Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Getting back on track......

Derailment....wicktionary describes it as:

derailment (plural derailments)
  1. (rail transport) The action of a locomotive or train leaving the rails along which it runs

Usually the train is running along on course, all systems go, following the path of the track.  Then out of nowhere the train hits something, abruptly stopping the engine, and one by one the cars leave the track. The resulting wreckage compounds the initial collision leaving more damage and destruction in its wake.

    It seems this is exactly what has occurred in my quest for fat loss and improved fitness. March brought  a period of career uncertainty followed by starting a new role in April - a role I love but with weekly overnight travel. Suddenly all the habits I'd developed, the lifestyle changes I'd adopted over the previous 18 months began to derail. No consistent schedule made following a defined training program more difficult. Being away from home meant being away from my scale, so weighing, monitoring my progress, turned into weekly, turned into not at all. Travel brought more restaurant food. Much more. And with it  an "I'm on vacation" attitude - why not an order of fries, I'm traveling. How about an extra few beers, no biggie.

    When I was home I found myself feeling guilty about the time spent away. Which made me increasingly reluctant to use home "family" time to work out. I stopped going to yoga. Not being able to follow a consistent schedule, regimented program for strength training meant with my all or nothing attitude, I stopped lifting entirely. The long solitary walks/runs and bike rides that I used to clear my head and shake off stress meant time away from family - and they stopped. Initially I did take advantage  travel nights away to enjoy long walks in the towns I visit, but I've found those becoming fewer and fewer. Meanwhile, the travel style junk food eating and drinking began to creep into my everyday home life also.

    One by one my goals from January were not met. Instead of losing weight I gained it. Triathlon season came and went. While I did manage to drag myself through the Rock n Roll Chicago half marathon in August, I did it in my worst time. In March I was on the brink of moving down to a size 10, now my size 12s are too tight, I'm finding myself pulling out the 14s. I've even passed the weight I swore I would never, ever see again on the scale.

    And I've blamed this all on traveling.
    But I know if I'm honest with myself that's not all of it. By mid-February I'd hit my lowest weight in many years. With the exception of 3 or so years in my 20's, within a few pounds of lowest weight/size I'd been as an adult. At the time I told myself, I needed a diet/training break. Needed to just "maintain" for a while. What I needed to do was come to grips with how I'd changed. How both the weight I'd lost and more importantly my new healthier lifestyle had changed me, my relationships, the way friends and family, co-workers and strangers relate to me. How the changes in me can be at the same time threatening and inspiring to those who know and love me.

    And with that I still struggle. We struggle.

    I know that I'm not the skinny fat girl of my mid-20's. At one point, nearly 75 lbs less than my current weight. In a size 4. Weight lost after a particularly traumatic time/incident of my life. Maintained through an unhealthy lifestyle. Somewhat lost and off track. Funny, how few pictures I have from those years....when I had the body I'd always dreamed of. How intertwined this body image is with the poor decisions and bad behavior of this time of my life. And how much that scares me away from moving forward on this weight loss journey.
    But even more frightening is going backward. I am no longer the obese and sedentary woman I'd become in my 30's and into my 40's. Numb. Sedate. Not happy with myself. Always aware I was one of the heaviest in the room. Always wondering if my weight was holding me back professionally, personally.

    So where am I? Who am I? I know that I've changed, am still changing. Tired of being stuck in a place afraid to move forward, terrified of going backwards. Most importantly, know that going backwards is not an option - but if I don't take some concrete steps, exactly where I am headed. Know that *my* being fit, healthy and active is best not only for my physical health, but also my mental state.  I must to go back to fitting in time for me, back to making my health a priority in my life. I must let go of feeling guilty for spending time working out, guilty for making the food choices necessary to lose the rest of this weight. Find a way to hold myself accountable for my actions and decisions.

    Must stop sitting on the couch all night - disgusted with myself; beginning to resent those around me, as if they were forcing me to eat too much, drink too much, be a slug. They aren't. They are nothing but supportive. Still, I must continue to assure my family that these changes are not a threat. That being a bit selfish is necessary for me, but also for them. I cannot become numb again.

    This self-portrait from last March hints at this new Kim. Strong. Athletic. Wanting to tackle the world. Wanting to be a warrior. I just need to let her out. I owe that to her. To me.

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