...while doing massive leg lunges with 10 pounds on my shoulders, I started thinking about all kinds of things. Mostly it was how strange it was to feel like I was on fire, yet no flames were anywhere. The very next thought was how strange that I wanted to feel like I was on fire. "Burning is good!" I heard Sis. H say to us. "Pain is not, if you feel pain, you need to readjust or stop."
Darn. I was hoping burning was bad.
I had to keep my mind away from the burn --and push myself through it. So I tried to think about how far my body had come in the last 5 months and what it has taken to get to this point. I thought of several things:
- Eating. I have completely changed the way I think about food. I eat less, to be sure, but I also eat better. I no longer devour a plate full of brownies (oh, yes, dear reader, I used to do that. Cakes, too. Sometimes cookies.). I no longer try to eat as much as possible when dining out just so that it's "worth the money." I stop when I am full. I eat when I am hungry. I see food as fuel and I don't reward myself with junk food when I do something good. When I'm depressed? I no longer eat (remember the brownies?). Instead, I write. In fact, I think I owe a huge portion of my new writing life to my weight loss efforts! When I'm angry? I listen to music. When I'm happy? I reward myself with a good book or a movie. Don't get me wrong --I can enjoy a nice piece of cheesecake like the rest of 'em. I just don't eat the whole thing!
- Music. Without music, I would not be able to get what I get out of my workouts. I would not be able to curb my angry eating. Music fuels the tempo and soothes the soul. Good thing it's in almost everything I do.
- Exercise. Well, duh. However, I have found that since doing my weight training, I was able to drop a full pant size with only having lost 3 pounds. Not. Kidding. I am now a size 12, and as Sis. H said this morning "Cheryl, your pants are looking a little baggy there!" --how great that I have to buy new exercise pants! It is seriously the greatest feeling in the world (okay, maybe having a child or getting married would super cede it. But it's close!).
- Friends and Family to Help. Not to paint anything negative about Brandon, but before I had #4, I joined Weight Watchers with a friend. I dropped 15 pounds before I found myself unexpectedly pregnant with #4. But those 15 pounds were hard to lose, only because I didn't have the immediate familial support I needed. Brandon didn't try to sabotage my efforts, no, but he wasn't willing to change his or our family's eating habits at the time. I found myself making 2 or 3 meals every night. One for me, one for him, and one for the kids (well, usually his and the kids were the same). It was rough. But since he decided to take on the weight loss thing himself back in July, it's been a very different road. He has been my biggest supporter, even doing a better job than me at eating right, exercising, etc. Now we just have to find a way to convince our kids that they like all the "new" food. :)
- Saying "No, Thanks." It's hard, when going out with friends, or being invited to dinner, having to look at amazing food and having to say "No, thank you." It's hard because I don't want to insult, I don't want to make weight loss a big issue for others, and I don't want to give up a chance to eat something so delicious! Every once in a while, a friend will say "Here, Cheryl, please take some of this home" or "Cheryl, I'm leaving you the rest of the pan" and I will say "No, thanks. Please take it yourself." If they know about my efforts, then they laugh and say "okay." If they don't? Well, I think they feel slighted. But I decided it's more important for me to be healthy than to eat junk just to appease someone else's ego. It's okay to say no (if done politely, of course). Who knew? Oh --and worst case? Take the food and either give it away or throw it out. The starving children in Africa wouldn't be able to take it anyway. But your thighs would definitely pay the price later on, and maybe even your heart.
So, I will continue to allow my muscles some burning time. I will, for the rest of my life, have to think about my actions when it comes to food. I will have to keep my body going, my mind in control, and my spirit fired up if I am to remain healthy.
You can do it, too, you know. Just give it a try!