Here We Go Again
Today marks the third week in a row of my new commitment to both calorie counting and adding some kind of physical activity to my day. I have been limited my intake to no more than 1300 per day, ensuring that days I go over are followed by days I go under. I will allow myself one cheat day per month to go out of control because calorie restrictions unfortunately do mean food restrictions as well (bye bye for now, nachos). I hate the gym and I’m not a runner, so my physical activity has consisted of doing laps with my iPod around the 1.6 million square foot building where I work five days a week. Inside of course; I’m not quite brave or crazy enough to go out in the frigid Indiana air. In these three little weeks, I have no idea how much weight I’ve lost, but my clothes fit better, my hourglass figure is making a mean comeback, and my husband has taken notice on my improvements.
The last time I had to change my diet and drop some pounds was a nightmarish time when I was squeezing into a size 11 and being ashamed of myself. Right now, I am hovering around a size 7 and nowhere near where I was before, so it’s not quite the annoyance it was back then. My goal this time is to get back to the size I was when my husband and I got married. I’m basing it on how I look and how my clothes fit, nothing else. I don’t care how much I weigh now or how much I weigh when I’m done. I’m always going to be “heavy” due to the pounds of muscle I carry, so the number is going to be higher than you’d expect as long as I stay healthy and don’t lose that muscle. I’m making progress and happy with the results. But damn if it isn’t hard.
I’ve always been a big believer that diets are not the way to go. Diet equals restriction which equals frustration and eventually failure. Tell someone they cannot have any pizza and they are going to want pizza. With calorie counting, I can have pizza and all the other foods I desire, just not in the quantities I may prefer. The plus side is that my stomach quickly became used to smaller quantities and doesn’t allow me to overeat, making calorie counting much easier. The downside is that I want to eat cakes and pies and pizzas and tacos and everything else I can get my hands on. There has been free cake, bagels, donuts, and all sorts of junk food in my office that I want to dive into headfirst and devour until I can’t move. It’s torture.
My saving grace in the office has come in two forms. The first is sometimes tiring but very therapeutic; long walks around the square-shaped building, including hikes up and down the ramps. With my iPod on shuffle and helping me drown out all the noise around me, I get a break from the day while breaking a bit of a sweat. It also allows me to get away from whatever temptation is being put in front of me, reducing the chances of me cracking under pressure and grabbing some junk food. The second is a little mean but it works. All I have to do is get a good look at one of the very out of shape people in this building and the desire to eat junk food vanishes. The fact that the woman who sits behind me has a habit of ordering multiple lunches per day and having Doritos for breakfast ends up being a powerful motivator for me to eat less and eat healthy.
This is not the most difficult time I’ve had with a plan to drop a few pounds, nor is it the most extreme thing I’ve done, but for some reason it’s been annoying me more than all the other diets, exercise plans, food restrictions, and various other paths I’ve ventured down. If not for the fact that I’m seeing results, I think I would have quit. I imagine that is why many people throw in the towel early on. But my goal is in mind and it’s a goal that isn’t a year or more down the road, but mere months away. Milestone One will be March 11th when the husband and I go to WWE Raw, as I want to look good in the shirt I altered for the event. Milestone Two will be my birthday, where I hope to be at the point where nothing in my closet is off-limits, but the real goal is Milestone Three when I will go bikini shopping. It doesn’t matter if it’s the right time of year or not; whenever I’m at the point where I get excited to go try on bikinis, I’ll know I’ve reached my ultimate goal.
Struggling with weight is one of the most frustrating and annoying struggles that the average person has to deal with. It’s also one of the most easy fixes out there. Unless you’re one of the very few who have a medical condition that causes extreme weight gain or prevents weight loss, it’s simply a matter of burning more than you consume. Doing that isn’t the impossible feat that many make it out to be. Yes, it’s frustrating being surrounded by donuts and having to take a pass, but it’s worth it when you can look at yourself in the mirror after a shower without cringing in disgust. Have some self-control and self-respect, choose reasonable goals, and stick to a plan that works for you. Easy.
There are always going to be people out there who tell you you’re doing it wrong. Eat more carbs and less dairy. Eat no carbs and drink green tea. Drink only black coffee and eat lots of carrots. Plan X worked for me; you should try it. Workout video Y is amazing; want to borrow it? Receive their advice with a smile and get right back to your own plan. If something works for you and is giving you results, be them big or small, it’s in your best interest to shrug off the unwanted advice. But don’t be afraid to talk about what you’re doing just because you want to avoid advice. Speaking up doesn’t just keep people informed, it can connect you with others who are also trying to get in shape or lose their Christmas weight.
At the end of the day, it’s about you and only you. What you want for yourself. Where you see yourself in the future. How happy you want to be with who you are. How comfortable you wish to be in your own skin. With weight loss or with any type of self-improvement, you have to be doing it for you and no one else. If my husband had been the one to encourage this weight loss, I wouldn’t be as motivated as I currently am. I’m the one in this body and I have to do it for me. I have to know that I can succeed and I have to be willing to make sacrifices to get there. And most important for me, I have to find ways to cope when it feels like it’s too hard. Like writing this entry, for example, as it kept me from searching for candy. Thanks for listening.