Today was a beautiful spring day. I was happy, productive, and feeling great. Then all of a sudden, whammo! I had been walking down the street, saw my reflection in a shop window, and it was like someone had just thrown a ball at my stomach. I realized what I really looked like, how others saw me, and I was crushed by how fat I actually am. It felt like all the wind had been knocked out of me.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I realize that I am a good person, and I have a lot of positive traits. I know it is not all about looks. But still. When sometimes you forget what you really look like, you can feel better about yourself. But when reality hits, it can hurt.
I am well aware that I am overweight. I know that to be healthier and feel better about myself, I need to eat less, make healthier choices, and work out more. It sounds like a simple formula (and it really should be), but for whatever reason it seems impossible.
I have been overweight much of my life. As a young child, I never really lost my baby fat. But while I was always a little chubbier than my friends, I wasn’t truly obese until well into adulthood. I can go into the list of reasons of how I think that happened another time. But for now, I want to focus on the solution, not the problem.
In the past, when I have resolved to lose weight, I have planned an entire life makeover. I spent hours to days researching healthy meals and weight loss plans. I bought new exercise videos (or even entire programs). The “new me” was going to do it all!
Well that worked for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. But I became overwhelmed, slipped up somewhere, and ended up quitting. Only to gain more weight back than I had lost. Many of you know what that is like. I have been telling myself lately that I need to do something about my weight again. I vow to start tomorrow, or maybe next week, but I never do. Doing the “total makeover” sounds like too much work, and I know I’m not likely stick with it. So I haven’t even bothered to try.
But as I began to think about a strong beginning, I decided that should to apply to my health as well. So I figure what better way to create some accountability than to lay it all out there for the world to see. (Secretly I hope no one I know actually reads this, but the possibility that someone does will hopefully keep me on track.) I can publish my long-term goal and then tackle it one little step at a time. As I think about what to do this weekend to create a strong week ahead, I can plan to implement one new thing to improve my health this week. I have given myself permission to not “do it all”, but I can create positive changes one day and one week at a time.
So here is the long-range goal. I want to lose 80 pounds in 80 weeks. Each week I will publish one or two small goals for the week. I will be honest about the ups, the downs, the good, the bad and the ugly. You can help keep me accountable. You can cheer me on and offer your own suggestions. You can even join me and commit to finally making lasting change.
Week #1 Goal: I recently bought a Weight Watchers “Boot Camp” video (ok, it was over Christmas for my new year’s resolution that I am just getting around to months later). It contains four 15-minute workouts (core, cardio, upper body, and lower body). Some of you might laugh at such a tiny start, but I know I am far too out of shape to make it through a full-length workout, and committing to getting out of bed even 15 minutes earlier in the morning is going to be challenge enough.
I am also going to commit to drinking 32 ounces of water each day. I currently drink maybe 8 ounces. (I am much more prone to drink coffee and Diet Coke.) I am not yet willing to say I will stop drinking Diet Coke altogether (maybe someday), but I can say I won’t pop open a can until I have consumed my water for the day. And, hey, I am human…I will still start my work day with a skinny peppermint latte. But a step in the right direction is worth something. And each step forward will get me closer to my goal. This is going to be more of a marathon than a sprint, so I have to make sure I don’t wear myself out in the first stretch.
This week’s mantra: The secret to getting ahead is getting started.
Today is a great time to start!
Will you join me in this challenge? If so, make a public commitment and let me know. Together, one small habit at a time, we CAN do it!