My typical M.O. each year is to binge eat, binge drink, and lay around throughout the holiday season until New Years Day….and then BAM it’s a new year.
Tons of exercise!
Gallons of water!
Um yeah, just go ahead and walk me out to the ledge now, because I’m headed there anyway.
By Valentine’s Day I’m eating stacks of chocolate bars like double cheeseburgers and washing them down with wine straight from the bottle.
Last year after my third stress fracture, this time in my left foot, I put on a LOT of weight.
It was a eye-opening experience.
I started to journal. I recorded my thoughts. My patterns. My cycles.
I wrote down my struggles. My hopes. My dreams for myself.
I jotted down every failed attempt at weight loss. Every relationship that had derailed me. Every self-destructive and self-depracating moment I could recall.
And after journaling for several months, I noticed that my worst behaviors come after I’ve deprived myself for long periods of time.
In the past, I’ve had a very all or nothing approach to my wellness.
Something will motivate me like my blogger friends, or watching Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead, and I start eating super clean and exercising way too much, to the point where I hurt myself or I’m starving or both.
I typically will sustain this for about a month and then I crash and burn.
Experience has taught me that it is just too much change at one time for an obese body.
It’s not reasonable to go from burritos and Reese cups and zero activity, to green smoothies and kale salad and 45 minute bouts on the elliptical machine.
That’s just straight up friggin nuts.
So I decided to change my approach to wellness altogether.
When I started again, yet again, for the hundredth time…
I changed only one thing, for my first step.
I just started drinking as much water as I could get down in one day.
I didn’t change my eating habits, or any other thing.
I just started drinking water.
Once i had done that for several weeks, then I started moving. I found out quickly that the elliptical machine was too hard on my knees, so instead of giving up, I started walking.
I was going 1.5 mph when I started.
But even 1.5 mph is lapping everyone on the couch.
So I got a pedometer.
And I kept walking.
At first it was only about every third day, but every third day I had 3,000 + steps on my pedometer.
This was pure, mathematical geek proof that I was able to move.
I worked up to 2.0 mph.
Every other day.
Sometimes I had to rest due to chronic foot pain.
But I didn’t give up.
I would rest that day, then walk the next.
I am now to the point where I can walk 2.7 mph for 30 minutes, every other day. When I hurt, I rest. I do not give up. I allow myself to heal, and then I get up again.
That is gradual, attainable change.
Now I am working on controlling the night time binge eating.
Today, I am 20 days without incident.
When there is a lifetime of habitual laziness and gluttony to reform, it cannot be done in a week. Or a month. Or even a year.
It can only be done in a day.
And that day is TOday.
Today is all I have. To be smart. To be strong. To make good choices for myself.
Today is the day that I love myself. And tell myself I am beautiful.
Today I will do what is best for my health. For my body. For my mental well being.
I will not look to tomorrow. Or define myself by a number on a scale.
I will make small, realistic changes. Every single day.
Because right now, today is all I have.