Friday, January 10, 2014

Why Am I So Cranky?


Well, this whole New Year thing just isn't turning out the way I had planned.  I come back after being gone a couple of months, I post my New Year plan, I get a comment that rubs me the wrong way, I write a whole post explaining why it rubbed me the wrong way, and then I start a whirlwind of concern from some of my long-time readers and more hatefulness from my not-so-long-term readers.

After writing my post yesterday, I started receiving messages and emails from people asking me if everything was OK.  If I was OK.  That I wasn't acting like my normal, happy-go-lucky self.  I received some emails and a comment basically telling me that I was majorly over-reacting, and that it was my own fault the original commenter wrote what she did, because I had basically said I was going to just keep on eating and hoping that exercise would save me.

And, after reading the original post over and over again, I see how some things could have been misconstrued, but I stand behind my post that I wrote yesterday.  

Carers and haters alike are both surprised by my outburst.  I've received some not-very-nice emails and comments before, but I've never gone off like that.  I overreacted, supposedly.  The original commenter was just sharing her opinion and giving me information that I should know, but maybe needed to hear again, and was giving her take on what I was saying.

Like a comment posted yesterday shows, I did say that I was going to "eat whatever I freaking want, when I want" and that usually means shoveling food in without a care.  

Usually, I'm pretty openminded and accepting of all comments posted - nice or not.

So, why now, am I going all bat s**t crazy over one comment that really wasn't downright mean?

I think one of my biggest problems is the fact that everyone seems to have this "one-size fits all" mentality.  Statistics, diet plans, weight loss gurus all say the same thing over and over and over, and it works for lots of people.  But, not all.

And by that, I mean me.  

I've been battling my weight problem for close to a decade, and yet here I sit still 250lbs.  I've tried every diet out there, followed all the advice, done what everyone else has done that worked for them, and I'm not really any better off for it.

I know that a lot of that has to do with follow through.  It's my own fault.  Had I stuck with what I've been told, and continued doing what everyone else is doing, I would have had the same success.  

But that's the point that has gotten me so cranky and rubbed the wrong way.

If it's not something I can sustain, then it's not going to work.  For me.

Sure, I'm lazy.  I'm not committed.  I'm lacking the true motivation and willingness to put in the hard work that comes with losing weight.  But, at the end of the day, I have tried so hard...and continued to fail.

Like I pointed out in my post yesterday. For the past two years, I've focused solely on my diet.  I've learned everything I can about what foods I should be eating, how much is enough, what foods I should be avoiding or eating more of or eating less of.  Have I followed all the nutritional guidelines to a tee?  No.  But, I can definitely sit here and say that I've spent more time in those two years eating the "right way" versus eating like crap.  

I've lost some weight, I've gained it back.  I can blame my food intake for the gain, I suppose, but gaining 5lbs because I ate pizza one night doesn't really make sense to me.  I gained 5lbs over the course of Christmas break because I know I overdid it.  But, if I look back at my history, I realize that I've basically been maintaining my weight all this time.  

I've decreased my calorie intake, that took off a few pounds for a while.  Then, the pounds starting coming back... even though my eating habits weren't really changing.  I was still eating pretty much the same stuff, yet I was gaining weight again.  I'd cut the calories again... same scenario.  Finally, I got to the point where my doctor said NO MORE CUTTING CALORIES!! He said I wasn't eating enough, and so my body was storing.  How can that be? I have more than enough fat to burn off.. but I also know that starving myself won't get me anywhere.

I tried weight loss pills.  Again, huge success in the beginning, but they started to fail me.  Doctor said they wouldn't do me any good by just watching what I was eating.  Exercise had to be incorporated.  

I, then, started to really think back to my successful year three years ago.  

I started that year weighing almost 300lbs!  I decided to start walking.  Fifteen minutes, three times a week.  And it killed me, but I also felt really accomplished when I had done it.  Then, I was able to up that.  Then some more.  Until I was walking thirty minutes three times a week.  And just by doing that, I lost 40lbs.

At around 260lbs, I did something crazy.  I decided to sign up for a boot camp.  Intense, hard-core, fitness boot camp.  Ninety minutes, three times a week, of calisthenics, running, obstacle courses, pulling HumVees.   At 260lbs, I thought I was basically going to kill myself.  And on most days, I did feel like I was going to die.  But, I got through each session.  No matter how much I was hurting, or puking, or on the verge of tears... I got through EVERY. SINGLE. SESSION.

After I completed the boot camp, the fitness world was mine for the taking.  My next target was running 5Ks.  Just a few months later, I achieved that goal.  Finishing a 5K in a little over 45 minutes.  Then another 5K came, and another.

By the end of that year, I had dropped 80lbs and felt better than I had ever felt in my entire life.  I was strong, fierce, and rocking a body that I was finally proud of.  Even though I was still around the 200lbs mark, I had dropped several inches from my body going from a size 24 down to a size 16... and was almost in to a size 14.  

Then, life got in the way.  Again.  Stress.  Worry.  Feelings of helplessness, that I wasn't good enough.  And all those strong feelings I had worked so hard to get were gone.  Poof.  Just like that.  All because I couldn't find a teaching job, and it cut me to the very core.  I had convinced myself that doing what I had done with my fitness would somehow help me with my job hunt.  When I found out how wrong I was, I let it eat away at me.  Literally.  Falling back in to old habits of eating to medicate.

