I’m losing weight. A lot of weight if I’m honest, and I’ll tell you what, it freaks me out! It really does. It means that my clothes fit and I may even need to drop a size in pant size. Extra Large shirts now are suddenly fitting pretty darn good. I look in the mirror and I’m not automatically disgusted with myself for letting go as I age. All of these things are awesome and I’m proud of what I’ve done to this point.
So then, what scares me?
Losing it all. No seriously, almost a decade ago I was in the same situation. I had started working out nearly every day with weights. I was going to a gym and using my own stuff. That same equipment is now rusting its way to a dump on the side of our house. Those weights sit untouched, except to move them from house to house and room to room 360 days of the year. I dropped down to 190 pounds at one point a decade ago. It lasted five days. Slowly, and over about a year or more, I gained weight. I justified it but for some reason, unknown to me, I just stopped working out. Oh I rode some here and there but we’re talking, at the most, 500 miles a year…at the most. I was training in Aikido at the time and that was the one thing that probably kept me from ballooning up in a matter of days. I went from eating super clean to eating pure crap inside of two weeks. Did I sabotage myself? Was I so negative about life in general that I created a self-fulfilling prophecy? Was I only looking at the whole thing as an experiment, a diet, and not as a life change. I don’t think so but honestly I’m not sure.
This leads me to the here and now. I’ve lost nearly 25 pounds since the beginning of April. I’ve done it by eating better, portion control, dropping out soda, and exercising three to four days a week for 45 to 90 minutes at a time. (mostly running & riding) I’m hovering around 210 pounds most days right now. This was a short term goal but the real goal was to see myself under 200 pounds. With the end of the year creeping up on us and the achieving of a goal around the corner I keep wondering if all of this is for naught. Will I simply achieve my goal and then let go? I hope not but I’m still not sure why I did it a decade ago.
I have an acquaintance I met through the mountain bike world and follow on Facebook. She recently suffered an injury that has her riding a couch the past few weeks and probably for several more weeks into the future. She’s lost all of her conditioning….all of it. I feel really bad for her because she was at an elite level of racing. I know she’ll get it back but at what cost to her body and her mental well-being? I want to…nay…I need to stay away from losing it like that because I fear that if I were to let all of my meager conditioning go I’ll end up as a 350 pound man careening his way through his forties on a high speed date with my grave. I do not want that. Not at all, so how to keep it from happening? My acquaintance can work her way back and use small feats as stepping stones that will ultimately lead to her first race and she’ll be able to build from there. I won’t. Why? Because my work schedule doesn’t allow me to race…racing, for the most part, occurs on weekends. I work weekends and most evenings during the week.
So if weight loss is your goal and you achieve your goal, what’s next? This is the thing that scares me. That nebulous no man’s land after you’ve achieved your goal. It’s not something that will be happening tomorrow but it is something that is on the horizon, something that I’ll have to deal with at some point and in all honesty I’m not sure how to. Trying new things, new sports, new activities will keep life fresh but will it be enough to keep the weight off, to keep my conditioning at a level that I’m comfortable with? Seems like a no brainer really but I know from past experience that it’s not, I know just how quickly it can all come back; old habits, poor attitude, and that couch potato mentality. It’s just not something I want to return to….and perhaps that desire to not return to it is enough this time around but I doubt it. I am inherently lazy and will pick the easy path every time unless I’m truly putting some serious pressure on myself like I am right now. I’ll sit in my chair and devour ice cream, oreos, and fast food all day while watching movies and sports if my little devil is in control. So now it’s off to search for something…anything, really, that’ll keep that little bugger at bay and keep me on the ‘right’ track. We’ll see how it goes and like always I’ll keep you, the reader, well informed of my journey.