I'm finding myself getting stronger in my work outs, which is a huge perk - when you can do more of a work out, do more reps, do more weights, run longer... It's a little at a time, but it has made me addicted to doing something every day.
And then you'll always see someone "lap" you or out-lift you, but you just have to keep focusing on being better than YOU were last time... You lose in the comparison game. You need to celebrate YOUR progress.
At the same time, I'm feeling like I need more rest. I can't spend all my day on the go. I need a nap, or I need to go to bed earlier, or sleep in a little longer. I need recovery time, not just physically but also mentally. So I find myself using exercise time to recover mentally and then reading time to recover physically. But some days you just need rest.
Then when it comes to my eating, I've been doing ok. Most days during the week I eat healthy consistently. Then weekends is always a curve ball and I indulge here and there, but somehow I end up either eating over my calorie budget by a little bit or skipping a meal and not eating enough. And junk food creeps in to my life on weekends, usually around "burn out time", when I need to recover (like a nap) but I can't because I have to work or something, and I start craving the caffeine/sugar rush just to get me through the next few hours.
I find that it's difficult to maintain balance, but it's in the balance that you perform at your best.
Still, overall I feel stronger, I look slimmer in the mirror, and I know I'm working hard. I also know that even at a Chinese buffet I can make healthy-ish choices and snot eat until I can't breathe and load up on vegetables and protein... and only one fried wonton... as opposed to four loaded plates of carbs... I know this, because I did it this past Sunday and I walked away from a buffet feeling pretty darn good!
Our groceries are less than ideal but I'm trying to have a veggie or fruit with every meal and go easy on the carbs. Unfortunately, mac and cheese is soooo cheap and sooooo fast. Portion control is essential here.
And now clothes fit loose and I feel like I need to go shopping because everything looks baggy on me, and you'd think this would be a good thing (like, yay! Shopping!) except I'm broke and I can't go shopping and it might be another month before I can set aside some cash for that. Oh well, it's a nice problem to have.
But my confession is... the scale has not budged. In one month.
I went from squatting 35 lbs to squatting with 65 lbs on my shoulders, from running 5 and 8 minute intervals to jogging 25 consecutive intervals, from working out 30 minutes a day to working out closer to an hour a day and still staying active with the children... And the scale has not budged.
I feel like I should be 10 lbs lighter by now, but nope. It's not moving.
I reason with myself that it's probably because I'm building muscle, I don't beat myself up too much for the quesarito I had for dinner Friday night from Taco Bell (and I shared it with my daughter!), and I try not to let that scale bug me. I know I shouldn't. I know it may not budge for a while and I can't give up.
Still, I think it mocks me, and if I let it get to my head, I start second-guessing every meal I've had, every work out I've done, until I no longer feel proud of myself or happy with what I've done. And that's a quick way to failure and a mindset I cannot entertain because I can't quit now. I started at 207 in March. I'm at 184.9 through August. I'm still succeeding. I have to see it through.
And it's not like donuts or cake tempt me all the time, or like I feel like I'm punishing myself when I have a salad for lunch. I actually don't crave sweets. My weakness is being tired when I can't take a nap - that's when I crave a soda and chips, or fast food. And I love eating healthy. I love that salad because I don't feel weighed down after I eat it, I don't go into a sugar comma, and I feel good. It tastes good to me. I'm also happy about my protein shake and my almond milk and my whole wheat bread. I'm happy running and exercising and sweating because it feels good to me. So it's not like the previous diet seasons where I felt miserable all the time and I didn't see results. This feels pretty good. My "normal" is pretty healthy and only getting stronger, and it feels good. I am happier with myself on a daily basis, I don't live in "self-loathing-ville" anymore.
I just want to have more to show for it.
Then again, I've stayed constant all through out this month. Which means that even on Chinese buffet Sunday or Taco Bell Friday night, I'm not eating this way regularly and I'm not gaining weight. It also means that on "that time of the month" when I'm retaining water and I'm bloated and sluggish, I'm still not gaining weight. And on the days where all I did was walk, and on the days where I happily enjoyed a coke... I am not gaining weight. Which means for the most part, I'm doing something right. I'm not stuck in my old habits. So it doesn't really bother me that the scale hasn't budged at all.... It will by the end of next month.
I will see some changes by the end of September, I know it. I know I'm putting in the work and I have faith it will produce results. I can only improve from here.