Since that time, I've managed to get some of my self-esteem back.  Getting my job was a big motivator in that.  I've spent a lot of time evaluating my need to turn to food for comfort, and feel like I've come leaps and bounds from where I was a couple of years ago.  I was sure I could get back on the horse and lose all that weight again... except this whole time I forgot what it was that motivated me in the first place. 

Feeling that rush of adrenaline.  Feeling like a million bucks when I did something I just didn't think my body was capable of.  Having a purpose and focus, rather than just a desire.  

It truly was all about the exercise.  The strength.  The fitness. 

That's what had motivated me to lose the weight.   That's what had helped me drop 80lbs.  The food was just a part of the cycle.  Push my body, burn the fat, fuel it with healthy foods.  

Of course, had I explained this all a few days ago, I don't think I would have gotten the comment I received.  Had I explained what I meant by not following a diet "plan" and focusing entirely on exercise, I wouldn't have had to unleash like I did yesterday.

And that's my bad.

But, one thing I really wish people would understand is that everyone is different.  I don't give a flying hoot what the experts say.  I couldn't care less about who has managed to succeed with whatever plan they were doing.  I am tired of hearing it.  Tired of feeling like I'm doing something wrong if I'm not doing what everyone else is doing.  Tired of being judged or assumptions made about me.  

Yes, I choose to journal my weight loss journey.  Yes, I should expect to get some opinions I don't agree with.  Yes, I totally overreacted about a probably innocent comment that was made.  

But, when I post, I'm not always looking for advice or suggestions or someone telling me what I should or shouldn't be doing.

Believe me, I've tried.  And, none of it has worked.  

And that's not an invitation for someone to tell me why it hasn't worked.  I know why.  Really, I do.  I am the only one to blame.  I am the only reason I am still in the situation I am in.  But, when I feel like I might have discovered the answer for my constant failures, I really don't need someone telling me that it won't work... that I'm setting myself up for failure.

Because, I've failed so many times from doing what others have told me to do, by listening to people tell me what will and won't work.  And for once, I want to try something on my terms.  

I'm a person that needs a focus.  Apparently, just being healthier isn't that purpose.  Apparently, just losing weight isn't even the focus.  If that was the case, I know I would have given much more to the healthier eating lifestyle.  

I have realized that I need physical motivation.  Competition.  Even if it's just with myself.  Not just making my body smaller, but stronger.  I need to accomplish things I didn't think I could.  I need a drive that keeps taking me to the next level.  Keeps challenging me.  Keeps pushing me to do better, be better.  

And I truly believe that it's something to do with fitness.

Maybe it's running.   Maybe it's boxing.  Maybe it's Yoga.  Maybe it's Mud Runs or 5Ks or Triathlons or 
CrossFit.  I have no idea at this point.  But, I know that it's something along those lines.  I can feel it.  

So, I apologize for being a cranky pants the past couple of days.  It's all my fault for not saying all of this from the get-go.  Had I explained these feelings, many of you may have been more understanding about where I was coming from and what I meant.

Of course I know I have to eat healthy.  Of course I know that I have to be meticulous with my diet.  But, I also know that when I'm working out.  Hard.  I fuel my body the right way... the way it's supposed to be fueled.

So, let's start over, shall we? 

A new beginning.  Hopefully, I've explained it all now.. but if there is any question, please don't hesitate to ask.  I know that I've probably scared off people from commenting ever again, but I'm not really like that.  I truly do appreciate and accept opinions and advice, even that of the "opposing" kind.

I just ask that if you feel the need to recite the jargon I've heard so many times before, that you needn't bother.  I know how much I need to focus on what I eat.  I know how much I need to focus on how often I exercise.  I know at the end of the day I either put-up or shut-up.  

But, for the first time in a very long time, I feel like I don't have any stresses I can blame my demise on. I have a happy life.  I've checked off two of the three MAJOR life goals:  Get a teaching job?  Check!  Get a new house?  Check!  Lose weight and become stronger than I've ever been?  There we go.  That's the focus for this year.  It's time.

I promise to get rid of my Cranky Pants as of today.  No more hatefulness from me.  I promise.

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  1. It's hard to have a public blog, in general - I knew to EXPECT criticism from people who didn't know the whole story and had an agenda of their own... but, it was still hard to hear. Sometimes, my initial reaction was "you don't know me! What I've been through!!!"... but in the end, we are all just here to share our viewpoints, our experiences and our thoughts. Do what you do, only you know what is right or worth it for YOU, just use the comments as a way to make you think! I try to do that, now, instead of immediately getting my hackles up :)

  2. Hi Joanna

    I love your statement "Don't be shy... Let me hear what's on your mind..."

    Well on my mind is to wish you a good 2014. Having only just found your blog I'm enjoying the read.

    I think for all of us it's good to exchange views - then it's down to each of us an individuals what we choose to act upon and how we choose to re-act.

    Hey we all have cranky days, we all have happy days, we all have a lot of in-between emotion days ........ but onwards and upwards. I'm positive tomorrow and the rest of the year will be brilliant.

    Positivity as always

    All the best Jan

  3. I think that I could have written your last three posts because I know exactly what you mean. I KNOW exactly what I need to do to lose the weight and I'm not lazy at all. I just sometimes get to a point where I resent that I have to keep up with the d*mn points and I don't want to have to know how many calories are in a hamburger bun. I just want to BE.

    That being said...I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment about self-esteem. I don't believe that anyone can lose weight until they work through why they are unhappy with themselves. You appear to be getting a handle on that - so I feel that this will actually be your year! I hope it's the same for me!


Don't be shy... Let me hear what's on your mind...