I brought my running shoes to Vegas, but I never took them out of my bag. I've brought my running shoes on other vacations and used them daily, but this time I barely considered it. Honestly, just attempting to find the work out room in that vast hotel property sounded like something beyond my capabilities.
I told myself I would run when we got home and I seriously had every intention of doing so. But it was a rough day or two when we got home and I didn't have time and I was so tired. I'd also told myself I would have a little self-control around food when we got home, no more of this pastries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner like I did in Vegas. But that didn't really happen either. I didn't have time to grocery shop until Saturday, so from Wednesday when we got home to Saturday morning I was, well, eating pastries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Almost.
Saturday is when I stopped all that. Saturday I went grocery shopping for a meal plan that was Super Low Carb. I busted out the South Beach Diet book for a few recipes and loaded up on the lunch foods and snacks that have served me well before. And eggs. A trillion eggs. Good thing I love eggs.
A small amount of shame, a bridesmaid dress to fit into, determination, a little competitiveness, and just knowing that I CAN do it were my motivators here. I was just sort of tired of myself - do you know what I mean? Tired of not getting it together. So I decided that Saturday I would get it together. I also decided that I wouldn't exercise.
I KNOW. However. Here are my thoughts. I have been struuuuuggling with weight loss since about March. I know it wasn't a plateau - I just wasn't doing what needed to be done. I was at a point where I wasn't back in my old clothes, but I was close and I was just sort of fine with it. And as soon as Lent was over I was back into my chocolate addiction, which becomes more of a madness when I'm not feeling so great, which has been most of this spring. I would step on the scale every morning and hate myself. I would plan my entire day around when I could get a run in, or when I could have 30 minutes to myself in front of the TV. If Emma didn't nap right or Jack bugged me all through quiet time, I stressed out, because I wouldn't get to exercise and I wouldn't lose weight that day. Then there were the days when I was doing my video in the morning and running in the afternoon. I was so proud of myself on those days! And some mornings I'd be down a pound or two. But I was constantly gaining and losing those same two or three pounds. I started to feel like maybe I should just throw those clothes in the Goodwill bag because this was NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.
Anyway, the not exercising part wasn't really a PLAN so much as space I decided to give myself. If I felt like running I would, but I wasn't going to make a big deal about it or feel guilty if I didn't. That article I linked to last week, about obesity and all that, reminded me that I have done this before without exercising AT ALL. Not that exercise isn't GOOD, clearly I am not saying that, but a bit of science lent some credibility to my own experience, and that gave me space to stop.
The last few days I've spent my unpredictable nap times and quiet times with a book, my breakfast or lunch, sometimes an episode of Felicity. Often a nap, since the medicine I'm on has a drowsy side effect and I'm already not sleeping enough at night. And oh, it is wonderful. I haven't dreaded Having To Go Exercise Now, I haven't stressed about my schedule, I haven't worried about how I'm not running enough, I just STOPPED.
I've also lost three pounds since Saturday. Do you know how long it took me to lose the previous three pounds? Like, at least a month and a half.
Eating like this, which I'm used to and doesn't bother me half as much as it once did, is giving me a semblance of control, which I can really use right now. And choosing to let go of daily exercise has given me a break from giving my own self a hard time.
I don't intend to QUIT running. I actually like it. I do. I especially have to get back into it if I'm going to do NaNoWriMo like I said I would at the beginning of the year. I've never written so much as when I was running on a regular basis (PRE-Emma, I should add!) But after I lost all that weight after Molly, I told myself that if I was going to keep it up, running couldn't be a weight loss thing, it had to be a mental health thing. And it was, for a long time, until it turned into just another thing I couldn't get done the way I wanted to do it.
I'll get back to it. Maybe even tomorrow. But I'm not going to insist on it, not any time soon. And one day I'll get back to Jillian, because I really like those arm muscles she gave me that summer, but I don't have to do that right now either.
So, you know I'm not ADVOCATING this, right? You do what works for you! And who knows how long this is going to work for me. Right now I'm super motivated to keep eating this way, which really is good for my particular body type, I believe. But I'm well aware that I'll always be a cakemonster at heart and there will be plenty of backslides. And there once was a time when I felt horrible if I WASN'T exercising almost every day. I think I would like to feel that way again, but right now I feel like I've made a good decision for me, backed up by those three lost pounds, backed up by the fact that I'm going to bed early and not stuffing my face at night, backed up by the no-more-berating-myself if I miss the exercise opportunity in my day.
We'll see, right?