Starting over SUCKS!
It’s doesn’t matter what they say about if you hate starting then stop stopping. I mean, I get that … BUT …
When you a mother and you go into this healthy lifestyle with a problem to fix, you will inevitably stop and restart about a million and two times.
How do I know?
Because you (and I) are going into this healthy gig with a problem to fix. We figure this is a solution. Something that we can do, for a time, that will help us achieve some sort of result.
Whether it is that we want to lose a few pounds to fit into our pre-pregnancy jeans (girl, I tossed all ’em jeans because LORD knows that even if I fit into them again they are WELL out of style) or we want to look good in time for summer, the idea is that we will reach a goal destination and then be done with this.
It’s like we think we will come to a weight or a shape and think “I’ve arrived”.
I will be honest with you, my short term motivation for really getting my butt in gear is VERY shallow. I am almost embarrassed to admit it “out loud” but I have to share for the sake of our relationship. I need you to know that I am right there with you.
The reason I NEED to make this stick (and quick) is this:
I don’t want to be the fat sister at my brother in law’s wedding in September.
There, I said it.
I have a stupid, shallow, very IMMATURE short term end game that is trying desperately to motivate me to change.
It isn’t working that great though. As I said before, going in with this problem to fix is so fickle that the journey becomes a battle daily.
I mean, if you are like me and you have this ridiculous desire for weight loss for something as dumb as not being the fat sister … this is what your typical Friday night will turn into:
Husband: Hey babe, you want a nacho date night with Masterchef?
Wife: Well, I should be eating healthy, your brother’s wedding is in 7 months.
Husband: You’re right. Let’s grab a water and do one of your 20 minute workouts.
Wife: But I already started the nachos.
And then you “blow” your diet and you are so torn about it that the weekend is spent filling your gullet with fast food, donuts, and whatever your heart pleases because you already messed up so bad you will have to restart again on Monday and just go HARDER to make up for your transgressions.
Throw the baby out with the bath water sort of thing.
That continues because your goal is not soul stirring, it is something that you start to rationalize away. I mean, camera angles and filters can do amazing things for slimming the face, body and … well everything. And how many pictures will you ACTUALLY be in. You did have five children after all, what do people expect.
And the internal battle and rationalizations and nacho date nights will continue until all of a sudden it is the end of August and you are just over a week away from the nuptials and the same size you were two weeks after pushing your daughter out your wahoo.
Oh well, maybe NEXT summer you can look and feel better.
Another goal, another problem to be “solved” with diet and exercise.
Truth of the matter is, and hate me if you must, this is not a season.
Being active and eating well is not about doing it for a season, this is a life time sentence.
And you can decided, now, whether it is something that you want to struggle with for the long haul OR if you want to figure this thang out once and for all.
You see, eating well and moving more doesn’t necessarily need to feel like a chore. It doesn’t HAVE to be something you consciously struggle with on the daily (so I’m told).
Getting your act together isn’t supposed to be a burden.
Instead, we can shift how we THINK about this process and we can start choosing to implement success strategies.
Like realizing that this is not meant to rob us of the tray of chocolate brownies enjoyed after the kids are in bed, with a fork, straight from the pan (yes, I did burn myself because I forgot I JUST took them out of the oven, don’t judge). Making better choices is about realizing that it is all choices.
Some are better than others.
The choices you make, each time – whether breakfast lunch or dinner – is what determines how healthy (or unhealthy) you are.
It’s not about success or failure. It’s not about redefining the target or lengthening the timeline for success.
It’s about learning to remove guilt from your choices, and making better choices more often. So that the poorer ones aren’t as bad.
Once you understand this simple concept, you can start to really transform this “diet” phase.
You can launch yourself out of the shame game that is *essentially* keeping you stuck in the yo-yo, and you can OWN this journey.
You can understand that this is going to take work. You are going to have better weeks than others. Inevitably the kids will get sick, the dog will throw up on the carpet, and you will stub your toe so hard you split your nail down the middle … you will run to the fridge to devour the most unhealthy thing you can find, because #comfortfood. And you are going to breathe.
This is life.
This is a moment.
This will not make or break your overall health (unless the comfort food is about one million ounces of some sort of ill-advised alcohol).
Life isn’t made of perfection.
The journey to living “your best life” isn’t an all or nothing end game.
Life is made of moments.
Weakness and strength moments to make the better choices more often than not. Soon enough, the more solid choices you make, the healthier you become. The healthier you become, the happier you are. The happier you are, the less likely a bad start to the morning will lead to Poptarts and a pot of coffee.
You will soon realize that, as it is with food choices, a bad five minutes doesn’t mean a horrible 24 hours.
One treat meal, one slip into “old habits” does not mean the scale will magically explode with all your excess weight.
It’s one decision.
Don’t keep beating yourself up because you made a less than great choice. Don’t allow your life to be governed by short term and shallow fixations.
Remember that the journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. And yet you can’t stop at that single step.
The journey of a thousand miles is composed of thousands of steps, deliberately taken again and again.
Inevitably there will be back tracking, trips and even HUGE setbacks. Like a gale force wind that swoops you up mid stride and plants you back near where you started (or restarted). And it may seem discouraging, you may be battered and bruised because you made some poor choices or life just HAPPENED. But you aren’t stuck.
You can choose to take the next step, and the step after that.
You can choose to maintain the perspective that this isn’t just for the beach or the jeans *or even your brother-in-law’s wedding*, but because you are called to make the best of this life.
And that requires you to choose better, more often than not.