Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Demon #1

I have been watching a lot of True Blood lately.  Normally I don't like vampire/fantasy things, but something about this show appeals to my weird side.  I was particularly intrigued when Tara, a bitter adult-child of an alcoholic, goes to a fake exorcist to expunge her personal demons  Essentially her personality is so abrasive that no one can get close to her.  Now, I don't really believe in the devil or demons or things that can take over your soul.  But I do believe in evil, and I also believe that a person can have something so powerful inside them that it takes over their spirit.  It causes someone to suffer and battle inner turmoil and changes their personality and that is what I am going through right now.

I have alway held the phrase "Better to light a single candle than to sit and curse the dark" close to my heart.  So that is what I am going to do.  I am going to shed light on some of my personal demons in hopes that the light will wash away the dark.  It may not be pretty and the writing may not be fun, but I am guessing a lot of people who read this blog have the same demons inside them that I do and might have some insight that I don't have.  So here goes....Demon #1-Working out.

I hate to sweat.  I hate being hot.  When I was in high school I joined the swim team because I wanted to take part in a sport, but I didn't want to sweat.  I walk my dog early in the morning or late in the evening because I hate that muggy, clothes sticking to your skin feeling.  I am a snow-bound midwestern born woman who just happens to live in the south because of love of a man, not the love of the land.  So when my life gets busy and my time gets short, the first thing to go is working out.  I look for excuses not to work out.

The flip side of that coin is that I am very embarrassed by how far I have fallen in taking care of myself physically.  So embarrassed that for a whole year I refused to go the Y and have the trainer set me up on the weight machines.  I didn't want anyone to actually see how weak I had become.  But when I turned 40 I promised myself that I wasn't going to make excuses anymore.  A 40 year-old woman should have the right to stand up and say enough.  So I did.  At the beginning of this summer I went to the Y and had a big, muscle-bound man put me into the computer and I began working out again.   My fear of this moment was so bad that when the trainer left me halfway through for just a few minutes to help someone else, I started to shake and almost ran out of the building.  But there was a church member there working out who had seen me and I didn't want to have to explain where I went, so I stayed and made it through. 

For the past 5 weeks I have diligently gone to the Y and worked out 3 to 4 times a week, only missing one workout when Hubby and I went out to the bed and breakfast.  I have gone when I would rather have taken a nap.  I have gone when I felt bad.  I have gone when I had 12 thousand other things to do and really didn't have the time to go.  One day it was so bad that I actually started crying in the middle of the workout, not because it hurt, but because I felt like such a blob working out.  Correction, I felt like a WEAK blob.

But what really sucks is that for all of this working out I have done for the past 5 weeks, NOTHING is happening.  In fact, I have gained weight.  I haven't eaten more, I haven't splurged or been bad with food and I still have gained weight.  I don't feel stronger, I don't look slimmer, I don't feel better and I am heavier!  This does not motivate me to continue working out.  In fact, every ounce of me screams to just stop torturing myself and go back to being a sloth.  Just give up and let the fat take over.  Let my blood pressure continue to rise and eventually develop weight-related diabetes.  The demon is strong within me.

However, I have an 8 year old daughter who, if not for her athleticism, would have my weight issues and I need to set a good example for her.  I have a family that wants me to be around for many more years and I know, or at least I tell myself, that even if I am not losing weight, I am protecting my heart and helping my body.  I know that eventually the weight will come off if I just keep going.  But it doesn't feel like it right now.  All I hear is this loud voice in my head that just says I am not good enough and I should just admit it and quit.  But this time I won't.  This time I have a therapist on my side, my Hubby pushing me forward and not letting me give up,  and my own 40 year-old self that says it is time for this demon to go away.  I have carried this demon around for so long, I really want to know what it feels like not to have that weight on my shoulders (or my hips as the case may be.)

So back to the Y I will go.

11 comments:

Bubblewench said...

I'm with ya all the way on the heat/sweat/hot thing. When I was little, I would tell my family I hated the heat so much I was moving to Alaska.

And I understand the Y/workout thing. I'm in the same boat. Remember that you are going to build muscle first though! (which might seem like a weight gain)After that builds, then the weight will start to fall off.

When I was diagnosed diabetic, I weighed over 300lbs. I have spent the last 1 1/2 years busting my ass to lose weight. I have finally lost 97lbs. I still need to lose more, but it doesn't happen too damn quickly. But I force myself to take the dog on long walks, do the treadmill at least 2x a week (since I started w/the dog).

