In most areas of my life, I can say without a doubt I am doing really good.
But one area continues to haunt me, and that is fitness overall.
I feel like fitness is something I am constantly working at, but it just never seems to improve.
My dancing improves, my health improves, my strength even improves, but my overall fitness is stuck and with it my weight is stuck too. And one is directly related to the other.
I have always battled with fitness and weight demons. I probably always will. It took me a lot of hard work and time to get to where I was before I was diagnosed, which was probably the fittest I had been since I was under 20.
One of the my biggest fear when I was diagnosed was that I would lose my fitness and gain weight, which in the end was inevitable for a number of reasons, but my biggest fear right now is that I will never get it back.
That I am not doing enough to take it back. That I am failing myself.
And worse–that there is nothing I can do to have it back. That my body and fitness has been permanently damaged by cancer.
Those are the dark places my mind goes as I continue to struggle to find my way back to feeling strong and fit again. Like anything is possible – a feeling that is still eluding me.
I do know that nothing is ever going to be as it was, and it is only recently that I realized that perhaps the reason I seem to keep failing is that I am still trying to go back to doing things as I did before I was diagnosed, which doesn’t work for me anymore, even if it did then.
Too much has changed.
The program I used to follow has changed a lot, but more than that my eating habits, foods I like, and fitness needs have also changed.
Dance used to be an almost purely cardio activity, but now its much more technical and less go go go all the time, so I need to include cardio in my weight training. I can’t run anymore due to the knee issues, so I need to substitute that with something. I have lost most of my upper body strength and that is taking a long time to rebuild.
My body is still recovering from major surgeries, one of which was less than a year ago.
It’s all led me to make a big change. And changes are scary. And perhaps this change is admittance that I haven’t been doing enough.
I am trying a new eating program that involves essentially tracking one thing – calories in vs calories out. Its much simpler than what I was doing, and perhaps that is what scares me some, but perhaps that is what I need.
I have also given myself permission to go with eating habits that suit me.
Among other things, eating 3 large meals a day doesn’t work for me. Neither does eating as soon as I wake up (meaning breakfast). I discovered what works for me is to eat small light things, mostly fruit, but also some yogurt and nuts throughout the day, and have one main meal in the evening (usually before or between dance). I usually eat between 11 am and 8 pm (7 most nights) and when I do that, I feel better.
My trainer also changed some things up so now I do weight training only twice a week and have one day that is just sustained cardio (elliptical since no running), followed by my dance exercises.
The best thing I can do for my fitness now is convince my body to shed the extra weight its gotten used to carrying around (again) from my treatments. It’s fighting back hard, which is why I keep beating myself up and worrying that I am not doing enough.
But I think it isn’t that I am not doing enough, its that I have been doing the wrong things.
So hopefully the new changes will make a difference. Hopefully it will be enough. Hopefully I can finally succeed.
A lot depends on it, not just dance but also my job, not to mention my health.
I was told something tonight that perhaps will help me keep consistent and give me something to aim for: there is a possibility I will be able to compete again this fall. It’s still a big maybe and depends on a few different factors coming together, but it’s a possibility. Finally.
Everyday I feel like I am fighting an uphill battle, except I am on an escalator going the wrong way. Perhaps to go up I need to get off and go around to the other side.
I know there is more I can do.
Hopefully I have found the way to do it better.
We all have our demons. Mine talk about failing to do enough to be stronger.
Time to shut them down before they take over.