Friday, April 2, 2010

Observations and Semi-Deep Thoughts

This is a bit rambling but hopefully mostly coherent. Apologies if it's hard to thoughts are all over the place right now.

You guys are the best. Seriously, when I wrote my last post, I was in a pretty bad place. I almost hated to hit "publish" because I don't want to be one of those people who loses weight and still isn't happy with herself. Most of the time, I am thrilled with where I'm at - I mean, all I have to do is look at my progress photos and see where I was two years ago. On April 2, 2008 I was about six weeks away from making a major life change. I weighed 256 pounds. I was not active at all, and hated getting dressed each morning. And now, from the outside, I look like a normal-bodied person. I don't think that the first thought when most people see me is "wow, she's huge!" anymore. Unfortunately, as Kelly put it, I sometimes still have my fat glasses on when I look in the mirror.

Age is not a number to me. I've never thought "oh, I'm thirty - I should act this way" or "wow, I'm forty...break out the Geritol" - at whatever age, I'm just me. But maybe I'm slow because I am in my mid-forties. Maybe I should give myself a tiny break. Maybe I should remember that two years ago I couldn't have done a push up, burpee, mountain climber or ran more than ten seconds to save my life. Maybe, just maybe, I should stop comparing myself to others and limit the comparisons to the old me.

And another thing. I've mentioned previously that I was anorexic in high school. The number on the scale was the be-all and end-all to me. I still have issues with numbers "defining" me. It's been 30 years since I went through the hell of anorexia, and obviously I'm still not over it when the scale or a body-fat monitor gives me a number I don't like. Can I let go of the scale once and for all? Can I go through life not knowing my numbers? Does it really matter, in the grand scheme of things, whether I weigh 152 lbs. or 142 lbs.? No. I'm healthy. I've lost 100 pounds and I'm maintaining that loss. In all of my years (and years and years) of dieting, I've never been able to keep the weight off once I lost it. But I am succeeding with that, and I credit the change in my eating habits, along with the exercise.

Some people have to use willpower to not eat certain foods. I have to use my willpower to not step on the scale. To not look at the number on that dumb body-fat monitor when I get measured again at the end of the challenge that we are doing at my gym. To be content with where I am at NOW. If this is the end of the road with regard to losing any more weight, than so be it. If, by virtue of running, I actually lose some more pounds, great. I'll know that's happened if my pants get to be too big. (BTW, Debbie had a great workout idea to smash the monitor with a kettlebell...I think just about everybody who got measured this week would gladly participate in that exercise!)

I have been really worn out by the time Wednesday morning rolls around. Considering that I workout on Monday morning, have been running on Tuesday mornings and then workout on Tuesday afternoon, it's no wonder I'm beat and sore before I even get started on Wednesday. My workouts are loaded in the first part of the week because I work Th/F/S. But enough is enough. I had decided about a month ago to finish out my Tuesday workouts (we go in 12 week cycles) and then not re-up for that one. This way, I can get a good run in on Tuesday morning and be fairly fresh for my Wednesday workout. I think that this will do me a world of good, both physically and mentally. I believe I have one more Tuesday workout left - whew!

I'm still not walking on sunshine, but I am feeling a bit better. And relieved, both at the thought of leaving the numbers game behind, along with the Tuesday workout. I'm off work until next week and have a run planned for this morning - no time frame, just running for fun. Thank you for all of the comments and emails - you can't imagine how much your words have meant to me. Love you all!


  1. enjoyed this entry, gives me an idea where you its honest!

    I have not weighed in for 3 weeks now and struggling to get back on the scale after my holiday as I know I've gained but dont want to see number, I know when I see the number i will be disappointed and then go flat to get the weight off, so cant understand what is keeping me from climbing on the scale.

  2. If your feeling like your over training and maybe you are (only you can decide) then cutting back to two weight training days a week is good.
    There is no finish line with fitness were always refining it.
    Happy Easter! Be good to yourself in healthy ways.

