Does any of this sound familiar?
It's January! The last decoration is put away and I finally have some time. I feel like a blob from being so off track over the holidays. I'm going to get in the best shape of my life. It's dark, it's winter, there's nothing else to do but exercise this extra weight away.
It's February! Holy moly, it was so cold and dark all last month. I couldn't even make myself go out after I got home for the day. I was hibernating in my pajamas most nights, then I got sick and was down for the count. I have a treadmill, gym membership and class sessions but I just couldn't get myself to do anything. My mojo is gone.
It's March! Daylight saving time is finally here! Woohoo! With the longer days and less wild weather swings, I can really focus on getting in shape. February was just too gray and depressing. This is my month. Besides, I have a trip in 4 weeks, and that will really motivate me to lose this extra weight. My app says to lose three pounds a week by April, all I have to do is exercise 2 hours/day and eat less than 800 calories. I'm on it.
It's April! Well, my trip came and went, I stayed on the calorie deficit diet for two days before I went crazy and ate an entire pizza and followed that up with ice cream and two glasses of wine. So I just wore a cover-up I bought for my trip, made sure no one took my picture, and tried not to think about how I felt sitting by the pool. But all I could think about was how frustrated I felt. I am going to add an hour of walking every day and I should lose a pound a week by May.
It's May! Well, I pulled out my summer clothes and burst into tears. Nothing fits. I went on a few walks but didn't really get consistent, then I simply let everything else that needs done get in the way. It's the end of the school year now, and there is something on the schedule every night. So I am going to set my alarm for an hour earlier and go to the basement and get my workout done that way. If I work out an hour a day for the entire month, I hope to be down ten pounds.
It's June! Wow, it's starting to get hot out there, and I hate this humidity. I'd go for more walks, but I get too sweaty. I can't stand working out in the basement alone. It's so boring. Even though I don't have as much structure to my schedule in June, I am motivated to get this weight off and get in the best shape of my life this summer. I'm going to be so active, hit every Metro Park around, and eat super healthy salads out on the patio. I love summer.
It's July! OMG it's so humid I can't leave the house. I tried to get on track in June, but I ended up accepting invitations to so many parties and cookouts, all I did was eat and drink. Plus, we took a trip to the beach. I thought I'd eat super healthy there, but once I got on vacation, I thought to myself I deserve a break and a reward, I don't want to think about eating healthy or working out. I'll focus on that when I get home.
It's August! I can't believe the summer went so fast. I ended up just buying new summer clothes and wearing stretchy stuff, because I never got on track to get the weight off from last year. Now that school is back in, I'll get on track, get my routine down and get in the best shape of my life. Summer was just too unstructured to get consistent.
It's September! How can it be Labor Day already? I was going to get really focused last month, but we went to the fair and I can't not have fair food at the fair, so I decided to wait until after Labor Day because it's much easier to start all this again on a Monday. I think I'll try the new elimination diet. Even though it is super strict, I think I need that kind of structure to really get anywhere with this. I am afraid to even try on my fall clothes, I can't take it if I have to go shopping for a bigger size. I did try on a pair of jeans and they were so tight, it made me sick.
It's October! Wow, we had some beautiful days in September. I was really looking forward to spending lots of time at Highbanks and Sharon Woods, but work got so overwhelming that I was never able to leave with enough time to get a walk in. I am sad, too, because the parks stay open in the summer until 10 p.m., but closing time is back to 8 p.m. and there is just no way for me to get over there through rush hour traffic and get any miles in before dark. I tried the diet but only made it until Thursday. As soon as Friday came around, I needed a break from all the mental focus and I got what I really wanted when we went out to eat. Once I blew it that bad, I figured what was the point in even trying.
It's November! Holy smokes, daylight saving time has ended and it's getting dark so early. I think maybe now that it's dark in the evenings and there's nothing else to do, I'll be able to focus on my fitness and get to the studio to train. If I really buckle down and add an extra workout, I think I can lose two pounds a week by the end of the year. That would be 16 pounds. I think my clothes would fit, then. That would be awesome.
