Long time no update.
Life… just kind of happened. And now here I am. I signed up for Precision Nutrition’s Lean Eating Program. Again.
Let me explain what happened:
I can pretty much pinpoint when I started spiralling out of control. It was not when I lost my job. It was not when I moved. It was not when I visited my family for Christmas. It was in January. I was walking to the gym and I decided that I just didn’t care about PNLE’s workouts. It was too cold to be walking to the gym, anyway. So instead I went to the drugstore and bought junk food. The next day, I didn’t go to the gym either. I stopped logging on to the PNLE lessons. I basically didn’t leave my house. I just stayed curled up in bed all day, trying to avoid reality.
Not-so-coincidentally, my unemployment insurance ended in January. I had no job, no job prospects and a dwindling bank account.Every time I made plans with friends, the conversation always opened with, “So have you found a job yet?” and inevitably led to me admitting what a lazy and useless failure of a human being I was. Going out with friends involved spending money that I didn’t have, and that just stressed me out. So all in all, avoiding my life entirely really did seem like the best course of action at the time.I was quite literally crippled by stress,
Therefore, I can’t say I was surprised when my monthly credit card payment for PNLE bounced in January… five times. I asked to drop the program. I hadn’t logged in for 4 weeks and I hadn’t gone to the gym during that time. Even if I had been following the program, I couldn’t justify the expense when I couldn’t even afford to buy groceries. I borrowed money from my parents because I had to eat, and then I spent the money on junk food because at least that seemed like a pleasure in the black hole of my existence. Rationally, I could see that I was gaining weight and felt like crap, but I still couldn’t stop. I was acting like a drug addict, except I was addicted to sugar and binge eating.
In my busy schedule of napping and eating junk food for days on end, I did find the time to send out approximately one bajillion job applications, which I considered a plus. I went to four job interviews in January, which I consider to be among my greatest achievements, given my state of mind. That was a really big deal, except I didn’t seem to be any nearer to a job.
Eventually, I got a job offer for a six month contract doing admin work. It sounded like a minimum wage job, and also like the best thing that could ever happen to me because at least I’d have some sort of income. Of course, 12 hours later I received a call asking me to come back to my old student job for a few months. Long story short, by the end of March I was back with my old team on a 5-year contract and a livable salary. .
I really thought that at that point my gym mojo would just magically re-appear. I had income and a reason to get out of bed in the mornings! Except that going to work and dealing with people all day was a bit of a shock to my system. I had a whole bunch of new team mates all at once, and I’d gotten a promotion, which meant higher pay – but also a lot more responsibility. It was just a total system overload, and for the first couple of weeks, I would leave work in the evening, pick up fast food and then come home and go to bed. The idea of going back to the gym, where I would be weak and fat just seemed totally unappealing now that I could afford to almost anything else.
A friend of mine suggested the Pact app to get back into the routine of going to the gym. I’ve been back for 12 weeks, and I’m still using the app. It charges my credit card $10/day for every day I miss. I haven’t missed a day.The part of me that couldn’t afford to buy groceries cannot fathom spending $10 to miss a workout. Oh, and I signed up for a Powerlifting meet in October, with the same friend.
Slowly, I am getting my strength back. It’s hard for me to compare my current numbers with my previous maxes, because I’ve gained almost 50lbs. (What can I say? I have an eating disorder and it was a long winter.)
Now that I’ve re-established my gym routine, I feel like I can finally tackle my diet, which is no longer the biggest mess in my life (The biggest mess in my life is actually my non-existant self-esteem, so dealing with my diet actually seems like a walk in the part). Of course, being who I am, I tried to do a bunch of things that I knew wouldn’t work. First, I tried to count calories but that didn’t even last a full day. Second, I tried to do an extreme keto-esque cut. That lasted about 3 days. Then I went to World Pride and ate Eggs Benedict all weekend, and came back 10lbs heavier. There has to be a better way
Oh wait, I seem to recall doing part of a program that taught me how to lose weight without going crazy. And it taught me a lot of stuff. I mean, I sort of feel like a giant failure because I didn’t lose any weight at the time, and then I dropped out of the program. But neither of those facts prevents me from applying what I learned – so that’s what I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks. Miraculously, it seems to have be working.
But what will I do when my weight loss slows down and I don’t feel motivated to plan my meals for the week? I seriously debated whether to sign-up for PNLE again. I wanted some accountability and consistency. I wanted to prove to myself that I could finish the program. I really struggled to decide whether I should sign up again. I looked back at what went wrong last time. I hated the workouts. I was broke. I never developed a strong connection with my coach or my team. I didn’t always ask for help when I needed it.
Except I still fully believe in the habits the program teaches, and I know exactly what I need to do to fix all of the issues that I had last time. I have a steady job for the next year: I was able to pre-pay for the whole program, which I can afford to do now , and it means I can’t drop out in February if money’s tight. I sent an e-mail to the PN team and I requested a different coach. They were accommodating (and so supportive!). I am going to be working with a coach who has powerlifting experience, so hopefully she will understand as I continue to train for my meet in October. And I can be brave enough to ask for help when I need it… though I admit that I’m still working on that one.
The program doesn’t start for a few days, which doesn’t really matter. I went to the gym today and did my Texas Method Light Day. I am still trying to eat PNLE-friendly meals. And I am feeling pretty zen about going through this whole process. Again.
Which brings me back to my blog. Blogging has been helpful to me in the past, and I want to get into it again. If no one ever read my blog that would be fine, because it acts as a sort of “brain dump” for me. I am a very emotional person, which I don’t always like about myself, but at least this gives me a way to sort through all of my feelings and deal with them. At the same time, I am posting this on the internet and anyone can read all of my lame excuses – which makes me incredibly conscious of things I might not recognize in my own behaviour otherwise. Like, it was cold outside so I stopped eating healthy for 6 months? Lame. I can’t believe anyone would ever admit to that. Oh wait, I just did.