This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Don't Practice Struggling...

Woke up this am again at 5:40. Got the kids up. Took Son to football. My daughter says, "The sun isn't even awake yet! Look there's the moon." It was a lovely full orange moon. I wanted to take a picture, but I was in a hurry and by the time I had time to stop, it was down too low. Maybe tomorrow.

At least they all had a good first day. My son is loving 7th grade so far. He has good teachers and friends in each class. He's in pre-AP classes for math, english, and science. His excited for band. He plays the french horn. He has his football coach for history and was really happy about that. That's the thing about my kiddo, he lacks my negativity gene. He is generally smiling and optimistic. I'm proud of that.

The girls did well. My first grader has class with several of her friends from last year. She was all pysched up for music class today. My little one was excited to go to her 2nd day of pre-K. At least we didn't have any crying or fits. Last night was another story. Stress of the first day and the fatigue combined in a fit of epic proportions last night at bath time. She didn't like the jammies I picked for her and all hell broke loose. I try to remain calm when this happens. I tend to keep my voice low and ignore it. Eventually she stopped, got in the bath and we moved on.

My eating yesterday was slim. I just wasn't hungry and I spent most of the day with a stomach ache. I think I was just tired. By the evening I'd only eaten like 400 calories. I had some soup and crackers for dinner. Then, around 8:30 I was hungry so I had some fruit and a few more crackers w/ laughing cow cheese. I ended up around 1000 calories for the day.

I went to the gym at lunch and spent 45min on the elliptical. It had been a week or so since I'd done it and it felt good. I'm a little sore from it today, but that's OK. I have weigh in tomorrow and though my weight is back down from yesterday, I know the sodium in the crackers I ate won't help. We'll see. Lots of water today and the scale will judge tomorrow.

A friend of mine posted this on her Facebook this morning: Never practice struggle. Why? Because you get good at struggling. It won't get easier for you. Usually, when you are struggling, you are not doing something quite right. When your technique is wrong, the harder you flail about, the less successful you are. Brute strength is not the answer - but changing your technique is.

I loved this and thought I would share it with all of you. How true is it that sometimes just changing one little thing in your routine will change your success? I think for years I practiced struggling with my weight. Instead of practicing MANAGING and CONTROLLING my weight. The harder I tried, the worse my weight got. It wasn't that I wasn't trying, I was just using the wrong technique.

For me this means, I was using the wrong mindset. I always thought if I lost my weight and I was thin, I could eat what I want. That meant to me that whatever I could do to get the weight off as fast as possible I would try. Then I would be "normal". WRONG.

I also thought losing weight was all about the food. What I could have, what I couldn't have. What plan I was on, points I could eat, what food I could take out of the box. BOY, I really struggled with food. I never even thought about or really looked at exercise as a component. Yeah, I'd do Jane Fonda for a few weeks. OR "Go for walks" which I would call more like strolls, once or twice a week. But, only while I was dieting and never consistently. WRONG.

Now, I've completely changed that technique. I eat real food in real life situations. I eat healthy stuff like tons of fruit and veggies. I limit junk food. in fact, drive thru has become a nasty word in my house. We don't eat crap. We just don't. When I do eat less healthy choices, it is rare and it is much less. Even my less healthy choices are better, such as my thin crust veggie only pizza instead of the pan crust meat lover of before.

And exercise is part of my daily routine. It's not, "Oh yeah, I really should walk but I just don't have time." or "I wish I had time to exercise." Its WHEN am I doing it today? And it's that same question day after day after day.

COMPLETELY different technique. And though there is much I still need to learn and a long way for me to go on my weight goals and my fitness ones, I am on the right path. And you know what? It feels sooooo good to stop struggling. I honestly don't feel like I have a "weight problem" any more. I have too much weight and I know how to get rid of it. Problem solved. It's only a matter of time now.

How's your technique these days? Have you been struggling? Maybe you need to change something up, if so, what?


  1. Thanks for this post today. I just posted about no weight loss this week, but a few NSV's, and admitted that I am disgusted with the scale.

    No more drive-thru for me, either. I absolutely love veggies, and am learning to at least like fruit. I look forward to exercise, too.

    What I am changing will be: Trying harder to stay at or below my calories for the day, and trying to eat less meat, with more fish. And keeping up the exercise every day, no exceptions!

  2. Thanks for this. I am struggling with consistency in physical activity and can't figure out why. After almost a year of changing my eating habits, eating healthy is now longer a struggle - an amazing accomplishment for this emotional eater with little stimulus control.

    Physical activity was once second nature to me, even at my highest weight. Now, I am trying to regain my fitness as I continue to lose weight, but staying on exercise schedule is much harder than I had anticipated. I have very few barriers except something internal. Perhaps scheduling it on my calendar will make me commit more strongly than I thought that I had.

  3. I've just lost my mojo, and have to get it back. I've had a few days of amazingly poor food choices which then left me feeling stuffed and "too uncomfortable" to exercise...


    So I called an end to it today. I have twenty more pounds to goal, and those are going to be a bear to whittle off. Still, I've been fighting these last 20 for three years... so it's time to actually get them gone.

  4. In the past, I tried WAY too hard to lose weight. It's not meant to be that complication. This time it's much, much, MUCH easier. That's my technique these days.

  5. I want to echo your sentiment in that in the past, I also thought, ok ,get skinny, then get back to eating what I want. I never had enough common sense back then to realize that to get weight off and keep weight off were two different things altogether. It never dawned on me to CHANGE MY LIFESTYLE! I am now on the right path, just like my good friend the Doc! I think together we will one day have to toast to our successes in aggregate, even if it is in cyber land!!

  6. Really interesting! It hit me hard because I have indeed been struggling all summer and use that exact word. Time for a paradigm shift thanks to you:)

  7. I totally understand what you mean! This time around I'm actually eating healthy food and exercising 5 or 6 days a week. I've never done this before. I had the same mindset that you had.

    I like the name of your blog. It rolls off the tongue so well.

  8. You and I are on the same page - not exactly a diet, just a good positive mindset about what we're doing and what we're going to continue to do. You seem to be able to do more in the way of exercise than I am so far, but I'm working my way there! I do exercise every day swimming or with the Wii and sometimes I'm discouraged because I don't do as much as I think I SHOULD, but then it just pushes me harder to do better the next day.

    Keep up the good work and thanks for the great post!

  9. I loved this post about struggling. I had not really thought about the fact that I also used to struggle for years. But, now, just like you wrote, I am on a new trajectory where I am a bad-ass (yep, I stole this from you) and kicking the SOB struggle out of town by DOING something vs struggling. So increbily empowering.

  10. Sometimes I think my struggling was just a smoke screen because I did not want to do the work. I made things so difficult that it was impossible. Poor me. Love the post, it makes a lot of sense.

  11. I'm so glad that I came across your blog. You and I are about at the same weight, and I am fairly new to this blog process. I started earlier in the year and then quit and restarted again. I think you're doing great. I will be checking in again--your blog is great!


Progress to TouchDown and GOALLLL!!