I was doing so great at the beginning of summer. I’d gotten my weight down to 199 pounds, I was doing 50 burpees a day for fun, I was running every day, and life just generally felt great.
And then I went into a slump.
I can’t rightfully say what exactly caused the slump. I’m not really sure, to be honest. But there it was. And it was a weird roadblock that stopped me dead in my tracks. I stopped regularly working out, I stopped trying to eat properly, and I just felt completely unmotivated to do anything. I do know that a big part of it was the increasing bunion pain I’ve been feeling over the months since Boston, and while I tow a very solid line about not pushing through actual pain, I do also believe that if pain from certain activities is causing you to falter, you need to simply find other activities to replace those until the pain is resolved.
Clearly I didn’t do that.
But I also believe the slump was very much mental and emotional. I was drained on both fronts and I had no idea how to get my groove back. Even my usual motivational music did me no good.
Last week I finally got tired of all the garbage in my head that was bringing me down. You know how it gets when you start to actually listen to the voices that tell you that you’re gross, you’re ugly, you’re unlovable, and you’ll never be anything other than what you are right now even though that’s what you desperately want more than anything else in the world. Well I was sick of hearing myself say all those things and think all those things and believe all those things. So I stepped on the scale because I’d avoided it since the middle of August, and I faced the music. 218. Oof.
I’d literally gained almost 20 pounds in two months. A little of that was caused by eating like an asshole, but a lot of that was me not working out like I used to and not adjusting my calories and macros to match. I knew better and yet I didn’t do anything to shift. In fairness, I was feeling really…down? I guess that’s the best word to use. So like many people, I allowed food to comfort me. I still made smarter choices, but I didn’t reduce portions or calculate my meals like I should have. And there you have it.
So I sat down and made a plan. I needed to get my eating back on track, explore new options for workouts, and set goals for myself that I actually wanted to reach rather than felt I was supposed to reach.
I kicked off today with a 9-week run through the keto diet. I’m not a huge fan of keto overall, but I do appreciate the principles of it, especially in terms of exploring how it fuels my body while also helping me to break from the carb-loving lifestyle I had settled into wayyyyyy too easily. I already have my menus planned out for the full nine weeks and nothing on it looks scary, although I can tell you right now, I will likely come to heavily dislike certain ingredients by the end of this experiment (beef and eggs, I’m looking at you). Even though the menus I received had different meals each day, I decided that I function best when I just meal prep for the whole week and don’t need to think about anything, so I selected one day’s menu and made that my meals for the full week. Once I get this down, I may mix it up to prepping twice a week to keep the boredom factor from setting in. But for now, seven days of the same thing feels like the best way to roll.
I’m guessing you’re going to hear me whine about my food a LOT over the next couple of months. I’m sorry in advance.
I also realized that I wasn’t happy with my fitness goals. Certainly I want to take a hard stab at qualifying for Boston and I know that a large part of getting to that point in a year and a half (if I end up needing the One City Marathon to be my BQ race) is both weight loss and lots and lots of speed training. But that end goal wasn’t motivational enough in my mind. I need smaller chunks to distract me from that bigger picture for a little bit so that I feel like I’m progressing in some way. Earlier this year I smashed three huge PR’s at the 10K, half marathon, and marathon distances. I realized I’d sorely neglected my 5K PR and at this point I can’t even remember what it was other than 36 minutes and some change. (I tried to check the race website and they only keep history up to a couple of years. BOO.) So I’m eyeballing my fall and winter race options for tackling a 5K PR, hopefully a race that is smaller but still well-managed. Shooting for a PR on the longer distances is a bit easier to deal with because they tend to scare away folks who simply want to idle their way through the course. 5K’s are the sandbox of the race world and everyone loves to show up with strollers and children and husbands who didn’t really want to be there in the first place but got guilted into it. This equates to a verrrrrry slow start and a lot of dodging for the first half mile until the field starts to thin. For a longer distance that lost time can be easily absorbed. When you’re trying to hammer out a mere 3 miles, it can mean death to a PR.
SO. I’m currently on the lookout for a 5K that doesn’t give me hives. If you know of one, give me a shout.
I’m also looking to change up both my lifting and my cardio routine. I’m shifting my lifting – yeah that was terrible – to focus less on powerlifting and more on overall physique work again, which I love. Lots of glorious hypertrophy circuits. My cardio is a bit harder to pin down – I want something that is going to keep me interested rather than get me annoyed. As much as I hate to say it, I think I need to seek out some dance-style videos and see if that grabs me. I generally just don’t like cardio classes regardless of style, so my pickiness is my Achilles heel. Should be fun sorting this one out.
I guess I’m sorted for now. I don’t know what will happen between now and the end of the year but I look forward to getting my groove back. I need it so much, for both my physical health and my mental health. I’m starting to talk to my cats like they’re actual people. In case you were wondering how dire it is.