Its funny, this losing weight malarky. I have discussed the body dysmorphia and motivation sides in a previous post, but I want to talk more about the day to day expectations and struggles I have, post weight loss.
Getting out of the habit of weighing myself was really hard. During my therapy sessions, I discovered that I had all the knowledge there, I was just really bad at taking my own advice. Such as ‘its ok to eat a little bit of what you fancy from time to time’, ‘it’s unhealthy to weigh yourself every day’ and ‘If I miss a workout day, I’m not going to wake up as the old 18 stone me’ etc. I had discovered that I knew what my body needed to maintain the loss rather than constantly strive for losing the pounds. All I needed to do was follow that knowledge and relax into it. Its bizarre, but It’s actually a lot harder than it sounds. Harder in fact, than finding the willpower from deep inside to actually tackle my weight battle in the first place.
Before I realised I was starting to get a bit of an unhealthy obsession with the weight loss, I would literally freak out if I found myself in a situation where I might not be able to workout. As structured as my routine was, if something came up at work which meant I had to stay late, I would have an internal meltdown. Sometimes it would spill out like an over filled kettle boiling and spitting away. I would snap at people and generally be miserable which is really unlike me. Always being on edge was exhausting and anxiety provoking. I was proud of myself for losing the pounds, but at the same time, I was petrified of re-gaining even a tiny amount of weight. I was still training like I was losing. Realistically I needed to calm down on the working out, and be less strict with my food intake I now realise. But most of all, I needed to relax and see myself as now ‘maintaining’.
These days, I try and workout first thing in the morning so that I have the rest of the day to enjoy. If work runs late, it’s not an issue. If friends want to make plans, I’m more available. I also give myself a rest day a week. Sometimes 2 or 3 rest days. And I roll with it and enjoy it. I listen to my body now. If I ache too much to workout, I don’t. Simple. Before I would push myself until I ended up with an injury (a pulled Trapezeum to be precise which reoccurs if I go too hard on the weights now) Its the same with running. While this is great for the heart, its not great for the joints. I used to constantly joke about needing a hip replacement because of the pain in them, but in all seriousness, I don’t want to end up in that situation so listening to my body is so important.
What I have learned, is that I don’t need to be working out for 3 hours every day. Maintenance is a lot easier than weight loss. I was making it so hard for myself. Sleep is also crucial, this is something I didn’t have enough of before, but now I try and make sure I get at least 7 hours sleep a night. Its so much easier to work out with a sensible diet, as much sleep as possible and plenty of water. I wonder why I was so hard on myself before, but the truth is that it was all in my head. Its scary how the mind can start to take over if you let it. Now that I rationalise my thoughts and have eased into this lifestyle, I am so much happier in myself, and I’m sure my friends and family are relieved that I can actually talk about something other than the workout I had that day, or the workout I was planning for tomorrow, the day after, the weeks after. . .
Thanks for tuning in. I have received lots of requests for a post about how I started lifting and how I have built the weight I’m lifting up. I’ll talk about this in detail next week. Please feel free to follow me on Instagram and request specific topics or ask general questions – @marlihan
Have a positive Friday and peace out.