On Acceptance

Today turned out to be one of those days where I wasted a lot of time being unhappy with the way things were.

When I woke up I discovered that our heat and hot water was not working (again!), I begrudgingly dressed in a bunch of layers and made my breakfast in a cold kitchen.

A little while later I got dressed for the gym, but as I headed out the door, my left hamstring started causing me pain. It was bothering me yesterday after what I felt was a really good run. I had hoped that the foam rolling and ibuprofen last night would help enough to let me work out today, but after walking about a block I realized it would be a better idea to let it rest for the day.

Unplanned rest days really get me down. I have schedules to keep and goals to reach and this is not helping!

So I spent most of today wrapped in a blanket reading blogs, watching Netflix, and feeling sorry for myself.

You see, I’ve been feeling pretty frustrated  lately. I’ve been making good progress with my running. I’ve been eating well and moving towards a mostly plant-based diet again. I’ve been exercising 4 to 5 days a week. And yet, the scale is barely moving. I’ve lost a few inches in the past month, but only two pounds. My body looks different, smaller. I had to get new pants, but the scale will not budge.

As the afternoon wore on I grew angry with the fact that this is not going how I had hoped. I grew resentful of the fact that the pounds are not coming off even though I eat all the “good” foods 80-90% of the time; even though I don’t have dessert; I skip the fries; I don’t drink soda; I buy only fresh, non-processed groceries; I limit sugar and carbs, etc. and have been doing so a long time.

And then I realized that the anger and resentment was not going to help me. In fact, it was very close to sabotaging me because, in the past, this is the point where I would throw my hands up in the air and give up. Why should I work so hard and pay such close attention to what I’m eating when it’s not doing me any good? The weight is still hanging on? Why should I continue running when it’s not helping me make any progress towards my weight loss goals? Why should I care how fast I can run a mile? Why not just stop?

The answer was surprisingly simple: because it makes me feel good. Eating well makes my body happy. Running makes my spirit happy. Exercising in general leaves me feeling great physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

Just because one way of measuring my progress is not reflecting the results I want does not mean that I should give up. There are so many more benefits to all of this than just the numbers on the scale.

I need to accept that the downward climb might be a slow one – slower than it has ever been before. I need to remember to focus on the moment, continue to make healthy choices, and trust that my body will let go of this weight when it’s ready. I am doing lots of good things for myself and I shouldn’t stop just because it’s not going my way yet.

I have to keep going one small step at a time and celebrate every kind of milestone I can find, even the tiny ones.

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