Losing It

My mad, crazy journey to health and beyond

One, two, cha-cha-cha

There’s a little dance I do every Tuesday morning in my bathroom. It’s a naked dance but since I do it at 5am with the curtains closed, no-one can see it. (Except the dude across the road with the telescope but he’s cool.) I call this dance ‘The Scale Dance’, and here’s how it goes:

Place scale on special weighing tile.

Stand on scale.

Shuffle a little to make sure you’re not too far forward, too far back, or too over to one side.

Look up.

Breathe.

Pray.

Look down.

Swear.

Get off.

Repeat.

Repeat.

Repeat.

FUCK.

Ok one more repe…  fuckfuckfuckfuck!!

Breathe.

Put clothes on.

Give the scale the finger.

Go smash the hell out of the week.

That’s exactly how the dance went this morning when I got this on the scale:

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Two weeks after getting this on the scale:

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Two weeks of eating right, training like a motherfucker, and staying committed 24 hours a day. Not one single change. Yay for me. But still I gave the scale the finger, and went to gym to go smash it.

That’s not how the scale dance used to go. As recently as a year ago, the scale dance didn’t end with renewed motivation and determination. Instead it either ended with jubilation or angry pizza. Or angry KFC, angry Steers, angry McDonald’s, angry drinking – choose your poison. The scale used to be the place where my motivation lived or died, where the seat of my emotions lay, where my entire existence was either validated, or made to feel completely worthless, pointless and shameful.

Extraordinary what a few bits of metal and batteries can reduce you to. Where just one step can either make you feel like the king of the world, or the layer of squelchy algae lying underneath the bottom of the barrel. And in both cases, how fucking sad.

So when I started my 100 days of sobriety last year and changed my attitude to drinking, I decided I was going to change my attitude to the scale as well. I wasn’t going to let a stupid mechanical device judge me, or validate my progress. I was going to let it measure my relationship to gravity, and that was that. I wasn’t going to give it any power over my emotions, I wasn’t going to use it to measure my worth, and most of all, I wasn’t going to let it influence my journey in any way, regardless of whether the news was good or bad. The scale wasn’t going to be the be-all and end-all of my existence anymore. It was going to be a tool, and that was that.

It wasn’t easy to begin with. The first time the scale started playing silly buggers with me, I immediately wanted to jump off and go eat a burger. How dare it tell me that after a week of living healthily, I’d achieved nothing???? I was going to go and show it – I was going to EAT!! Now who’s the stupid one?

But this time I didn’t angry eat. I groaned, rolled my eyes, said “FUCK THIS SHIT” out loudly (scaring the guy with the telescope) and then I just got on with it. And the next week the scale showed a loss.

That’s pretty much how it’s been since then. Some good weigh-ins, some bad. And every time I step on the scale, I get stronger every time I step off. I wouldn’t say I throw a party for one whenever it shows a plateau, or worse, a gain, but I only allow myself to feel BLAAAARG for as long as I’m standing on it. The second I get my feet back on solid ground, it’s back to work. Because that’s the only way to show that bitch who’s boss.

Linear

I’ve been told by everyone at Evo, till they’re blue in the face, that this is not a linear journey. And you only have to look at my weigh-ins to see the truth of that. At the moment, my weight loss follows a very consistent pattern:

Week 1: Lose 1kg

Week 2: Lose 1kg

Week 3: Lose 100g

Week 4: Gain 400g

Week 5: Lose 300g

And then it starts all over again. So essentially I’m losing 2kg every five weeks. Twelve months ago, this would have crucified me. There would have been angry eating on an epic scale. I’m talking about KFC branches being sold out countrywide. Today, it bums me out a little, but I just get on with it. I have a goal, and I don’t have energy to waste worrying about what a heartless piece of metal has to say about it.

Plus when you think about what the ultimate aim of this all is – HEALTH, pure health, inside and out – stressing over a scale seems superficial and pathetic at best. Who gives a fuck if you gained 300g or lost 200g or what the hell ever? You gave your body a week of fabulous food, mobility, activity, rest, awesomeness. You ate well, you lived well, you treated yourself with honour and respect. Why do you need a scale to validate that? Surely you should know that it was a successful week, regardless of Isaac Newton’s opinion? If not, you’ve got bigger problems than a few kilos of extra fat.

It took me a long time to realise that, but I finally clicked. And now I don’t follow a wellness journey for the sole purpose of losing weight. Yes, obviously that’s part of it. But now the main reason I work so hard, push so hard, fight so hard is for me. I don’t just want to lose weight, I want to be happy, healthy, and have a better quality of life, love and laughter. Isn’t that what we were put on this earth for in the first place?

So when I see a weigh-in like this morning’s, I don’t get despondent. Instead I think of how two years ago, I was 135kg with a blood pressure of 150/110, cholesterol of over 7, and blood sugar so high I was a type 2 diabetic. And how as of today, I’m 91.7kg, with a blood pressure of 110/75, cholesterol of 4.2, and blood sugar so low that the doctor told me to go home and eat something (3.6 non-fasting if you must know).

And then I breathe out, step off the scale, and get back to fucking work.

Cha cha

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An ode to my feet

Terrific tootsies, fabulous footsies, plates of meat that take me down the street – this one’s for you.

Thank you for getting me out of bed at 4am every day (yay for freelancing!).

Thank you for taking me to the gym and back again.

Thank you for standing strong through deadlifts, bench presses, squats, farmer’s walks and more.

Thank you for dragging me up the fucking mountains of hell (otherwise known as Alto wine estate) and back down again safely.

Thank you for taking me up every one of the 280-something Biskop steps, three times up and down. (I may not look like I’m saying thank you, but I really am.

Biskop

Thank you for digging yourselves in the couch every evening and staying there.

Thank you for skipping the aisles in Pick n Pay full of chocolate and ice cream and sin on tap.

Thank you for taking me home instead of to the pub.

Thank you for leading me away from the takeaway menu and towards a fridge full of healthy food instead.

Thank you for running me round Century City for 10km on Saturday. It may have been epically boring, but that wasn’t your fault.

Thank you for looking so pretty in your gorgeous Rouge Day Spa pedicure (in ultra-black Orly Goth – high five for feet with attitude!).

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Goth

And most of all, thank you for standing on either side of this today.

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Awesome, fabulous, fantastic feet, thank you for walking me through a week full of healthy choices – let’s see where the next seven days take us!

(It’s not Shakespeare, but it’ll do.)

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