Saturday, July 23, 2011

Falling down and forgiveness

My bike ride was awesome! It was the best bike ride I've had in a long time. Perfect weather, 71 degrees going to the gym and 75 degrees coming home, with a light, cool breeze. Sunshine and not a cloud in the sky. I LOVE the Pacific Northwest when the sun shines!

It took 45 minutes to get to the gym. Normally it's 22 minutes going fast, really pushing myself going up the hills. Today I decided not to race to get there. I thought of it more as a therapy bike ride. Enjoy the scenery, get my heart rate up but don't kill myself doing it. I found the hills a lot more challenging at my heavier weight (193 this morning).

The gym was almost empty, which was really nice. I did weights for an entire hour and there were only a couple guys in the free weights area. I had planned on a lower body workout but I remembered the last time I biked to the gym and then did a lower body workout. I almost didn't make it home. So it was upper body, a full hour-long workout.

Somehow, and I'm really not sure how it happened, I fell off my bike while standing still in the parking lot of the gym. I know that sounds crazy, and it happened so fast that I'm not even sure how it happened, but it did. I was just about to start riding out of the parking lot, when I fell over and crashed into some beauty bark on my right knee. I tangled myself up in my bike, then rolled onto the pavement, scraping a lot of skin off of my knee.

It was kind of embarrassing, but not too many people saw me.  After brushing myself off, I quickly got out of there. I made it home in 22 minutes. My knee still hurts and burns. Probably beauty bark poisoning or something.

While I was riding home I thought about something I saw in a notebook that I found in my little backpack I use when I bike. I always take a notebook to the gym with me to keep a record of my workouts. The last workout date in this one was April 23, 2011. I have one in my car that I used every day, but decided to use this one since it was already in the backpack. I accidentally dropped it, and it flipped open to the last page. I saw the following, written in my handwriting:

I have no idea why I wrote those words. It sounds like something to do with gaining weight. Specifically gaining a lot of weight after losing a lot of weight. Maybe I saw it on TV or read it in a book or a magazine. I may have even read it on someones blog. 

Since I don't really know where I heard it, I can't give the correct person credit, but it makes a lot of sense regarding my weight gain. My gain of 40 pounds in a year and a half, after an 85-pound weight loss, has caused me to feel each one of these emotions very deeply. It's been a painful journey re-gaining this weight.

1. Ashamed. There are few things in life more embarrassing than losing a lot of weight and then gaining it back. When I lost weight, people were constantly telling me how great I looked. When I started gaining it back, people had no idea what to say, so out of politeness, they said nothing. I  know they notice it, how could they not see it. It's so blatantly obvious as I get bigger and my clothes get tighter.

2. Angry. I was really angry about my weight gain for a long time. Angry mostly at myself, but also at the unfairness of it all. Unfairness that I have these issues with food, and that I can't eat anything I want to eat. Unfairness that I love food so much, too much, and even the mere fact that I love food makes me angry. I've gone through the "why me?" many times, but ultimately, it's pointless to be so angry about something that just "is".

3. Afraid. I remember this one really well, in fact, I still have a little bit of fear about my weight. The fear of gaining all of it back, the fear of never being able to lose the weight I've re-gained, and the fear that I'll be even fatter than before, that I'll make it up to 300+ pounds.

I've relaxed quite a bit about being afraid of my weight. I'm not heartbroken about the weight gain anymore, nor do I fear gaining a ton more weight. I'm feeling confident that I'll lose it again. I still think a little fear about gaining weight is a good thing. Too much fear is damaging to my soul. A little fear keeps me on my toes.

4. Forgiveness. It's been a long haul but somehow I have made it to this one. I have forgiven myself for my past mistakes. Simply put, I screwed up a good thing. It's okay. I'm allowed to screw up as long as I don't dwell on my past mistakes, forgive myself and move forward.

Forgiveness of one's own transgressions is a lot harder than forgiving someone else. We're harder on ourselves than we are on other people. Kind of crazy that we're built that way, but it just seems like that's how most of us function. If someone else messes up, we're kind and caring, we understand how things can happen. We forgive them. But let us screw up our own life by gaining weight and holy crap, you'd think we'd committed a murder. The simple fact is that I ate too much food, and I gained weight. That's all there is to it. I didn't hurt anyone in the process except myself.

