And now, the dramatic conclusion…
I Saw the Sign and It Opened Up My Eyes I Saw the Sign
If you’re following our story closely you might’ve noticed a pattern in my thinking. Or at least I noticed one as I attempted to piece it all together to explain. A large part of my stimulus for weight loss seemed to begin with me getting down on myself. And it’s true. Sometimes I would say mean things in my head like, yeah, good idea, eat another cookie, fatty. Or, I would present harsh realities such as, lazybutts develop chronic illnesses and die slowly and alone, so, uh, chew on that. Seriously. I’m not proud of it, but this is what would happen in the shadowy, back corners of my mind even as I went down dress size after dress size. I’d gone from a tight 18 to a loose 10–I was a certified medium–but I saw the same 215 pounds in the mirror.
I thought back to my mentor’s advice, just because your waist goes down does not mean your confidence goes up. I began to understand. See, because my mentor, despite amazing efforts and success, still used the finger-down-the-throat-method when she ate too much or too decadently. She is truly one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen, but she had a secret life of shame. Speaking as a once-bulimic, I know how hard a habit like that is to break. After all, it was my love of another person–not so much myself–that finally broke the habit for me. I saw how much my actions had hurt my family and could no longer justify the behavior.
The best solution is to go on ahead and start loving yourself now. Love yourself for whatever reason you can find and hold on to. Do it because you’re awesome. [Because you are!] Do it because I said so. [Because I do!] Do it because you know you want to. [You know it’s true!] Because it feels good.
Identify Your Reasons
Up until I met my Honeybee I’d wanted to lose weight strictly for the purpose of looking good. I wanted to go shopping and easily find things in my size for a change. But after the glow of his St. Patrick’s Day proposal wore off I thought, I love where I am so much that I want to be able to live this life as long and as hard as possible. I want to be there for my husband until death do us part and the partin’ better be like a hundred years from now maybe two hundred if I switch to whole grain pasta. And that’s when [I switched to whole grain pasta and] my weight-loss-to-look-good changed into a weight-loss-for-fitness-and-overall-health plan. And I’m so glad! Like I always say, whatever it takes. But what if I hadn’t’ve found him so soon? How long would it have taken for me to finally ascertain the importance of fitness? Would I have developed diabetes or some other illness?
Questions like that vex me. I could spend way too long thinking and thinking or I could be thankful for what I have [a Honeybee who’s loved me from the biggest size right on down to the smallest] and share the experience with anyone kind enough to read about it so maybe it doesn’t take the next person as long as it took me. I figured sharing would be better.
[If you like to share, too, comment or message me! I’d love to hear it. :D]
Puff Puff Pass
Oh and another thing! Both the surgeon general and common sense say smoking is bad for you. Duh. But that doesn’t necessarily mean I haven’t enjoyed it. I have. I know! It’s stupid. Right now I’m proud that I’ve cut down so much [because just like fitness, I’m finding my own path of cessation]. According to this health risk calculator, nicotine and I have loose connection so that’s at least a little victory. Some smokers I know seem to think that jogging is impossible for them. Not true, friend. Actually, running [and other cardiovascular exercises, especially those that involve jumping] are known to rebuild lung tissue. Rebuild. That initial hardship on your lungs is growth, is health. Don’t fight it!
Feel the Hydration
Nutrition 101 required this giant text-book. [So glad it was an online class!] For the most part it read like a giant text-book, too, but I admired how it was structured. It followed the digestive path from initial thoughts of hunger, through the physical act of eating, through digestion of lipids, proteins and vitamins all the way to satiation and, finally, excretion. For the most part, its tone regarded the human body as a wonder but on the matter of thirst, it implied a flaw in our system. Once water splashes over our tongues, after just a sip, our mouth starts sending signals to our brain that we’re drinking and we don’t need to feel thirsty anymore. We’ve got semi-faulty-quench-sensors! So it’s especially important to drink plenty of water. Not necessarily eight cups, though, every body is different. Use a hydration calculator to determine the proper ouncage for you. To make it easy, I have a designated bottle that I travel with [bpa free plastic bottle], and another at home [glass bottle]. If you decide to go for the bottle method make it extra easy on yourself by attaining a Dawn bottle brush. When I got mine I thought, geez $5 for a scrubby brush?! This is bull! Once I used it, it dawned on me [get it? dawned, ha!] that it has a spring inside so the more you push it into the bottle the more it spins to clean those hard to reach corners. By the time I’m done cleaning my bottle it looks so crystal clear I get thirsty!
U-N-I-T-Y [that’s unity]
Don’t underestimate the power of talking about your goals. I’m a naturally positive [read: talkative] person but the more I worked at fitness and the more I talked about it to friends, the more solid the plans became. This principle works for most aspirations. Try it. You’ll find that the universe wants to help you, all you have to do is ask.
The Most Important Thing
I’ve thrown around the word important a lot in this series. It’s important to drink water. It’s important to work out. It’s important to make an effort at health and fitness. But, if I may, just once more, use it in conjunction with an italicized most: The most important thing is to begin. To simply start. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent watching Celebrity Fit Club eating Cheetos! Just watching! All that time I thought, I’m taking notice for when I start working out. This is the research phase. I’ll get started on Monday. Monday comes around and I’m like, I’m too stressed to eat right, I’ll start Wednesday. Wednesday I’m like, ugh but McDonald’s is right here! See what I’m saying?
So start. Now! Go! Get outta here! Shoo! Decide what step one looks like for you and get to steppin’!
I wish you all the luck in the world!