Sunday, May 2, 2010

Idling in neutral..........

First of all, an apology for it being nearly a week since I posted. I have tried a couple times and nothing I wrote sounded right. I want to try to do a better job keeping the blog positive and I haven't had a lot positive to say. Don't get me wrong, I haven't had negative to say either, I just haven't had much to say at all. At a kind of quiet place the last week or so. I am confused by myself right now and just trying to figure it all out.

A friend said to me on Friday, that I tend to run at 0 or 100 in life, and she is right. When I am truly engaged in something I am totally invested, but when I lose that focus I slip to neutral. I don't stop doing what needs to be done, but I tend to go through the motions. Another way to put it is my heart checks out even though my mind tells me I have to stay in the game. 

A lot of people throughout my life have called that "100" pace obsessing. I have thought about that word a lot in the last couple days. If you look in the dictionary, every definition of obsessing has a negative connotation, and I know most have used it in regards to me mean it that way too, as destructive or compulsive. But there is a side of obsessing that I think gets sold short (or is misinterrpreted) and that is called "passion". It is giving all you have to something to get the best outcome you can. For me passion is a driving force at my core. I can do my best at something when I have that obsessive, laser focus. It keeps me moving, it keeps me on track. YES it leads to over thinking, but as hard as it may be to understand from the outside, and as hard as it is to live that over thinking on the inside, it is what keeps me moving forward. It keeps me out of neutral!

I am sure many reading will look at what I just said and say "but there is a happy medium", or "you are seeing black and white and not the shades of grey". And they are right, that is where I should be according to the word, but it is not how I seem to have been programmed. It is not who I have been to this point in my life. I tend to be an on and off switch not a dimmer switch.

Don't get me wrong, I can stick with something I am not passionate about, my logical side can take over and get a very good job done, but it is not the same as when my heart is involved. I lose my drive, I lose my "at all cost" view of giving it my best, and most often I lose why I started it in the first place.

This is hard to admit, it took me til Thursday or Friday this past week (probably Friday during a chance encounter with one of the nutritionists at the club) to say to anyone but I have gone into neutral on the whole "lifestyle change" and weight loss. My mind knows I need to keep going, but my heart isn't there.

I want to clear something up, this is NOT about Gui being on vacation, everyone I have told this to has asked me that. Has that probably let this get further than it should have, sure, he would have slapped me upside the head long before this. But this slide started before he went away and even before my last two sessions with him. This is completely and totally coming from inside me and is not about anyone else.

So where has it come from? I don't know if I have that answer yet. I am still struggling to figure out what happened (so I can undo it) but I can see a couple moments where the air started to go out of me, lets call them a theory for now as I am not sure they are really what is behind this (still really confused on it).

1) Trying not to obsess! I took the advice of many people around me. Stop worrying about it, let it go, don't focus so much on it. I know every intention behind those comments was from the heart and looking out for my best interest. But not worrying so much lead me to a path I should have stayed off. I let myself cheat because I should go easier, and once I started cheating (both with food and not working out so much) I kept getting sloppier and sloppier, until some bad habits (like soda) became easy again. And as it became easier I just stopped caring what I was doing.

I need to be hyper conscious of my behavior, I know that about myself and I didn't trust my own understanding of myself because I heard so many people around me saying the same thing that I believed they had to be right and I had to be wrong. I know I need to be really strict with myself or I end up out in the weeds badly and I did't stay with that because I wanted to make others happy. Again, I do not blame anyone but me. I should have stayed true to what I know about myself and not let the other voices over rule mine! That is a big part of this whole mess I am in now, not being true to me.

2. It got to easy. This is sort of a part of the first item, but not exactly. This started back in Israel. This is going to sound really bizarre to most, but I think I would have been in a better place (more focused still) if I had gained weight on that trip, but I didn't I lost 2 pounds. And I lost those two pounds doing some really unhealthy things for me. I wasn't eating enough, I was drinking soda and I was eating things I shouldn't. Once I saw that I could do that and not pay a price, I did more of it. And that continued after I got home. Last weekend I went to a friends and went totally off the deep end with food and wine (the meal started with raw cookie dough, progressed through nasty fried/breaded foods and ended at cheesecake, only to be followed the next day with a corned beef sandwich). When I got on the scale 5 days after that my weight was the same as it had been before Gui left. I also ate crappy during my week at Mayo and barely worked out, again wiht no outcome.

Most people would be cheering for this (and wont understand why any of this is an issue) and if I had been at my goal weight when I learned I could do much less and get away with it, that would have been GREAT. But I am not at my goal weight, I have 115 more pounds I need to lose. And finding out there are no repricussions for my sloppiness helped make it all right to not focus and care.