It's December! Well, I was going to really focus, track all my food and exercise, and lose two pounds a week. I was doing OK but then I got really busy preparing for Thanksgiving, and then of course I ate all that food. I felt so stuffed I felt sick, but I couldn't seem to stop. Oh well, that's what Thanksgiving is for, right? I can't deprive myself over the holidays. We'll be through Christmas in a few weeks and I'll be able to really buckle down. In the meantime, I'm going to do strict portion control by buying only Lean Cuisine and get a head start.
It's January! I got on the scale this morning like I do every morning. I don't know why I do that, it makes me crazy. When I eat like crap the number will drop, and when I eat really healthy it bumps up but I never actually get anywhere. I don't understand. With the amount I think about food, think about exercise, obsess over the number on the scale, and plan out my calories in/calories out, how can I not be making any progress at all? I am so sick of this. I don't remember ever feeling this bad, weighing this much, or being this stuck. But, the last decoration is put away and I finally have some time. I feel like a blob from being so off track last year, and over the holidays. I'm going to get in the best shape of my life...
...as soon as.
For me, this was a horrifying cycle to be stuck in. Year after year, I'd try and try, and end up getting absolutely nowhere, even though I thought about it ALL the time.
Here are the strategies that worked for me, to get out of that mess:
- I got rid of my scale.
- I hired a trainer and committed to lift 2-3x/week ALL YEAR LONG, regardless of season.
- I got a heart rate monitor and learned my zones.
- I found people to walk and/or run with and got my bum to the park several times/week. I joined clubs, groups, signed up for 5K's, and got involved in the community.
- If the weather was bad, I did my walk anyway on my home treadmill or at the gym to music that motivates me (you can drop into most places for under $10, I think the community center is $3.)
- I bought the right layers to go outside in all four seasons.
- I walked mostly in my zone 2 to lose weight (I lost almost 50 pounds)
- I measured my weight loss progress by how my clothes fit, and I got a BodPod measurement every 3-4 months (it shows muscle gained/lost and fat tissue gained/lost).
- I stopped trying to work out in my basement alone, it doesn't work for me, I like someone to talk to.
- I had very specific places that I would go out to eat, where I knew in advance what to order to feel good about myself later.
- I found three simple recipes and made big batches weekly to have on hand (food prep). Still do.
- I changed from having free pass vacations where I ate whatever I felt like, to going on active, healthy vacations (check out Red Mountain Resort with me sometime, I've been there 17 times now.) Best vacation ever and I learned I could come home feeling BETTER than when I left, healthier, more rested and relaxed, feeling GOOD about myself.
- I learned to make meet-ups and social events less crap-food-centric and more active or at least healthier-food-centric. It's not about the food, it's about the people.
- I started learning how to reward myself without food, or with just a small piece of chocolate instead of a sleeve of Thin Mints, pint of ice cream, bag of chips.
- I found classes that I actually enjoy, I sign up and go to them. A regular schedule works best for me (every Tuesday evening for Pump, for example).
- I stay emotionally above the weather (most days), which means I no longer allow the weather, the dark, the season, or anything else to decide how I will spend my time, or what my mood will be. I decided my mood would be Inspired, Motivated, Victorious, Fit and Healthy no matter what.
- I made fitness friends and I told them when I needed help getting motivated, because I knew they understood, but would not cosign my sob story. There's nothing like a friend who will tell you to knock it off and get your bum to the gym because she KNOWS you'll feel better.
- I stopped staying up too late.
- I stopped saying yes to everything I was asked to do, invited to, or felt obligated to attend. If it conflicted with my workouts, I got really, really intentional about what I would allow to take higher priority.
- I spoke faith about fitness, my body, workouts, weight loss and my health. When I changed my words and my thinking, I started to BELIEVE that this was possible for me. That weight loss was possible. Being healthy again was possible. Feeling good about myself was possible.
Something much better. It's there waiting for you. As soon as you are ready.