Earlier, I had posted about getting through the holidays and my leave, and not only did I not get completely derailed on my goal, but I also even managed to knock a couple more pounds off and break my plateau. But since then? I have hit a wall. Actually twice. The first time was significant, but merely figurative; the second time was slightly less significant, but literal.
The figurative wall
Winter tends to hit me hard, with a strong desire to just hibernate until Spring, and I don’t have a lot of coping mechanisms that are that effective at beating that lull. I’ve tried lots of things, most didn’t help.
Trips to warmer Southern climates DO help, but we tend to do those every couple of years, not every year. Too many other demands on our budget. It also sometimes backfires, particularly if the timing doesn’t coincide well with the winter blasts — if I go too early, the post-vacation blasts can run pretty long; if I go too late, I’m often too run-down before I go.
Another coping technique I have is that I like to embrace the idea of PolySpring — my so-called “light at the end of the tunnel” by which I’m near-guaranteed likely to have no more lasting snow. The end of the hibernation and a good date to aim for — if I can hold on until then, my expectations don’t get too high earlier, and I can also remain on a relatively even keel.
Lots of advice swirls out there in the ether about how to cope with the winter blues, including embracing the outdoor life. Some of that I like the sounds of, most of it I don’t, and what I have tried left me with those two as the main techniques that help. I prefer spring and fall over a too-cold winter or a too-hot summer. And with my weight being what it has been, some possible outings have not been in the cards (I’m looking at you, Mr. x-country skiing). I know, I know, a self-fulfilling prophecy and an excuse more than an explanation.
However, in addition to the two above, one thing that has frequently worked for me has been to do a “January 1st reset” of my life each year. I would drag out my to do lists and bucket lists, and personal planning guides, and wrestle with them throughout January to update or set goals for myself. Planning, brainstorming, blogging, trying out new personal storylines on myself, coming up with new ideas on how to approach the coming year. Sometimes reading the latest and greatest in new approaches to personal planning. A chance to jump into a rabbit-hole and emerge on the other side of the winter field with a concrete plan to move forward.
But, this year, I don’t have any goals to wrestle with mentally to distract myself. I had decided to have no other goals, just the single one that is now sitting there mocking me. My overall momentum has dropped to zero. The problem is that I’m stalled. Kind of like climbing a hill with a 4×4 and getting stopped part way up. You can’t just give it more gas, you almost have no other choice but to back down a ways and then take another run at it. I have seriously given thought to just going for ice cream and starting “over”. Count it as a broken goal and then recommit again, doubling down.
I may be stuck on the hill, just giving it gas, but what has been worse this week is that I’m starting to slide backwards. I’ve got the brakes on to slow my descent, but I’ve started staying up late again, watching TV. Buying my lunch at work, and while slightly better choices than before, still not as good as a home made lunch, with my snacks set for the week. My motivation is almost zero. And my weight has crept back up five pounds. Not horrendous, I know, but when I’m focused on getting the weight to go down, seeing it go back to my plateau weight is not encouraging. And while I had been doing really well on my foods, I’m now HUNGRY way more often.
I tried with Andrea to vary our menu last week, testing some new recipes, but we over-programmed and I wasn’t looking forward to the various ones as much as I might have been with fewer new choices. Plus I feel like I’ve been fighting a bug the last two weeks. It could just be my body adapting to new drugs, hard to tell. And some of it is just my brain sabotaging my efforts. The hill metaphor is just that, a metaphor. It doesn’t quite hold for a goal like this, and I have no intention of giving in.
But then, I almost had a catastrophe happen.
The literal wall
Jacob had a course at Nepean SportsPlex on Sunday morning, and we were running a bit late. We were just about to head out, Andrea and Jacob were already in the car when I realized that Jacob didn’t have his sunglasses with him. It wasn’t that bright out, he wasn’t planning to take them, but when I asked him if he wanted his sunglasses or not, he paused and then agreed he did want them after all. No problem, I could get them.
They were in his bag near the front door, and I sat down sideways on the steps in our entry way while I looked through his bag. I found them, and when I went to get up, I sort of rotated back straight, leaned forward and tried to rise.
Except my weight wasn’t entirely over my feet when I did it. And my feet weren’t on the carpet; instead, the carpet was pulled back a bit and my slightly-wet boots were on slightly-wet tile.
My feet went out from under me to the left, and I fell to the right.
Not far, not kersplat. I more “fell over” than “fell”, basically from a half-standing, half-sitting position. And I didn’t go all the way down. I couldn’t, you see.
There’s a wall there. As I fell, I stuck my forearm out to stop my descent, and caught the edge of the wall about an inch or two in from my elbow. 315 pounds falling on a single wedge of wall on a single point on my forearm.
I thought I had broken it. It hurt so bad, so instantly, and the whole thing went almost dead from that point downward, I was sure it was broken. I couldn’t even move it for a good minute. It still hurt like crazy, and I managed to get my feet under me properly and lean way forward before standing and going out to the car. When I went to put the key in the ignition, I had a lot of trouble moving my arm forward to do it. I eventually had to lean my body forward too, I couldn’t raise my arm that far. As I drove, I stretched my arm out as far as I could to get it moving again, and slowly got it moving again over the next 30 minutes.
One hour and an ice pack later and I was good to go. I figured it would bruise, but it didn’t, not really. Sure, there’s a small bruise and a little scrape, but other than that, there’s just missing paint from the edge of the wall and some residue on my coat arm.
But it scared the crap out of me. My most immediate fear is not about my heart or weight or BP or any of that — it’s falling on my knees and doing major damage. I have gone skating a few times in the last couple of years, and basically set aside the fear. Yet after this incident, I won’t chance it. I barely fell and came close to doing major damage to my arm. It’s still sore three days later, and if I rest the arm the wrong way on the armrest in the car or at my desk, or even just on the desk, I feel it almost instantly. If I had gone down on my knee? Hell, it hurts just KNEELING on a good day. I can’t take the risk until I get the weight down.
And of course, my brain is attacking me pretty hard. Clumsy, fat stupid PoS is basically the message it is sending, which is not doing much for my mood. Add in a rough transition from six weeks off back into work, and I’m not having a good month.
A figurative wall and a literal one. Both taking me out.
On a good day, I could turn that anger into something resembling forward motion, driving me forward. I know the only way out is through, but my brain isn’t listening at the moment. It wants to give up, but that’s not an option.
I’ve decided that I need to set a non-health goal or two to distract me from time to time and let me feel a sense of momentum when the other momentum slows. I thought the Reading Challenge might be enough, but it wasn’t. So maybe I can do a bit of mini-planning without going full-rabbit hole. See if that helps.
In the meantime, I’m mostly just pissed at myself. Almost enough to hit a wall, if I hadn’t done that twice already.
The only way out is through. The only way out is through. The only way out is through. The only way out is through…Breathing in through the nose, out through the mouth.