3. Mayo Clinic. I know I haven't shared in the blog everything that I learned and found out. Please forgive me for that. There are a couple people I still need to talk to before I put what I know here, and there are still pieces I wont know until after 5/12/10. I promise more details this week hopefully. But I know I shared the part about the doctor suggesting I consider going back to the leg brace. I am realizing slowly how much that hit me and how defeated I felt. I went there for her to tell me how far I had come and instead I was told a couple times, by at least two doctors, that where I was was the best I was going to get (at least related to my foot and my leg) and again I let their voices overshadow mine. I let that view lead me to "why am I bothering". Why am I spending all the money on a trainer if I am not going to see results? Why am I making my life harder if I can't make progress?

It was kind of funny, and I didn't even realize I was doing it, but on the first day every time a doctor there would ask me to walk for them, or would do some kind of strength test I would find myself saying "you should have seen it 5 months ago", as if I had to remind myself of how far I had come. But by day 3 I had stopped that. I should have seen then I was losing sight of things. Maybe I did see it (I can see it now in what I said in the blog and what I didn't say) but I certainly didn't know what to do with it.

I don't want this to sound like the doctors at Mayo didn't put value on the work with the trainer and the weight loss. The internal medicine specialist actually said "heck we should all start working with your trainer" and went as far as to insist I keep going with it, and even made that a condition of him not adding another medicine and possibly surgery. But when it came to the neurologists it was as if it never mattered and never would. And I let that really dishearten me. I let it take away a lot of my purpose for this and I am not sure how I get it back yet or if I even should. If they are right and the end game is not going to be much more than I have right now is all the work a foolish attempt at denial? Somewhere in me I know it isn't, I know they are wrong, but I am having a really hard time sorting out what is stupid childish wishful thinking and what is reality on this right now.
So where does all this leave me. I wish I knew that answer. I have been back working out, so I give myself some credit there. But it certainly hasn't been to the level I was or with the heart it was. I was back with a trainer (Gui's boss) on Thur and Fri so at least I went through the motions again, but I didn't get anything out of it beyond the physical. Normally that kind of workout really energizes me and I look forward to the next one. I didn't have that.

On food, I need to stop with some really bad habits I am back to, and some are proving harder than others. Soda (pop for my Israel and New England friends) was always a weakness and I am back to that again, I need to stop it. I also need to stop giving in to pressure around me on this again. It's rather ironic, some of my friends are actually HAPPY that I am back to eating like crap. It puts me back to the norm they are used to and makes me a lot more "fun" in their eyes. I need get back to being around healthier people like I was doing and about being more vigilant about my own behaviors.

I logically know what I need to do, my problem is my heart isn't feeling it. I don't have drive to do it. So I think my plan at this point is to let my head lead, in hopes that my heart follows and reengages. I am in town this week and really hope I can refind my routine and my state of mind and find where I was a few weeks ago. I really hope I can get myself out of neutral because I know I can't stay here long before I start slipping into reverse and I don't want that!


  1. Pam,
    I completely agree with you about there being a difference between "obsessing" and "passion". I have a passion for teaching, but I most definately don't obsess about it. You can most certainly use passion to drive you... I did with my weightloss. But somewhere along the way I lost my passion for it and now I am stuck too. Eating crappy and working out less is not working for me. I have actually gained back a few pounds with that new lifestyle. I do believe that we can get our passion back for what we are striving for and not be accused of "obsessing" about it. I will admit I was made out to be a "not so fun" person when I was losing weight. I went out less, drank less wine, gave up happy hours for workouts etc. My friends were happy for me because I was happier, but I still was given a hard time about it. I can't care what they think... I am doing this for me!!! It is not about our friends.
    I know how it feels to want to give up. When the most important person in this weightloss journey gives up on you then you give up on yourself. The person in my life who gave up on me was me!!! But I wasn't totally alone in that either. Other people gave up and when that happened I felt lick I was a true disappointment to them and then I started to believe it.
    I know you will find your way back Pam... you have come soooo far. I will be happy to workout with you and join you for a glass of water and a salad...
    Also there is a middle ground that can be found, but if working at 100% works for you, then don't change that. It have obviously worked for you so far:)
    And as for eating unhealthy and working out less AND not gaining... well that was happening to me for a few weeks then it all caught up with me. I can't do it alone... I know I can't!! I will admit that I need my butt kicked on a regular basis too:))))
    So if you need to do this weightloss/healthy lifestyle thing going 100 miles an hour and that is what works for you... then so be it.
    Let's get our heads AND hearts back in this game!!!! We can do it together and with the love and support of our friends, trainers and families we will succed in the end!!!!

  2. Hang in there, Pam. Sometimes "going through the motions" is enough. At least 'til you get the motivation to do more. That motivation can come from regaining your passion/compulsion, or Gui, or something else giving you the kick you need.

    As to your "bad habits", pick one... just one to avoid today. (Personally, I suggest the soda 'cause it's my achilles heel. And I find when I'm not drinking soda, I'm less likely to eat junk.)