I've been struggling with life in the maintenance mode of Weight Watchers. I hit a very respectable weight, felt good, not quite to the goal number, but good enough - and frustrated enough about not reaching The Number that I decided to take a break from the "loss" mode and do "maintenance" for a bit, and return to that last 5 in the summer.
(Summer is here, ahem.)
Well... my version of maintenance mode ended up being that little extra food each day, as prescribed, plus whatever I want on Saturdays. And sometimes Fridays too. Turns out, that will put weight back on! Slowly but oh-so-surely.
So I am staring myself down, having gained back 6 or so pounds. Plus the 5 I wanted to lose, too. Sure, sure, it's nothing like starting at the beginning - but in many ways, it's harder.
And yet, I'm still going to the gym 2 or 3 times a week, and I'm still going to Zumba 2 times a week, and it occurred to me that I'm also back to looking in the mirror and feeling crappy, ugly, fat. (Yes, I know fat is not a feeling.)
So why keep working out? Why bother?
But last week, in a Zumba class, stretching out my arms in what felt like a very elegant and alluringly exotic way, to the sound of a bhangra beat, I answered that why.
I might look in the mirror right now and feel frustrated. Might feel two steps back after one step forward, definitely feel undisciplined and annoyed with myself. But for about 215 minutes a week, when I am actually in the process of some type of working out, I am so powerfully grateful for this body and what it can do, is doing, has learned to do. And that's 215 minutes a week that wasn't being experienced a year ago, and that's 215 minutes a week that are a solid break from body-shaming. Said it before, and I'm sayin' it again: that gratitude game. It's a winner.