  3. As someone who doesn't exercise much at all, I always thought your workouts were, shall we say, frequent and smashed together! I bet you'll feel like a totally new woman once you switch your schedule around...say goodbye to the rut! :-)

  4. Shelly my Friend,

    Loved this post. I think you are wise to cut back on the Tuesday workout. You know your body. I admire you and all your hard work.

    Comparing myself to others is almost a part time job for me. I want to QUIT! Thanks for the reminder.

    I hate to be a person that looses weight and then isn't happy. Damn it, I can't be happy all the time. Especially on my blog. That's the place where I can be me....the real me.

    Life goes on. Just cause I can fit into a certain size doesn't mean that I am excempt from it. It was a tough thing to realize.

    I think I just might post some progress pics myself. Just to

    Way to kiss that scale goodbye. Just another reason to admire you.

    love and hugs to you!

  5. thank you for the very honest post Shelley.

    I have leared through my running training that if my body is tierd it's not gonna take me where I wanna go. I have also doubled up workouts in the past only to crash and burn a few days later.

    I have learned to rest in between runs even if it means taking more than one day off a week.

    We are all only human and I would say you are doing one hell of a job.

  6. While there are many numerical measures, only you can truly assess your own health and progress. While I do enjoy my numbers, I can take pride in what I've accomplished even though there is more work to do. I know that I'm healthier than I've been in years even if some of the numbers might still tell an insurance company something else.

    You are doing incredible...take it from someone who is doing much less in the gym than you.

  7. Not exactly a response to your post...but I just got a bike and am enthusiastically riding every day. How important do you think bike riding was to your success? I like it better than walking.

  8. I think your doing exactly what you need to do for you! And that's what sometimes is the hardest thing to do.

  9. Wow, Shelley! This is a HUGE post. Processing stuff that we all need to go through to make this a life change that will last (in my humble opinion!)

    I have to admit, that maybe part of why I am afraid of joining a class is the fear that I will start comparing myself to others and feel like a failure, or fat, or whatever. Hopefully I have grown beyond that, but I'm not 100% sure.

    Oh, now I understand the workout schedule. But I like your new idea. I bet you will become a running fool! Are your workdays 12 hour shifts, or will you fit a little running in on those days as well?

    We have so much to be thankful for--maintaining this 100 pound loss. I have to admit that I have two parallel lines of thought running in my head almost all the time--learning to be content right where I am, and hoping/working on losing more weight. Sometimes I think that is a conflict, but maybe its an okay thing.

    I am going to take a run as well today, and I will be thinking of you!

  10. I love this:
    "Maybe, just maybe, I should stop comparing myself to others and limit the comparisons to the old me."

    Comparisons to the old you are good, because that helps you reflect on how far you came. Comparing to others really serves no purpose (although I am guilty of this at times, as well).

    Like Debby - I have the conflict of the pride of losing and maintaining 100 pounds, and yet the desire to do a little more is always there.

    Glad your head is a little clearer today.

  11. Glad you liked the "Kettleball- Body Fat Monitor Smashing" exercise idea!

    You know, I think it's very important that you hit the publish button when talking about how you feel at this stage of your journey. For me, it is further proof that most of the journey is mental... a smaller body/lower weight/healthier body (even lower fat percentage!) does not guarantee instant happiness.

    I definitely don't know the answer to this dilemma...but I suspect you're on to something...doing what feels fun and enjoyable.

    Only YOU know the answers to what makes you happy...forget about everyone else!

  12. You're completely right about not comparing yourself to others. I'm a big girl and no matter how much weight I lose, I'm never going to look like one of those tiny, tiny girls that can fit in someone's pocket. And I still haven't come to terms with that.

    Bravo for knowing what you have to do, though. 100 lbs. is a huge achievement and you should be very proud of yourself! You are you and nobody else. Every person is different and everyone's body is completely different and I'm glad that we're all slowly beginning to figure that out!

  13. I am only weighing myself once a month. The rest of the month, I actually had to hide my scale in my basement because it was too easy to just reach under my bed and pull it out.

