about "being strong", "not giving in to temptation".   I'm a bit of a hypocrite to lay all of that out there for you - and then do what I've done these past couple of days.  I'm not apologizing though - because I've learned something from this.  The guilt that haunts me any time I consume something I shouldn't has completely disappeared.  I don't feel the need to head to the track and run my big butt off until I feel like I've somehow made up for what I have done.  I've spent the past couple of days enjoying family time, spending time with my cousin who I haven't seen in 16 years - and he will be going home at the end of the week.  He will go, my life will go back to what I'm used to doing: eating healthy, exercising, and NOT missing boot camp.  So I gain a pound or two this week.  I'm not on a deadline.  My life isn't going to drastically change for the worst because I see a small increase in the scale instead of a decrease.  I'm just going to go back to what I know is normal.  That, my friends, is the lesson learned. 

The me a year ago would of thrown in the towel after 2 days.  The me four months ago would of unleashed grueling days of exercise punishment to compensate.  The me now says, oh well...no biggie...life goes on, and my weight will continue to fall once life gets back to NORMAL.  Am I trying to say that it's OK to binge and slack off for a week?  Yes and no.  Like I have already said, it's taken a long time to get to this place where I don't feel like my whole world is crashing in around me each time I eat a slice of pizza.  It's taken time, dedication, and building a comfort in my lifestyle to where doing what I've done the past few days isn't NORMAL.  I say that word with the caps because normal means that there's no doubt in my mind that I now live a healthy lifestyle.  How can I say that after confessing that I've filled up on junk for the past few days?  I came to the realization that I'm not adjusting anymore, I'm not still getting used to figuring out what I can and can't eat...it just all comes naturally.  My healthy life is my normal life.  Spending a few days eating bad foods and not working out isn't normal - it's just one of those things that happens....and I know that it's not going to undo all of the hard work I've done, not going to put me back on the fast track to being the almost 300lb woman I once was.  I'm different now. 

Now, I don't want you to read this post and think "WOO HOO, time to order a pizza!!"  I don't want you thinking that I'm sending the message that I'm encouraging you to take the week off and binge to your little heart's content.  If my cousin wasn't here, this post wouldn't even be today's post because this week would be just a normal week of healthy eating and exercise.  The message I'm sending is that it takes time for you to understand the changes you're making in your lifestyle and even longer for them to really sink in.  There will be days when you attend a party or go out and eat for a special occasion.  While I still encourage you to try and think about what you're going to eat - you shouldn't beat yourself up if you don't eat what you should.  If you feel guilty after eating a piece of chocolate - you're not to the point yet where you've accepted your lifestyle change.  If you eat pizza with your family and think "well, I've probably gained 5lbs just from that pizza so it's not even worth trying anymore" you're not to that point.  If you feel like you better rush off to the gym and spend 5 hours working off the hamburger you just ate....you're not to that point.  If you spend a couple of days eating bad foods and skipping your work outs and you feel like it's not the end of the world, you wake up the next morning and decide to eat your normal healthy breakfast, go for your normal morning run, and pick up where you left off: CONGRATULATIONS!! You feel exactly as I do now, and you're at that the point where you really want to be. 

Till next time.  :)


  1. This is so wonderful!! Thanks for sharing, Joanna. And congrats on making it to this part of your journey...

    Gia <3

  2. Thanks, Gia. It's so weird that I write a celebratory post about eating junk and not working out..LOL Hopefully, though, in all of my rambling - my point came through.

  3. Joanna, I am far from there, but I am fighting to be there one day - "...it's taken a long time to get to this place where I don't feel like my whole world is crashing in around me each time I eat a slice of pizza." I really believe this is the "Secret" to losing weight and keeping it off. I mean, do thin people get mad and berate themselves for eating a chocolate bar and then binge for a week? I think not. WTG, you are on your way. I loved this post (hugs to you).

  4. Thanks for posting this Joanna...I was thinking about you this week too....I am home in Michigan and my food has been questionable along with exercise. But I like the perspective you put it in...I am coming back home and I will get back to my routine. Won't be on vacation forever! :)

  5. Great post. Truly a feeling we have all gone through in one way or the other and bravo to you for reaching the point where you will not let anything stop you! You go girl!


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