Healthy Living: It's Not Always Sunshine and Roses | The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans LLC


I really wanted this week’s post to be full of confetti and balloons because, you see, it’s my birthday week.  I’ll warn you right now…if you are looking for a post full of sunshine and rainbows, this ain’t it.  Last year I ran 20 miles (marathon training, not because I’m crazy) and posted on my actual birthday about giving yourself the gift of good health.  If you don’t want to go back and read, here’s the Cliff’s Notes version: schedule regular checkups (I do this), get regular exercise (yep, that too), cut out junk food, get a massage, get plenty of sleep, learn the art of healthy cooking.  These are all things I strive to do the majority of the time – well, except for that massage one, I haven’t done that in quite some time.

So why am I not Susie Sunshine as I turn 45?

Because this year feels different.  I’m supposed to come here and motivate and inspire you all to do great things with fitness and health.  I’m one of the “running” writers.  I’ve lost a bunch of weight in the past. I mentor our Facebook Couch to 5k group.  Those things should tell you all that I’ve got my proverbial poop in a group.  Sorry to break it to you all, but I don’t.  How am I supposed to inspire all of you when I can’t find any inspiration to work on myself?

The fact is…the poop has pretty much hit the fan.  My running is in the toilet.  I’m barely running 3 miles 3 times a week now.  When I do run, it’s slow and mentally tough and it hurts.  If I get super ambitious, I manage 6 or 7 miles but that’s definitely not anywhere near what I was accomplishing a year ago.  As for that weightloss?  How about I let you in on a little secret.  I’ve GAINED 15 pounds this year.  Yep, that sucks out loud and it’s embarrassing for me to admit how badly I’ve failed.  I write for a site called “Shrinking Jeans” and I need to go out and buy new underwear in addition to jeans because mine don’t fit anymore.  Irony?

Sure, I did some pretty awesome things in the past year.  I PR’d the crap out of a marathon, I traveled and ran with friends a few times, and I got my twins graduated and they are heading off to college this month.  (In fact, I’m dropping my girl off to her school 1100 miles from home on my actual birthday – let that sink in for a moment.)

Even with some great things, I’m having a hard time looking past how I’ve blown so much hard work in such a short amount of time.  I know a year ago I was eating mostly paleo and that probably explains why my weight was where it was.  Unfortunately, this diet was very hard for me to maintain while marathon training.  Same goes for my attempt a couple months ago to ditch the carbs.  It worked for awhile but I didn’t have the strength to see it through, especially with all the travel this summer for college stuff.  Probably I am making excuses.  Mostly I just suck at willpower and sticking with anything.

I don’t have the answers anymore and I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes as I type this.  As another year bites the dust, I’m looking at needing to start all over again and I don’t even know where to begin.  Why am I not the 145 pounds I was a year ago (or a bigger question, what happened to the 138 pounds I got to after losing that 50# on Weight Watchers around the time my kids entered kindergarten)?  I don’t want to be that pre or postmenopausal woman who gains 10-15 pounds every year and just brushes it off as a part of getting older.  That simply isn’t healthy, not for my physical or mental well being.  Plus, I can’t afford a new wardrobe every year.

I am taking some steps towards starting over and getting back to the healthy Bari I want to be.  I haven’t been strength training much at all, so I actually went to one of those “Total Body Strength” group exercise classes at my gym.  It kicked my butt and it was very defeating to be one of the biggest girls in the room especially with mirrors on the walls.  But I stayed and I did the work.  A friend reminded me that everyone else is so worried about themselves and how they look that they aren’t looking at me – but I saw me and I didn’t like the reflection in the mirror.  After I return from taking my baby girl to college, I have an appointment scheduled with my physician.  I’ll be requesting lab work to make sure there isn’t a medical reason for the weight gain and other symptoms I’ve been feeling (see that first point about regular checkups).  I’m sure everything will come out fine like it always has and he’ll just tell me to put the fork down, but better safe than sorry.

Hopefully, any posts I write a year from now will be a little more sunshiny.  If not, I know I my tribe here will still have my back to support and encourage me.

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