|Me then and me now! I seem to have a thing for necklaces|
with metal circles in them!!
I'm building muscle, baby!!
This is why I say time and again, it's important to find an Ideal Protein center that measures fat and lean mass ratios, along with the body weight.
It has been a week of challenges and a week of realizations.
Now that I'm on Phase II of Ideal Protein, I have a bit more freedom to do some more exercising. So I celebrated the transition by hopping onto my bike and going for a ride down a country road ... and kept going ... and going.... until I realized I was starting to get tired and should head back. I ended up doing a 22 mile bike ride!! (I haven't done more than 10 miles in the past.)
The last five miles were torture (I overdid it) but I couldn't help but be incredibly proud of myself. I took hills like a champ AND I know I don't have a ton of training to do for the bike tour of Mississippi I signed up for.
The tour takes place in April and will be six days of cycling with a bunch of women ranging in age from their 30s to 70s. The daily bike treks will range from 30-50 miles and I figure if I can do 22 miles in a couple of hours now, if I continue training I'll be more than up to the challenge when it comes time to leave for the tour in April!
I also met a local bicycle trainer who has agreed to serve as my bicycle guru. She's given me a lot of great advice on what kind of bike to look for (because my current commuter bike is too heavy to take on a long cycling tour) and information on cycling groups in the area I can join so that I will learn the dynamics of biking with a group! Fun!!
A year ago I was riding my bike to work regularly, but a 22 mile bike ride, let alone a six day biking tour, would have been something I only dreamt about, not a reality. I can't believe how much my life has changed in such a short time.
Unfortunately, an old, ugly habit resurfaced one evening this week and it took me a while to figure out what was going on in my head. I mentioned in an earlier post that I was bulemic during my teen years. Back then I would binge on food to the point that I was in pain, and then abuse laxatives in an attempt to keep from gaining weight after eating all that food.
One night this week I didn't just eat a bunch of junk. I ate lots and lots of food in a short amount of time. I ate to the point that my stomach hurt so much I felt like someone punched me. Afterwards I felt sick and couldn't move. I just curled up in a ball and slept it off. (I had a food hangover the next day, too!)
I haven't done something this self-destructive in a long, long time. That kind of eating isn't sane. It's actually a form of violence, directed towards myself. If someone else had abused me that way I'd be furious and ready to fight!
Instead of wrapping myself in shame, feeling defeated and hopeless, or ignoring the issue, I stepped outside of myself and tried to figure out what caused me to fall into this behavior again.
On Sunday I wore one of the cutest dresses I ever wore to church. I LOVE - LOVE - this dress! I found it at a local thrift store (I do a lot of thrift shopping now that my size changes so rapidly.) The dress has a fitted bodice and flared skirt, which flatters and emphasizes my new hourglass figure perfectly. The dress is white with bright pink, orange and green polkadots, so it's a happy dress! I was working the church's welcome desk this weekend, so everyone who knew me had to stop and tell me how good/pretty/skinny I looked and one little old lady, who I had never seen before said, "Well, don't you look beautiful?"
After church I went to the grocery store, where I saw more people who had even MORE nice things to say to me. One older gentleman, a stranger, started flirting with me!!
I have never, EVER been the center of attention like that! And while it felt good and empowering to hear from others that I am an attractive woman, the old inner voice that had me hating myself back in the day and growing fatter with each year made an attempt to resurface and establish dominance once again.
Because issues in my personal and professional world have me worried and running in ragged circles, I let down my guard and got too tired. I was easy prey for that old way of thinking to resurface and tell me that I don't deserve to feel this good about myself.
I didn't beat myself up over this crazy behavior. I recognized it as crazy behavior and put it back in the past, where it belongs. After a lot of introspection I decided I needed to show myself some extra loving kindness and treated myself to a long hot, bath with lots of bubbles (because that's one of my favorite things in the whole world). A couple of days later I treated myself to a bike ride with two new friends in an area of town I hadn't explored before.
In the end, the binge from hell didn't set me back. I didn't lose ground and I didn't add fat to my body. I also gained some valuable insight from the experience: These old behaviors and ways of thinking may resurface from time to time but they don't have to define who I am or defeat me.
I am so much more than a moment of weakness or an old habit. I've come too far and accomplished too much to turn back to the old ways now!
I deserve to look and feel this good!