Today I went running for the first time in almost a month. It was a slowly, short and easy kind of run with one of my favorite running partners, my son. As we ran along a new path in our new hometown, I felt calm and at peace. I haven’t felt this way in a long time.
Moving for the second time in a year has upset so many aspects of my life right now. My day-to-day schedule is inconsistent. Workouts, eating healthy, spending quality time with my family, and my writing time are all out of whack. I thought once we finally moved all our belongings to one place, I would settle into my old healthy habits. It didn’t happen. Instead it became:
*Unpacking one day was empowering. The next day it was overwhelming.
*Taking a walk was the start of a new exercise routine. It was not.
*Cooking from scratch one night was great. It was not a regular activity.
*One writing session was the path back to my blog and novel. That path was ignored until today.
*Now that the scale is unpacked, I’ll start using it. It’s still gathering dust in my new bathroom.
If this happened instead of my actual goals, why does one day of running make me believe that I find my way back to my healthy lifestyle? Because I finally acknowledged that I need to really want to change. I accept the fact that I need to take baby steps to get back to the place I am healthiest and happiest.
In the first year of my gastric sleeve surgery, the weight flew off. It took a lot of mental work, but physically I had the help of my small stomach. I was making leaps with my weight loss. In the following years I was still making large strides with the addition of regular exercise. I crave the accolades of running my first half marathon and successfully learning strength training skills. Tangible results are addicting and I think I’m feeling the crash of not having regular successes that are measured by pounds, inches, and race results.
If I really committed I could be back there. If I tracked my food or did an elimination diet again, the pounds would drop off. If I signed up for another half marathon or finally set up a home gym like I promise to do every year I’d be back in better shape.
Oh, I know I can do all this. I’ve set big goals and succeeded. What’s holding me back?
The thought of food journaling, following an elimination diet, and a strict exercise routine overwhelms me. Perhaps it’s because I have so many other responsibilities that I feel like adding a rigid regimen to my life is too much to handle.
Of course part of me thinks I should just wait for three weeks until my kids are in school and follow a more disciplined lifestyle. When the kids are in school, I’ll have more time to do all those things I could do to lose weight again and tone and strengthen my body. But for me, promising to start later is an invitation to lapse into bad habits. It could turn into a “ It’s like a last hurrah, the last meal before death row, the last party as single and/or childless woman” kind of time in my life. I would make these last three weeks a time to eat mindlessly and lounge around. For me, it’s time wasted and I never feel any better when I give up control of living healthy.
So instead of saying I’ll live better in three weeks, I am going to take baby steps which include:
*Running to clear by mind, not for distance or pace. My mind and body were clear and revitalized after running with my son today. I just enjoyed his company and the beauty of one of the many new running places I have in my new hometown.
*I am making protein a priority in all of my meals. I am still dealing with low iron levels and I can tell when I don’t eat properly as my body and mind don’t function as well as they can.
*I’m slowly getting back to cooking meals from scratch and this time I’m including my children. It’s important for me to model good habits and cooking is an easy one to share with them. I think they’re going to be better cooks than me!
*Making simple adjustments to eating habits like limiting restaurant meals and dropping a tablespoon of creamer from my coffee is actually easy to do. I don’t feel deprived when I do this. It’s just as easy to fall back into good routines as it is into bad ones.
*Writing when it strikes me and letting things go like laundry and unpacking the last remaining boxes. Now I don’t mean I plan to neglect things like feeding my children or picking my husband after work, but some things can wait, especially when I don’t have a set writing time right now.
It’s been tough to admit I have slipped this year. It’s embarrassing to admit I am struggling once again. But I am owning it. With the help of baby steps, I can get back to the lifestyle that makes me feel best both physically and mentally. Baby steps will help me back to where I want to be and will enable me to continue my journey Down the Scale…