Saturday, September 08, 2007

A rare Saturday quote day

Many people fail in life,
not for lack of ability or brains or even courage
but simply because they have never organized
their energies around a goal.

~ Elbert Hubbard

Your comments on Thursday are most appreciated.

Many of you had never visited here before; most of the hits I've gotten the last two days were from referrals after PastaQueen included a link in her blog. So, welcome! And I hope you'll come back!

What I'm about to say is going to make me sound terminally unique, and that's not my intent. But here goes.

I'm not a young, athletic woman in the middle of my reproductive years. Those days are long gone and, in fact, I've never been what one would call 'athletic.' What I'm left with now is a sluggish body that doesn't move as easily as it used to. Nor does it burn calories efficiently, if at all. Nearly everyone puts on a little weight as he or she ages; I'm certainly no exception there.

As a middle-aged, postmenopausal, mostly sedentary woman, my body doesn't respond to regimens of eating and exercising the way younger bodies do. If you – you youngsters out there – hit a plateau, you can try all the suggestions you gave me and something will, most likely, work.

I've tried them, not in the very recent past, but I did last winter, with no success. What I learned is that if I eat more, I gain more weight. If I take an exercise break, I gain more weight. And I'm worse off than if I'd just stayed on the plateau.

Now the down side of staying on the plateau is that it absolutely wrecks my mental and emotional health. And that's where I've been for quite a while now. I'm not sure what to do about it.

I liked Jonathan's suggestion best: He thought I might find some peace if I quit banging my head against the wall and just stopped for a bit. Honestly, though? I don't know how to do that. Whether I eat poorly or well, I'm conscious of making choices and counting things up and dreading the next time I weigh myself. I've been fighting this fight for most of my life.

I don't know how to stop, but oh, how I wish I did. My head is bloody from the beating I've given it. Not to mention the wall.


PastaQueen said...

Oh no, I hope my readers didn't beat up on you! I will send them to the corner for a time out if they did.

I love that quote.

Lori said...

Debbi, I went to my WW meeting today and so many of the women there had just completed our town's big 4K race (trust me, it's a big, big deal and a big fundraiser for breast cancer). Many of them had never run a race before and talked about just being happy to run a little bit and walking most of the race. These were NOT young women.

So you do something consistently that not many women do at our age. I don't regard you as sedentary.

I wrote a question to Clean Plate chat a while back because I was basically going up and going down and not getting anywhere. I asked what should I do to kick things up. Her response was to just maintain and see what happens. She said we all suffer from burnout and we don't have to be losing all the time. You KNOW I'm not anywhere near "normal" or goal weight. And that's what I'm doing. I also know I have the "luxury" of being heavier than you and eating more than you so I can cut things farther. (It's like someone making $450,000 being able to cut costs than say, someone who makes $12,000, I know.)

I don't think you're doing anything wrong in counting calories or being aware of what you're eating or burning calories. I don't know how you can get rid of the expectation that something should be happening. We all think that, don't we? I'm just sorry you are beating your head against the wall and so frustrated. I do understand.

Shauna said...

no advice here, but i will curl up in a ball and scream on your behalf, just to share out the frustration!!! xxx

Laura N said...

Great quote and I really appreciate you sharing this with us. I sure wouldn't have thought of you as sedentary, though!

I hope you find some peace with this journey, one way or another.

ws said...

(this might be a long (and cheesy) comment, sorry). I hope you have a great run this morning...

I'm not sure about any of the weight stuff, I doubt I'm someone that can really answer that question. I don't know how to stop counting calories either, but I did lose the energy to journal a few weeks ago (though I only eat a handful of things I still 'count' subconsciously).

I do, however, have some experience with letting dissatisfaction wreak havoc with my mental and emotional well-being. I was (in what seems a lifetime ago) a reasonably good soccer player and then I broke my foot and was totally defeated. My coach gave me a book called The Way of the Peaceful Warrior and though I was only 14 it did help to change my outlook a little bit. Fast forward 10 years and I was racing on my bicycle and basically turning myself inside out everyday to have faster and faster rides. I was beating myself down mentally and the last straw was a really bad race when I basically took my bicycle and slammed it against a dumpster. After I recovered, I opened my closet, re-read the book and with time (and patience) was able to adjust my mindset.

For as long as I can remember, I've been fighting the 'perfection' demons in my head. I doubt they'll ever go away, but that book (which I've reread at least twice in the past 5 years) really helped adjust my outlook.