Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Staying Committed

One of the things I have always struggled with and always tried to excuse is my weight. I know I'm not alone in that, a lot of people do the same thing. Over the years we slowly put on weight and we make plans to lose it again. We set deadlines that pass us by. We rethink everything in our lives and that lasts for about a week.

My excuses were probably similar to those we always hear. I'm too busy to exercise. I will eat better tomorrow. I just had a baby, you can't expect me to bounce back right away. If I had more money, I would get a gym membership and everything would be better. I've got a million of them.

However, it all comes down to the same thing. I just haven't been committed to really losing weight a being healthy. I was temporarily committed back in September because I had to fit into a bridesmaid dress and I wanted to look nice for my dear friend. So, I did Slim Fast shakes twice a day for a couple of weeks and went down 10 lbs to get in the that dress.

Then, I stopped. I was too busy, too tired, and blah, blah, blah. Here is the truth...I wasn't committed to being healthy. Eating out is faster. Eating packaged meals is easier. Staying inside is much easier than getting outside. After the holidays, I got motivated again. I even thought about joining in on the Soap Queen "Crazy Sexy Diet" group. But, I didn't. I had great reasons. I was too busy, it was too expensive (because buying fresh fruits and vegetables is just a ridiculous idea?), and it was too radical. There was no way I could give up sugar, coffee, meat, and flour.
Hayden is 4 months here.
Hayden is 1 year. Notice a difference, yeah, me neither.

Okay, really it was too radical of a change for me. A 21 day cleanse sounds great and truly is, but I honestly need to reevaluate my lifestyle, not just focus on the short term. Because on day 22, you would have found me in a restaurant eating a steak, mashed taters, a LARGE glass of coke, and ice cream to dip the steak in. Instead, I decided to make small changes that I could adjust to before making more changes.

Step one, I gave up candy and ice cream for Lent (no, I'm not Catholic, but I do understand the reasons behind the sacrifice). I made the decision on a whim, while listening to a morning show. I knew it would be a good idea because those were my biggest weaknesses. I actually managed to do it! I still have not have ice cream and my candy intake has been almost nonexistent.

Step two, give up coffee. Really, it isn't to coffee, it is the cream and sugar in the coffee. I have officially switched to decaf and will be out of that soon! I also made the decision to avoid soda most of the time. No need to trade one caffeine for another or to add back in the sugar I took out!

Step three, increase the number of fresh foods in my diet. I found another idea on Soap Queen (I like that she posts about health :) about making green smoothies. I have had to experiment with the recipe on her blog and I did lots of searches to other ideas. I am happy to say that some of my experiments were great, others weren't, but I managed to drink it anyway. I have had a smoothie everyday for two weeks and I feel great. I don't have crazy cravings for sugar and my energy level is higher than before.

I still have a long way to go to be considered healthy. But, I only have 10 more pounds to get to my pre-pregnancy weight; which means I've lost 20 lbs so far. The other good news is that, my clothes fit better. I can actually wear some of my shirts that aren't maternity tops. Plus, I've even managed to get into some of my clothes that haven't fit in a while.

I won't lie, it was really hard for me to type and share this, but I feel that I need to. Too many people struggle with their health and their weight and they look at each day as a challenge to be really good. But, it isn't about changing everything and avoiding all temptation in a day. It is about evaluating your lifestyle and making small changes that can make a big difference.

I would love for someone to share their challenge with me. What are the small changes you've made? How do you stay committed?