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Crossfit, fitness, weight loss

When your mind doesn’t match your body. Or the scale.

Y’all.

The last few months have been hard.

I generally try not to go all Negative Nancy on this page, but if I’m being true to myself, I need to be true to my feelings and I need to be truthful here. Because, honestly, I’ve been in a pretty dark place recently.

I have gotten so wrapped up in the number that the fact that the scale has barely moved (think: I hit 80# last week, but it took me NINE weeks to lose that weight), despite all my efforts. It’s really difficult to stay positive.

I envy those people who are pretty content with their bodies and just exercise because it makes them feel good. Crossfit makes me feel good, both mentally and physically. But I’d be lying if I said that was my only reason for WODing five times a week. I push harder because I want that number on the scale to go down. I push harder because I would like my thunder thighs to become slightly less thunderous. I push harder because people have expectations of me. I don’t really push harder because it makes me feel good. You see? Ulterior motives.

I’ve also been pretty obsessive about what goes into my mouth. Yes, sometimes I will treat myself with chocolate, coffee, ice cream, or that tomato-pesto soup from Bountiful Bread that’s like crack (seriously). But it’s all within moderation. And I count everything.

So you can probably understand how frustrating it’s been to not see more progress on the scale. Or, you might be able to understand how run-down and exhausting it is to get weighed each week and go down 0.4#, then up 0.2#, then maybe down 1.2# and then back up 0.6#. It’s extremely mentally taxing. More than a really hard WOD.

So that’s pretty much the mental state I’ve been in the last few months.

So then imagine feeling like that, but then having people come up to you, totally unsolicited, and on a regular basis, to tell you how great you look and how you’re shrinking or how your waist is getting smaller. Really. One woman at one of my WW meetings pointed me out to the entire meeting as someone who might still have weight to lose, but had not an ounce of flab on me (very flattering, but quite untrue).

It’s very affirming when people compliment you, but there’s such a huge disconnect between your mental state and the scale and what people are telling you, it becomes quite troubling. What should make you feel very good about yourself (and does for a moment), ends up making you think…Okay, if I look soooo good and so much smaller, then why the hell doesn’t the scale say that?!

And that’s what’s going through my mind.

And people are like, “Well, you’re probably gaining muscle. You know, muscle weighs more than fat!”

And then I get more annoyed. Because I know this, but theoretically, I should be losing more fat than I am gaining muscle.

And it’s a vicious mental cycle that goes on and on and down and down. You see?

And I’m still kind of in that mindset right now, and kind of roll my eyes (at least in my head I’m rolling my eyes) when someone tells me I’m looking good. But. Maybe they’re right?

I’m making in a few changes (which I’ll write about later), and in all honesty, I’ve been seriously making the WODs my bitch (which was the other reason I couldn’t figure out why the scale wasn’t moving). Like, here’s a WOD. And here’s my foot. And then I kick its ass to next week.

After making a 30-minute AMRAP my bitch.

After making a 30-minute AMRAP my bitch.

I’m PRing like CRAZY and lifting way more during metcons and my form is on when it comes to push-ups (big deal!) and I overall feel super badass when I’m done working out. No exaggeration.

All I know is…I’m doing something right. Because the other night I tried on a pair of jeans that were quite too small in December, and fit quite right now:

A size smaller?!

A size smaller?! Pardon that dirty bathroom, ha!

My mom agreed. And these are a size I haven’t worn probably ever in my entire life.

I mean, I still feel good working out and in my clothes, so why is my mind not following?

It’s really hard to have such a disparity between the two. It’s hard enough for your mind to keep up with the rapid changes your body undergoes when you’re losing weight, but what about when it slows down and you can’t wrap your mind around not losing weight anymore but still feeling changes in your body? It’s a very strange sensation to have.

I wish I had a warm and fuzzy ending to this post, but I really don’t. I’m not looking for sympathy. I’m not looking for suggestions or placations or compliments. I’m just letting you know what’s going through my mind and where I am right now. It’s easy to talk only about the positive stuff, but we really shouldn’t ignore the negative, either. It’s what’s real. And I hope you’d like it no other way.

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About Danielle

Exuberant photographer, artist, writer, designer, wannabe chef, and Crossfitter.

Discussion

10 thoughts on “When your mind doesn’t match your body. Or the scale.

  1. Luckily, you’re not a contestant on the Biggest L, so what the scale says matters not. Congrats on the PRs, the new-found strength, and the newly fitting jeans. Awesome! Keep it up! Not sure what there is to be blue about, but you chicks are all crazy ;P
    Brett

    Posted by Brett Andrus | 7 May 2012, 8:19 am
  2. AND people tell you you look good because you do! People can look good and not be a size 0. You also carry your body differently and look like you LIKE your curves. That’s HUGE – regardless of what the scale says.

    Posted by Maria | 7 May 2012, 9:43 am
    • Thanks, Maria. I do agree with you—people can look GREAT and not be a size 0. In fact, I don’t think I’d ever want to BE a size 0. However, there are certain pressures on me to be smaller. For example, WW uses BMI, which I completely disagree with, and does not take into account bone density or muscle mass. Both of which I have kind of a lot of. I’ve sort of made peace with the fact that I’ll never be rail thin, and that’s okay…I’d rather have the definition. And the curves! But I’m not there YET. :)

      Posted by Danielle | 7 May 2012, 1:21 pm
  3. I really liked your post. I have felt similarly in the past and let it derail my entire plan. I think that I got so hung up on a number that when I didn’t reach it – even though I was in a size I hadn’t been in in years – that I panicked. I ended up eating my way up the scale to a place that I hadn’t seen since pregnancy. I hope tomorrow is a better day for you!

    Posted by wheresmywhine | 7 May 2012, 11:30 am
    • Thanks, doll. I’m hoping things will look up soon. Even though I’m frustrated, I’m pretty determined at this point to NOT allow this to be the catalyst that brings me back to where I was two years ago. It’s a long process, but let’s face it: I’m happier and healthier now than I’ve probably ever been, let alone 80 pounds ago. I just need to remind myself of that once in a while!

      Posted by Danielle | 7 May 2012, 1:25 pm
  4. You are not the only one that thinks this way. There’s at least two of us! I completely understand this menacing war that goes on in my head as well! I know it’s muscle but in my head I should be lighter in weight. I kill it, eat right, blah blah blah and drives me bonkers. It’s messed up but know that you gotta forget that darn scale for a little bit. Maybe a month or two and just kill it like you know how. As long as you’re making progress, PR’ing, etc. then you know you’re still on the right track. And also know you may have to twist things up food wise. Right now I’m subjecting myself to the 21 Day Sugar Detox. It’s insane but I feel like I needed to do something big to change me mentally and physically. We’ll see if that boosts me in the right direction or not. Good luck. Chin up! We all have our Negative Nancy moments! YOU ARE FREAKIN AWESOME!!!!

    Posted by idrankthecfkoolaid | 7 May 2012, 1:01 pm
    • It’s nice to know that people can relate. I’m definitely trying to shake things up with my eating habits right now, and am trying a few different things. I’m sure a sugar detox couldn’t hurt, either, but ouch!! Good luck with that! And hey, you’re pretty awesome, too! Thank you for your support and kind words. :D

      Posted by Danielle | 7 May 2012, 1:28 pm
  5. Hey Friend! Don’t get disheartened. I totally could relate to the post but differently of course. If you hitting PRs, fitting into clothes you want, & you like the way you look, throw that scale away ASAP! Keep doing your best!

    Posted by Amit | 7 May 2012, 9:12 pm

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