The Biggest Obstacle Between You and ‘Staying Fit’ is Denial

July 24, 2012 § 3 Comments

I did it again on Sunday.  It wasn’t easy – it never is – but I did it.  And it’s getting easier.  Every time this happens, it gets a little easier.  Years ago, I would have never done it.  I would have pretended like I was fine and there was no point in pretending like it was that bad, so I didn’t do it.  Because I knew if I had done it, if I had seen the truth, I would have to do something about it, and doing something about it is hard.  It’s too hard.  I’ve done it too many times before to not be aware of how badly I didn’t want to get into that situation again.

But on Sunday, I did it.

No, I’m not talking about watching The Killing, I’m talking about the biggest step any person who has struggled with their weight has to make.  I stepped on that stupid, dumb, idiotic, truthful, brutally honest, bitch of a scale.  I had to.  I am too old, I’ve been through this too many times, to not know that I had to do it.

It hadn’t been that long since I weighed myself.  If you’ve followed this blog, you’d know that I last did it when I lost almost 15 pounds in 15 days.  But since that time, I haven’t stepped on a scale.  I have put it in the back of my mind and gone back to living how I live.  I don’t live very healthy.

It helps that I didn’t drink for a month.  It helped a lot actually.  But I did eat that month.  I ate a lot actually.  I ate healthy, in that you would have said, “Damn, you have a healthy appetite.”  I ate well, in that you would have said, “Well, you’re going to get fat again.”

I didn’t stop going to the gym, but I sputtered in going to the gym.  Like my 93 Volvo, I got there, but I didn’t get there fast and I didn’t get there consistently.  My engine needed a lot of tweaking and so I put it out of commission for awhile.  Maybe I’d go once a week, and twice a week was a miracle.  But on Sunday, after a couple of months of ignoring my eating, ignoring my workout, I did what had to be done.  I made that step.

It’s important to recognize that even if I had ignored my fitness for a couple of months, I used to ignore it for a couple of years.  A couple of months of “damage” is easily fixable.  Two to three years of damage is a road that’s so long, so arduous, that oftentimes it doesn’t feel like it’s even worth it.  Having added only a handful of pounds, I laugh in the face of the journey ahead of me.  I’ll be back to where I want to be in no time.

(Note to self: It’s still hard, and it’s not “no time” but I did what I had to do.)

If I had stepped on the scale during the college years, I would have never ballooned to 360+ pounds.  I know this.  I know that any time you have to face what you weigh, who you are, how much you’ve gained, it becomes too much to bear.  Maybe you don’t want to start changing, but then “want” doesn’t matter.  You have to do it.

At least for me personally, I always have to.

Now I step on the scale the moment I realize that it’s the last thing I want to do.  You want to be in a position where you’re fine with stepping on a scale, maybe even excited, but it’s when you don’t want to that you know you need to.

I forced myself in a position where I knew I had to start eating healthier again and start going to the gym consistently again.  I did what I had to do, and here we are.  I’ve got a trip coming up in about two months that I’m more excited about than any trip before.  I want to be a little bit more fit, so I took step one.  The only step that I feel is necessary for everyone, and while it’s the easiest thing you’ll do over the next however-many-months, it’s the one with the biggest mental block.

Get over the mental block.  Do what you have to do.  If you’ve got any doubt or fears about doing it, then I implore you… go step on that scale.  Today.

(Edit: I originally titled this as the biggest obstacle is ‘Doubt’ which does apply, but the word I really meant is ‘Denial.’  Being in denial of how much you’ve gained or the position you’re in, is the real obstacle.)

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§ 3 Responses to The Biggest Obstacle Between You and ‘Staying Fit’ is Denial

  • Bob Johnston says:

    Aiiiiyyyyeeeeeeeee!

    I’m hesitant to offer unwanted advice but you did write and post this so I don’t feel too terrible about commenting (and sounding like a know-it-all). While I agree that it’s important to monitor results (stepping on the scale or judging how your clothes fit) I really feel the need to point out that your method for maintaining weight is just awful. You seem to be a yo-yo dieter and ultimately that sort of thing fails (ask me how I know). You need a system that you can maintain consistently – alternately gorging on crap and then starving yourself for 15 days doesn’t seem like a winning formula.

    I struggled with my weight for years until I discovered Low Carb/Paleo and it’s served me well. I reduced down to my high school weight and have maintained that loss for quite awhile now and I eat as much as I want. It’s pretty easy to not each a bunch of junk carbs (and I include whole wheat in that group) when I know I’m as healthy as I’ve ever been. (Yes, low carb is proven in clinical studies to be healthy – healthier than a low fat diet). Here are a couple studies:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/37202414/VOLEK_Lipids-II_2009.pdf

    http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa0708681

    There is a ton of info on this on the web. Some good resources are Mark’s Daily Apple blog by former world class triathlete Mark Sisson (tons of research on his blog) or the Wheat Belly blog by cardiologist William Davis if you’re interested.

    Why not give low carb/paleo a 30 day try? If it doesn’t work you can always go back to your old ways but I really think you’ll like it if you just give it a real shot.

    Bob

    • Hey Bob,

      Feel free to comment and leave advice whenever. It’s never discouraged.

      I don’t want you to think (well, what do I care, really? Everyone is allowed to think whatever they’d like) that I intentionally “yo-yo” diet. I didn’t sit there and say, “Okay, time to eat again for two months!”

      I have a problem. This is a discussion about the acknowledgment of that problem and not being in denial about your health and fitness. That’s never a bad message. I don’t encourage people to eat unhealthy because you can lose it eventually. Quite the opposite. Remain cognizant of your health. Little by little, it gets better.

  • Inspiring, although not inspirational enough to make me want to hop up off the couch & into a vigorous weight lifting session. This lack of inspiration is not due to your writing style or ability to convince, but can be chalked up to my plain laziness.

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