Do you ever ask yourself, "Why do I even bother?" I seem to ask myself that question a lot. "Why do I bother: Putting the dishes away from the dishwasher, when they will just end up right back in the dishwasher; Folding the laundry neatly, when the kids won't put it away in their drawers; Making the bed, when I'm just going to mess it up again; Cleaning the kitchen floors, when someone is just going to spill something within 30 minutes of me finishing." I'm sure you get the idea and have your on extensive list of "Why bother's".
But today I'm struggling with the question, "Why am I bothering going to the gym and running when it isn't doing any good?" Let me back up and explain how I got to this point. But a bit of a warning first for any gentlemen readers. I'm about to talk about my "girl parts" and "having babies". Stop reading if this disgusts you. You have been duly warned...
After having my first baby in 2001, my "girl parts" went out of control. Irregular cycles and weight gain. We're talking about 40 pounds that my husband was not legally married to. My Ob/Gyn had me on so many meds trying to figure out what the problem was. Meanwhile I was trying every diet out there and exercising, only to lose 11 pounds. Talk about depressing. I was finally diagnosed with A-typical Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. (PCOS)
For those of you who do not know what PCOS is, here the condensed version. Hormones go out of control, Estrogen rages, Progesterone plunges, and most common symptoms are weight gain, irregular cycles, hair loss, acne, insulin resistance, and hair in unwanted places. GROSS! However, I am A-typical and thankfully didn't have all of those symptoms. My only symptoms were weight gain, irregular cycles, and insulin resistance.
During that time, we decided to try having another baby. No such luck. When your hormones are out of control and you have crazy cycles, how can you ever expect to get pregnant? After months of treatment from my Ob/Gyn, we were finally referred to a Reproductive Endocrinologist, aka Fertility Doctor. He increased my fertility meds while telling me to eat less and exercise more. As if I wasn't already doing that??!! And thankfully within a short amount of time we were able to get pregnant with baby #2. But my pregnancy wasn't easy. Due to the PCOS and my super low levels of Progesterone, I had a hard time maintaining the pregnancy. With the help of yet more drugs, baby #2 was safely born in 2004.
Now comes one of life's little curve balls...
After baby #2 was born my Ob/Gyn kindly asked if I would like to go on birth control to which I was speechless. Of course I'm thinking, "Where have you been for the last 3 years?! What about my body makes you think that I'm going to get pregnant again? Seriously??" So I left his office happily empty handed but still struggling with my weight. And isn't it just ironic? Wouldn't you have guessed? Six months after baby #2 was born, I found out I was pregnant with baby #3!! And although I'm fully aware of the birds and the bees, my biggest question was, "HOW?"
The Dr. said that my hormones must have just finally kicked back in and started working correctly after the birth of baby #2. This was good news! By the time baby #3 was born I had a great baby belly, but had lost 18 pounds! Woo-hoo! We moved from Texas to Ohio during the 5th month of my pregnancy and I had stopped all dieting and exercising in the chaos. It was almost too good to be true. Baby #3 was born in 2005 and within 8 weeks I dropped another 20 pounds arriving happily back at my pre-pre-pre-pregnancy weight!
Life was great! My health was back to normal and things were looking up. Then 2008 came. The weight began slowly creeping back on. The cycles became irregular again. And I kept thinking, "NO! Not this AGAIN!!!" And I guess I went into the Ostrich position. You know, bury my head in the sand and try not to think about it. That worked fine until 2009 when I just couldn't take it any longer. I decided to finally figure out once and for all what in the world was going on with my body. So back to the Dr. for more tests and more meds and I was told that the PCOS was back in full swing. PERFECT.
I tried dieting on again and off again. And then in November of 2009 I decided to take up running. I had never been a runner. I never liked running. In fact, I looked at people who claimed to love running and think that they were idiots! I decided to give it a try. And I did. I sustained a couple of injuries last Winter/Spring which required to take some time off, but by the time the kids went back to school in August of this year I was ready to hit the gym hard and really stick to the diet changes. But still no results.
So that brings us to today. My weekly routine goes a little something like this. Monday: Long Run. Tuesday: Weight Train. Wednesday: Short Run & Weight Train. Thursday: Recover day with Flex Class. Friday: Long Run. Meanwhile I'm taking a handful of meds from my Ob and my Dietitian.
I'm ready for some results!!! And by results I mean I want to lose this 20 pounds that I have gained since 2008. Come on already!!! I know what some of you are thinking. There are so many benefits to daily exercise. You're right. My endurance is better, my heart rate is better, my strength is better. But when I'm standing naked in front of the mirror I only hear, "Blah, blah blah." I'm ready to drop a dress size or three.
So in the meantime I have to daily answer the question, "Why do I bother?" And today the answer is this. Because I need to have the satisfaction of knowing that a year ago I would never, I mean NEVER have believed that I could run 4, 5, or 6 miles without taking a break. I need to feel the satisfaction of having set some non weight related goals for myself and completing them. And I do it because I don't want to look back and regret not trying. I have set a lot of goals for myself. I will let you in on them very soon and I expect you to keep me accountable in completing them.
So why do you bother?