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Not A Race

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Recently, I made an interesting discovery. I realised that I had always made my health journey time-bound. It was as if I had some sort of deadline…or had to get healthy by a certain date. I wanted to project my results, and stick with something for a year or so, even while saying I wanted to keep those changes for life. All that did was make it easier for me to view myself as a failure.

Like, thinking about it, I was never ashamed of being fat, but I had become ashamed of still being fat, because I had embarked on a health journey, and had clearly abandoned it. I’ve fallen off the wagon so many times, and I think I’m sticking with it this time–but only because of the lessons I learned each time I failed. This is not a race. I don’t have to lose 2 pounds every week; I won’t always make it to the gym four times a week; every meal won’t be clean…and so what? Isn’t that life? Highs and lows? Good days and bad days? On days and off days?

Now, I no longer beat myself up when I begin to slack off. If I’m too tired for the gym, I know I’ll push harder the next day. If I eat unhealthy food, I know I will get back to my routine, because working out and eating real food is now a part of me. Since this is part of my life, I don’t need to watch numbers or feel like a failure. I can see where I need to improve, and make choices that are better for my health. More than anything, I can keep going, and that is the only way I will achieve my goals.

Every day won’t be a good day. Give yourself room to fail, because that’s how you learn. No matter what, never give up. You are doing this. You can do this!

P.S. I really think God is helping me to be more consistent on this journey. My overall lack of discipline has been a concern for a while. I’ve been praying about it…and I’m finally beginning to live it out. Slow progress is still progress. 😀

Blessings!

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Late Confession…and Some Lessons

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10/01/16 (From my food journal)

“Confession: I just ate over 1000 calories in potato chips. That’s about 5 servings. If I hadn’t bought it, I wouldn’t have eaten it. I thought I had leeway, could do one serving at a time…one day at a time. That worked for a day. I knew better. I bought it. I kept it in my room. Clearly, I had planned to eat it…them…no matter what lies I told myself.

No one can be kind to me on my behalf. I have to choose to be kind to myself. I know I’m too weak to not eat it, so I should not buy it. I will not spend money on anything that won’t benefit my health. This is my promise to myself. I hope I can keep it.

I would have to do amost 2 hours of cardio to burn 1000 calories…yet I ate that many in nearly 20 minutes.

I saw it coming, and didn’t stop myself.”

The next day (Monday), I did basically the same thing, but I think it set off something in me. With very little time until I had to return to work, I went to the gym, and I went 6 times that week. It had a terrible start, but it opened my eyes. Lessons:

  1. One day doesn’t have the power to ruin your week, or your life. It is what you do consistently that counts. Likewise, one day of healthy eating won’t fix your health.
  2. Progress always leaves room for learning and failure.
  3. I need to be kind to myself, not just by making good choices, but by showing myself compassion when I make poor ones.

 

Yes, you won’t be perfect, but you can make it on this health journey, one choice at a time. I’m rooting for us.

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Quick Update

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Yes, I am still alive. I’ve penned several posts in my mind, but never got around to typing any. So, what’s new?

  1. I changed gyms about a month ago. A couple friends from work signed up, and they bugged me to do the same. It was easily one of the best moves I’ve made. I don’t have to motivate myself to go, since they’ll drag me. Yes, it’s not ideal, but it’s working. My goal is to go 4 times a week. Other than the holiday break, I’ve either accomplished that or come really close.
  2. I’ve realised it doesn’t make sense to give up. I have failed on this road…so many times. Still, I couldn’t fully throw in the towel. Now that I am finally finding my rhythm, I am grateful I decided to try yet another time.
  3. I have these strange urges to eat things that held no appeal before, even when I’m not hungry. It is as if deciding to be more careful about what I eat has given life to a desire to do just the opposite. I have good days and bad days, but I am going to make it. 🙂

There is more to say, but I just wanted to pop in and encourage whoever is reading this. You may not think it is working, but do what you can. Perfection isn’t possible, and progress comes with not calling it a day. You can do it. Give yourself as many chances as you need.

Courage

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Preparing For Failure

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Sometimes, I wonder if all I’m doing on this journey is setting myself up to fail. I’ve taken on something I don’t want to do, but I need to do it. I know that, but it doesn’t make me any more likely to actually do it. I’ve developed negative habits since starting this journey, specifically as it relates to food. It is as if I am driven to sabotage myself. As if failing at this is trapping me in a cycle of destructive behaviour, one that guarantees I will keep failing.

