Wellness Journey: The Ups And Downs of Weight
It was almost a year ago exactly that I posted about my weight loss goals. Yep. An entire year. If you looked solely at the scale, I am no further in my journey than I was a year ago. I may have even backslid a bit. Clearly I’m not the only person that this has happened to. Maybe you’ve been here too.
In the past, I was notorious for always having a new “plan” or “scheme” for what I was going to do that would FINALLY pull me out of my weight slump and keep me on track to hit my goals. The hubs would do his best not to give me the most epic eye rolls when I’d excitedly tell him the latest one. He’d heard them all and watched me consistently last for 2-3 weeks before I inevitably quit and went back to my old ways and sometimes even put on weight.
In the past, I would be not only super annoyed with myself for being back here again, a year later with no visible progress. A bit depressed even, and the vicious cycle would continue as depression and weight go hand in hand.
Why this time I truly feel like I can conquer my goals
I’ve learned a lot about myself in the last year. I’ve learned to surround myself with people who build me up and truly support my growth and happiness. I’ve learned to create boundaries (and stick to them) with those who don’t. I’ve found an awesome group of accountability partners. They will push and encourage me and cheer me on when I need it. This is such a key part of success.
I’ve learned to take ownership. This may sound obvious, but I am the only one in charge of my health. I am the one who puts the food in my mouth and chooses to not go to the gym. I am the only one in charge of my choices. I have learned to stop making excuses like “I’m too busy” and “I’m too tired”. Let’s be real…if we place a high enough value on something, we find a way to make the time or come up with the money. It’s true. When I REALLY want something, I make it happen.
I used to think (even when people tried to tell me otherwise) that taking care of myself was selfish. I have two small children, two businesses, a husband and a home to take care of. Those things needed to be taken care of before I felt I could do the things that I wanted (and needed) to do for myself. It’s taken me 35 years to truly understand that if I don’t take care of myself, I can’t take care of my family in the way that I want to. I had been told this countless times. But I wasn’t living it.
What’s changed and why its working
The big shift was a culmination of things. Number one being timing. No one will do anything until they are good and ready. Number two is wanting to set a much better example for my children. I have struggled with body image since I was 8 years old. That’s the 3rd grade. And I know that I’m not alone.
Most of my female friends of varying ages would tell a similar story. I vividly remember the comments my mom would make about her own body and weight. It breaks my heart to think of my little girl (and boy) ever feeling the ways that I have through the years. I am choosing to break the cycle. They may still hear negative body talk. But they WILL NOT hear it from me. Which means I have to walk the walk.
Number three has been a friend of mine who regularly asks me if I’m “enjoying the journey”. We get on the phone to chat and start catching up and I fill her in on what is new in my life and what we are busy doing and how I feel and she asks me, “but are you enjoying the journey?” It always makes me pause. Am I? What does that even mean? Who stops to think about that?
Well I do now!
Learning to “enjoy the journey”
Every time you talk to someone and you ask how they are I’d bet money (and I’m not the betting kind) that they say “busy”. We are so busy getting from point A to point B and checking things off our lists that we don’t even stop to enjoy the journey.
I’ve stopped setting number goals. I am not working on losing X amount of pounds or only eating X amount of calories. When I do, I go all out for a few weeks and then crash and burn (case in point, its been almost year since my last post). I’ve really embraced that this is a lifestyle change and not a diet. People “diet” for awhile and then stop and go backwards. I’m over that.
I have been focusing on changing my habits. Another friend of mine is always saying “Change your habits, change your life”. She has gradually reverse aged since I’ve known her. She made small, daily changes to what she was doing and looks younger and is more fit than she was just a few years ago. If you ask her how she did it she’d tell you, “one choice at a time”.
You don’t have to go fast, you just have to go
I may not get to where I’m going super fast. I am now ok with that. I’d rather get there slow and steady and maintain where I’m at than continue yo-yoing as I’ve done for years. I’d like to be around for awhile yet so rather than sprint, I am settling in for some long distance training.
Focusing on small habit changes has kept me going to the gym 4-5 days a week since the end of August. That’s a good month longer than my previous attempts and I actually look forward to going. My only rule is that I have to put in at least 20 minutes. If I’m not feeling it after that I can leave. Most days I’m there between 30-45 minutes.
Small habit changes have led to less stress. I am working on mastering meal planning. I have a long way to go but I’m enjoying learning as I go. It is a work in progress and the more I do it, the more I like it. Which is amazing because in the beginning I HATED it. Not kidding.
Changing small habits have led me to WANT to keep going. To not only be enjoying, but to be excited about the journey! By changing my habits, and giving myself small successes, I’ve started to believe in myself again and KNOW that I can and WILL do this.
This time around, I’m doing something that I’ve never done before! I’m putting my “before” picture out there. Insert brief moment of panic here. I’m doing it to hold myself accountable. So you can hold me accountable. If you need someone to hold you accountable too, I’d love to link arms and work on this wellness thing together!