Begin as you mean to continue…

Dear Readers,

My mom has given this advice to me over the years and it has proven to be very wise not to mention simple to execute. Notice I said, simple not easy.

So on this, the third day of the new year, I say it to you, “Begin as you mean to continue”

This brand new year means lots of people will be making resolutions to get fit or lose weight or stop doing things or start doing things and that’s great. I submit to you that you may find more success without an “all or nothing” approach. For instance, I will read 12 books this year sounds super daunting till you break it down into a book a month, and drill down to even smaller bites of how many pages a day, etc. It’s really easy to get down on yourself too if you have a rough day and don’t quite make your goal, making it that much harder to pick up and start again the next day.  Beware the “all or nothing” approach.

Take me for instance, I reviewed my last few posts about the new years and the resolve I had to eat better and lose weight and each time I began with a fervent promise to myself that THIS time it WILL be different. Sadly, each time, It has resulted in being further afield of my goals as I ate that cookie or didn’t exercise that day.

I think the closest I have actually come was last year when I decided not to “diet” but rather to eat healthy for 30 days. Quite the loaded statement when you consider what that means. Eat healthy- does that mean don’t eat pastry? or does it mean just eat one? or half of one? Does that mean have toast but don’t put butter on it? Does that mean you eat one banana and you are cool but if you have two.. you aren’t being healthy? Well what I decided was that I would not eat pastry, starch or processed foods and no soft drinks, just water for 30 days. I didn’t have any trouble sticking to it because I wasn’t doing it to lose weight, I was doing it because I heard myself say over and over.. I wish I was in better shape AND not doing things I know to do in order to be what I say I want to be. On December 18, 2015 I decided I was DONE playing footsy with my weight problem and was going to take this stuff seriously. I posted on social media pictures of my food and the hashtag #healthyhabits #babysteps- I figure it worked so spectacularly on our finances, why not try it with my weight/eating etc? I am proud to say, it worked.. for 30 days I ate healthy and did NOT quit till I got to the 30th day. I was proud of myself and the most important thing about that time period was that I really didn’t feel deprived. It was a finite time (30 days) and I was working towards a goal.

We all KNOW the answer to this, right?  “eat right and exercise” but see the questions above.. The devil is in the details. I am no expert AND after about a year of observing my habits, I have come to the following conclusions. I feel better when I work out, AND there are times I struggle to find that motivation as well. I am capable of losing weight when I want to, I have willpower to resist (sometimes a pint of ice cream will be eaten in a week or two and sometimes it’s that same night) and everything in moderation seems to work best for me.

There are other times (say towards the end of my pregnancy) that I ate exactly what I wanted to eat and ate plenty of it, justifying that I was pregnant and could lose the weight later… well later is here now and I am sad to say when doing some post-baby clean up of my closet, I found I do not fit into some jeans that I wore easily in my early days of pregnancy, and while I realize that after having a baby, it’s likely there are some clothes I will never fit into again, since let’s face it, my entire body has changed, It’s a barometer for health and feeling good about myself so I was affected.

Since my daughter was born, I tend to think ahead and think about what we want to teach her about food being for fuel. I don’t want her to struggle like I have and still am so I have a big goal now that I am not sure how to accomplish AND I know I need to think about these things and figure them out for myself so I can teach her to have a better relationship with food than I do. I want to get in front of it so it’s not an issue for her, food it just food, not love or a replacement for affection or any of those toxic things it can sometimes mean for me.

I normally “share with the class” when I have it figured out, but a fellow blogger recently shared nakedly and honestly about her very real struggles with motherhood as she is “going through it” and it inspired me to share with you in hopes that we can help each other.

I DO not KNOW the answer AND I am on the hunt for it. I think there is power in sharing and shedding light on the subjects that are hard to talk about. This has been a problem for me for many years and I have tried a variety of diets (paleo/cabbage soup/atkins) nothing lasting and nothing truly satisfying.

I am opening myself to you, dear reader, in hopes that someone is going through this as well and one feels encouraged to discuss it, and two, maybe, just maybe, we won’t feel so all alone on this journey. Please reach out to me and tell me what you do to stay healthy and eat food for fuel. Begin as you mean to continue, I am doing that now by sharing how hard it is for me, I hope that it helps you reading this to realize you are not alone and we all struggle with something that it would likely help to talk about. Maybe for you it’s not weight or food but there is something you struggle with and that is okay. That means you are human. That means that I am human as well. I, by no means, have this figured out AND I am not even close to done trying.

This picture was taken on my first day back at the gym, it is a visual representation of my love for my body and the care I will take to show my daughter to love her body and have pride in taking her of her body as a habit, so I have to (say it with me) begin as I mean to continue… and exercise and eat right myself so she sees it as normal. bodyimageissuesnomore2016


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