When you think you can’t

Sunday, October 16, 2011 Permalink

I was struggling for a post topic yesterday, and procrastinated by going through all of the blogs I follow. I follow A LOT of others’ blogs (both dieting / health-related and others) and as I find it hard to read them every day, a couple of times a week I allocate a few hours to go through them all (and yes, it does take me that long). I know I should subscribe to them and use Google reader to access new posts in a more efficient way, but although I say that, I don’t quite know what that means! So – on weekends and on an occasion or two during the week – I click through the myriad of blogs-I-love and read through my virtual friends’ latest offerings.

Often something that someone else writes resonates with me and I find myself pondering on it long after I’ve put my iMac to sleep. Yesterday it happened after reading a post by Bee Fit about setting and sticking to, goals.

Colleen’s post asks us if we’ve recently set ourselves a goal which we don’t think we will reach. She talks about her own goals (she’s lost a heap of weight and is about to run a marathon) and the doubt that came from others, and herself. In some ways it’s a bit of a variation of the JUST FUCKING DO IT theme. Colleen tells us not to doubt ourselves, but to keep working towards our goals. Just do it (keep plodding along).

Ash_1024x768eI have to admit that significant weight loss is a goal I don’t believe I’ll ever achieve. I mean, I know I can lose weight. I’ve done it before – though more easily once upon a time than in recent years. But – even though I’ve lost over 20kg on a number of occasions (only to gain that and more back) I’ve never actually reached my ‘goal’ weight. Even in my early 20s, when I first started gaining weight. I went to Weight Watchers at the time (mid-late 1990). Back then I thought I was huge (I started at about 87kg – which I’d kill to be now). I think my goal weight was 70kg but I was stoked when I got down to 75kg. As has often been the case for me, a change to my circumstances (I finished Uni and got a job in the north of the State) meant that my attempts to reach my goal were literally flung out of the window as I consumed junk food during the entire two-day trip to my new (albeit temporary) hometown. Then, on arrival, I bought chocolate and hot chips. And never looked back.

My ‘official’ ideal weight now is 79kg (obviously one is allowed to be heavier as one ages!) but I keep saying that I’d be happy to get to 90kg. I reached that about nine years ago and got stuck there, depressed I could get no further and eventually succumbed to food to ease the disappointment.

However, Colleen’s post has got me thinking. Do I really think I can get ‘there’? To either my ideal weight, or to my own goal? And… what I realise is that I don’t actually think I can get there. Rather, I HOPE I can get there. I FANTASISE about getting there. I DREAM about getting there; but I hold little hope that I can actually get there.

And, the negative self-talking part of me is also thinking that EVEN if I did get there (or close) I probably wouldn’t stay there.

36It reminds me of something a personal trainer said to me a couple of years ago. I’d found the trainer in question online and sent a couple of query emails (in my usual passive way) and had a response that she wanted to meet with me before commencing our training. Eek! Not sure what to expect I turned up dressed for a fitness test or the like, but rather, she wanted to chat… about my goals, lifestyle etcetera. I blithely told her that I was trying to lose weight (and told her some of my long dieting history). I can’t recall what I was doing at the time, but am sure I was trying… REALLY HARD.

She asked if I was serious. “Do you really want to lose weight?” What the fuck?! HELLO, LOOK AT ME?!?! What do you think? I possibly thought but replied in a more refrained manner. “Of course!”

Her analogy went something like this: You decide you need to call some distant relative to say hello, and say to yourself. “I MUST call X when I get a chance.” But you’re busy and time passes. The next weekend you say, “God, I really must call X at some point.” The same thing happens the next week. And the next. Over time your commitment to call X wanes and it just becomes something you say when you think of it. “Oh shit, I keep forgetting to call X.” My trainer suggested that I may never really have intended to call X (or lose weight as the case may be) at all. But I keep talking about it. She suggested, that if I had intended to act, then I would have.

Naturally my response was ‘hurrumph’, but the fact that I can still remember the conversation nearly two years later says something.

Reaching Your GoalsSure, I want to lose weight. Well, in reality I just want to be slim/normal and the only way I can do that is by losing weight. But I’m reticent to do the hard work to lose weight. I’m pretty sure that’s normal, or we’d all be lean, mean fighting machines and… well… good at stuff because we’d study harder and do better academically; train more to be better athletes etc. But… many of us don’t put in the hard yards. Whether that’s apathy or laziness in my case I don’t know. But I do wonder if my inability to REALLY visualise myself achieving that goal comes into play.

If I don’t think I’m ever gonna get there, why bother even trying?

Is that part of my problem I wonder? Perhaps. I thought aiming for the 90kg goal (because I’ve been there before in recent-ish years) rather than the seemingly-unattainable 79kg figure was being realistic. But, have my constant failures (in the weight loss arena) impacted on my confidence that I can indeed get there?

