Every New Year's people see the blank slate of a new year and make resolutions. I decided a few years back to make life changes instead - to tackle things that would change who I am. Up til now those things have been working towards bettering me as a wife, mother, friend, Christian, etc. This year I visited my friend Tina on New Year's Day and ended up leaving with a physical life change that I really needed to do, but had been putting off. Some of the responses I've received from those around me have caught me off guard though, so I'd like to give voice to my side.
|Besides my husband and my sister, the ladies in my new |
work out group were very encouraging. They immediately
began sharing their experiences and answering my
questions about exercise and healthy eating.
Sounds good huh?! When I've mentioned a couple times over the past week that I am counting calories, I've had people actually laugh or make remarks.They aren't made with mean intentions, but hurtful nonetheless (and ironic as some have made their own goals). It also shuts down the conversation, not allowing me to talk about my new journey. But I also know why. I am tall, small chested, and not what people would call fat at all, although I have junk in the trunk, if you catch my drift. I have a pouch of a stomach that I can typically squeeze into my jeans, which hides it from my shirt front. I have no muscle mass either - my arms and legs jiggle where there should be some strength...I'm not that old! But since I don't make it a habit to parade around naked or scantily clad, no one would know this.
1. The jeans I bought in November are hard to get on. That sucks. I don't buy many pairs at a time, so I tend to get a couple really good pairs and stay with them. For some time I've consistently fluctuated between two sizes, keeping the currents in my closet and unused under my bed, switching as needed. I'm done. I want to wear the nice ones I bought. The only way to do this is to count those calories until I have better eating habits and can reliably resist or give in to temptation as needed without having to consult my Fitbit. Counting calories is a starting point for better eating.
2. My chiropractic health. I have had consistent problems with my shoulders, neck, and upper back for years. I go through months where I am at the chiropractor often and have even missed work due to pain. My chiropractor told me I needed to take up Yoga or something to strengthen my back and shoulders - we're talking muscle people! I didn't do so when he told me, but recently have noticed my back is getting weaker. After holding a baby for twenty minutes, my shoulder hurt the rest of the day. The day after babysitting, my body was so sore, it felt like I had worked out. I'm 36 - this is not good, especially since I can do something about it. Also, poor eating can affect how you feel overall. Not eating well, sitting around snacking, is not helping my overall feeling, making it harder to get myself enough energy to exercise and deal with the chiropractic pain. Besides, why waste all that exercise time by eating poorly?
3. I have a history of sleep problems. I typically go on five hours of sleep a night. Diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) at one point, there isn't much I've found I can do about it. If I nap or not, I still have trouble falling asleep at night and don't sleep well or for very long. So, it's good to nap if I feel tired, but that eats into time for other things. It's been five years since my anxiety issues have passed and yet I've found nothing to help my sleep get on track. Feeling better through exercise and healthy eating may be the trick. Although I slept an average of five hours a night last week, I had a couple 6 hour nights and a seven hour night.
4. Although I've gained 30 pounds of my current weight in the past six years, this whole thing is not about weight loss. Yes, I do need the few pounds gone to fit my clothes better, but other than that, this is about doing something good for myself. I am/have been involved in a few service groups and feel friendship means being a real part of someone's life. I will always do these things, but I need to make the time I need for a better me. Also, having my first child at age 19, it felt like child-rearing years would last forever. I enjoyed them, but with teenagers now, I've reached a point in life where they don't need me around all the time and I have the time and money to do things for me. For example, my husband and I want to go on the honeymoon we never had on or around our 20th Anniversary...that's four years away. So as soon as possible in the next six years, I plan on laying around on a beach in Hawaii, at a resort in Mexico, or on a Bahama-bound cruise boat...and bathing suits don't hide what your every day clothes do! If I'm going to do this, I'm going to look and feel great doing it!
5. My father is skinny. He buys shorts in the boys' department - size 14. When he and my mother have gone for physicals, his numbers have come back higher than hers in things like cholesterol and triglycerides. They call it "skinny fat." So, while I have (had) the metabolism and genes, if the inside isn't healthy, then your skinniness means nothing.
6. It's important to be healthy, I've put it off long enough. Period.
So that's my goal and those are my reasons. I know I don't have to justify anything to anyone, but I think the point has to be made that we don't know everything going on in someone's life and why they are doing what they are doing. Exercise without healthy eating will not be a benefit and healthy eating won't truly benefit you without exercise. I know this rings true with others because we all need a level of health awareness in our lives, regardless of our body's build or current state of health. I've just finally hit the point where I need to do this.
|The mindset itself is the biggest change.|