Highs and lows, and why staying the course blows.

I am frustrated.

So. effing. frustrated.

When you last saw–er, read about–me, I was on a high. In fact, a number of my posts get written when I’m at a high point. That must be annoying. Right now, I am annoyed with the version of myself that wrote those blogs. I wouldn’t blame you at all if you wanted to punch that me in the face.

Today’s me is generally pissed off at her lack of progress, despite working her ass off and committing her whole heart to this sickening journey.

By “sickening,” I mean like a rollercoaster. And I friggin HATE rollercoasters. Up and down and sometimes sideways, at points perfectly exhilarating and at other points you just want to puke while you try to figure out why the hell you decided to go on this miserable ride in the first place.

So yeah, I’m at a low today. A bend-over-the-trashcan-and-vomit-up-the-carnival-food-you-unwisely-ate-before-the-rollercoaster low.

Today’s me knows that she should find some stupid pictures to put in this blog, but she’s not going to, because it’s just too much work right now.

I’ve been trying to figure out what my problem is. I get that I’ve made a lifestyle change, and I can live with that. I like the clean food I eat, and I am not feeling deprived lately. But I did let things go just a tad this weekend: a splurge meal turned into a splurge day, which turned into an almost-the-entire-weekend splurge.

It’s easiest for me to eat clean during the week, but on the weekends, sometimes it’s a pain in the ass…not because the preparation is difficult or I am looking for a donut and cheeseburger, but because I just don’t want to worry about it. And quite frankly, I don’t think I should have to.

And there’s the rub. Those sneaky little turds: the “shoulds.”

SHOULD, SHOULD, SHOULD.

Here’s my bitchy list of shoulds:

1. I work my ass of five times a week, and eat squeaky clean and portioned M-F. I SHOULD be able to eat whatever I want–within reason–on the weekends.

2. Given the monumental amount of effort I’ve put in over the last 5 months, I SHOULD be further along on my journey.

3. I have worked hard in my fitness journey, and at my new job. I SHOULD be able to afford to reward myself with some new clothes and not have to walk around in saggy ass pants that don’t really fit me anymore. I SHOULD also be able to get some hot new boots for the fall.

4. Speaking of fall, it’s my favorite season, full of rich smells, bold colors and crisp air. I SHOULD be able to enjoy my favorite fall treats without having to obsess over every bite.

5. I’m tired. I SHOULD be able to get more sleep.

I could go on like this forever. I think you’re getting the picture, though, and hopefully my bad mood isn’t rubbing off on you.

The reason I’m so low right now is because I know that even though I SHOULD…for all these things, I CAN’T. Just because something SHOULD be, doesn’t mean that it is. And today–well, for the last week really–that is pissing me off in a major way. See, I bolded it so you know it is REALLY pissing me off.

Staying the course on this fitness journey just sucks right now. The progress is so slow it makes me want to scream. It just seems unfathomable to me that I can work this hard and still not be further along and I. Am. Frustrated.

I’ve started to question what is reasonable, and what is obsessive when it comes to this long haul. I repeat to myself, “Stay the course. It’s worth it.” But how much? How long?

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog about haters and metaphorical fat, where I noted that some of the awesomest people in my life love me DESPITE my possibly annoying focus on training and food.

This is true, and as always, I am grateful for those people.

But in my head, I’ve been wondering where the line is between being motivationally obsessed and being unhealthily obsessed. I don’t want my life to be ALL about fitness. I don’t want to be so crazed that I am going to be suicidal if I can’t get into a size 4 ever again.

But on the other hand, do I need to be THAT obsessed to really stay the course?

I don’t know.

I just want to be a reasonable person who can have a beer a couple of times a week. And maybe some cheese. And possibly a caramel apple, since it is fall, after all.

The serious challenge I’m facing is tempering this journey to a fitter and smaller version of myself with preserving MYSELF. And MYSELF freaking loves apple crisp made from apples I picked off a goddamned tree myself, with brown sugar and butter all mixed up together and then baked to a crisp on top.

It’s food, I get it. I obsess over food. But sometimes I feel like changing my attitude toward food is just as much about not making a huge deal of eating something once in awhile as it is about making sure my diet is clean and portioned.

But how do I know when I’ve gone too far and turned into a crazy obsessive freak instead of the best version of Steph I can possibly be? Where’s the line? Do I have to draw it myself?

That’s a stupid question. Of course I have to draw it myself. Shit.

I’ve solved nothing with this post. Perhaps I’ve even confused or annoyed you, my favorite reader. (Yes, you.) Apologies.

Some days, it just feels too hard to stay the course. Today is one of those days, but I guess I’m going to do it anyway. Fine.