Greetings, all, from 2013, the year that almost wasn’t. Seriously, when December 22nd actually showed up, I had a lot of catching up to do on my holiday shopping and wrapping!
My son did point out that all the hard work we’ve put in over the last 18 months to get fit and strong would come in handy in the event of a zombie apocalypse. Glad we didn’t have to test that theory.
So now that 2013 is upon us, the question looms — what shall we do with it? Make the same resolution as last year or try something a little different?
Lose Weight or New Life?
That so could have been me. Actually, that was me. I didn’t articulate it quite that nicely, but no doubt, that’s what my life looked like 18 months ago.
I knew I had to lose weight, but I also knew that losing weight wasn’t the real goal. The goal was to create a new life. A life where I was the one having fun, and that fun didn’t revolve around the next piece of food that ate or what time my next favorite show came on television.
I also wanted a life that would last a long, long time. Which means I needed a body that could last a long, long time – maybe even fight off a zombie apocalypse. But certainly capable of fighting off fatigue, disease and injury.
Losing weight is really kind of easy. We’ve all done it at some point or another, intentionally or unintentionally.
Creating a new life? Not sure any of us can call that one “easy.” But I looked at the alternative and decided that creating a new life was a better option than a not-so-slow walk into the sunset.
The Rumors Are True
Once I decided it was time to get off the diet merry-go-round (you know, drink SlimFast for three days, lose three pounds, go out to dinner to celebrate, gain it back, etc.), I did have to come to terms with certain realities.
Reality #1: Calories In, Calories Out
This sort of sucked. I was really hoping that there was a magical drink, pill, powder, plant extract, meditation technique, mudbath, superfood or enchanted cheesecake that would cause my fat cells to shrink while simultaneously increasing my collagen levels and muscle fibers. Throw in a cellulite eraser and I’d be in thinny-girl heaven.
I can firmly attest that I’ve tried all that stuff (and some of those crazy exercise machines, too), and it seems that the math is real. Calories in, calories out. Burn more than what you take in, you lose weight. Take in more than what you burn, gain weight.
<sigh> Suck it up, buttercup.
But here’s the thing: I got to decide how I wanted to spend those calories, and I’ve gotten really good at having a lot of food that I really enjoy while still burning enough to lose and/or maintain weight.
Reality #2: It Doesn’t Always Go According to Plan
This also sort of sucked. I like having a plan, executing the plan, checking off the plan and claiming success. The problem is that I was the only one who knew about the plan. The rest of the world didn’t always cooperate with my well-designed, carefully engineered plan. There were many times when my own body didn’t cooperate.
During the 14 months or so that I was actively losing weight, I got sick, I got cravings, I got crazy, I had cheesecake. I’d be super-good and gain weight, or I’d eat pizza and lose weight. It happens. I had to learn not to throw in the towel simply because things didn’t go according to the day’s agenda.
Reality #3: My Old Life Doesn’t Go Away
My old life didn’t just stop because I was in the process of creating a new life. There are meetings and business travel and basketball games and anniversary celebrations and vacations. And we WANT all of those things to continue. It wasn’t like I was trying to make my family go away, just my fat.
That said, I had to deal with My Life, Version 4.0 – married with kid and job AND (new enhancement) healthy eating/ activity. That meant a lot of times when I wasn’t eating and drinking what others were eating and drinking, and we all had to be okay with that. I had to learn how to manage airports and travel and other people’s kitchens without using all of those situations as an excuse to fall back into old routines. That process takes time. Those are really big changes to sort out, and I certainly didn’t find the solutions on the first try. There was a lot of trial and error involved (still is) to make it all work.
Reality #4: I Had to Give Up Some Things
This is probably the hardest part.
It wasn’t giving up indulgent, anything goes eating that was the most challenging. It was giving up time commitments because I needed to focus on reclaiming my life. I gave up volunteer posts, social engagements, television, lunch hours, weekend sleeping in and plain old lazy days. That time and brain energy was redeployed into shopping, meal preparations, self-education, Weight Watchers meetings and the gym.
Was it worth it? Completely. Now eating healthy is something that makes sense and is part of my routine. I know how to navigate most food situations without fooling myself or (usually) getting too far off the reservation. I have a habit of figuring out what my activity will be for the day ahead so I can be sure to get in enough relative to my intake (see Reality #1).
I would never have gained those skills without committing the time to mastering them.
Reality #5: I Can Do This
This is the biggest and most satisfying reality, learned only through these months of change. I really can do this — with help. My family, Dexter, my Weight Watchers peeps, our amazing WW Leader, Bobbi, all the incredible instructors at my gym and all my new gym friends have been, without a doubt, my cheerleaders, my motivators, my commiserators and co-conspirators. I have never felt alone during this process.
But when I took the first step and decided to go (back) to Weight Watchers, I had to take that step on my own. The amazing village of which I am proud to be a part has grown up with me. My participation in it could only begin to sprout with my first step.
And I did it. This last year and a half has been full of opportunities to amaze myself by doing things I wasn’t sure I could do. Now that, I gotta tell you, is an AWESOME feeling, finding out you can be MORE than you thought you could be. ;0)
Join Us for a Spectacular 2013!!
Dexter and I invite you to join us in creating a spectacular year. Together, we can not only move mountains, we can vanquish those fat cells for good and claim the vibrant lives of our dreams.
Let’s do it! Because we are ALL — say it with me – Not! Done! Yet!!
With Awesomelicious Glitter and Fireworks,