A Weighty Realization

I am once again getting into an exercise routine and trying to eat healthier foods and portions. I have done this numerous times over the last several years, and I am happy to report that I am currently fifty pounds lighter than I was 4 or 5 years ago. While I’m grateful for that number, I’m also aware it could be much higher if I had just stuck with efforts to get healthy years ago. During a walk into town a couple of weeks ago, I believe I may have stumbled across the reason for my years of ups and downs on the scale…

It occurred to me that I have been sabotaging my efforts, and putting off getting maximum results for a rather surprising reason… I was hoping to have a man love me as I am. That sounds awful, but I realized it’s true. I remember a number of times when one person or another would ask me about wearing makeup, putting more effort into fixing my hair more often, or whatever. Often those comments came during conversations about why no guys were ever interested in me, and my response was always something along the lines of, “if he can’t love me the way I look most days, he shouldn’t love me anyway.”

That sounds terrible as I type it now, but it has been my thought process. I have gone through phases of paying attention to my looks and making an effort, but my default priority has always been ease and comfort when getting ready. My recent realization is that a fear has been lurking under the surface that if I lose weight, wear make-up, and do whatever else is supposed to make me look more beautiful, any man who is attracted to me will only love me when I look like that.

Without knowing it, I have been waiting for a guy to pursue me and give me a reason to make that effort. Knowing how hard it has been in the past to lose weight, I have been afraid to have someone fall in love with a skinny version of me and then be worried about any circumstance that might cause weight gain in the future (pregnancy, health issues, etc.)

As I put this into words, I cringe with every keystroke at how silly it sounds. The realization has, however, made a huge difference in me. I realized that first of all, I must get fit for me and no one else. It is not about loving someone else and fearing a loss of their love if I don’t look great one day. It is about loving not only myself, but my family, friends, and even future family enough to take care of my body so that I am able to do life with them for a long time to come.

And so, this time I’m committed to the journey. I know there will be days when I eat more junk than I should, days when my workout loses out to a little extra sleep, etc., but I also know that those days will not be the norm. This time it’s not about looking good, because I’m fairly confident that I already do. 😉 This time it is about being healthy for whatever life brings my way. Feel free to hold me accountable, and ask how this is going in the weeks and months to come.

PS. I’ve worn makeup 3 times this week!

The 30 Day Hustle

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was a part of a group working toward achieving goals during the first 30 days of January. Well, we have reached the end of this period, and it is time to evaluate the effectiveness of my “hustle”.

My goals were to post to this site 10 times, and to lose at least one dress size. This is blog post #10 for the 30 days, and therefore I met that goal! Woohoo!

In retrospect, the second goal is a bit difficult to measure. The clothes I own were already beginning to feel too big, and so going down one size from there is cheating a bit. However, since I am the one evaluating, I have decided that this goal was also met. By choosing better food options (most of the time) and working out most days since my workout DVD arrived on the 7th, I now fit back into a dress I haven’t worn in nearly 4.5 years, AND it fits better now than it did when I wore it then!

The workout I started is called T-Tapp, and there are several options with it. The one I opted for during the last 3.5 weeks – is the basic workout. This one takes 23 minutes to do the instructional video, and then only 15 minutes once you move to just the workout. I decided that 15 minutes a day was doable, but I will admit that I was a bit skeptical about how much benefit I would get from that effort.

So, in the past 24 days, I’ve done the basic workout 20 times and tried to eat healthy foods, though I did cheat on my food choices several times. (I would blame that on the stress and busyness of moving, but in reality, I simply could no longer suppress my craving for Taco Bell, fries and a peanut butter milkshake.) 🙂

The woman who developed this program recommends taking 14 measurements (waist, hips, legs, arms, etc.) before beginning and then measuring again each week. So, as of this morning I have lost a total of 35.5 inches! That didn’t equal any weight loss, but I’m okay with that. As my body continues to build muscle and lose fat, the pounds will eventually come off too. For now, I’m going to enjoy gaining muscle tissue in place of the fat tissue I’ve allowed to remain for far too long! 🙂

So, to finish off a successful month of hustling, I think I’ll go sit down and figure out some goals for next month and the year to come. There are good things ahead!

Goals & Deliciousness

This past week I stumbled into a group of people committed to achieving measurable goals with the help of one another during the month of January. The invitation was given for adventurers, no information about the adventure, just a chance to sign up… How could I not? Turns out the adventure is to accomplish things with daily tasks emailed to move us toward the goals we set.

And so, during this month, I will be working toward 2 goals for my “hustle”. The first is to write 10 posts on this site. You’re currently reading the second for the month. The rest will (I hope) be quite easy since I have ideas for all but one of the posts. Also, with 50 days until I leave my Colorado home for another indefinitely, I’m sure there will be no lack of topics to write about! 🙂

The second goal is slightly more tricky. I am going to lose at least one dress size by the end of the month. I have ordered a new work out DVD that should arrive this week, and I anticipate doing that 6 days/week once it arrives. So far, though, the major change I have made is in how I’m eating most days. As part of this 30 day “hustle”, I am trying to eat only whole, unprocessed foods 6 days a week. Thankfully, I’m a fan of fruits and veggies, and I’m also a decent cook who doesn’t mind experimenting in the kitchen.

The thing I am NOT good at when it comes to cooking is following directions. This is why I don’t bake. – I find that following the recipe is rather important in baking. My view of recipes is best summed up in a line from “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl” when Captain Barbossa informs Elizabeth that the pirates’ code is “more what you’d call guidelines than actual rules.” In fact, my roommate is convinced I have not cooked unless I’ve tweaked the recipe at least a little bit.

Last night, I decided to try an experiment with new things. I’ve never cooked much with lentils, but I like them a lot. I didn’t have a recipe, and so I made one up with the things I had in the pantry. Unfortunately, I can’t really share it with you because I don’t measure things. I can tell you what went into the pot, though… Dried lentils, brown rice, diced tomatoes, garlic, yellow squash, zucchini, baby bella mushrooms, low-sodium V8 juice, water, salt, black pepper, paprika, cumin and Italian seasonings. (If you want amounts, I can help, but only if you’re willing to be very imprecise and kind of figure it out yourself to a point – especially with the spices.)

I often get laughed at by my roommates because of how much I appreciate the food I make, (and how much I make at once – though they don’t complain when I share). 🙂 I have been known to get excited at breakfast time about dinner if I know it’s something I like making/eating… even if it’s leftovers! I tend to really enjoy most of the stuff I make. (Why wouldn’t I, since I know to leave out nasty things like onions…?) I have to say, though, last night’s experiment is currently near the top of my favorites list! Which is a good thing since I will likely be eating it for the rest of the week. 🙂

And so, it seems that eating mostly unprocessed foods won’t be so difficult after all. Hopefully, as I begin the more active portion of the work, I will enjoy that too.

Until next time… Thanks for reading!