Unfortunately I haven’t had the most healthy relationship with my body. Around 12 years of age, I stopped going to dance class and playing outside. And I look back in horror at my eating, and exercise habits. (We won’t mention the hairstyles.) Instead of a nutritious lunch we would have soda and candy from the snack bar. Seriously, what was our school district thinking?
Since, then I tried every diet ever invented, but I always fail. At different times, I’ve been determined to exercise only to put it off and stop all together. I’ve always noticed that I can take off 15-20 lbs but it’s so much easier to gain 30 back. You do the math. Though I have picked up better habits over the years, I haven’t made any lasting change.
Now I’m at the point where I want to feel good. Its way more than weight loss, I’m seeking vitality. I don’t want to be exhausted, sick and unfulfilled. Everyday just getting through the day, usually in a fog. I’m sure that is not the person that God intended me to be. So, how does a person like me make a change? Especially when I have tried and failed so many times over the years. For me the change must be radical. I have to defeat my unhealthy relationship with food. Cutting back on calories or sweets might work for some people, but not for me.
Food Goal: Whole30. I’m on day 19, and I no longer obsess about bread and sugar. It might seem extreme to some, but this is a big deal for me. Though hard at first, now I feel like I could go longer than 30 days and not feel deprived. I’m eating healthy whole foods, and I don’t feel like a slave to unhealthy cravings. I no longer have a mid-day slump, I go from waking to bedtime with sustained energy. I’m learning new recipes and trying foods I’ve never cooked before. Yes, some days I don’t feel like eating protein and vegetables, and I’ve made peace with that I just eat smaller meals. I’m listening to my body, and how different foods make me feel.
Exercise goal: I have to find exercise that is fun and goal oriented.
- Zumba: This is a fun activity that doesn’t feel like exercise to me. It doesn’t get boring and repetitive like regular aerobics. I think the music and movement remind me of my dancing past. Its a good sweat. Even if I look funny while doing it.
- Blogilates: Pilates based fitness from creator Cassey Ho. The YouTube videos are great. She developed an app so that you can easily access and categorize the videos, you can also subscribe to exercise calendars which she updates monthly. These exercise videos are usually pretty short 5-10 minutes, so you can squeeze them in while making dinner or getting ready for work. It makes me feel so accomplished, when I check off the videos I have completed in the app, or I can redo my favorites. And I love Cassey’s positive can-do attitude, she is inspiring.
- Couch 2 5K: This one is a real challenge for me, I was the girl in P.E. who walked the track during Presidential Fitness tests! I’m not fast, and I’m still walking for most of it. But this is about finishing a goal, a way to measure progress. There are several apps for this. I have also found great articles about beginning a program in running magazines. There are so many exciting races to participate in, whether color, mud or zombie. You can even run for charity. The training apps allow you to compete with friends or you can just compete with yourself.
Motivation: I’ve notified my friends and family of what I’m doing, and I’ve had positive support from them. My husband is not participating in the Whole30. But, I could not have made it through the first week without him, who wants to prepare 3 meals a day from scratch while exhausted? He has been a trooper, eating all the food I prepare and even likes most of it better than store-bought. I’m looking forward to all the things I want to do now. I want to go zip-lining, and participate in races. We hope to travel in the next few years. Etc. Chiefly, I want to be a more “present” wife, family member and friend.
The # 1 thing I’m doing differently this time is prayer, because I cannot do this alone.
Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings this is impossible, but for God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26
How do you stay motivated to exercise and eat healthy? How have you made lasting change? Do you have exercise tips?