I have made a decision.
And by telling you, friends…..by simply saying it out loud, I’m hopeful that will keep me from creating a myriad of excuses in my mind to slip backwards.
You see…..I am nearing 40. Not in a few months. Not even my next birthday. But close enough.
And you know what? I am jealous, absurdly jealous of women my age who can honestly say, “I’m in the best shape of my life”. Because, well, I’m not.
When I have looked in the mirror lately, I have been disappointed.
Disappointed in the way that only someone who KNOWS they are not taking care of themselves can be. My clothes don’t fit, and muscle tone? Fugghettaboutit.
Sure, I am not fat. I know that….which means that anytime I chime in to a regular conversation about ‘getting back to the gym’ I am met with an eye roll or an ‘oh please’.
But the thing is…I can feel it. I know it every time I reach for a snack at 11:30pm. I know it every time I manufacture a reason that I just can’t get to the gym….does Cooper have the sniffles?
I saw this this quote recently, : “You don’t make time to exercise. It is just part of your day.” I don’t know who said it, but it resonated when I heard it. I am the Queen of, “I just don’t have the time.”
But isn’t being healthy my responsibility? Don’t I owe it to myself, to my family to take care of myself? To be the best me and the best mom?
At the beginning of the year – as in January – when everyone makes their resolutions, I decided, “I want to be in the best shape of my life.”
But somehow, despite this, I lacked the motivation to make the changes needed.
My unhealthy habits prevailed:
- I averaged 5 hours of sleep a night, and am therefore exhausted every day.
- Working out once in three weeks would be impressive – because “I just don’t have time to get to the gym” and “I have no way to do anything at home”
- I didn’t eat breakfast
- I snacked
- I snacked late at night
- I drank very little water
But something clicked internally last week. Some type of intuition that whispered, “now’s the time”. (I’ve been thinking A LOT about intuition lately) Cooper was on Spring Break – there was simply no reason I couldn’t get to the gym, right? He was healthy, and I needed to be.
So, last Monday, I shimmied into my worn-out-I’ve-had-these-forever work out clothes. And by shimmied, I mean squeezed, and not in a pretty way. I exercised. 45 minutes on the treadmill. Plus some weight training. I did squats and lunges. I HATE squats and lunges.
And then I came home.
And then I made the decision to go the gym again the next day. And the next. And the next. Some days are better than others. And I know I’m not required to go every day….and I’m giving myself some freedom. The goal is three to five days a week. If I hit five? I’m a champion. If I make it three? I am right on target.
It starts with baby steps, my friends….baby steps. And sometimes a partner – like my small girl.
A quote I read at the beginning of this year is stuck in my head. I don’t know if it is ‘good’ or not, but I am finding it to have some truth.
“Nothing tastes as good as thin feels.” ~Kate Moss
My amended version of that is “Nothing tastes as good as HEALTHY feels.”
By this, I mean, that the feeling of healthy – the drinking water, the exercising, the smaller portions, the looser clothing – it beats the passing joy of chocolate and chips at midnight – and by a mile. It also beats the ‘yuck’ I feel when I wake in the morning knowing I binged on the unhealthy stuff late at night.
So…here are new steps:
Motivation and Healthy Changes:
- Water is my new best friend.
- I am getting more sleep (I’m not perfect here yet – but 6.5 hours is better than 5)
- I am replacing sweet and salty snacks with fruit and healthy juices.
- My meal portions are smaller
- I am getting some exercise every single day.
- I am staying motivated by focusing on how I FEEL….stronger, healthier, with clothes that are STARTING to fit.
How do you do it? How would you LIKE to do it?
A few final thoughts for you:
Top 5 Secrets to Weight Loss Success:
- 1. Surround yourself with strengths. I adopted “fit friends” in real life and online that I entrusted to hold me accountable for my goals. I learned to adopt and adapt to their healthy routines and when I was about to let myself off the hook — they were right there helping me stay focused.
- 2. Nothing changes if nothing changes. This is a lesson that my mom taught me years ago. If you want something you’ve never had, you have to be willing to do something you’ve never done. Therefore, I keep setting small, measurable, realistic goals for myself. And, I track everything on paper, according to my goals and benchmarks. Ultimately, I am accountable for my own success and nothing changes, if nothing changes.
- 3. Take immediate action. Once my goals and benchmarks were determined for each phase of my journey, I got to work right away. I plan out each week at a time. There is no “waiting until Monday” to start changing my life. If there was anything I learned from surviving brain surgery, take immediate action!
- 4. Give yourself permission to succeed. Once I figured out it was okay to take time for myself to exercise, I stopped feeling guilty. Once I figured out that I didn’t have to eat the same portion sizes as my husband, I stopped feeling guilty. Once I figured out that I was old enough to be responsible for my own body, I started succeeding in my journey to a healthier lifestyle. What an amazing feeling to give yourself permission to succeed!
- 5. Concentrate on one day at a time. Sometimes, it’s all I can do to make each exercise and meal choice the right decision for me. With three children and a busy work and volunteer life, it’s all too easy to fall back into a life of convenience — so when the going gets tough, I take it one day a time. If that is too far in advance, I break it down even further, to one meal or one exercise at a time – focusing on being fit and being healthy.
Good luck friends….we can take these baby steps together!