Day after day, for years, I would tell myself, “This is the day. Today I start eating right and working out.”
My intentions were always good. I would make that morning shake, go for a walk in the afternoon, try to eat some protein and veggies for lunch, dinner I would do the same. Some attempts would last a few days, others a week or so, but inevitably I always failed. I would find some excuse not to meal prep, not to exercise, or convince my self to go out to eat because it was so much easier than cooking, dishes, and the time it would take. It wasn’t because I didn’t want to, it’s because I thought I couldn’t. I thought taking an hour or two a day for myself was selfish. I can’t be away from my daughter like that. I need to spend all my spare time with her. I work 40-6o hours a week, she needs all my spare time. I need to do the dishes, vacuum, do the laundry, and pick up the house. I need to be one of those Pinterest moms who posts every minuet of every day on social media to show just how perfect I am. No offense to the moms who really are that awesome in real life. I applaud you.
After years of making sure my house was in order, my child was the center of the universe, and my husband was taken care of I thought, “What about me?” Why do I spend all of my time keeping everyone else happy? Why can’t I be happy to?”
Finally I found my why, my reason to make the changes I needed to make. The answer was simple, I can’t keep everyone else truly happy if I’m not happy with myself. I also confronted my excuses. I can’t use work, family, or friends as an excuse anymore. How could I blame the very things that were supposed to make me happy for the reasons I was unhappy?
September of 2016 I started small. Smaller portions, small amounts of gym time, 30 maybe 40 min while my family slept early in the morning or late at night. After about a month I could tell this was my time. This time I was ready to make the commitment and get healthy.
I took each day one at a time. Instead of worrying about the end result I thought about what I could do that day to become stronger and healthier. For the first 2 months I didn’t weigh myself. I didn’t want a 1 pound gain or no loss to throw me off and give me a reason to eat whatever I wanted. I won’t say my diet was perfect because it wasn’t. I ate what I wanted when I wanted I just did it in smaller portions. I made sure to have at least a fruit or veggie at every meal. I focused on protein rather than bread and pasta. I drank water with every meal, between meals, when I woke up, and before I went to bed. There was no ‘goal’ just kept drinking water all day.
November of 2016 I turned 30. In early 2016 I was dreading 30. My 20’s were LONG. I felt like everything had happened in my 20’s and how weird it was going to be not being twenty-something. By the time my 30th birthday rolled around I was down around 40 pounds. After months of dreading turning 30, I found myself the happiest I had been in a very long time. Turning 30 was amazing. I was feeling great, finally finding the confidence I had in my early 20’s.
From there everything was easier. Gym time became my everyday routine. I started involving my daughter and some friends as much as I could. Eating healthy became habit rather than a chore. I noticed my relationships with friends was so much better because I wanted to go out, I wanted to have fun, and I had the confidence to do it. My time with my daughter was better. We could run, play, and have more fun than before. She finally got to see her mother happier and healthier. Instead of sitting on the couch watching Netflix, we played outside, went for bike rides, or went to the gym. My attitude at work even changed. Instead of looking at all the ‘horrible’ aspects of my job I saw the positives. When you’re happy you don’t focus on the negative, you focus on the positive and find a solution for the negatives. Instead of focusing on things I could not change or things that were outside of my control, I focused on things I could change. Once I did that, work became, dare I say enjoyable again.
Sometimes when you find your happiness, others won’t be happy for you. And that’s ok. It’s not your job to hide your happiness so others can be happier. That was hard for me to accept. I’ve always been a people pleaser. Always worried about what people might think or how someone will react. Finally I figured out my happiness cannot be based on someone or something. It has to come from me.
So here I am, July 2017, down 100 pounds and feeling happy and healthy. My goal is to lose 40-5o more pounds or to get to a point where I’m happy and confident in my own body.
Looking back 10 months and 100 pounds ago it seems so easy. Why didn’t I do it sooner? I think you have to find your reason why, and be ready to make the changes necessary to achieve your goal. It won’t just happen, and there is no instant gratification and no secret formula. It’s day by day. Not focusing on what you want, but instead, why you want it.