Forgiveness. It's good for the soul. Falling off my bike or falling off my diet, it's all kind of the same thing. I just have to get back up, brush myself off, and keep on going. Of course it's embarrassing, but there's really no other option.

Pictures from my bike ride today...

A new sign that was put up at the trail head in the last few months. Funny thing, but I saw a coyote cross the road, right in front of my car on the way to the gym a few weeks ago. Kind of scary. At first I thought it was a big, skinny weird looking dog, but then I realized, that's a coyote!

 I'm sure you're all thinking, not another Mt. Rainier picture! Sorry, I just can't get enough of this mountain. I love it. When it's clear out it looks like I could just reach out and touch it. In reality it's about 60 miles away. 

The part of the trail I prefer to ride my bike, but I decided after seeing the coyote sign maybe I'd better stay on the paved trail instead of wandering off into the woods by myself.

Just part of the trail. And yes, there's a horrible power line that runs along the side of the trail. I'm sure I'm getting an extra dose of cancer-causing electricity jolted through my body when I ride next to it.

 Just a picture of me, not exactly flattering. I was trying to get Mt. Rainier in the picture, it's behind me somewhere, but somehow I totally missed getting it in the picture.

Part of the trail that's fun going down, not so fun going up on the other side. I can't believe how much harder the hills are now that I'm so much heavier. I thought I was going to have to walk my bike up some of the hills, but I forced myself to do it. It wasn't easy and my heart rate was up to 155 at one point, but I did it!

Dinner tonight was wonderful. Kalbi chicken breasts that I bought ready to cook from the neighborhood butcher, and fresh broccoli and sweet corn on the cob from the neighborhood produce store. I stopped in on my way home and tied the bags to my bike handle bars for the last two blocks home. It made for a perfect ending to a perfect day.

Note: you may notice I took down my old "after" picture where I weighed 152. It use to be on the right side. I didn't like to look at it because every time I saw it, it made me a little bit sad. I'll post new pictures when I lose some weight.


Anonymous said...

Love your new background for the blog! Sounds like you are in a good space. I know what you mean about time flying by. It seems like there is less and less time to take care of everything. I turned 55 this year and it feels like life is passing me by....
I really enjoy how open and honest you are about your life. I can relate to so many of your thoughts and feelings. Take care of yourself.

Melisa said...

Hi Diana,
I think those words were from when you were reading that book and you had to choose 4 that most spoke to you. I have followed your journey for some time now and want to let you know that your words really speak to me. I am so glad that you have reached a turning point (also with your career) and have no doubt that you will lose this weight and get to a happier place. Love yourself, you're worth it!

Alan (Pounds Off Playoff) said...

Diana, glad you're enjoying the weather. Us too, although I think the baseball boys wilted in the (gasp) 80 degree temps.

FWIW, I fell recently, too. Was riding a trail by Birch Bay and stopped at a down tree across the trail, put my left foot down on the side of the trail assuming it was solid, but it was loose leaves covering a downslope and next thing I knew I was falling down a hill with my bike on top of me! Bruised ego more than anything else, fortunately.

We saw a coyote recently too, for the first time. And it was almost standing next to a "lost cat" sign. Kind of creepy.

Great picture of Mt. Rainier! And that last one looks familiar... ;-)

Brooke said...

I loved this post. It's very real. You know I've followed you for a long time and I adore you. You're one of those people who I admire very much and I am so glad to see you getting back up and brushing yourself off. I can relate so much to the "ashamed" feelings you have. It is like torture to have made it so far just to fall. . . again. I hated feeling like a failure. I remember opening up my blog too and feeling like a hypocrite when I saw my before and after pics. I know you're going to get there again. You're amazing.

Kathy said...

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Katie J said...

This is a great post. We just HAVE to forgive ourselves or we will trip up any new progress. You will win this battle Diana!

Ida said...

I loved this post. I am glad you have gotten to the 'forgiven myself' part. The journey will be easier if you don't go around putting yourself down all the time. Love the new look to your blog, too.

The title of this post is a joke, there's no new me. It's just the same old me, doing the same old stuff. Just for fun, I went back...