    It is hard to let go of numbers, but the best part for you, is the biggest amount of work is already done! You aren't 100 pounds overweight anymore and that is AWESOME!!!

    Have a great Easter with your hubby!

  14. Good post Shelley! You're only a few years older than I am but you are at such a higher fitness level than I am. I really look up to you at this point.

    I think it's a good idea to stop with your Tuesday workouts and go for a run. If you don't like it you can always sign up after 12 weeks right?

    Happy Eastern my dear Texas friend.

  15. Hi Shelley -- I just found your blog through a link on, so I bet you'll find yourself with many new followers.

    Thanks for sharing your ups and downs and reminding us all that we are human.

    As I looked through your progress photos, I noticed that as you shrank, your glasses grew!! They were once perfect for your fuller face, but now it's time to match those size 10 jeans with some "size 10" glasses!

  16. Listen to your heart shelley...go with your gut in anything in life...especially your weightloss/fitness journey. You have done so well and you are a great inspiration to many, but with that I'm sure must come some pressure to not fail. You have kept the weight off whereas other times you have never. I know what that is like first hand. I'm happy that you are trying to find ways to not let the scale define you. Let your heart lead you and you will do just fine.
    Happy Easter!

  17. I love that you had the courage to hit the "publish" button yesterday. And I appreciate your honesty!

    I think its a great idea to ditch the scale and your Tuesday workouts - that way Wednesday will be fresh.

    Hang in there Shelley - hope you'll be walking on sunshine soon!


  18. I'm with you...struggling with that stupid scale, with numbers back and forth and back and's definitely a struggle.

    Thank you for being you though and sharing your struggle with us. I hope you're walking on sunshine again soon!

  19. I love this, especially your point about not comparing yourself to others, only to yourself. I think I need to work on that & be proud of what I CAN do instead of being mad that I didn't do EXACTLY what I wanted to do.

    Thanks for this post, Shelley, you rock! Happy SATURDAY!

  20. Great post....very open and honest...and thus thought provoking! I struggle with the scales. I worry too much when I'm not weighing myself regularly. But I allow myself to be ruled by what that number says. It's a catch 22.....your post really hit me strongly. Thanks!

  21. Hi Shelley,
    You really made me think! The whole numbers thing is such a big deal to me, still! It shouldn't be but you know how that goes! I really need to hear this today, thanks for sharing.

  22. You have done an amazing thing by changing your life and your body. Hey, we aren't spring chickens anymore but we sure can be proud of what we've got! You look great. You ARE great. Thanks for sharing all of yourself with us. I hope the next time you look in the mirror, the fat glasses are off and you can see the beautiful strong woman you truly are!

  23. A year ago I just started running and 5K seemed so far and I thought "how am I ever going to run that".
    Today 10K is a long run for me although for others that's a short run.

    I'm sure that 5K will be a short run for you too within a few months.

    And I appreciate your support and comments too. Wish you a Happy Easter.

  24. The hardest part of losing weight is the emotional adjustments we make along the way. Losing the actual pounds are easy in comparison.

    Be kind to yourself, and keep working at this part too. I am with ya! :)

  25. Hope you had a great Easter Shelley!

  26. I'm glad you're feeling a bit better and have decided to let the Tuesday workout're working so incredibly hard in the gym, it's really no wonder that you're wiped out by Wednesday morning girl!! You really do look incredible, and I'm constantly amazed when I pop over here and read your workout updates....I've been in a gym for 8 months now and you are so, so far ahead of me. I can do a Mtn. Climber now, but a Burpee? Forget it, lol. Never, ever forget how far you've come. Size 8's???? If it makes you feel any better, I already know I'll NEVER be small enough to wear a size 8. Feel better now? No? Well damn...I tried! lol Love ya' girl...keep on've got a beautiful's like sunshine. :)

  27. checking on you and wanting to wish you a great week.

    filled with clarity and calm and EMAILING ME if you need support.


  28. Loved this post. I think you are wise to cut back on the Tuesday workout. You know your body. I admire you and all your hard work.
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