Ok, I will start this blog by stating emphatically, I have been guilty of all of the excuses I will be griping on in this post. I am not a hypocrite but I see in retrospect what BS it is to use these excuses!
So, how many of us want to be thinner, healthier, in better shape, etc etc etc? (**raises hand with you**) Now, how many of us have used the following excuses to keep us from these goals:
It takes too much time to eat healthy.
It costs too much to eat healthy.
I have no time in the day to exercise.
I have no energy to exercise.
I don’t know where to start.
Well, I call bullshit! And, as previously noted, I have used these excuses before so I KNOW they are bullshit. What it boils down to is that it takes WORK. What we all hate is that it’s not EASY. You don’t burn calories by watching someone else exercise ONLINE. And, there is no PILL that will give you the perfect body without changing your diet/exercise habits. If you set up your goals by following the advice of a paid spokesperson, you will more than likely fail miserably. (I tried to use the Jillian Michaels detox pill program – basically to make you poop out the bad stuff and jump start your health goals – yeah, constipated me.)
However, if you do some planning, you will find that it is not as hard, time consuming, exhausting as one might think. You just have to get past the “lazies” as I like to call them. We live in a society where everything is offered up immediately online. We have our smartphones, our laptops, our apps, our iEverything. If we spent a third of the time programming OURSELVES instead of our electronics, we would have enough time to have life altering changes within our reach.
For me, it was finding a little joy in what I was doing which, in turn, gave me encouragement to continue. Finding a way to combine what you enjoy with what you need to do gives you that edge each day to continue on your healthy path
I love chocolate. I love jager. I love a greasy cheeseburger with the works. I love everything bagels with egg and bacon. I love Three Musketeer bars. (Wow, now I am hungry! Ha!) The thing is, I know that I cannot have all of these every day. BUT I have learned that when you try to deprive yourself completely of all the things you are accustomed to having, failure is pretty much eminent. Comfort food is a downfall. Last year I needed a lot of comfort and I sought it out in the vending machine, drive thru and microwave. It was evident on my hips, thighs and arse. One day I looked at a picture that had been taken of me and my heart sunk. I was blown away by how big I had become. To be honest, in the first two months of my trying to be “serious” about my health, there was a roller coaster of emotions I went through in my personal life (my Dad was sick, I got married, I was unemployed, etc). I could not kick-start my new healthier lifestyle it seemed no matter how hard I tried. Then the dam broke (both personally and healthily). I was able to get my Dad in a nursing home that was 10 miles from me (compared to 72 miles). The daily commute was cut and so was the stress. I realized now was my opportunity to get after my own health after so many months of caring for someone else’s. I went for a run. Oofa. Nothing is more depressing than trying to do something that came naturally (years before) that now left me winded, in pain and wondering if there was a candy bar on my desk at the house. The realization of the effect of almost forty pounds of extra weight on my knees was very apparent the next day. Then the dejection of thinking “Well, I cannot run, I will NEVER get this weight off.” That is another excuse. We are so programmed to fail that at the first sign of struggle we give up.
But, I plodded on (I like the word plod, sounds like a horse and that is how big I felt at that time – lol). I walked instead of ran. And the first walk I took was just under a mile and it left me short of breath and hating the monkey on my back. Of course I was plagued by the negative thoughts (How did it get to this? How will I ever overcome? Why is chocolate not healthier?) That is the hard part that health magazines do not glamorize. The negative thoughts that can end a healthy life path. I decided to use my stationary bike at home. I was so embarrassed by the fact that I was out of shape to the point that a mile walk about did me in. So, the comfort and seclusion of my own home offered an option that was less public. I would bike for an hour. I would sweat and listen to music or watch Grey’s Anatomy. Then something amazing happened, I stepped on the scale and realized that I had lost a few pounds. I decided to try walking again. The first day was still a little rough and the second day of walking was just as painful. But then, the third, fourth and fifth – what do you know, it got easier. Today I can run a mile and not have the pain in my knees/hip that I had on Day One (shedding almost thirty pounds has helped in that arena). I only run in mile increments now to get my body used to the concept again. I have arthritis in the joints on the right side of my body (primarily the big toe, the thumb, the hip, the knee and the shoulder). Yoga has helped heal me up a bit there (I yoga it up with Rodney Yi every morning via a VHS tape that I LOVE). It will take more motion in those joints to get it all in a good alignment but I am willing to put in the work to get there. I eat three square meals a day of foods that I love (took some finding to mesh the world of foods I like and foods that will not make me obese). I allow myself to cheat without feeling as if I have failed in doing so. I just remind myself that that is a “treat” and not a common occurrence.
As for the comfort food, I still have the occasional candy bar, cheeseburger with extra grease or shot of jager. But, I do not go overboard. I have always loved to cook. So now I look up recipes and subject my husband to foods he has never tried before. I also will “divide” our meals up a little – I bake a lean meat and on one side of the pan is the cauliflower I love and on the other are the red potatoes he loves.
There are ways around every excuse you offer yourself. Scrambling an egg with tomato and garlic takes me all of five minutes. Not time consuming at all. But it requires a little effort. It is not as easy as popping a poptart in the toaster. It requires a little research and reading and tweaking plans in a way that is accommodating to your schedule and tastes. BUT, it is doable. And the results are what keep me going. At my biggest, I was going 181-185 (which, FYI is larger than my pregnant weight with either of my kids). Today, I average 152-155. This week I am starting a different kind of push in my workout and taking advantage of my last days of unemployment to get over a hurdle.
Also – find a support group or that one friend that does not give a crap how many before-after pics you post that can encourage you or give you the tough love you need in times of doubt. I have one who lives about 730 miles away but who is not afraid of telling me to “cut the shit” when necessary. To her I give thanks because she reminds me to eat bananas when my muscles cramp and she gives me websites that I forget to pay the fee for and miss out on opportunities (trying to correct that this morning).. lol
This morning I took four bathing suit photos from front, side, side and back. (No, I am not posting THOSE photos). Bit in 30 days I will post them. I am hoping that I have the fortitude to bust through my obstacles in the coming weeks (so many personal changes coming up that could potentially derail my goals with their overwhelming natures).
Today’s Before-After-After photo (I know that you probably cannot tell a big difference from two to three but there is a lot more tone that is in the third photo. In two you can see some of the excess baggage that shows as lines of fat at my ribcage area – most of that is gone now.):
An example of a five minute breakfast that is around 100 calories and satisfying: