Sunday, February 7, 2016

Yo-Yo No Mo

This time last year I had begun a weight loss journey. Again. For the millionth time. I jumped in with both feet and was full-speed ahead and had great results in the first few moths of the year. As time passed, I slipped up. Had some bad days, which led to bad weeks, and bad months. It was all or nothing and I left little room for forgiveness. I was hard on myself - as I tend to be. My passion and fire quickly faded and I was back to living my life on auto-pilot. Eating whatever was available. What was "convenient." Any weight I had lost was packed right back on and then some…the story of my life.

I know I am not alone in this struggle. I am not the only one who has battled with her weight, started time and time again to loose weight and get healthy, only to end up feeling like a failure when the changes aren't sustainable and goals are not met. We feel defeated. Many of us busy Moms, wives, professionals, trying to make it all happen and meet the needs of those around us. The never-ending pile of laundry or dishes mocking us at every turn. Seeing the posts of our "friends" on social media who seem to have it all together - the ones who actually do yoga to constitute the daily wearing of yoga pants.

At the beginning of this year, I reached out to a friend who shared some of her health and fitness goals on Facebook that had caught my eye. These were't your typical "loose 20 pounds" or "loose 5% body fat" goals - it was "fit comfortably in a size ** jeans" and "make healthy food choices 80% of the time." I was intrigued. She did not hesitate to suggest we meet up and work on setting some realistic goals for me - I was thrilled and grateful for the generosity of her sharing her time and knowledge with me.

I knew I was uncomfortable in my own skin. I hated the way I looked in pictures. It was becoming increasingly difficult for me to keep up with our VERY active son. I was suffering from a host of health issues that I knew could be improved if I was making healthier lifestyle choices. I was ready. Again. For the LAST time to start this journey. I was energized after our meeting and got to brainstorming, journaling, charting and planning what my new lifestyle would look like.

My little pink book
So what is different this time?

Everything.

When I sat down to think about where this journey would take me and what I want my life to look like, I identified a few key points. I do not want to suffer from any disease that I could have possibly prevented if only I had lived a more healthy lifestyle. Many/all of the ailments I suffer from could be improved with a healthier lifestyle. I'm ready to quit sabotaging myself.

Another important piece of the puzzle is that our son will require some level of care throughout his lifespan - I want to be here as long as I can so that I can help transition him into the most independent living situation that he can be successful in - I need to be here and healthy for that.

As for strategy and execution, that looks different this time around as well. It can't be all or nothing - that is not realistic and I realize that now. There needs to be room to live and enjoy all of life's experiences…which must include wine and chocolate! No more beating myself up for a "bad day." This is a marathon, after all, not just a quick race to a clear finish line. There will alway be goals to work towards, new challenges I will face, and ultimately a whole new world that I will be living in. I am taking everything not just one day at a time, but one meal, one snack, one minute at a time. I have studied the principals of Buddhism for many years now and I finally feel that I am hitting the stride of a proper "practice." Being present in each moment of your life is so damn exhilarating - I highly recommend it!

No more judgement. No good or bad. No day but today. 
I am not living in this brave new world alone - I am unbelievably blessed to be on this life journey with my amazing wife. She has struggled in the past with the best way to support me in these types of endeavors and I don't blame her. She has never struggled with her weight like many women have. It's not like I ever made it easy for her, either. Instructing her to discourage me when making less than healthy choices, then biting her head off when she did LOL! It has been an emotional roller coaster to say the least and she has been quite the sport about it all loving me through each attempt, success, and failure.

Did I mention that my wife is the bomb?

Something has changed in her this time around, too. She started leaving me little love notes and inspirational quotes around the house. Little nuggets of wisdom and messages of encouragement that give me an extra little spark each day. She is getting more adventurous in trying the crazy recipes I find on Pinterest and Facebook and actually liking them! She is always willing to wrestle with Jackson and keep him distracted if I need to hop on the treadmill for a while or take an extra lap around the park. There is no way I could do this without her full support and the additional support I get from my online fitness community. I recently got a Fitbit and LOVE the social networking component! I'm a pretty competitive person and enjoy a good healthy competition amongst friends.

Nuts and bolts at this point: I am using My Fitness Pal to track my food and account for everything I eat and drink. My goal is 1,200 calories a day and I'm happy to say that in the last 6 weeks or so I have only gone over that daily goal a handful of times. I am planning and prepping my food each week and being much more mindful of eating more nutrient-dense foods - veggies, lean meats, healthy fats, etc. I have not instituted a formal workout plan yet. I have simply tried my best to hit that 10,000 steps a day goal any way I can. Some days it happens naturally and some days I have to hop on the treadmill. I have a little notebook where I have inspirational quotes scattered throughout where I record my weight and measurements periodically, write down any workouts I do, and journal a bit to reflect on days where I knocked it out of the park or days when I feel I could have made better choices. I have more energy, I am sleeping better, I am overall more happy.

I am sharing this with you all in part to help hold myself accountable but more importantly as a bit of a declaration to the world: This is the beginning of something AWESOME!

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