Truthfully, I believe the only reason I am able to talk about this is because I am finally seeing improvement and progress. Two weeks ago, I was severely lacking in motivation and positivity. In the beginning of December, I had tapered my prednisone dosage to 10mg a day and began to show symptoms of a flare up. Because of the flare, my prescription was increased to 50mg a day. It did not take long for the increased appetite, cravings, mood swings, dry skin, acne, and insomnia to settle in. As I had already began gaining weight back, the high dosage of steroids began impacting me far worse than it did when I was hospitalized. I entered into a bit of depression. I stopped communicating with some friends and anything others said to me would instantly annoy me. I was constantly tired. I tried to keep up a positive vibe for others because that is what they expect and “I am so inspiring,” but, honestly, it was draining me even more. I was trying to maintain my working out regime because it is a good stress relief for me, but there were days where I skipped or was still in a terrible mood afterwards.
It also didn’t matter how much I was working out, I was still gaining weight…I was still gaining fat. Did you know that when you are taking a high dose of steroids, your body processes carbs in a different way and stores it as fat? Because I just learned this!!! However, I wish I could blame this fat gain on the drugs alone, but sadly I cannot. I was inhaling everything in sight. I was upset with my body and eating my feelings.
Going from the body I had in the hospital (153lbs) to seeing myself gain ridiculous amounts of fat in such a short time period was incredibly trying on my mental health. I would look in the mirror and couldn’t recognize the body I had yet again. I also didn’t recognize the acne covered face. However, I recognized the feeling that I was beginning to experience; the feeling was similar to when I was once extremely out of shape, in a terrible relationship, and unhappy with not only with my life, but also with myself. Everything is so much different than it once was, though!
I had hit 210lbs. While the number on the scale is not everything in the world, 210lbs does not look good on me nor is it comfortable. I went from a healthy yet fluffy 185lbs. to an uncomfortable 210lbs. in about three weeks. The slight muscle definition that I had started to see had disappeared and was replaced with fat. My uniform is tight, my underwear is cutting into my legs, and my sports bras are rubbing me wrong when I exercise. I am just not happy with these extra layers of fat.
Goals and Plans
So, what did I do?! I pulled myself out of the hole I was in!!! I sat down and I made a plan! I wrote out all of my goals and a plan for achieving each goal. It wasn’t easy to find the motivation, but I knew I could not continue down the path I was heading. I also knew I would not wait until the new year to make changes; they had to happen as soon as possible. Writing things down and sticking to them is what works for me. So, I wrote down my goals and then added them to the wall next to my desk. My three month goals are focused on completing physical feats, becoming stronger, and losing fat.
3 Month Goals
- finally do a pull-up
- squat 170lbs
- complete 10k
- decrease body fat percentage by at least 3%
Goals for January
- have body fat measured
- Having my body fat measured will help me to achieve the long term goal of reducing my body fat percentage.
- rediscover yoga
- I have joined a 30 day Yoga Challenge with Yoga With Adrienne and will begin practicing yoga again on 2 Jan.
- get off prednisone
- I am currently at 10mg and hope to be completely off the little bastards; I am hoping to be able to use my diet to keep inflammation at bay.
- run a total of 8 miles
- I plan to run a little each week as LISS; more than my planned sprinting intervals.
- maintain positivity
- 24 Dec – start strong
- I have definitely started strong.
- 31 Dec – don’t let the colonoscopy stop the progress
- I haven’t let the low residue diet get in my way thus far, but hope to not let my condition post-procedure impact my workouts.
- 7 Jan – attend a fitness class
- I want to attend a class to do something new to achieve my fitness goals
- 14 Jan – join “Climb Mt. Everest”
- This is a challenge at my gym where you rack up points by being on the Jacob’s Ladder or the Stair Master. I feel as though joining in on this will help me to push through cardio more.
- 21 Jan – run a 5k
- I want to really get into running, but because of my anemia am being very cautious with how much I am running at one time.
- 28 Jan – reflect on past month
- Reflecting on the past month will help me to better go into the month of February.
I am weighing myself each day and taking an average at the end of the week. I am also taking progress pictures every other Sunday (every two weeks). The number on the scale does not reflect my strength, my health, or my confidence. With that being said, I know that I am not happy at this weight and I will change it. I am changing by following the workout plan above my calendar. I plan to lose 1-1.5lbs each week. I will also be “eating healthy,” which means a little something different to those with IBD. I am tracking my macros using MyFitnessPal; I have used this method before to lose fat and gain muscle. Initially, counting my macros helped to teach me about the food that I was putting into my body, but this time around, counting my macros is helping to get me on track and making me feel like I am more in control of things.
This blog post is serving as my first step of accountability: putting my goals and plans out there to the world. However, being accountable to myself and my health is the most important thing to me. It truly feels great to be where I am at physically and mentally. I haven’t felt this great and positive about my fitness and health goals in about five months.