Shut Up and Stop Making Excuses

This month, I met a startling new friend. I say startling, because while interviewing a volunteer for a work, I never expected to meet a fellow traveler on this healthy weight loss journey. Holly started her weight loss journey a year ago in September. What particularly struck me is where Holly and I started and where Holly and I are now. We both started around 250/Size 20, and we both are currently around 170/Size 10. (We’re also both born in December, which is neat, but irrelevant to this story…but mostly neat!)

This girl blows my mind. She has lost nearly 80 lbs. in 8 months! She runs a 5k every other day. She eats clean, and she blogs actively about her journey. I just got lost on her blog for a good half-hour, and was simultaneously inspired and shamed. Holly just unknowingly kicked my butt back into gear, because you know what?

I am not done with this journey, and that’s a fatigue I’ve been suffering from with quite some seriousness. There have been five good months where, daily, I’ve ended a sentence with, “I can’t wait to be done with this.”

“I can’t wait to be done counting calories.”
“I can’t wait to be done avoiding [insert a type of food].”
“I can’t wait to be done having to run/exercise.”
“I can’t wait to be done having to over-think the question, ‘What do you want to eat for dinner?'”
“I can’t wait to be done spending 20-minutes searching a restaurant menu for anything resembling healthy.”

You would think that, after completely changing my life, I’d be past this fatiguing mental block. If you’ve met me, you know I know that eating clean and healthy is a lifestyle, not a phase. You know I know that the food in the store isn’t always food, and that, more often than not, it’s bad for my body. You know that I know sugar sucks, that diet soda is the worst, and that if it has a bar code, it’s probably not food.

But sometimes—lots of times—I just want to say, “Thank you for bringing me coffee, coworker.” “Oh, yes I can go out for pizza tonight.” “Um, duh! A cupcake from Back in the Day is always appropriate!” and “Thank you, boyfriend, for being sweet and handing me one of every color of Skittles—which you are snacking on next to me in bed—because you are sweet, and you know I’m OCD, and you know that there is nothing I like more than to eat them five-at-a-time, one of every color, because, as some would say, I like to taste the rainbow.”

But tasting leads to handfuls, leads to having a sip of the boyfriend’s Coke at dinner, to drinking coffee again, to having a diet soda once a week, to more than once a week, to having a real Ginger Ale, to holy balls! When did I start going weeks without running and making a 550 calorie pre-packaged-curry meal from Target? (It was so not filling and not very good either.)

With my surgery exactly two months away, I can’t keep letting myself opt-out of this journey. Opting-out is not an option for my students, and it’s not an option for me. I can’t let it be one. I won’t let it be one.

During our interview, I asked Holly what she was passionate about. She replied, “Participating in my life.” Right now, I am not participating in my own life. I’m letting it roll on by in a sea of excuses. Just because I’ve scheduled my surgery doesn’t mean I get to quit. When I started this journey, I kept a color-coded Excel spreadsheet documenting my runs, the duration, my strength training reps, my weight losses and gains. From January to July of last year, I dropped 50 lbs of the total weight I’ve lost since 2008. Since July 2012, I’ve only lost 20 lbs.

I will lose 10-15 lbs. more before my surgery. I will not make anymore excuses. I lived the better part of my life making excuses, and I am too close to quit now. I am too happy to stop participating in my own life now.

Tomorrow, I am rededicating myself to my journey, starting with cutting two of the biggest excuses—”It’s too early to workout” and “I’m too busy.”

(To read more about my journey, check out my IndieGoGo campaign: The Brave New Body Project

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4 thoughts on “Shut Up and Stop Making Excuses

  1. Kim Evans says:

    sarah, i’m wondering if you are giving yourself enough credit for these amazing changes you’ve made. based on my own experiences i’m guessing that it would be darn near impossible for you to walk into a burger king and order a whopper right now. for me it just doesn’t taste or feel good anymore. that said, keep up the good work and try again.

    • heybates says:

      Thanks, Kim. And you’re right—but it’s been really easy for me to eat candy and drink soda lately. I just want to reach my goal of 150 lbs. by finishing strong, not dragging along. :) thanks for the support as always.

  2. britt4.0 says:

    Be gentle with yourself Sarah. It’s not just your weight loss that is so inspiring. It’s the reflection of love that you have for yourself that is inspiring. Comparing won’t help you love Sarah or remember Sarah’s accomplishments. It’s not a race. It’s a journey. You are inspiring so many people to follow their paths because of your bravery. Never forget that you are an inspiration. : )

    • heybates says:

      You are definitely right, Britt. It’s not a race! The only thing I’m in competition with is my own will…but lately, my will has been slipping. I was down to 167 in March. Today, I weighed in at 175. My goal was to be at 150 before the end of this journey, and at least 160 before my surgery. I want to go into my surgery knowing I’m in the best shape of my life, and not look back feeling like I copped out before I reached the finish line. I’m not inspired to beat those losing weight around me, but to continue to run strong alongside them towards our individual goals. My running mentors always told me to “Finish strong.” I want to cross the finish line running, not dragging my feet! :)

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