So I got on the scale Saturday morning and saw that I lost a whopping ONE pound last week...WHOOPIE!...a whole pound (yes, I'm being sarcastic). Now, don't get me wrong, I'm happy to have lost wieght. I could have not lost any or even gained, but I didn't so I know I should be happier about this one-pound loss. But I just can't get excited about it. The thing is, I have really been stepping up the excersising lately, and I was hoping to see that paying off on the scale. Now, I know what you all are thinking...I'm exercising more...excercise builds muscle...muscle weighs more than fat. I've been telling myself the same thing. But it's very hard to believe I'm making progress when the scale barely budges.
I find myself thinking back to another time several years ago when dieting and exercising were the main part of my life...when haven't they, actually. I should be the fittest, most svelte person on the planet with all the energy I have put into diet and exercise. But that's a whole other issue. Quite a few years ago, I had back surgery right before Christmas...that's right, right at the beginning of the "Stuff Yourself With Comfort Food Until You Explode" season. So there I was, laying flat on my back, in pain and with nothing to do but make myself feel better by eating...and eating...and eating. During those pre- and post-surgery weeks I had easily gained at least 30 pounds, not to mention the fact that I had previously been on the gaining end of my latest dieting cycle.
Finally the Christmas, a.k.a. Pig Out season had ended, and the doctor gave me the okay to go back to work. Life was returning to normal once again...except I was 30+ pounds heavier and feeling fat and rundown. I was actually dreaming of exercise. I couldn't wait for the doctor to tell me I could start working out. In fact, I was so anxious, I actaully called him to get permmission. Who was this person I'd become? I don't think I had ever looked FOWARD to exercise...all that sweating and panting...what was I thinking? I was thinking I hate the person I've become. It's time to take some time for myself and start liking me again.
And so it began. I joined a gym and learned everything that I could about diet and exercise from the wonderful trainers. I went faithfully every night after work, and it wasn't easy...it was February and COLD when I joined, but I just kept looking at the big picture. This would pay off, and by summer I'd be ready for miniskirts, shorts and bathing suits. Before I knew it the weight would be falling off of me, right? WRONG. Weeks turned into months and I wasn't noticing any changes. Nobody was telling me how great I looked, asking me if I've lost weight. Nothing...just me looking the same and feeling more and more frustrated. Now, don't get me wrong, I wasn't looking for the magical, overnight cure for obesity. I'd been dieting long enough and tried enough fad diets that promised those results to know that there is no overnight cure. I was ready and willing to work hard for this new body I so desired. All I was looking for was some sign that my hard work was paying off.
I remember one particular day I walked into the gym absolutely unmotivated to be there. It must have shown on my face because one of my trainers could see I was not exactly happy to be there and he came over to see what was up. I told him about my frustration, and he couldn't have been more encouraging. He told me not to give up because whether or not it showed on the outside, my body was becoming more and more healthy on the inside and eventually the outside would catch up. He told me to continue avoiding the scale because there was a very good chance that it would show that I had possibly even gained a couple of few pounds...that whole muscle weighing more that fat thing again. He was absolutely right about everything too. A couple of weeks after our conversation, I started to notice my clothes feeling looser and people were starting to notice my shrinking body. I even inspired a co-worker to join a gym!
I've been using that past experience A LOT lately to keep myelf motivated now. I'm trying not to put as much emphasis on what the scale says and starting to pay more attention to how I feel and how my clothes feel on me. The clothes are slowly becoming looser, but the most noticeable difference is in the way I feel. I have so much more energy than I did. I look forward to exercising every day now and always make room to fit it into my day. I have even started craving VEGETABLES...something I have never done before. Veggies rarely graced our plates, but now they are a part of every dinner, making my husband very happy since he's always been a veggie lover. I've even gotten the kids to try some...they'll come around sooner or later. But I feel good that I'm setting a good example for them at the dinner table.
So I will continue to plug away at the whole diet and exercise game. I will TRY NOT to get frustrated and I will continue to tell myself that it doesn't matter if my hard work isn't showing on the outside that much yet..it's what's happening on the inside that is more important. My body is becoming healthier...my mind is becoming healthier, and I feel better about myself than I have in a long time. And I guess that's something after all, right?!