Commit to Fit | Week 17

Author | Commit to Fit 2013 Winner, Judith Zissman

Ok, so first you have to go read this comic at The Oatmeal. Really, go read it. Then come back...

I have a Blerch, too. I’m guessing many, if not most of us do. And Blerchfighting is hard. Kind of absurdly hard. And unlike Matthew, who writes The Oatmeal, I haven’t found that running or any sort of exercise does a good job of shutting up that voice in my head that says “just stay in bed five minutes longer...”

But in addition to my Blerch, I also have a Critic. And that Critic says things like “you’re doing it wrong” and “you never work hard enough” and “you don’t deserve this”. I suspect most people have an inner Critic, too.

And that’s where it gets tricky - when you give yourself a break, are you giving in to the Blerch or fighting the Critic? When you push yourself to do more, are you giving in to the Critic or fighting the Blerch? This inner debate really gets in the way sometimes.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot as I move through the Commit to Fit program. I’m really happy with my progress so far — I’ve lost about 20 pounds and about 20 inches, and I feel stronger and more fit — but I feel like I’ve been proceeding a little slower than I’d like, mostly to avoid the Blerch and the Critic getting in the way of my progress.

On the food front, this looks more like a maintenance diet than a weight loss diet - though I’m restricting my calories and eating primarily lean proteins and vegetables, I’m allowing myself small bits of things like cheese and chocolate and alcohol so I don’t feel deprived or like I have to “cheat” along the way. While this has been great for feeling satisfied and setting a path to sustain this way of eating for the rest of my life, it isn’t an especially aggressive approach to weight loss.

And on the exercise front, I’m also not taking an especially aggressive approach. Between the sleep deprivation and the small medical challenges, I’ve mostly been giving myself points for showing up rather than pushing myself.

And here’s where I don’t want to give in to the Critic saying I’ve been doing it wrong: this approach has been totally reasonable for these first few months. I’m now firmly in the habit of exercising multiple times each week and eating fewer calories each day. I don’t feel deprived or pushed too hard. But now it seems like there’s an opportunity to step it up and see how far I can go in this year of the Commit to Fit program, and not let the Blerch say that I’ve done enough and can quit now.

Having the support of Billy and Sarah makes a huge difference in helping me push forward, and I’m hoping I can use the rest of this program to continue to set new habits to combat these negative voices and become even healthier. How do you resolve your Blerch and Critic debates to let yourself live the life you want to live? I’d welcome any suggestions.