Getting back on track.
That’s the saying, and that’s the way that I’m going to ease myself back into healthy habits, by treating my health like a track, or a road, or a city lane. Really, any place where a stoplight could be found is what I’m envisioning here.
At the beginning of the year I got a small little pocket calendar. It was free, it has a pixilated scenic picture on the front, and it is now going to measure my progress and slim me down while I’m in school for this spring semester.
Each day I will mark on the pocket calendar one of three colors. Green for good (I had a really productive day), yellow for average (I could have done better today), and red for (I don’t want to talk about it let’s just move along to tomorrow).
Red light green light style I’ve created a plan that seems wonderfully capable of working for me at this moment in my life where I’m easily discouraged and disappointed in my health behavior.
Not a perfect start, but a start non the less!
Each day is entirely subjective and up to my interpretation of red, yellow, or green; the calendar is general enough that I am not always comparing myself and coming up short; and this little plan is still enough to motivate me to along at the sight of the red days being engulfed around green and yellow squares.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m adding some goals along with this tracker to add some punch to my progress, but I think this seems like a great way to not beat myself up over the bad days while gradually easing myself into a healthy lifestyle again.
I cannot even imagine being any more frustrated or upset or angry with myself.
I don’t want to get back on track because I’m feeling bummed out and hungry.
I need new clothes but don’t want to buy them for this extra weight I found.
The winter time always catches me depressed and craving carbohydrates.
I have a wedding coming up this summer that I have to slim down for.
Tomorrow I have to wear my bathing suit to the polar bear plunge.
I’ve been avoiding looking at my weight gain in the mirror.
I want to exercise but I am so sick of having to start over.
Every day I say it’s a fresh start, but then I see donuts.
I wish my family was a better healthy influence.
I’ve gained back all of the weight that I lost.
I will eventually feel better about myself.
I don’t feel good about myself right now.
Both of my parents are overweight. My brother has horrible eating habits. My boyfriend does not exercise. My friends would rather eat cake than carrots.
All around me it seems that the people I care about do not want the same thing as me. I’m not trying to coerce them into joining me on a weight loss excursion, but I would like them to take into account how difficult it is for me to be with people who are not only not participating in my activities, but whose actions go directly against my healthier lifestyle.
But how to tell your mother that even if you don’t eat seconds, it doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate her cooking?
How to tell your father that if you’d rather run on the treadmill in the morning than go out for donuts, you still love spending time with him?
To tell your brother that a whole bag of chips does not equate to a serving size seems an impossible task.
Telling your boyfriend that going for a walk is jus as nice as video games would be a struggle.
I have some ground work to lay down over the next few weeks while I’m back at home during winter break. And I think it’s about time that I set up a support system for myself so that my setting is actually working for me rather than against me.
I read the blogs on WordPress. I love knowing what other people are up to and how they decide to approach the topics of health and fitness. But lately, I’ve been a bit disappointed that the fitness posts aren’t rolling in like they use to.
Yes, it’s winter, and yes it’s more difficult to find gym time amidst Christmas shopping excursions, but that’s no need to give up all of the progress made over those warm and carefree summer months.
Which is why I can’ wait for January. Not only will I be looking forward to starting on my own overarching yearly goals, but I’m excited to see a surge of posts revolving around the health of others.
I don’t tell people that I’m trying to lose weight.
I say that my stomach hurts to explain away saying no to cake. I tell people that I’m meeting friends at the gym to ensure that I couldn’t break my plans with the elliptical. And I pay no attention to how my clothes fit so that people don’t know how often I think of my body.
I don’t like drawing attention to the fact that I’m trying to be healthier.
And I know exactly why:
I don’t want the embarrassment that comes with professing to be so devoted to my health, only to renege on my goals and go back to openly professing my love of brownie style cookies.
Because that’s what happens. A lot. I prove exactly how much I’d like to get and stay fit by going to the gym every day, eating exactly the right foods, and beinga model of excellence for all of those with similar goals. And then something happens that makes me slip (that unknowable force that suddenly takes away the happiness you feel when running and leaves your only source of satisfaction as entirely dependent on consuming an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s) and I’m left floundering to explain to those same people that I suddenly don’t have plans with friends at the gym and that my stomach is miraculously feeling better and do you have any extra cheese I can put on this sandwich?
I know that it would be good to get support from those around me, and I know that so many people would be there to cheer me on if I could only be open and honest with them, but that’s hard when I’ve rightfully come to expect failure from myself.
As the year is winding down, I find myself reflecting upon everything that I’ve accomplished over the past many months.
I’ve run races, I’ve become pescetarian, I’ve started this blog, I’ve lounged on my butt, I’ve eaten healthier, I’ve lost weight, I’ve gained weight, I’ve lifted weight, I’ve bought new clothes, I’ve survived major food-based holidays, I’ve ignored the gym, I’ve tried cardioboxing.
Yes, I haven’t been perfect, but I have been happy.
It may seem a little early to be tallying up all that I’ve done this year as we still have a few weeks left in December, but lately I’ve been feeling a bit down.
It’s partly a result of the winter blues, partly the end of my challenge, and partly the fact that I’m in finals mode and want to combust. That’s why I need to remind myself:
I’ve been happy.
Life is constantly in flux, and I’m alright with that. I may be down right now, but it’s only a matter of time before I’m doing better than ever, and with the time to make New Year’s resolutions fast approaching, I’m sensing a renewed enthusiasm for my dedication to health and an upswing in time spent at the gym.