Saturday, January 28, 2012
There came a point about 3 years ago in my weight loss and fitness journey that I knew if I was going to progress any farther I would have to spend more time in the gym and cooking healthy foods. And in order to do that, I was going to have to give something up. After conducting a rather painful lifestyle self-examination, I realized what needed to go: Sewing.
I am a very good seamstress, if I do say so myself. I have been sewing for about 30 years now. Since I am a perfectionist, I wasn't happy turning out anything that didn't look positively beautiful. And perfection takes time. A LOT of time! I figured as long as I was putting the effort in, it might as well be right. And it was. Here are photos of just a few of my beloved projects (these were done before I lost my weight):
But I had to get honest with myself and reevaluate my priorities. After some internal examination I decided the proper place to focus my energies and time was now on getting healthier for not only myself, but for my family. Additionally, I wasn't able to spend the time helping others like I wanted because my butt was stuck in a chair in front of a sewing machine manipulating fabric. So I finished up the last of my important projects and put sewing on the back burner. That was a couple of years ago, and I haven't regretted the decision since, although sometimes I do get a little melancholy about it.
This doesn't mean I don't ever sew, because in a pinch I do. And I am grateful for my sewing skills. For instance, I made a lovely fully lined wool trench coat for my daughter this winter- She is tall and willowy, and at almost 6 feet tall and 125 lbs nothing was fitting her. (This is not an exaggeration- literally NOTHING fit her even close to properly with those very long limbs.) Marching practices for the high school band would have been miserable without a warm and properly-fitting winter coat. I literally don't know what she'd of done if I couldn't sew. Here are a few of pictures of the project:
But other than the rare project, my sewing maching sits neglected in it's cabinet.
Another thing I have just recently given up is baking. This was an even harder one to abandon than sewing. Baking gives instant gratification and makes my family very happy! This in turn makes me happy! But I eat what I bake, and the stuff sitting around, even if I do avoid it, gets me thinking in a direction that is not good for my health. (I'm sorry, but my experience has been that even with healthier ingredients, it's very difficult to make baked goods that are truly good for you and taste good, too.) So, like sewing, unless it's for a rare occasion, baking is pretty much out of my life.
When people say that living healthy is a lifestyle, they aren't kidding! I'm not saying you have to abandon ALL of your time-consuming or bad-for-you habits right now. I see skinny people who sew and healthy people who bake. I just can't be one of them. At least not for the time being.
Habits are formed gradually and new practices towards healthier living are best added little by little, as you feel ready for the the changes. The truth is that if 5 years ago you'd of told me I'd of all but stopped both sewing AND (bigger shock!) baking, I'd of told you that you were talking to the wrong woman. If you knew me back then, you are nodding your head in agreement. :-)
The moral of my story? Don't be afraid to reevaluate and be honest with yourself about what needs to exit your life. I can pretty much guarantee that over time, as you progress into becoming fitter and healthier, your life will look a lot different than it does today. And that's Ok. Giving up things that slow your progress is not giving in- It's being mature and honest enough with yourself to say "This isn't in my best interest anymore". Your family may balk a bit (my 15-year old is still asking for brownies), but eventually they'll come to accept and appreciate that you made the hard choices in not only your best interest, but theirs as well.