It took a solid year for me to 'feel better' and actually notice I had started to lose weight.

I'll be routin for ya while I'm sweating my ass off on the treadmill!

YOU CAN DO IT!!! Cause YOU ROCK!

nuthatch said...

a few things I have learned...
sweat means your doing something. If your not sweating, your not working hard enough. So maybe think of sweat as an indicator how your level of effort.

second I don't know what your diet is or was, but if you eat garbage, but less of it you won't really loose any weight. Eat healthy and the weight will come off easier. I also found I felt better than when I ate junk.

Also you can spend hours on the tread mill and elliptical but if it's at zero resistance, your not really doing anything. Calories are burned and muscle is formed when you have a resistance. So up the angle on that treadmill or add resistance to that elliptical. I love the "hill interval" program on the elliptical at our gym. Really gets the heart rate going and a nice buen in the legs...

Also weights are essential to any weight loss program. You burn more calories lifting weights than you do on a machine. So add some weight, you have to be at or near "muscle fail" to gain anything.

Streaching is also good for calories burned. Does your gym offer Yoga classes? Great for streaching and de-stressing.

Do a "boot camp" or spin class. Great motivators.

And last thing no matter how hard you work stress is a huge factor to loosing weight. The more stress you have the harder it is to loose and sometimes you even gain even with the best efforts and eating right....

Anonymous said...

I feel your pain!:) Husband and I have been on a treadmill schedule 5 days a week for a year now. He has lost 30 pounds and I have lost no pounds! I did lose a half an inch around my stomach, hips and thighs. Woo hoo. And I did lose 10 pounds only because I starved myself for a week, but I gained it back.
So yes, hitting 40 has really sucked!

Jenny said...

I feel for you, with the waning desire to workout and the utter frustration of gaining when you are trying so hard to lose. From January to March I was working out 5 days a week and I gained 20 lbs and I was PISSED. I asked my Doctor at my annual visit in March and she suggested Weight Watchers. I never had thought to join, and I was honestly a little wary and nervous. I asked my husband to go with me to my first meeting and it turned out to be the BEST decision I made. I have lost 20 lbs. Its taking awhile, but slow and steady wins the race. I no longer can afford the fees for WW (poor college students can only stretch a dollar so far!) but I am still following the program and still losing. Keep it up LIMW, you can do it! I don't know if you'll be able to see my email or not since you're the admin, but if you can, and you ever need extra words of encouragement, please shoot me an email and we can share battle stories.

Dave said...

I agree with nuthatch on two things: Stress does not help when you are trying to loose weight. You need a yoga class. It's an exercise class but it also does something for your spirit. I would like to also suggest going to the dr. and having tests done on your thyroid. Depression and weight gain are indicators that there might be something wrong there. I would also like for you to think about becoming a workout buddy with someone. Preferably a person that will not take no for an answer. It's much easier to do something when you have positive encouragement and reinforcement from another person. If food is your demon, your addiction, then maybe you could find a local chapter of OA to attend. Good luck and try not to stress.

Anonymous said...

I hear ya. I've slacked on the exercise & been snacking more, and my weight's been creeping up.

I second the weight watchers suggestion, or try something like sparkpeople.com. You'd be surprised how things add up.

I've had eating disorders, so I try not to strenuously diet, it tends to trigger me. But I found the exercise does help, maybe you need to up the intensity or duration (heh, you can't smack me over the internet)

~tamjenic

Anonymous said...

& I agree with Dave, yoga is great! I gave it up when I went back to work full time, I
~tanjenic

Anonymous said...

You're describing exactly how I felt and how my body wasn't reacting to exercise. I lived with it for months before I discovered my thyroid had quit working. Two weeks of meds and wow what a difference. Agreed on the boot camp (works wonders in a very short time...if you can muddle through) and the yoga.

amysue in (muggy, pea soup, hot) austin

Anonymous said...

Just because you don't "feel" like you are getting stronger doesn't mean you aren't. Sometimes our feelings tell us terrible lies.

Anonymous said...

You can be heavier and healthy. They are not mutually exclusive.

Anonymous said...

You don't feel stronger---but you probably are. You haven't lost weight---well, you've probably lost a little fat but gained muscle. And you are probably retaining water. Probably, you should talk to a nutritionist about your diet and hidden salt. And switch or add swimming and water aerobics to your workout---muscle training without calorie burning won't slim you down as much as make you bulky.

Your body description, workout issues, even hatred of sweating is like a mirror description of me. Ugh. I'm right there with you, sister.