Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Three Months

So I'm not going to write about my kids today.  Today's post is about me.  So you can stop reading now if you came here for cute pictures.  No pics today.

Three months ago was Christmas.  And a few weeks before Christmas I decided that I just was not happy with my overall health.  I wasn't sick.  I just felt down about the way I looked and the way I felt.  I wrote in one post that I was the heaviest I had ever been, not pregnant.

I had tried and failed on multiple occasions since Cohen was born to get myself exercising and eating right.  It was just so hard to get myself off on the right foot.  Though I felt like my eating was better than average, I just couldn't overcome the bad things I ate because I couldn't find the time to exercise.

So I was trying through the holidays to make better decisions with food and to walk more.  Then for Christmas, Clif gave me a Jawbone UP24 band.  It's a fitness tracker, like a Fitbit.  On December 26th I activated mine and it has given me just the kick in the ass I needed.

Since Christmas the following has happened...

- My clothes aren't tight anymore
- Yesterday I fit into a pair of jeans that I bought when I was training for my half marathon, when I was at my lightest since...I don't know since
- I've lost 14 pounds
- I exercise at least 4 times a week
- I'm eating healthier than I ever have
- I've only had 3 diet sodas
- I rarely eat out
- For the first time in a long time, I am seeing changes in my body and it's not due to another human being growing inside my abdomen

How did I do it?  How has it stuck for three months this time?  How have I not given in like I always do?  Well...I'm not really sure.  I know this.  I know that I was tired of feeling so sluggish and blah with myself.  I know that I am a huge data geek and I love any kind of real data.  Real numbers spit out right in front of me.  I know that I had to change the way I think about lots of things.

But I can't point to one thing that has made it stick this time.  The fitness tracker has been awesome.  Knowing that I'm going to put everything I put in my mouth into an app and it's going to call me out for eating crap has been a huge motivating factor.  Watching my step number go up every time I take a flight of stairs or walk around my office floor has also helped.  I love that it's this real time analysis of my calories in and out and at any time I can look at it and see if I can eat that piece of birthday cake.

It also made me realize how sedentary my life is.  I mean, I kind of knew.  I sit at a desk all day.  But guess what?  The days that I don't go to work, I am even more of a slug.  For instance, right now, I'm working from home.  I haven't taken nearly the number of steps I take while I'm in my office.  Normally, by noon I've hit 4-5000 steps.  Right now, I'm under 2000.  Guess what that tells me?  I need to fit the gym in today.

Speaking of the gym...oof.  It is not easy.  I had to come to the realization that I'm never going to consistently make it out to exercise after Clif gets home from work.  So, I'm doing it in the morning.  Now, I am a morning person and I love to get it done in the morning.  However, I have to be at work at 7.  I have 45-60 minutes of commute time.  It takes me about 45 minutes to get ready.  That means, usually, I get up around 5:20 to make it to work on time.  Not anymore.  Now, I'm getting up at 4:45 and I can really only get in about 25-35 minutes of exercise before I have to shower and get ready at the gym and leave by 6:20 at the absolute latest.  And I had to cut a bunch of getting ready time.  Hair...spritzed with leave in conditioner and left to air dry.  Makeup...bronzer and mascara.  Boom...done.  I also had to pack up the night before.  So my clothes were picked out and there is no searching through closets or laundry baskets at 6am before I rush out the door.

Also the night before...I pack my lunch.  And it's not just my lunch, it's the food I'll eat all day with the exception of dinner.  I barely buy meat.  And I've really started cutting back on the dairy as well.  Now I spend most of my grocery money on fruits, vegetables, and nuts that I can snack on all day.  I can't remember the last time I bought lunch out while I was at work.

Something that definitely shifted, other than my movement and my eating...the way I think about things.  In the past, I would start this healthy journey and then a day or two in, I'd have a cookie or a piece of candy and then I'd just blow it.  I'd think, "Well, I already screwed up my day...why stop now?"  Sure I'll eat that burger, and fries, and drink that Coke, and why not have some ice cream.

Now, I have a new mantra.  Actually, I have a few...
Everything is temporary.
This too shall pass.
One stumble does not make me a failure.
Next week, tomorrow, or this afternoon is a brand new time to make the best decisions I can.

I've had my bad days.  I've had days where I can't stand to say these things to myself.  But overall, this switch is happening in my brain and I'm believing it.

I still have a long way to go to get to where I believe is my healthiest self.  I still love sugar.  Still have a hard time passing up chocolate and cookies.  I still love to veg out in front of the TV.  Still love to be lazy.  Still love to waste time on Facebook and email.  But now, I have this little wristband that buzzes me if I'm on my arse too long.  And I absolutely make sure I'm entering everything I eat.  So technology is holding me accountable, and for now, it's working.
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