I’ve been really sick with an upper respiratory infection that I swear I tried to exorcise like a demon through violent coughing. Thursday marked a solid week since working out.
I haven’t been able to take a deep breath, had no voice, been to the doc twice, ran fevers like I entered some marathon event, and felt like POOP!
Not exercising brings up a lot of head chatter for me. I was going to say, “It’s hard to miss workouts.” That’s not exactly true.
The correct way for me to say it is, “I have head chatter.” Lots of thoughts popping up which I will be honest…some good and some stuff I thought I was “over” with a long time ago.
See, I love my workouts and they mean a lot to me.
Although I lost my weight by becomng an exerciser first, working out is joy for me. I sometimes go to bed excited to get up and do some workout I have planned. Don’t forget, this coming from a girl who until 30 didn’t play sports, only ran to the bathroom, and thought exercise was for skinny people.
As I lay in my sick bed, literally lay for a week, I noticed so much chatter of all kinds.
When I was overweight and even now, missing workouts brings up fear. In my mind I catch myself still worried about not exercising. I am afraid.
My blog has all kinds of readers but we have something in common: we are here because we’ve struggled with weight. Some of us are in the beginning of losing weight and some have the lost weight. We are trying to hold on, doing our best, and learning how this lifestyle works.
I teach my PNP members that when you feel something “bad” come up it’s time to dig around.
“Afraid to miss a workout.”
Now that sounds sexy. Wow, am I still afraid to not exercise?
I noticed last week when I felt HORRIBLE, running a fever, coughing until I puked that my brain was going south.
After 10 years of keeping my weight off…yes…my brain still goes there.
Some days I am not afraid to miss a workout. It can feel like worry or I will feel compelled to keep a schedule.
If you know me you KNOW I’m all about a good Thought Download (TDL). This is simply asking yourself a question and writing for ten minutes about it. You take a look and see what comes up.
I did a TDL on what was going on when I was 250lbs. I was really curious about the girl that lost the weight.
When I DID have a sick day or big ole monkey wrench I said stuff like…
- I’m afraid I won’t go back to the gym for month if I miss a couple days.
- I’m scared I will mess up my plan.
- I’m afraid if I don’t workout each day I won’t lose weight.
- I’m worried I’ll just go back to the old me if I miss any workouts.
So, if things weren’t perfect I lived in a lot of fear. I was having to put all my mental energy into my weight loss! It’s risky. MOST people are NOT going to succeed like this. It makes me wonder why I did?
My thought download revealed some evidence.
- I exercised because I enjoyed what I was doing. Although I had underlying fear it didn’t really pop up unless something was REALLY wrong.
- Because I was so focused on not missing workouts because they brought a lot of joy to my life, it was rare anything happened. It’s amazing when you are focused on figuring out a way to keep something you love how you are willing to do a lot of early mornings and late night workouts.
- I was seeing my fear thoughts but coming up with strategies for that shit to not happen. Instead of spinning my wheels with it, I would think what can you do for XYZ to work?
So, I usually had good thoughts. The “being afraid to miss workouts” was there but not driving me.
What About Now? 100 Pounds Down and Still Afraid.
Y’all know I’m trying to get to my summer weight and I started on Jan. 4. Like anyone in the world can attest, we love nothing better than to start a plan and then have a total upheaval right out the gate!
I don’t like it either! I like control and a big, fat infection isn’t in mine!
In fact, I’m LEADING a group of women through the Hammer and Chisel workouts and we are in week 6. My ONLY goal with them is to FINISH it. I’m so bad to start and stop things because I love to try new stuff.
Well, here I am SICK!. My brain starts the chatter. Whomp whomp.
- “You just need to keep on pushing. You will let those girls down if you don’t finish Hammer and Chisel.”
- “I knew the second I started seeing the scale move it would get hard.”
- “Man, you aren’t eating much. If you were to do a little cardio you could get to that summer weight faster!”
Hey…I’m just being honest but I thought these things!
And guess what I felt when I thought those things? Afraid. Scared. Compelled.
Just like the 250 pound girl who started this journey.
What is different now is that I simply NOTICED the chatter and what it drummed up for me – a fear of loss of control. No control of my schedule, when I would get well, when I would feel like working on PNP, my sleep, and the list goes on. I noticed it created fear but I wasn’t afraid of the thoughts. That’s some big growth!
I don’t think at this point I need to explore WHY my brain goes there, though. I watch a lot of clients want a reason why. So what? Just know it does and DO something about it. Or they want to blame their choices today on things that happened in the past. I have my own shit I could dwell on or just decide I want a new life. If that life was so great why would most of us be trying to suppress it? LOL. Just let it be. The past is a great place to leave your junk.
