As most of you know I’ve been on a journey to improving my life on so many fronts. From my mental state to my physical, to my career, and my finances. You’ve probably also seen me fall off these wagons time and time again, but you’ve also seen me get back to them. There have been times when my blog posts haven’t been the uplifting ones that I have wanted. While I’ve thought about taking them down once I have a clear mind again, I haven’t. I didn’t do so because I thought it was more important for you all to see that it is okay to stumble from time to time, but the most important part is to get right back at it.
The hubby man and I have discussed on many levels our struggle with weight loss and maintaining a healthy way of being. We have both lost a lot of weight only to turn around and put just as much back on if not more over our years before we met and once we did. What neither of us hardly ever recognized was the fact that getting fit and healthy was as much a mental war as a physical one. Even the times when we did verbalize it to one another. I don’t think we fully understood that ramifications of it.
First off, there is the way that approach it to begin with. Are you on a diet? What is your restriction? Oh, I can’t eat that it has too many…
To me, the word diet just screams restrictions, depression, and a serious uphill battle with things. That is the way I started on my original ‘weightloss’ journey. Every time I tried to restrict myself to one fad diet or another I found myself falling off it shortly after. Sometimes within a week, and sometimes it would last several months before I did. After that point, I would binge on all the stuff I couldn’t have while dieting like carbs or sugars or whatever else until I had sufficiently put all the weight back on and sometimes more.
At that point, I’d lie to myself. Get in my own head. Maybe my body just wasn’t made to be skinny. Maybe my big bones got in the way or I’m of farmer blood, we’re built strong. Oh yes, I have told myself many so-called ‘comforting’ thoughts on why I was as large as I was.
In reality, I don’t share the same metabolism as my older sisters. They can eat anything and not gain a pound. I look at a cookie and my waist expands. Don’t even get me started on if I were to eat that same cookie.
Anyway, I lived this way for so many years. It was an endless roller coaster that always ended up with a slew of negative self-talk that tore me apart from the inside, while I shoveled in as much food as possible to do the work on the outside.
After a while, I would get bored of that and just use those comforting words so I didn’t have to try again. I could remain the same weight and I’d learn to be happy with it. Only, I never was truly happy with it. I’d just despise myself in secret.
The mental war was on.
I did this time and time again from restrictive Atkins diets to Slim Fast to Keto. I have tried a great deal of them. While they work for a while on most of them, I would grow bored of the food choices and that was the point I became in trouble. I would go right back to eating crap food in large quantities.
Throughout my journey of becoming more mindful and self-aware things have changed for me mentally. I truly do love myself. While I slip up once in awhile and have a negative comment about my body come out of my mouth, it never lasts and I quickly follow it up with several positive ones. I come from a place of love in all the changes that I am making in my life. Instead of a place of self-loathing which was common for me.
I want to get fit because I deserve to be as strong on the outside as I am on the inside. I want to hike, camp, and see so many of the places of the world. To have such an active lifestyle I need to make lifestyle choices that support that.
To do that, I need to fill my body with things that work as fuel. Which in turn does mean cutting out a lot of garbage foods that are processed to the point they don’t carry any real nutrients in it. However, because of the shift that I’ve done mentally, it doesn’t fill like a restriction any longer. It’s a thing of empowerment.
I eat smaller portions, not because I’m starving myself, but because I’m listening to my body. It only needs so much food to maintain survival and keeping going. If I feel a bit peckish later on then I grab a snack, usually a protein for energy or a vegetable for nutrition, depending on the way my body feels. Which is another thing, I listen to my body so much more.
I drink water when I feel depleted and I try to keep it at a great level. If the day is cooler I won’t drink as much as I will on a day when I’m sweating and losing a lot more water. I don’t aim for a solid number because I don’t always need to replenish as much water.
To help keep my portions at a normal level I have purchased portion control boxes. I think my brand is Skinny Boxes. That helps me measure out my food to the right portions that my body needs.
Now that I’ve worked hard on getting my mentality straight for those and I’ve been so successful, I’ve now moved onto the next stage. I’ve added in exercise. I have never been one that has enjoyed that aspect so again, I would start a workout program for awhile and then I’d stop. It was the same endless battle. I’d piss, moan and groan because there were always ‘skinny bitches’ on them and I’d love a program where a heavier woman like me was doing that same workout. I wasn’t inspired by tiny women doing it because their bodies were already lean. I wanted to see someone I could relate to doing the same work.
Mind you, it was all just an excuse not to get off my butt and do the work. It took me a lot of adjusting. I don’t use workout programs that people pay a lot of money for and some hard schedule to follow. That wasn’t what worked for me. And you have got to find a method that works for you.
That being said, I don’t mean doing the bare minimum in work and saying well that works for me. You need to work out your body. It is designed for it. We are hunters, gatherers and our bodies are made for working for our food. Just because we have progressed to the point where we no longer use these skills to sustain our lives, does not mean that our bodies no longer need exercise to remain lean and in tip top conditions.
I am not at a point in my journey that I can do more than an hour worth of workout every other day. At least not yet. I will get there, but I’m being honest about where I’m at. This is pushing myself to the point of sweat rolling down my back. I also know at what point I can do for reps as well. I make sure I’m pushing myself, challenging my muscles, but I’m not tearing anything.
While I am still at a point where I do small increments of reps, and I ride the stationary bike for less time than most people, I’m okay with that. I am up, pushing my body, working out my muscles. Every other day I’m working out for at least an hour a day. I’m strength training and cardio all in one day. This is all so I can get to the point where one day is strength training and one will be cardio for at least an hour a day.
All of this will continue to grow and change as I become stronger, more adept. I want to start running in the morning. It was something I loved doing while growing up and something I wish to take back up again. I will get there, but right now I’m okay with the steps I am taking in that direction.
Even with the small amount that I’ve been doing all of this I can feel the changes in my body. I can see their effect on my physicality, mentality and every other aspect of my life.
The biggest difference for me and one I need to get others around me to see. This isn’t a diet. I’m not working on losing weight.
This is a lifestyle for me! I am working on being stronger and the best me that is possible!
Do any of you have things you wish to change in your lives? Do you work out? Are you just starting on your own journey?
Until next time, remember to L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.