Friday, September 16, 2011
I love new beginnings. A chance to start fresh, I love the motivation I feel to start something new. I love the planning process and thinking about how great things are going to be at the end.
So why have I had so many failed starts? Why does the “tomorrow” in “I’ll start tomorrow” never come? As I reach for the ice cream late at night when I’m not even hungry, the guilt grows with every bite. After reaching my lowest weight of 141 in April (my goal was 145), I now weight 148 and I feel the weight coming on every day. I’ve gained 1 to 2 inches in each area since that time. I used to weight myself and log my food every day and exercised for an hour 4 or 5 days a week. I was training for a half marathon. I was checking in regularly with my weight loss buddies. Now I have abandoned everything that had worked for me. So what happened?
Starting in April I’ve had a series of injuries – a swollen knee, a nerve that fell asleep, an almost broken toe, a mole removed. And as of August 29th, I’ve had a hysterectomy as well. I let all of these things be excuses for skipping workouts and eating with abandon.
I was thinking back to how I felt at the end of March when I was almost to my goal weight – I felt so good exercising that I looked forward to going to the gym or going for a run. I was excited to see my progress, running farther or lifting more than before. I was eating well and I had willpower. When I gave into temptation, I got right back on track without looking back. Now, I’ve been upset that I wasn’t able to get right back to that point after slacking off and that negativity zapped any motivation I had to keep going with my new plans. I beat myself up over my failures. That ends today.
I thought about all of the positive things that came from my weight loss efforts that started in January:
Yes, I have gained some weight back, but I started this year at 175 – after reaching 141, my highest weight was 151 which means I’ve managed to keep off 24 lbs.
I used to douse my plate with salt before I even tasted it. Now I don’t even touch the salt shaker and I find ways to reduce sodium in what I buy and what I cook.
I have maintained the same clothing size since April – even though they are getting a little tighter they still actually fit (no muffin top!).
I don’t get winded when climbing stairs and I can lift more weight for longer without getting tired (like carrying around my 20 lb daughter all day).
I don’t eat nearly as much meat, limiting it to usually just one meal a day.
I drink so much more water - I used to go days without drinking any plain water.
I’m much more aware of portion sizes (even if I don’t always follow them, I know how to eyeball them).
I ran a 5k - I couldn't even run that far in my best shape in the Army and I did it in less than 30 minutes!
I’m still limited in what I can do for exercise because of the hysterectomy, but I can walk. I can eat right. I can stop giving in to excuses. I can stop making plans to start tomorrow – I can start right now! I didn’t get to that point in March overnight – it took me 3 months. I can’t expect to be back there instantly but I’m thankful that I’m not starting from scratch.
Instead of doing things to get this weight off in a hurry with severely restricting my calories and exercising like crazy, I want to focus on a healthy lifestyle I can sustain even after my goal. Counting calories worked when I was losing weight but drove me crazy once I reached my goal. I want to just make healthier choices and listen to my body.
My daughter just turned 1 and we’re getting her off of formula so her nutrition has to come from healthy food. For lunch today I was eyeing the pack of Halloween Oreos in my cupboard. As I was about to grab them, I thought “If I wouldn’t give these to her, why would I let myself eat them?” Instead I copied her meal and ate peas, a banana, some Greek yogurt, and a small piece of cheese with water to drink. If I only give her the healthiest foods, why would I do anything different for myself?
I really love running but that’s out of the question for at least the next 5 weeks along with most other traditional exercises. Until that time, I can still make it a point to go for a walk at least 10 minutes a day. I don’t have to set any records, I just have to get moving. Heck, I can even walk around my house if I don’t feel like putting on my shoes. I’ll be more ready to get back into running than if I stay on the couch these next few weeks.
I finally feel ready to put the negative feelings behind me and focus on the positive. I want to be healthy and I want to set a good example for my children. I can only do that if I stop making excuses and take action, even if it’s one baby step at a time. Even when I slip up from time to time (and I will), I will move past it and continue to be as healthy as possible and I know the scale will eventually follow.