I bloody hope not. I’m fitting into clothes I haven’t worn in ages and starting to feel ‘good’ about myself and my body. I’m still struggling with the scales and they aren’t budging much (instead just hovering up and down a kilo or so). I’ve already talked about my self-sabotaging behaviour and the wine I’ve had over recent nights certainly isn’t helping. As usual I don’t have any answers other than to keep plodding along, but wonder if others have solutions to these kind of hurdles….

What do you do IF you don’t believe in your ability to reach your goal?

11 Comments
  • Georgia
    October 17, 2011

    Hi.
    I can totally relate to your question of will I ever reach that elusive weight goal.
    I don’t know if I will either.
    But I’ve decided not to think about it anymore, it’s just too hard to think think think that number without feeling pressure, guilt and disatisfaction all the time!
    So I guess I’m saying if you keep moving forward your goal is likely to change with u. Maybe we will never reach that number, but I’m thinking as long as we live as best we can, without guilt, we may not care:)

    • rockafellaskank
      October 17, 2011

      Georgia

      I think you’re right. As I said in the blurb (and in my post the other day), I’m fitting into stuff I haven’t worn in ages (some of it EVER), so I need to take time to appreciate that and not berate myself for not continuing to lose weight quickly – I think. Having said that I don’t want it to slow down TOO much… but in reality ANYTHING LESS THAN I AM NOW is a good thing.

      Deb

  • Liz@LastChanceTraining
    October 17, 2011

    I think you have to refute the voice in your head that says you can’t. Question the accuracy of your beliefs. I had one of those moments today. Even though you think you’re struggling, you’re still here and on the path.

    • rockafellaskank
      October 18, 2011

      Thanks Liz. I am trying to remind myself that I’m still plodding along – NOT regaining stacks of weight… but still on the ‘journey’.

  • tryn2bfit
    October 17, 2011

    Aww I am glad my post inspired this! I’m flattered you read my blog.

    I think you know what I do to that little negative voice, but I will remind you: kill it. Whether it is a running goal or weight loss goal for me I never stop and let the voice consume me. I just keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    I would love to chat with you about your weight loss some more and maybe Exchange some ideas.

    • rockafellaskank
      October 17, 2011

      Hi Colleen

      Would love that – chatting and exchanging ideas. I’ve been reading your blog for a while (don’t always comment) and enjoying your lead-up to the marathon – not long now. I’m SO not a runner (started the C25k in the hope that I ‘learned’ to become one but quit in week 2!) so I enjoy reading about those who are or have a real passion for exercise. I also love your positivity – something I need some more of!!!

      Deb

  • Karen@WaistingTime
    October 17, 2011

    My SIL taught me about google reader and I could not follow all the blogs I follow without it! I’d be happy to try to help you with it, but for starters here is a link to a post that might help. http://katywidrick.com/2010/08/18/google-reader-subscribing-to-and-organizing-blogs-video/ I’m sure you could find some online tutorials too. It is such a great time saver!! And you can do just basics with it, or more organizing.

    • rockafellaskank
      October 17, 2011

      Thanks Karen. Will suss it out… I so enjoy reading others’ blogs, but…. it really is time-consuming clicking on each site to see if they’ve been updated.

  • Fab Girl
    October 17, 2011

    Good post. I especially like the part where you admit that you want to be thin/skinny but aren’t necessarily sure you’re willing to do all the work it takes to get there. I can so identify with that. Sometimes the work can make you feel weary before you even get going. For me personally, I am learning not to dwell on the distant future or how much work has yet to be done. I try to set small (sometimes very small) goals and try not to think about how far I have to go. If I can lose the next 5 pounds, I can cheer. So I lose the 5 pounds and I cheer. Then set another goal. Maybe it’s 5 more pounds, or 10, but I try to keep it very small and achievable, because I know I will get really discouraged otherwise. This is what helps me to not worry about the “but I want to be thin NOW” thoughts. I can feel proud for accomplishing goals – however small they are.

    You are doing great! 🙂

    • rockafellaskank
      October 17, 2011

      Thanks for the encouragement. I keep thinking that if I get through these weeks and FINALLY see the scales budge a bit I’ll be right again. I’ve just been stuck for just over a month – which is why the negativity has set in I think. I have a mini milestone in my (little) mind – which is reaching double digits (but I’m kinda stuck around the 105kg mark at the moment which is frustrating)! Perhaps my goal should just be getting under 104kg (which I thought I was going to do 4 weeks ago before my motivation waned!).

      PS. Can I confess that I used to (irrationally and VERY inappropriately) hope I would fall into a coma for ‘some’ reason and have to be drip-fed over a period of months so the weight would magically fall off and I’d be slim with minimal effort on my behalf?!!! (I never really worked out how I would exercise in that state to retain some muscle tone etc… but in my more irrational and desperate moments it seemed like a good idea!)

      Deb

      • Liz@LastChanceTraining
        October 17, 2011

        Hi Deb, that’s OK – I confess to having wanted a case of Bali belly in the past to help me get over a plateau (not good)~

I'd love to hear your thoughts