Sunday, May 4, 2014

It's so totally not linear

Last week, I didn't weigh in. I usually weigh in on Saturday mornings, and I was in Champaign on April 26, so it just didn't happen. Which meant last Saturday, May 3, was the first time I'd gotten on the "scale of record" in two weeks.

And I gained almost two pounds. Eight sticks of butter. And it bothered only the tiniest bit.

Over the two weeks between weigh-ins, I've been through a lot. Most notably, putting my cat (oh how I miss you, Benld) to sleep and interviewing for (and subsequently getting) a new job. That's a lot of emotional upheaval and expended energy. It took lattes and cheese, rest and yoga, to work through it. And I am feeling pretty good despite all the crazy, so I will take a one-point-eight-pound weight gain, thankyouverymuch, because how I feel is way more important than the scale.

Here's what I know for sure: Fitness, health, weight, the whole nine? It isn't linear. There are times when you're on the perfect path and things fall into place. Training is on target, nutrition is in your wheelhouse, and the number on the scale trends in the proper direction. But sometimes, you need to celebrate. Sometimes, this requires macaroni and cheese. Sometimes, you need to grieve. This almost always calls for a venti mocha, with whip. Sometimes you just need to suspend the rules, just for a little while.

Sometimes you fall off the wagon, just a little bit. And all the time, that's okay. Because the path to discovering your best self isn't a straight line. There are peaks and valleys; there are times when it is so damn hard it hurts. There are times when it falls into place effortlessly. There are times when you veer off the path entirely (hello, gelato) and times when you almost right yourself, only to discover a pint of Guinness where your resolve used to be.

And it's all okay. I could not be more serious here; it is okay. This is real life. Real life is full of screw-ups, but it's also full of opportunities to right the ship once again. You don't have to wait for Monday; 2:37 p.m. on a Thursday works just as well. The truth is, I'm not militant about it. I just do the best I can, each day. Sometimes my best is better than others. It's taken me a long time to get to this place - a place where a small uptick in weight isn't met with the sort of self-loathing that drives me straight to my two favorite fellas, Ben and Jerry. In the past, a downward spiral that would rival any and all cautionary tales would commence. But I'm in this for the long haul, so I work hard not to let that kinda stuff happen anymore.

It's important to remember, too, that the number on my scale is nothing more than the measurement of my body's relationship to gravity. It does not define me or determine my worth. It's a good touchstone, but really no better than how my skinny jeans fit (really well, thanks; in fact, I'm not far from needing to trade for a smaller size) or how good my skin looks (glowing; hydration is so good for my skin!) or how much energy I have (I can jump! I can run! I kick ass!). Weight isn't really the endgame, folks. If I put on a little bit, it's not the end of the world. It's not even in my top 10 worst things that happened last week.

So this week, I have a road map for where I want to go. It includes some solid training, wise nutrition, and good rest. Balance, my friends. Acceptance of where we are, and acknowledgement of where we're going ... with a side dish of knowing that imperfection is pretty much perfect.

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