My New Year
Monday, January 13, 2014
I am working on a new beginning, even though it is not the stereotypical 1st day of the year. I’m reminded of when I started my weight loss journey back on January 8, 2008. Six years! I had been working by myself for a few months after Wyatt’s 1st birthday. I had no luck at all going it alone. So this same week 6 years ago, I decided to buckle down and start reading Bob Greene’s Best Life book and join the online forum. The sense of community I had there was just what I needed. The motivation to meet my goals EVERY day so that I could have a “green” week that showed off all the hard work I’d done was powerful. So now that I’ve had this backslide, although the weight graph looks more like a hill climb) how to regain that sense of goal-meeting to keep me on track for days, weeks, and months on end?
I haven’t erased all the progress I made, although I’m much closer to my starting weight than I am to my lowest weight during the 6-year journey. While some parts of my weight gain have been out of my control, most of it was all very conscious and calculated. Cookie dough here, chocolate bars there, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar over the whole damn mess. But my exercise, workouts, and athletic events would normally help balance all that overeating. This would result in a nice long plateau with no net gain over months. This year was the most injurious year of my life though. Quadriceps strain in January, left hamstring pull in May, right hamstring pull in June, groin strain in July, and the straw that broke the big lady’s athletic life…. a running injury that resembled plantar fasciitis that has yet to be resolved. The last 5 months of my life look so much like all 37 years before I started this journey. Little fits and starts of exercise followed by long periods of inactivity. And this foot injury is killing me slowly, but more on that in another blog. Here is what I’ve been asking myself…
What if I had managed to start eating really clean when I got hurt? If I’d put all the focus on eating right since I couldn’t build training schedules and sign up for races, wouldn’t that have been amazing?
What if I had continued to train hard to build strength in all my other body parts? Perhaps I would have started an upper body ST plan to die for, imagine the arms and shoulders I’d be sporting! And those extra muscles would have burned more calories.
What if I had decided that swimming would be the way to go since even walking left me hurting? Perhaps I would have burned thousands of calories and had that cool thing happen where you eat better because you’ve had such a hard workout early that morning.
So yeah, I can look back, be critical, and find all sorts of room for improvement over the past 6 months. I do not have that time machine though, so I have to turn all that into a present day analysis. How about if today I focus on one of those three items listed above? What a cool idea. Let’s do it.
So here are the things I have done in preparation for a new life. I have found two local friends and we’ve all weighed in and set weight loss and fitness goals. I have set a goal of swimming at least 2 times each week. I have set a goal of strength training 4 times each week. I also am logging my food every day. This often gets tiring fast. But honestly, I just can’t be trusted in a house full of food and no accountability. My addicted brain has found the most ridiculous ways to justify my dumb food choices. Without fail, everyday, I must log my food and stick with it. I have tried stickers and calendars and all sorts of stuff. But I think I just need to make myself reflect each day with this journal or a video blog. I also must log my food for the next day before I go to bed. The mornings are so full of stuff, if I wait, it might not happen.
I am always looking ahead to some vacation or social gathering to hold in my mind as a “date” when I shall achieve awesomeness. But seriously, it never works. Never ever ever. And oddly enough, all those dates come and go no matter how I look. I have never cancelled a vacay or social gathering based on my appearance. So why do this to myself? I would like to string together a number of goal-oriented days that makes my mind spin. I want to look back on all the weeks/months and feel stunned, did I do that? I want to look at my weight loss progress graph and say, “Yeah boy! That steady trend downward is looking GOOD!” These are the things that I remember so well from past successful missions. These are the things that I will experience again. But I can’t live like I’ve been living and feel those things. I must live anew.