It’s OK to have some shitty thoughts. It’s not just OK…it’s part of life and to deny them is like saying I don’t want to live half my life.
This is key so pay attention.
Some of our thoughts cause us to FEEL afraid but you don’t have to be AFRAID TO HAVE THEM. I used to shut down my negative thoughts. I see now my job isn’t to stop them; it’s to notice them! They have a point. A purpose.
This time being sick I wanted my experience with the craptastic thoughts to be different. I wanted to just say it’s totally OK for your mind to go to, “you are out of control.”
Because I was out of control. And that’s not a bad thing.
The problem is I have always equated being “out of control” to mean I was powerless. Talk about a leap right? I get sick, I’M OUT OF CONTROL, enter scared Corinne, eat a bunch of junk, gain some weight proving I’M OUT OF CONTROL.
So, what was out of my control and what WAS in my control?
I couldn’t control being sick; but I could control giving my body REST without bitching about it.
I couldn’t control my cough (and man I wanted to); but I could take my meds.
I couldn’t control my appetite since it was up and down depending; but I could eat foods intending to make me feel good physically.
I couldn’t workout or walk more than 500 steps a day; but I could focus on the fact my busted ass hamstring was getting a good break.
I couldn’t go to yoga and keep my 2016 goal of studio practice once a week; but I could remember the true meaning of yoga is the breath. I could practice deep breathing in a steam bath remembering how precious open lungs are. Trust me, I have never appreciated breathing like I have this week!
Without allowing those old thoughts and being willing to feel afraid, disappointment, scared, and you name it, I would not even think about other things to think and feel.
You can’t out run a bad diet or your feelings!
So, I do still get scared. I don’t believe I will ever gain my weight back but there’s that voice in me which I’ve called my Fat Girl Thinking who reminds me to THINK.
I was listening to a podcast by Being Boss with Tara Mohr. She calls it the Inner Critic. FGT is my version of Inner Critic. She is the one that shouts at you the things you need to hear but just not in such a nice way.
And, THAT’S OK. What I learned this last week is I need to not let fear control ME. Why?
Because it can only go two ways:
I’m exercising when I’m sick making things worse and risking my health like an asshat.
I’m finally going to get sick of living in fear and do NOTHING because nothing feels better than being scared as shit all the time.
What I learned this week is when my brain “naturally” went to FGT, the feeling of fear steps in and it’s just a signal to change the discussion.
I spent a lot of time asking myself what was my body getting out of this sickness. I had a good list!
- Rest – I’ve slept a lot.
- My hamstring and other things that have been bothering me had time to heal.
- I developed an intimate relationship with my lungs. Since I can’t breathe I’ve been steaming over a sink with a towel. It is peaceful.
- I quieted my brain so much. It was such a good chance to allow my brain to focus on nothing. I complain I can’t slow down. I can. I did.
The thing about it was I felt the fear and worked on providing myself with proof that I don’t need to be afraid of NOT EXERCISING.
It made me think about women get so upset when they get sick within the first month of starting a diet or exercise. They go straight to all the reasons why this it; more proof they will always be fat.
I did the same so many times in my failed weight loss attempts. But, looking back I see what the problem was! It’s so clear now.
It was never that I had a cold, missed a day at the gym, the car broke down, what I planned couldn’t happen or it snowed and I couldn’t leave my house.
It was that when shit happened I got scared and thought, “I can’t do this.” I was GOING TO FIND A REASON WHY I CAN’T so I could quit being scared and just feel defeated. Defeated probably felt easy and defeated isn’t HARD. You just STOP and the feelings go away fast!
Pushing through scared is hard. It means feeling both and figuring out another way. It’s work and the feelings don’t just go away fast. They linger and drift away.
I was constantly looking for defeated and not actively looking for solutions, alternatives, or being flexible. I really had it in my head all those years I started diets that it had to go this way or it was just too hard. Why bother? If it’s never going to work the way it should then just quit.
That’s where I was wrong. So wrong. I could have felt bad not exercising like I did this week the whole damn time. All those years I could have chose to feel bad because I was sick and not able to exercise.
And, I could have easily just said, “It’s fine. We are just sick. We can make a new plan and here’s all the things we can be doing in the meantime. Eating right, organizing, etc.”
I didn’t have to make it mean I was a failure, never going to lose weight, cursed by the world, or destined to be fat.
I kind of like the new Corinne. I like seeing how I think these days. It’s the best version of me. Version 2016.