Holiday eating has been insane, but somehow I've managed to hold steady in the weight department. It's amazing isn't it, the downward spiral? It all started with a bite of a candy cane, and ended with a bag of kettle crisps. There was a haze of sugar in between, but I can't really remember right now. Groan.
So, instead of continuing the spiral until "January 1st", I'm getting back on track today. New day. New beginning. New resolve. I really want to begin a new chapter in my journey. But before I can do that, I need to repent a little. I think it's important that I reflect on my mistakes from last year, before I can move forward and succeed. So, here it is:
- Perfection is impossible. Easier said than done, but it's true. Last year, I would start the day off right - protein-filled breakfast, plenty of water, lots of energy. But if I started to graze a bit, the "slipping-off-the-wagon" siren would immediately sound, and I'd just think, "Well, since I've already started the damage, I'm just going to finish it!". Thus, the whole "Tomorrow is a new day" mentality would begin, and the vicious cycle would continue. I'm not going to be perfect. I just need to do my best. So, if my hand gets caught in the cookie jar, I need to get the heck out of the kitchen as quickly as possible and pretend that the incident didn't happen (ahem, instead of finishing off the jar). I vow to do my best the majority of the time - life will happen - birthdays, dinners out, etc. But I'm not going to be held hostage by my journey - I need to just do my best and enjoy living!
- Spend more time at the gym, as opposed to debating about whether to go. Seriously. The amount of time I spent coming up with excuses as to why I couldn't lace my shoes up and hit the gym was ridiculous. "I'm exhausted", "I can't find my shoes", "I"ll go a bit later", blah, blah, blah. If I actually spent that time just hauling my butt there, I'm sure I wouldn't regret it. Someone once gave me some great advice. She said, "Even if you do nothing other than walk to the gym and back, it's better than sitting on the couch all night". The funny thing is, I'd never just walk to the gym and back - I would end up staying for sure. But, I'm still going to give myself that out. On nights when I would rather poke my eyes out than see the treadmill, I'm going to force myself to walk to the gym. If I get there, and I would still rather die, I'll walk myself back home.
- Embrace the inner athlete in me. She's in there, for sure. I see her eyes glinting after a good workout. I see her smile with pride when she starts noticing muscle definition on her body. I know that she remembers how it felt to cross her finish line. Last year, after my horrendous weight gain, I wanted to hide from the world. I would fantasize about trying a new yoga or cardio class, but was too scared to go. For the past few months, I felt too fat to try anything new. In fact, I started telling myself that I'd "lose a bit of weight" before trying a new class. Insane, or what? Not going to do that anymore. Even if I stand at the back of the class, huffing and puffing - I'm not going to feel self-conscious. I'm going to give myself a huge pat on the back for trying. So, I'm going to try a new class at the gym once a week. And when I'm on my own, I'm going to go back to my C25K training. Shhhh - don't tell anyone, but the itch to cross a finish line (or two) is back.
- Be good to myself. Last year, I kept telling myself that I was going to take the weight off. I told myself that "tomorrow" would be the day. I really thought I was motivated. But the fact of the matter is, I wasn't ready. I was going through a huge mental adjustment after having the baby, and then I stupidly took on work that I couldn't handle. I never put "me" first, and I became more miserable and resentful - and I just ate. I denied the pounds that were piling on, I denied the aches and pains in my body, I denied that I was heading to a bad place. I realize now that taking an hour out of everyday to exercise doesn't make me a selfish person. In fact, it's the opposite. I need to make time for me, because it's important. I've realized that no one is going to lose this weight for me - and if I'm going to do it, I have to put myself first sometimes. End of discussion.
- Rekindle my passion for cooking. I absolutely love food. That's half my problem, I suppose! I have a serious passion for recipes and cooking that I only discovered a few years ago. I bought my husband a cookbook (in retrospect, why the heck was I buying him a cookbook? He looked really puzzled as he opened it. I now realize that it was really for me!) - and I spent hours poring over the pages and putting little sticky notes everywhere. That's when I realized that I was a bit obsessed. Since I've been so busy this past year, I haven't made any time to experiment with new recipes or try different things. Food is FUEL for my body, and I want to be filling up with the best possible kind. I don't want to eat carrot sticks and low-fat ranch dip until I'm blue in the face. I want to eat steamed greens with sesame sauce and seeds, mounds of fresh raspberries, grilled tofu and noodles, etc. I love vegan cooking, and this Christmas, I finally gifted myself a few books that I've been coveting. So, I'm going to try one new recipe every week. That's completely reasonable with my busy schedule. I will definitely be posting about my experiments here!
- Celebrate all of my victories. This is also goes hand-in-hand with being positive. I've got a bit of a journey ahead of me, and there's no point in brooding the whole time, is there? There's also no point in whining, "Are we there yet?" every ten seconds. I need to be patient. I need to celebrate all my progress - both on the scale, and off. Every week, I'm going to find something positive that transpired and I'll revel in it. No point in focusing about how I shouldn't have eaten an extra cookie, or I should have gone to the gym an extra night, etc.
That's all. Last year was the best and worst of my life in so many ways. The best, because my daughter came to me. The worst, because I put my health and well being on the back burner. I really didn't think that things were as bad as they are, until I started avoiding the mirror a couple of weeks ago. Living in denial is no good - I'm facing up to the truth. It's time to do this once and for all, or something seriously bad is going to happen to my health.
Just got back from a mini-workout at the gym. I just had a delicious stir fry of vegetables and tempeh for lunch. Rest of the day, week, and my life - here I come!