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.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Last 10%

Good Morning, All!

Well, with a husband home sick and my son home sick, I much preferred coming to work this morning. Of course I'm spending my extra time here instead of catching up on work because this is WAY more fun.  My favorite way to start my day is to sip my coffee while reading all of your blogs and commenting and writing my own posts. Lately I've been so busy I haven't had time to read all I want AND post as often as I want. Ah well, do your best. That's all I can do.

Anyway, this week has been good so far. I've been carb free since Tuesday and I think it is helping. I always forget how giving up carbs makes me eat more veggies. I eat a ton of fruit, which is good, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I spend more calories on fruit and forget my veggies. Plus eating carbs makes you crave more carbs, even if it is fruit.

Last night Nanny made a salad with orange slices, olive oil, a little salt, rosemary and black olives. She saw the recipe in the Parade magazine from Sunday's paper. Let me tell you I never in a million years would have tried those flavors together, but I'll tell you it was delish. I ate 2 small slices of orange, so technically that's a little carb, but I'm pretty sure it was not eating too many oranges that made me fat.

Yesterday I did two classes for TKD. TWO! I remember a year ago it took everything I had to get through 1 hour of class, now class is over and I'm like a little kid, "AHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhh! Mannnnn!" I really wish I could just have one day to work out until I feel I'm done. I wonder what I could do? Another thing, JUMPING JACKS. I remember a year ago it was hard to do the 10-12 we do in class. Now they are so easy. It got me wondering how many I could do in a row. Tomorrow it is on my agenda to find out.

I was on my way to work this morning analyzing my progress. That's what I do. I was thinking about how I've done this week and wondering how much weight I'll lose this week. I weigh every day. Today I was the same as yesterday. I was thinking about this week and realized that I've followed my plan really well. That made me proud. But, then I thought about all those days over the last few months where I didn't. The days I could have done better. I could have skipped that extra snack. I could have pushed myself to workout. I could have not given in to temptation. I realized I've come a LONG way. Lately, I am in my healthy eating and exercise 90% of the time.

BUT, what about that 10%??  It's that ten percent that is holding me back. It's that one slip, one day, one bite that is keeping me from my goals. Why am I not giving 100%?  Is 90% my best? I don't think so. I know it's not. Yesterday I read a wonderful post by Jack Sh*t. I love all his posts. They usually make me laugh or giggle or roll my eyes. Sometimes reading his stuff you forget what he's achieved just because he's so funny and silly. And then there's a post like yesterday. And I literally got goose bumps. You MUST read it. I did, over and over.

His post is all about having the strength-physical and mental to stay on this path to health. He really touched me with this part about the fact that just STARTING this journey took courage:

Think about it: you get up every morning, get out of bed and face the world head-on. You accept strangers’ stares, children’s cruel comments and friends’ “helpful” advice, all with a wane smile and gentle good grace. You’ve recognized the inner demons that have put you in the state you’re in, and you’re going about doing something about it. You’re getting your life in check, as well as providing emotional support for others who are also getting their lives in check.

And I realized that no matter how many times over the last 18 months I've wanted to quit, I haven't. Not when I had to have my gallbladder out. Not when I tore the muscle in my calf. Not when I was on vacation. Not through the holidays. Not on my birthday. Not when my cousin who was really more a brother to me died. Through all that I have struggled. I have been frustrated. I have been frightened. I have been discouraged. I've seen other bloggers give up. Many of the ones that were around when I started are gone now.

But I am still here.

I am still learning. I am still trying. I am still working toward my goals. Not just the goals for the scale, but all the others. I realized yesterday that I DO have goals. Tangible ones. In the past I have been hesitant to set any goals for my health because I've never achieved any. But, now my success has made me hungry for more. I want my black belt. I want it bad. And I realized yesterday that I can do it. I will do it. I want to run a 5K. Run the whole thing with a respectable time.  I want to see my goal weight. I want to feel what it' like to be thin. I want to walk in a store and never worry about finding my size. I want to wear a bathing suit in public and feel that I look GOOD.  I want my cholesterol to be normal. I want to never worry about getting diabetes like many in my family.  And did I mention I want to get my black belt?

And yesterday I realized reading Jack's post that a little part of me has been scared I couldn't do it. 10% maybe? That little part of me has been holding me back. Afraid I can't do it. Still afraid I'll fail.  Or maybe even afraid of succeeding. This is a whole new life for me. I've never been this person. I'm in uncharted and unfamiliar territory. I have counseled many patients on how normal it is to feel that way when your body is changing so drastically and how your mind will adjust. I never thought I'd face that fear of success, but here I am.  I am realizing that I need to be stronger. I need to have courage. And as far as I've come, there is more I can do.

I also realized that 90% of the time, this healthy life is easy for me now. It comes naturally. Choosing healthy foods, tracking, drinking my water, exercising nearly daily. All that is not a struggle anymore. It is habit now. So for those of you just starting, keep going. It does get easier. It really is my lifestyle now. I really don't think about those foods that used to occupy my thoughts. I don't crave the fast food, in fact it turns my stomach. This morning I realized that the cheesecake my husband ordered for me from Jason's deli on Saturday is still in the fridge untouched. I opened the fridge, saw it sitting there and my first thought was not, "YES! There's my breakfast" as it would have been. It was, "Eww. I need to throw that out it's old."

But, still there's that 10%.