I think my approach is wrong. Even though I say this isn’t about weight loss, it’s a sure way of telling if I am making the right choices. When I make poor food choices and skip the gym, and then the scale reflects that, I get down on myself. I decide I can’t be bothered, and then I eat. I mean, I’m even eating junk food again. I didn’t even like junk food before this journey! I have given myself something to fail at, instead of something to work towards.

If my goals are to eat clean and exercise, when I don’t do that, I process it as failure. That always fuels my self-destructive tendencies. If my goal is to become healthier and fitter, then even when I make poor choices, I can still keep working towards it. Health isn’t a number, and fitness isn’t a size. If I want to improve my health, and I see my stomach taking on a life of its own, I don’t have to start beating myself up. I can start being more deliberate about what I eat, I can take more walks…I can stop donating my money to the gym, and actually get up off my butt and go.

It’s such a subtle difference, but one I need. From now on, I will give myself something to work towards, not something to fail at.

 

Weigh-In No. 4

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272.5 (25/05/15)
Previous weight: 274

Numbers aside, I’m starting to see a difference in the size of my stomcach. I doubt it’s obvious to others around me, but it’s progress. I’m also trying to go to the gym more often, but I haven’t really been committed. Classes are great and all, and they’re good enough for now, but I haven’t been to the gym for a workout of my own in ages. I can also see where some of my old eating habits are creeping back in. I might write about that soon.

This is very much a journey, and making backward steps can be frustrating, but I have to keep going. I know this works, so it doesn’t make sense to give up. I didn’t even want to do this, but the small changes are becoming a part of me. I’m no longer fighting myself to go to the gym. It’s not aways compatible with my schedule, but it’s almost automatic now.

I could have made it to the gym four times last week, but I went shopping instead. There was a really good sale, and I wanted to get some stuff for my family. Three out of four wasn’t too bad, though. 🙂 I’ll keep that challenege until I complete it.

This week hasn’t been going great so far, and I need to cook, but I honestly can’t be bothered. We’ll see how it goes.

Weigh-In No. 3 (And Challenge Accepted)

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274 (18/05/15)
Previous weight: 277

I didn’t make it to the gym last week, and I didn’t eat perfectly. This just reinforces how important consistency is. I won’t pretend I eat clean all the time, but I try, and that was how I made my 1% goal. Last week was interesting. I had white rice on Thursday, movie theatre nachos and popcorn (my friend and I shared) on Friday, and Chinese food on Saturday. I really thought I had blown it, so I tried to keep up my hydration…just so I could make my goal. I learned two things from that.

1. I have to be on guard so it doesn’t become about the numbers. I know how my body works, especially at this weight. I know how it responds to water and to certain foods. I want to keep losing weight, since it’s a natural part of getting healthier for someone my size, but I don’t want that to be my goal. My weight loss has to be about healthy eating and exercise, not playing some numbers game.

2. Results come through consistency. This works with positive and negative behaviours. Three meals didn’t have the power to undo weeks of basically clean eating. In the same way, if I return to consistently making poor food choices, my weight will increase and I will become more unhealthy.

That said, I doubt I will continue to lose weight at this rate if I don’t work out. Even if I do, I don’t necessarily want a smaller body. I want a healthier body, and that means improving my fitness, strength, and endurance. That means going to the gym I’m paying for each month. I don’t have a choice in whether I pay, and I need to make exercise as steady a part of my routine.

So, this week’s challenge: Go to the gym four times. One down, three to go. I went to a muscle mix class this morning, and then embarrassed myself in Zumba.  I should listen to myself, and not go again (I said so last time).

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Weigh-In No. 2

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277 (12/05/15)|
Previous weight: 280

I haven’t been to the gym in nearly a week, mainly because I’ve been super busy, but this past week has shown me even more that eating right goes a long way. I’m pretty sure I would have gained weight if I hadn’t been careful about what I ate. It has also taught me that I don’t need to be perfect. I could have made better choices at times, but I think I did okay overall.

It’s amazing how you crave what you eat. I can now go grocery shopping without being tempted to buy junk. There are still some things I’m having a hard time saying no to (like free pizza), but one day at a time.

I’m beyond tired, but I’m hoping to make it to the gym at least 3 times this week. Some consistency wouldn’t hurt there, I guess. 🙂 We’ll see!

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