Up is the new Down

Holy moanfest, Batman! Thanks for indulging me in the last entry. I always need to have a good whinge before getting my act together again. It's an official stage in the Getting Back On The Wagon process. There are official stages, don't you know. I've fallen off so many times that last time it happened, I made an actual List of them. It's a handy reminder that it's happened all before and everything will be dandy soon enough.

There's always a low moment when you worry that this time you've really cocked it up beyond repair. I was chugging up Ben Lawers on Monday, my heart rate monitor declaring I'd reached 90% of my maximum. Jenny and Gareth were slightly ahead, but in my gloomy frame of mind they may as well have been lounging on the mountain top, sipping cups of tea and cackling, "Pick up the pace, fatty!"

I was trying to describe the feeling to Gareth the other night. Most of the time, staying healthy is mindless and natural; it's just the way I do things. But when things get on top of me, I feel fraudulent. Like the gymming and hiking are just pathetic attempts to outrun my old self. Like I'll always be ten steps behind the real skinny people. Like the real me is the recluse on the couch with the drawn blinds and tub of ice cream. It's a feeling of despair that this time, the ruse is finally up.

The moment did pass when I got to the top of the hill. I'm really glad I created a Setbacks and Screw-ups category because it's been reassuring to see hard evidence that I do have the ability to bounce back again. And again and again and again.

"It's impossible to see the way forward if you're too busy beating yourself up. It's not a failure of character if you dare to feel a bit lost and incompetent."
Good Feeling, 24 October 2007.

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16 thoughts on “Up is the new Down

  1. Oh yeah, when I’ve fallen off the wagon more than momentarily, I’ve felt the same way. Fraudulent, and exactly as you say – as if I don’t belong with the ‘real’ fit and slim people, and I never will.

    But you know what? Talking to other people and reading blogs, I’ve discovered that they all feel exactly the same way.

    So tell your inner fat girl to stuff it! This probably won’t be the last time it happens (I’ve lost count myself), but you will always claw your way back, because you know that anything else is just not an option.

  2. Have a great weekend! And ignore the inner voice – we all have a right to be healthy and happy 🙂

  3. I think half the battle is that when you start getting into improving your fitness, you compare yourself to the really fit people (well I know I do) when most people aren’t even out there doing anything 😀

    Enjoy the weekend!

  4. There must be something in the air this month. This on the wagon/off the wagon thing is going around.

    Thankfully, we all have the right attituded & get back on instead of getting run over by the wagon wheels.

    Have a lovely weekend. Sounds like a blast! Can’t wait for the Moonwalk report.

  5. Hey Shauna,

    That inner fat girl is who keeps me honest. I’m glad I’m where I’m at and while I don’t appreciate reminders, (thank you very much to my daughter), I think it’s important that I remember where I came from. I’m always one jar of peanut butter away from going back.

  6. Thank you for this, DG. It’s nice to know that even though you’re ‘there’, you still have those internal feelings of being separate from the ‘real’ skinny people. It gives me hope, because I don’t think I’ll ever not feel that way inside.

  7. yoo-hoo – fellow fraud right here! Last weekend i participated (i wont say competed!) in a 10km run (walk!), which should be feeling like a real accomplishmnt (overweight and lazy until earlier this year)… but no!….on thesame day, 4 of my (very sporty)friends RAN in half and full marathons. I have spent ALL of this week feeling like queen fraud.
    Have decided… need to acknowledge they have been running 20 years and I have not! Glad youre not being so hard on yourself now DG.

  8. I did a water aerobics class today. I was the youngest person in the group by several decades, yet I was the most shite at every thing.
    It’s an improvement on the last few weeks where I chose to swim instead of joining the class in case I sucked at it. LOL

    Good on you for keeping on picking yourself back up and chasing after that damned wagon!

  9. I just love how you articulate what’s been rumbling around in my brain. How did you know?!?

    Also anxiously awaiting the details of the Moonwalk.

    Keep on keeping on, you’re doing the right things.

  10. Shauna I completley get that hill climb issue. I am running further then I have ever in my life, but I still feel inadequate sometimes and hate being last all the time…It’s hard to compare ourselves against ourselves, but really it’s what we need to try and do…

    Loving your posts and can’t wait to hear about the walk…

  11. “Like I’ll always be ten steps behind the real skinny people.”

    Uhuh. I often feel that way. I just have to keep telling myself that it IS worth it; even if I’m not going to pass as naturally sporty, I’m still going to get benefits from what I can do.

    Hope the gig was good… though personally I’m hoping you DIDN’T run off with Ed. Wouldn’t Gareth object?

  12. I think 90% of the female population (including some skinny people) are perpetually running away from their Inner Fatty. We gotta remember that we all have off-days and it’s hard not to throw up our hands and yell “well that’s IT then, clearly I’m now going to be a FAILURE FOREVER!” Which is just nonsense, because it always turns out OK in the end.

    Great idea on the list, I think I need to try something like that.

    My colleague went to see Radiohead last week and was blown away – apparently they played nearly everything off In Rainbows. I went to see My Bloody Valentine this weekend – by heck it was LOUD!

    TA x

  13. *inhales, closes eyes* OOoooooMMMMMM say it with me nooooooow there is no wagon only liiiiiife OOOOOOOOmmmmmmm *opens eyes* ahhh, life is good

  14. the most important lesson i’ve learned while losing weight is that you can always start again…. and it’s reading blogs like yours that reinforce that lesson. Thanks DG.

  15. Hmm, just wondering, if you are often trying things that others do regularly or have lots of experience in, and are therefore much better than you, won’t it always be the case that the less experienced will not be as good?
    When do you take other ‘fitter’ folk to things where you kick serious butt? Or seeing as the summer holidays are upon us, try new things that both you and Dr G have never done before? Oh, and in such cases it is probably alright to push the boundaries as far as you like, so drag him along to a ballet taster course and see what he summon up at the bar? Or go-karting? Or curling? Have you done curling, some blogger has, can’t remember who…
    Because otherwise sheer years of experience will mean that folk who are not necessarily more fit than you will always be better and even when that makes sense the old inner self doesn’t always work on sense. You can talk to the inner self as much as you want but a wee bit of schadenfreude, as you see the superfit falling on their arse can work wonders.