That has to be my focus now. That last little part of me that is holding me back from my goals. The few times I make poor choices. The few times I don't work out when I should. The few times I just don't feel like I want to face this struggle anymore. I have to conquer that last 10%.  Jack said it best in his post:

You’ve got to get stronger because this is a long, uphill climb, and it will take its toll on you, both mentally and physically. You’ve got to get stronger because time is not on your side, and Life will jump up and throw hurdle after hurdle after hurdle in your path. You’ve got to get stronger because me and everyone else that follows your story aren’t going to be satisfied until you reach your goals.

And that is what I plan to do. I plan to get stronger. I plan to face and conquer that 10% because I am not going to let that tiny part of me hold me back from my goals, any of them.  You cannot achieve your goals by eating right 90% of the time or exercising 90% of the time or believing 90% of the time. It takes ALL OF YOU. All of your effort. All of your courage. All of your strength. All of your belief.

What about you? Are you all in? Or are you still holding back? What is in your 10%? What are you NOT giving up or not doing that is keeping you from your goals? Let's identify it so we can change it. Let's give 100%. That's what it's going to take.


  1. I cannot WAIT to bet back to being physically able to do anything. I feel like I've been holding back all stinking year. And dang it, I wish I was a few weeks ahead of schedule with running/walking/intervals - I'd suggest we do the Mayor's 5K together (day before Dallas White Rock, Dec. 3rd) - but I just won't be there yet. Something to think about, though - it would be fun to do a 5K together!

  2. Lots of wisdom shared here Ann! I understand what you are saying and the closer you get to your happy weight the less wiggle room there is regarding the amount of calories consumed. That little extra exercise becomes even more important.

    I do have to be careful about trying to be "perfect" because I can easily slip into an all or nothing mode of thinking.

    If I am not 100% perfect with my eating or exercise I don't want to feel like I have failed - so I do give myself some slack here and there.

    Trying to be perfect 100% of the time set me up for years of yo yo dieting and I don't want to repeat that.

    It's all about choices and some days my food and exercise choices are better than other days and I fully accept the consequences of those choices. That for me is normal and it all balances out at the end of the week. We all have to find the right balance that works for us to stick with a healthy lifestyle for a life time.

  3. I know what you're saying ... I definitely feel like I put in the effort, and the one thing that I've found is that even if I'm getting physically stronger, it's the mental progress that still needs work.

    There are a lot of positive things you've said in this post -- about how far you've come, about the effort you've made and continue to make ... those are important to remember too. It's a long-term/big picture plan. It's never the one bite of chocolate cake that sets a person back ... it's everything that led up to that point and everything that happens after ... basically it has to do with awareness ... and from your motivation and drive, I can totally see you've got the awareness.

    You WILL get to where you want to be -- it's just a matter of time :)

  4. Bravo! Great post (and Jack's was, too). I'm in and all the way. My adage right now is simple: if not now, when??

    I keep going and for the most part going strong. Success begets success. I feel so much better. Way better.

    Have a great weekend!

  5. What a rousing post! I've been feeling bummed because this is the week that I "should" have hit goal if my weight trajectory had gone as planned. But life gets in the way - cancer happens, surgery happens, family upheaval occurs. None of that is to justify not losing weight because my plan has been to maintain if my body won't drop pounds while recovering. There is a piece of me that, as I get so close to goal, might be holding back - have to think about it. As you have mentioned, it doesn't help when everyone around says you look thin enough and you/me know that you/I still have too much body fat.

    Argh, I'm rambling. I will share this... When I lost a ton of weight many years ago (so like your uncharted territory), it did scare me. Do everything you can to embrace your new body and emotions that come with it. Keep writing, even the personal stuff - of course keep that off your blog, but express how you really feel with this new aspect of yourself.

  6. I am the same as you with grains. I would choose them over protein and veggies all the time! That's been a big change in my every day eating.

    Your post is thought-provoking. I do realize that in many ways I could be more committed, work harder. But for me, in other ways I am trying to instead let go, and just live, rather than focus on the eating and not eating and all that jazz.

  7. Thank you so much for this -- I needed it today. It's been A Week (or Month, or Two Months -- urrrgh). I'm so frustrated, because I'm *this* close to being at goal and my body is betraying me at every turn.

    But I can get there. Something's going to give, eventually. So for now I just need to eat well (in spite of the scale being rude), exercise (because I feel a sense of accomplishment when I do it), recognize that the scale just isn't going to be polite at the moment (because, well, it's not), and focus on what I can control.

    I'm on vacation this week, and we'll be at Disney for part of it. I've already started Googling "healthy eating at Disney", and I've decided I'm going to see just how well I can do in the Land of the Mouse ;)

    Have a great weekend!

  8. Glad you have stuck with it and stayed around, i disappeared for awhile, but I am back to Git er done this time :) hopefully.

  9. Loved reading this post! Best line?

    "But I am still here." Life is always going to get in the way of making good choices, its how you handle the curveballs that sets you up for success.

    Hugs! :D

  10. Hi, new follower here, loved this post. Right now I'm 100%, feel like its going to stay that way too. Keeping my eye on the prize for sure. Look forward to following your progress

  11. I totally understand what you are saying here!! I have been doing good but not as good as I should be and now I have plateaued. I know the reason why and it is because of that 10% of the time goofin off and not staying focused and diligent. And now it is like, I have come this far and I want to go all the way to the end but it won't happen if I don't change my 'evil' ways...lol.


Progress to TouchDown and GOALLLL!!