The Journey to Health: Part One
In December my family got hit hard with illness. It started with my girls and then we all just kept passing it around. Initially, even through caring for sick little ones, I was doing well at keeping up with my workouts and good eating habits. Then I got some form of their virus that took me nearly four weeks to completely get over. An upper respiratory virus completely destroyed my ability to workout. Believe me, I tried. I couldn't breathe and was so run down afterwards that it just wasn't worth it. Not to mention I felt so much worse the next day. Then Christmas came with all the sweets, vacations, living away from my home and environment and my eating habits went out the window too. You see where I'm going with this.
Since returning home I have continually tried to get back into the swing of things. I have been drinking 100 ounces of water almost daily for months. I haven't had a carbonated beverage in ages. But I kept giving into cravings, excusing myself from workouts, eating five sugar cookies instead of one. Needless to say that, though I haven't gained any weight, I know I've lost tone and muscle definition. At this point, it feels like I'm starting over, though I know that's not completely true.
Yesterday I decided to put the excuses away and get back to work. It started with a good workout followed by another this morning and a great day of eating. Tracking what I eat, writing it down, making myself accountable to someone. I know what I need to accomplish my goals, I know how to get there, it's just kind of a mind game sometimes.
Mind games, I think, are the hardest part of weight loss, body acceptance, controlling cravings, and making good choices. For me, if I have a bad meal I will often give myself permission to have an entire day of poor eating choices. If that day happens to be a Friday, I will sometimes give myself until Monday to shape up. I know I should just make better choices the next meal, or at least the next morning. I also find that I'm ashamed of it. Not wanting Matt to know I ate a whole thing of red vines, or cookie dough. Not because he would be disappointed, but because I am and don't want anyone to know.
I deal with a lot of this every day. I have to talk myself out of raiding the girls' candy stash from Christmas. I have to make myself eat a piece of fruit instead of something sweet. I know it gets easier. I have already been on that side. It's just pushing through this wall of doubt that I can't make it to where I want to be. That wall that taunts me to go back to the days of eating what I feel like instead of being in control of what enters my body.
As I've chiseled away at this wall, and struggled with a bit of depression at losing ground I had already covered in pursuit of my goals, I've discovered a few things about myself:
When I get depressed about my lack of self control regarding food it causes me to want to eat more. And it's always sweets that I crave at these times.
What I eat for breakfast really sets the tone for the rest of my day. If I have some eggs or Greek yogurt and some fruit, my days seems to go better. If I have a healthy cereal without some solid protein, it's so much harder to make good choices throughout the day.
When I am consistent with exercise I am less tempted to eat poorly. I suppose this is because I don't want all that work to be wasted.
I really enjoy the endorphins from exercise. When I don't get them, especially if it goes on very long, I miss them to the point that I feel run down, deflated, and even sometimes depressed. This usually leads right back to poor eating habits. Kind of a vicious cycle if I don't keep up with things.
Last, and most important. I have NEVER felt comfortable in my own skin.
I think I always knew this deep down, but I didn't realize it fully until the last few days. It's kind of unsettling to me. And something I need to figure out if there is ever going to be a point where I'm happy with the state of my body. Tomorrow I will dive into this. I hope people will be kind, and understand that people of every body shape have their struggles.
What are your fitness goals and struggles? Can you relate to any of mine?