Thursday, July 02, 2009

Food and Frustration

I have such a hard time with outcomes that are beyond my control. It's maddening when I feel like I am giving something my all and not seeing results. I felt this way when I realized that potty training my children defied logic and reason; similarly, I was at my wits end when I couldn't just "fix" my relationship with E (pre-separation and pre-Retrouvaille). Most things in my life I have been able to make better, if not fix, by hard work and commitment.

Some things don't work like that. Sometimes it isn't about working harder, it's about working smarter. Or it's about patience. Those two things: giving up the "how" and letting go of the desire to do things my way, and waiting for an answer are so hard. I am most often challenged by these two things in life. My stubbornness makes it hard to let go and to trust that I will see results even if I'm not directing the show.

Tonight I'm feeling unusually beat down. I lost a running day because I am really, really sick. I'm so sick that I couldn't do anything all day and my sinuses and throat are burning. I'm frustrated because I truly want to stick to my exercise goals and continue to be out in the world and moving my body. I don't want to quit, because I don't want to have to start again. It's hard enough to look past my own lazy excuses and get out there every day. It's even more frustrating to not run because of something I can't control. I also had to change some of my plans surrounding the 4th of July, which is a bummer, and all I can do is sit here and wait, relinquishing control. And just for kicks, our other computer sprouted a virus this morning, sending me into a hyperactive nitwit panic that I was going to lose seven years of pictures on my hard drive (even though they're backed up onto DVDs up until about three months ago).

More importantly, I'm still really frustrated with my weight. Again, I am not bringing this up to upset anyone or to make comparisons. I'm just saying that for me, I am not in a good place health-wise. I want to get things under control before this gets to be even more of a problem. It seems that the more I work on my health and the idea of losing weight, the less that happens. I've been running regularly since April. It is now July. When I started running, I weighed about 150, about 10 pounds over my "normal" weight. The last time I wrote about my weight, I was up to 159. I started monitoring what I ate much more closely, and I dropped down to 153. Today I weigh myself, and it's back up to 157. OMG. Healthy range for my height is somewhere between 120 and 155 pounds. I don't like that I'm flirting with that barrier.

It's not the fluctuation that bothers me. I know that that's normal, but I am so frustrated that I'm just not making headway. I'm not only trying to keep my calories low (around 1500 a day on average right now) but I'm eating really healthy food. Loads of fruits and vegetables, and trying to get as many nutrients as I can from my food. My protein, fat, carbs, fiber, calcium, everything--all within the recommended range. I'm running 3 or 4 days a week for at least a half hour and strength training and cross training the rest of the week. I have never put this much energy into an exercise routine. Ever. It's just so frustrating.

I'm sorry if I'm being repetitive with my vocabulary. I think frustration means that I lost my repetition monitor. There just are not words to express it. I can't control this. I know the number doesn't matter, but it does matter, you know? I don't think I look 17 pounds heavier than my normal weight, but WHERE IS IT? This is a conversation E and I had tonight. He totally gets how much I hate this.

Me: How is it possible that my weight is back up to 157?

E: Really?

Me: Yeah. I know. All I do lately is RUN.

E: ...

Me: Do you think I have rocks in my spleen or something? I don't feel like I look 17 pounds heavier.

E: Did you eat rocks?

Me: Seriously, you see how I eat. You know I'm not eating a bunch of calories either. What's going on? Do you think something's wrong with me?

E: Maybe you need to see a doctor.

Me: Really?

E: Maybe it's your thyroid or something.

Me: I don't know... but what else could it be?

[I stopped taking some medication a few months ago because I thought it was making me "hold" this weight. He knows this. He also knows it hasn't helped one bit.]

E: I don't know. Nobody can say you're just sitting on a couch eating twinkies. You're exercising, and you're eating right. You're doing what you're supposed to do.

Me: ...

E: Maybe you need your anxiety to come back.

Me: ::descent into hysterical laughter::

I realize that doesn't sound funny, but it is to us. Maybe when I was having all those anxiety issues, I was worrying myself thin. I certainly know that when my stress level goes up, my weight goes down. I am just wishing right now there's a way for my happy life and my healthy weight to coexist. The number isn't the only goal. I just don't feel like myself right now and I still don't feel comfortable in my own skin.

It's just going to take time. And it's not up to me. I do what I can and that's where my part stops. Not mine to worry about. I have to let it go.

Why is that so hard?
Pears from flickr


  1. Hey Heather, when you were 150 Lbs could you run 3 mi?Don't worry about the weight. It will come off. Just concentrate on being healthier and happier!

  2. It's definitely possible that it could be your thyroid...I'm obvi not a doctor but my training partner (read: this girl runs half marathons and ran cross country in college) slowly and steadily gained weight despite running 50 miles a week and BARELY eating! Which is dangerous, and not something you want to mess with.

    Another thing to consider is your body fat %. It's not overly optimistic to think you are putting on muscle weight. If you are keeping up the exercise regimen you just listed, it's doubtful you are packing on fat.

    If you feel good, and healthy, just listen to your body and it will repay you. Don't focus on the scale. Check your body fat %, and again in a few weeks, which is your best benchmark.

    Hope that helps!!

  3. I had this same problem when I started working out! I kept increasing in weight (all the way to 165) even though I didn't feel like I weighed that much. I actually joined weight watchers even though I was already eating healthy, and after the first week I lost 6 lbs. I think sometimes our bodies just need a completely different change.

    Your running schedule and determination motivates me! Hope you feel better soon and have a fun 4th :)

  4. Aunt Mar always told me she gained weight when she was running a lot and training for marathons. She was always hungry because she was running so much.

    Maybe you're not eating enough...when I eat six or so small meals throughout the day, like I was up until probably a month ago, it seemed easier to lose weight. This month I have been eating small amounts but at "regular" mealtime intervals, and I've completely plataeued (sp?).

  5. Personally, I think the Green Monster shake made you sick. :)

  6. How sad is it that when I posted a comment on your status regarding your decision to eat healthy, I knew deep down that if I really wanted to know, I'd be able to find out here? And then how sad is it that I showed up, knew which category it would be in, and then read the entire post?

    Here, I'll answer. Pretty sad. For me.