Trying to get life back in order

Two years ago I was on a really positive swing, getting my life together and all that jazz. I was in the best shape of my life, at my most confident, relaxed, and happy. I got a new job that paid very well and required travel. Unfortunately it involved a lot of stress and time away from home (fortunately I have no family yet). Since then everything seems to have slowly taken a turn for the worse and the one thing that’s been on my mind the whole time is my weight. It’s almost become an obsession and I have this weird apprehension about going back to the gym and being judged on putting it all back on, since I was sort of one of their success stories. I’d come and go, but with work and travel, I knew I’d never have to commit. Then I had an injury that kept me out for months and had me on disability leave from work, which had me depressed and I ballooned.

Last night I finally went in and I now weigh more than I did when I started working out. I am totally paralyzed by that. None of the motivational techniques I learned back then are working. It’s like I feel I’ve let myself down so deeply and this is putting crushing pressure on myself, I’m really not used to the feeling and don’t know what to do. I want to get back into shape but I am terrified of being judged, I am paralyzed by the thought that I let myself go once again and deep inside me is the nagging fear that I’ll do it again. Seeing my fitness performance go from setting records on the rowing machine (I kid you not, I beat my personal trainer those years ago in a 500m race) to barely being able to do 15 minutes on the bike on a moderate setting is the worst feeling ever.

It’s messed up and I can’t remember the last time I felt this bad. Maybe when I was on the verge of flunking a key math course in college?

I feel as if I need someone to tell me it’s ok, that it’s alright to hit rock bottom again, but who is that someone? And why do I need this before I can accept it?

I really need help and I don’t even know where to begin here.

Dave Ramsey said something about finances that is sort of related to this. I’ll paraphrase:

“Would it have been better if you hadn’t slid back and lost the ground you gained? Obviously. But once you’re done with the pity party, you need to pick yourself up and start at step 1 and get yourself into the best position you can.”

I know losing progress sucks and I know you must be demotivated but realistically there’s only way out of this, and that’s forward motion.

I was expecting the end of this post to be “And that’s when I noticed the damage to my bumper. How much will it take to get fixed?”

If you’re embarrassed or frozen about a life change, start small. It’s the new year so everyone is itching to go, but you don’t have to jump in with two feet. Go for a walk.

It’s ok, you’ll recover.

Did that help?

If so, stop the pity party, pick yourself up, and get back to doing what you want to do. Don’t be ashamed of where you are, take pride in the fact that you have the ability and discipline to change it. It’s not like you’re doing anything you haven’t done before right? You know it’s possible, so go do it.

There are a million different platitudes I could offer, but in the end you are at an advantage because you know what you want to accomplish, you know how to do it and you know you can do it.

And fuck what other people think.

Spend more time with Jokey Smurf. Or maybe Smurfette.

On a practical side, get a chubby friend to go the gym with you. That way you’ll not only have their support but you’ll also look better in comparison!

This sounds like some kind of motivational speaker bullshit, but my experience is thus:

Just focus on taking the first few steps, the rest will take care of itself.

This goes equally well for any challenging thing you are starting or restarting, whether it is exercise, a big project at work, whatever. Once you see the first bits of progress you’ll snap right back to the successful mindset you were in before. Fear of starting a big project is the #1 reason some people never complete a big project.

Obviously, in your specific case, also be very careful not to reinjure whatever it is you injured.

This thread needs more Bill Dungsroman.

Losing progress? Reminds me of game crash in an RPG or something, with your last save being about three hours ago. Boy that shit is depressing; you don’t even WANT to play anymore. Then you give it a day, load up the last save, and continue on.

The plus side is you already know how to do the shit because you’ve already done it, and thus you know you CAN do it - all it takes now is doing it.

Stop weighing yourself and focus on eating healthy and getting more exercise, even if at first that’s just a walk each day. It only takes a few weeks to get back in the kind of shape that lets you work out strenuously.

And really, don’t step on the scale. You’ll know it when you lose a few pounds. It’s not about how much you weigh as it is about how you feel about yourself.

It IS OK, it IS alright to hit rock bottom again, it’s human. You’ve already done it before, so you KNOW you can do it again! You had a lot of stress and you went back to old ways of eating and ended up gaining weight. That’s not a crime, its just what happens.

I know where to begin, your user name. Right now it’s a real motivation killer. How can anyone named PapaSmurf not be morbidly obese?

You are no longer PapaSmurf. PapaSmurf, the overweight guy who seeks advice on gaming sites, is dead. You are now Steely Bastard, a stone cold killer.

PM TomChick now and ask to change your name.

Man, the dark, blue heart of the internet is a scary place.

Haha thanks all. The joking around makes it better.

You’ve done it before. You can do it again.

My suggestion is watch some funny cartoons and get on a treadmill.

You can watch some fantastic stuff while burning calories. My personal favorites/suggestions (though I don’t exercize) would be Venture Bros, Robot Chicken, Titan Maximum, the Brak Show, and for more violent fare - Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Metalocolypse.

Just rent them all from Netflix and watch in sequence. I also love Home Movies, but that’s too calm for working out.

Steely Bastard does not watch TV while he works out. He’s all warrior preisthood, baby. Laser focus.

Metalocalypse is permitted by the warrior priesthood as appropriate “working out” stimuli. It’s all in the rulebook.

It is also recommended for Steely Bastard to stand under a waterfall for an hour a day and crack walnuts in between his knuckles.