Saturday, March 31, 2012

Garden: Like a House of Cards, Part 2

Back in late December 2011 my husband and I started a program at the gym designed to lose weight. It included regular meetings with a dietitian and working out with a personal trainer three times per week. I remember the first meeting with the dietitian when she asked me what my motivation was for signing up for the program, I said that I couldn't find the motivation to lose the weight, to get healthy on my own so I  decided I'd pay somebody to try to motivate me. I thought she was going to reject me on the spot. Return my money and send me on my way.  "Without a high level of motivation, most people are not that successful with programs like this." she told me.  "Sorry, I could lie to you and say I'm highly motivated but I'm not. I have no reason to believe that I'll be successful with this program because I've tried everything and nothing has worked. I know what to do, I just can't seem to do it." I was defiant. "Well, what's your expectation for a program like this" she asked me, puzzled.  "I just want to finish it. I never finish anything. I just want to follow the directions you give me and not quit before it's finished. I don't even care if I lose weight because I know if I just do what you say, it'll happen."  The doubt lifted from her face a little. She said she was relieved that I didn't have an unrealistic weight loss goal like most people.  "OK, let's finish it, then" she said. And that was that.  Sort of.

It was a long hard, slow three months.  The first few weeks of the program were horrible. I felt like that lame story of the clam without its shell. Vulnerable. I tweeted that I was wearing a coat of insecurity. I was afraid of everything.  And I didn't know why. The only thing I was doing was recording my food in an online food diary and working out and I've done that a million times.  But I was freaking out. About everything. My relationship with my husband. My job. My family. And then I started getting sick. This is inappropriate for a gardening blog but I got three bladder infections in one month.  Three! And a really bad cold a bunch of other crap.

Other stuff happened that is probably relevant but I haven't figured out how, yet. Like I refused to weigh because it always derails me. Or so I say. It was really helpful that my husband and I were both in the program together and although I was highly motivated at times, the team at the gym was mostly dragging me along kicking and screaming. I never missed a session with the personal trainer, or the dietitian. But I was a slack ass when it came to getting in my extra cardio and at some point I stopped logging my food.

One day after complaining to my trainer about feeling extremely unmotivated I got an email from the dietitian. I hadn't sent her my food logs in a few days. Her email was short. "Alicia said you were really struggling this week. Is there anything going on that we can help with?"  And I started an email to her that practically ended up like these blog posts. Long, rambling, cathartic.

Dear Cris, thanks for the email. I'm sorry I've been out of touch...

The intention of my email to her was to make excuses. And in the meantime to say something that would make me seem less lame. Or maybe make her feel sorry for me. Anything! But the more I wrote the more I was accidentally digging deeper and deeper into the problem.


  1. Don't be afraid of success and give yourself credit for your struggles it's not an easy climb to the top. Once you get there you will know the climb was worth every step <|;-) We're with you...

  2. I'm rather captivated by your story. Interested to read the next chapter.

  3. Gina, where's the rest of the story? I'm really interested in reading it. I feel like you and I are kindred spirits!