One year ago today I sat on my living room floor surrounded by cookbooks and calendar sheets. I was laying out three months worth of recipes, meal plans and grocery lists in my attempt to get my family finances in order and my waistline in check.
One year ago I had fallen prey to the “I’m too busy/tired/ovewhelmed/whatever to cook and/or exercise cycle and we were on a steady diet of chicken nuggets, carrot sticks and couch sitting around here and I was sick and tired of it. So, I planned meals. Then a few weeks later I entered a boot camp to get my butt of the couch.
Quite honestly, when I sat down with all those cookbooks a year ago I never imagined it would actually take. Sure, it was a fun activity for New Year’s Day, but in a million years I would not have imagined that simple act of meal planning would not only last beyond January 15th, but would lead to an entire life change.
One year later I’m 20 pounds lighter, my BMI is down FOUR points and, more important than my weight, my health profile overall makes me proud. I went for a physical Friday and got numbers for cholesterol, blood sugar, BMI and blood pressure about which my doctor said, “I’d like most of my clients to figure out how to be you”. Another good thing (ish) is that my Vitamin D was way low. Why is that good? Because it explains why, despite a healthy diet and exercise, I’m still battling fatigue. My doctor gave me a prescription for (HUGE!) supplement and said I should start having my energy match my effort pretty soon.
I went for a run on New Year’s Day because, that is what I do now. I run. Pretty regularly. When I don’t run, I do some yoga on DVD or lift weights or do circuit training that I learned from my one month of Skinny Girl training. What I do now is move-somehow, someway, without judgement. I don’t beat myself up if I miss a day but I also don’t quit if I miss a day either. I just make sure I exercise regularly and I’ve let go of the incessant need to do, be, make the best. I don’t wait for situations to be perfect. I don’t try to carve out 60 minutes and then skip the whole thing when I can’t. I just go, for as long and as hard as I can and then I pat myself on the back for the effort.
Last year I was excellent at over-thinking and then making excuses for why I couldn’t, wouldn’t, shouldn’t.
This year, I try not to think. I just do.
Please hear me when I say I’m nowhere near finished and under no illusion that I’ve got it all figured out. I ate way too many Christmas cookies and probably drank too much wine last week. My run on New Year’s Day was the first in about four days-four days in which I did nothing but lay around-sometimes in my pajamas until lunch. I’m not writing this to brag or to prove something. I’m writing this because I wanted to share that I’ve learned that when you just put your head down and DO, great things can happen. I didn’t start out 2011 trying to lose weight or thinking of my fitness as a resolution. Honestly, I didn’t expect the meal planning to last past January and the consistent fitness didn’t even really kick in until July. I waffled for six whole months between fully committed and fully comatose.
I didn’t make any resolutions last year. I just made a decision, every morning when I woke up, to try to take care of myself. I decided to make an effort to cook more and eat right. I decided to put on my running clothes. And then later in the day I’d have to decide to actually run. It’s still not easy, but it is more routine.
I decided one year ago, and then every new day, to do whatever I could to make my life healthier so it would last longer.
I figured my kids deserved that.
And just maybe, so did I.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.