Two posts ago, I decided that the numbers do not affect how I feel or influence my weight management program. I found myself really really frustrated that I would eat such and such calories, and expend thus and so energy to controlling my weight and health, and see no benefit. I was losing practically no weight, and in some cases gaining weight by being diligent in tracking my numbers. It took an enormous amount of effort (ok, what exactly CAN I eat, and why do I have to spend an hour on the rowing machine to counter act the cinnamon roll I ate in 15 min?!!) I threw out the numbers and just figured I’d eat sensibly and exercise to feel better and not worry about all those feelings of inadequacy and failure.
Welllllllll, when you do that, it’s like going off road to get to your destination. I did that once. We were in an airport in Canada on our way to England for a tour. There was nothing at the airport we could really afford, being poor college students, so we decided to go to a mall or something to get food. We didn’t want to take a taxi, and since we had a 7 hour layover…we went cross country to get to what we thought would have something affordable and edible. We were not dressed properly for this adventure. It seemed flat and passable and shouldn’t have taken more than 1/2 an hour to traverse. It wasn’t. It was rough, and muddy, and by the time we got to where we wanted to go, we were past starving and didn’t care what the prices were. It defeated the whole purpose. Then we had to trek back to make our plane. We had a goal in mind, “It’s right over there! We can see it! Why aren’t we there yet? Boy was THIS a stupid idea!” We didn’t consult a map, we didn’t call to see what their prices were (no cell phones) and didn’t consider other alternatives such as ordering food and sharing it. We reached our destination and got back in time to catch our flight, but we didn’t achieve our purpose.
I am back at the point where my back stiffens up when I walk or stand for any amount of time. I put my arms to sleep when I lie on my back. I have difficulties getting out of my car. This doesn’t feel good. This feels clumsy; this feels annoying; this feels painful. So I go back to my numbers again. Then, I had a flash of insight. You need the numbers like you need signs…14 miles to Cambridge, 20 minutes to work, 2 hours to take this test. It is to help you gauge your progress. You are not in pursuit of the numbers, they just tell you where you are.
I know I have to eat sensibly. I know I should move around some everyday instead of once a week. The questions that arise are, what did you eat, and how much is available for the rest of the day. What have you done movement wise today? Should I set aside a specific number of minutes or a specific activity to do on each day. It becomes a chore and we all hate chores. It doesn’t mean you don’t have to clean house or organize stuff for your taxes just because you hate chores. Things have to get done regardless of how you feel about them. Oh.
So I went back to my numbers. I am back on the path…though it is still muddy and rutted and dotted with dog poo. I lost 3 pounds.