Pushing through to the end of 2015

The final days of 2015 are here, and my thoughts are turning to the new year with its new challenges and all that fresh potential. I am no longer interested in setting goals or making resolutions, but there is much to be said for a new book of dates. Lots of hopes for the next 12 months, lots of big and little dreams to pursue.

If anything, year 2016 is my quest for new levels of good health, a continuation of what I began in 2015.

Trainer J has been away on a well-deserved vacation and to celebrate the holidays with his family. Yay J! I have had an assortment of routines to choose from for my daily practices. Other than Christmas day, when the gym was closed and I went urban hiking with friends, I have been completely on my own with unleashed freedom to do whatever I wish. While the reality is I absolutely have that same freedom when J is here and we are meeting twice a week, there is something to be said for the restraint that comes with knowing we will be meeting on Monday and Thursday mornings combined with my own expectation of reporting back and saying something about how the workouts are progressing. Having nothing to say because I have not practiced or even entertaining the possibility that I may not have been putting forth adequate effort at my practice makes me feel guilty, so there is an invisible leash tends to keep me tethered to the exercise straight-and-narrow. But since I have been on the loose with only “suggested” routines for the last 8 days, I have tried to make the most of it.

And I kinda/sorta failed.

I must miss the invisible tether? Maybe. Or it’s the holidays and I was rocked by loss of a dear friend and floundering around with the unexpected change. And I am right to not trust myself completely enough to know I will go to the gym, I will work hard, and I will not regress back to the very basics of 6 months ago. Thus far this week (and it’s only Wednesday), I did not get up and drag my sorry self out of bed and to the gym at my usual 5:30 hour. Instead, I slapped my phone off and slept until nearly 7 on Monday, then did not get to bed until midnight Monday night and rinse/repeat on Tuesday morning. Monday was not so terrible – midday gym visit was novel and different – and Tuesday night was un-awesome but I got the job done. Even this morning I was 45 minutes past my usual arrival time but at least I got up and got it done this morning rather than continuing downward spiral of staying off-kilter and out of sync with my morning and evening routines. Tomorrow life returns to normal with my Thursday morning session with J. Will it be review? New stuff? Honestly, I do not care much one way or the other; I am simply grateful to be getting a leg-up on the new year with return to regular programming.

I just feel like crap about the week thus far, and I get that is a reflection of the bigger picture of my state of mind. Still frustrates me to struggle mightily getting through Lists I know and have done repeatedly. The darker side of consuming bad-for-me food, overwhelmed with unexpected work-related tasks, and generally being in a foul mood much of the days yet having to be “on” with the world at large because of my jobs and clients.

Poor M bears the brunt of my cranky moodiness with alternatively moping and frustrated whining venting. My headspace has been simply uncharacteristically awful.

There are positives to this week, though, and if I want to be fair and balanced I cannot just wallow in the muck end of the creek with regard to my eating and sleeping and working and gym schedules being out of whack.

I have gone through my various Lists at least twice during this period, at least a set of 2 different lists most days. There are still trouble spots – I am beginning to fear ever being capable with a TRX pushup much less an entire set of the damn things – yet I instinctively feel better and more confident about my ability with things that gave me grief a few weeks ago. I remain a little apprehensive about upping dumbbell weights on the chest press (from 20 to 25); I can do the 25, but not confidently and definitely takes fewer to get me to fatigue. Still, that’s progress that I can move those larger DBs at all. My balance on the TRX 1 leg Romanian deadlift is so much better I am partly convinced I must be doing it wrong because it’s going so well overall. My lunging feels improved, or my attitude toward them is enhanced. My walking deadlifts are going well. My upper arm and back fat are show minuscule shrinkage and I am contemplating a summer of sleeveless dresses and tops. Blood sugar remains in the normal range despite trending higher with the less healthy foods I have been consuming.

In other words, I have lots and lots of reason to be delighted with my progress thus far. Despite what feels like a train-wrecked week, I did not miss gym visits and I am still maintaining and protecting my health gains.

So why do I frame this as a kinda/sorta fail? I have no idea. Maybe I just do not know how to gracefully and graciously accept that I am succeeding. I would rather believe a scale that tells me I have gained weight than my own positive experiences and successes with overall health. I would rather feel like I am continuing to try and faltering than concede that I am actually slowly, incrementally moving in a forward direction.

While the above is true, saying I do not know why I frame this as a kinda/sorta fail is actually me sidestepping reality. If I am very honest (and I almost always am very honest) I can trace a source origin for my week of discontent. It is a sad state of affairs when any positive change is met with resistance and qualification on the part of others several times removed from my day-to-day life. I as much as anyone else am influenced by those around me, and crossing paths with a former friend whose pointed comment – “you have lost some weight again” – was designed for maximum destruction and gave me serious pause. Why should it? Former friends of mine are never lightly, cavalierly moved into that camp; it requires a hostile act or series of acts to achieve that distinction in my heart and mind. So why does it bother me so much?

I remind myself that I abandoned that friendship long ago for good reasons having a lot to do with self-preservation and maintaining my fragile, tenuous gains with self-esteem. But as someone wise once counseled me, former friend knows what buttons to push because she herself installed them.

Now to just push out or turn off that negative noise. Easier said than accomplished, but I’m making headway. Really, I am. Maybe it’s taken me 4 days to write it out, but I am purging the poison.

If I do anything else into the future, I would like to frame my own thinking and self-image in a more upbeat and positive light. Celebrate my little victories with at least the enthusiasm I obsess over my failures, both real and imagined.

That and master a TRX pushup – a source of my current exercise obsession while being fearful of trying yet again. It’s been months and while my practice at them has been inconsistent at best, I presently have an extreme case of the “shoulds” and being further along than I am with this particular exercise. It will be nice if on this date in 2016 I am reporting pushup anxiety and frustration as a distant footnote in my rearview.

A girl must maintain hope for a new year, after all.

3 thoughts on “Pushing through to the end of 2015

  1. Your 2015 fitness/health was by no means a failure in any way. You didn’t get to where you were overnight and you won’t get to where you want to be (you’ll know what this is when you get there) overnight. You are making changes that will become habits and patterns that support you the rest of your life. And that is a huge win!

    I hope you had a wonderful New Year’s Eve – you party like I do 😉 And I am glad you got to end 2015 on a high note with a training session with J (I always feel lost training without D). 2016 will be an amazing year for you as you continue to prioritize your health and I hope you and your family have a year full of wonderful memories!

    One more thing – if you do not already have glucose tablets or shots in your purse/gym bag/cars – please please please add them.

    • I always carry a can of juice with me, but I just found some grape-flavored glucose tablets at Target and bought a few tubes to keep in gym bag, car, etc. Taking care of myself and my personal affairs sort of fell into a sad state of disorganization under the crush of work in December.

      It’s kind of funny, but I did not realize I missed J as much as I did until he returned yesterday. I mean, I knew he was gone and I knew what I planned to do during his absence and focused on that, but I was so enormously relieved to see him yesterday it just felt like the world tilted upright again.

      Back to the gym this morning. Later than I planned, but it’s a holiday and I’m cutting myself some slack. Happy new year!

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