I'll be turning 41 next week, and for some reason it feels like a bigger deal than turning 40 did. Maybe that's because I'm more "in my 40's" rather than "just turned 40?" Who knows!
This wouldn't be a big deal at all if I had been true to myself and worked on my goals, rather than just "set 'em and forget 'em." Why do I bother setting goals if I'm not willing to do anything to reach them? I am still doing the same things I've always done, pretty much. And even though some of those habits are healthy and good for me, they're not the EXTRA things I need to do to finally be HEALTHY and lose the same 20 pounds I've needed to lose for the past few years anyway.
So it appears obvious as I write this that they're really not goals; they're just empty promises. No, not even promises. They're just meaningless pacifiers that perhaps make me feel better about myself for a moment, or until I wake up the next day and forget all about it.
I exercise, some... I eat right, some of the time. I drink plenty of water, some days. And I get enough sleep, sometimes.
What is the sum of all these some-s? Nada. Zilch. ZE-RO!
Some + Some + Some + Some = None!
And see this?
That's my clock ticking...
and I need to prevent it from turning into this:
. Or this:
. Or something worse, but SparkPeople doesn't have an emoticon that represents DEATH. (Probably a good thing!!)
So what is next? What do I need to do to give myself the fat-butt-kicking that I desperately need? I read blogs from friends who are experiencing wake-up calls with their own health, or losing their mothers to bad health caused by their own poor choices, and I see women in my daily "real world" life who appear, to me, to be ticking time bombs themselves. People say I don't "look fat," except for my mother - thank God - who tells me the truth... and my Thai massage therapist who recently said "You legs be get too big!"
And there are plenty of signs that are painfully obvious to me, and plenty of self-sabotage:
... I get winded getting up at night to go to the bathroom downstairs. It's only 14 stair steps from one floor of my house to the next, with a landing halfway in between. It's not like it's some 6-story mansion.
... I catch a glimpse of myself in a mirror - or, recently, a glimpse of my shadow - and quickly suck it in, as if that will fool anyone.
... I lose my breath singing in church, for pete's sake!!
... I just feel uncomfortable in my own skin.
... My blood pressure jumps to 210/90 after a car accident... and granted it's normal to jump in such an incident, but after that I started monitoring myself and... yes, it's a little too high. Every day.
... I feel like crap after eating crap. (Note to self: Figure that one out, Einstein!)
... When I see "fat" people on TV or on the street or wherever, I sincerely wonder to myself if I'm *that* big. And then console myself if I conclude in the negative. Pathetic, I know.
... I feel badly about myself when I see these two pretty, fit, active, thin women at work, although the ones I'm thinking of in particular are wonderful women who I admire and respect. They're the women I want to be but don't yet believe I can be.
... I don't go to the gym because I don't want to be the pathetic fat lady doing too little, too late. I tell myself I'll just do my workout DVDs at home. But I've had my new Coach Nicole's 28-day Bootcamp DVD since it was released (December?) and haven't gotten past day 3 yet.
... My body aches and it's not just because of the car accident or previous injuries. In my heart I *KNOW* that I am putting far too much pressure on my joints and asking way too much of my organs.
I'm 5'8 and if I'm honest I will admit that I am between 20-25 pounds overweight, depending on the day. It fluctuates from week to week by about 3 pounds, up and down and inevitably up again.
And you know what really makes it worse? I'm so good at cheering others on! I tell one friend, "You don't have to lose 20 pounds. You have to lose 5 pounds. And when that's gone you can lose another 5, and so on until you're done." In the past month she has lost 12 pounds and a ton of inches. In that same time frame I have gained and lost and gained the same 3-4 pounds.
I'm a team leader who sometimes feels like a fraud. I changed my ticker to "Fitness Minutes" because I don't want to lie about my weight, but I don't want the world to see my failure. My fitness minutes are consistent, but definitely not enough to create any changes. My clothing size stays the same, but it's too big. I console myself with lies like "it's okay because I'm not gaining," but just because I can still wear the same size does not mean it still fits. Just because my scale hovers around the same 5-pound measure doesn't mean I'm doing okay.
I also tell myself all the things I like about myself - such as I'm great at my job, my family loves me, and I have created a beautiful home for myself. This is a great practice and I highly recommend it, but don't do what I do and let yourself believe that it's enough and you don't have to worry about your weight or your health if you just focus on those good things. If we let our weight and health go down the dark tunnel, those other good things can't help but follow eventually.
Now, lest you think I'm having a pity party instead of a birthday party, I want to end this blog with some hopeful, optimistic, motivational rah-rah. But I just don't have it right now.
But I know that when I feel this way, I have to choose just one thing, just one step, just one habit to try again.
I can drink some more water, walk some extra minutes, eat some more veggies, do SOME small thing tomorrow, even if it's just ONE small thing. Then do it again the next day. And the next. And keep going until I don't even have to think about it anymore. Then add something else. This will work, right? The key is to pick something EASY when I feel this badly about myself, like... um... eat breakfast every day but not Pop-Tarts or McDonald's. Get up just 15 minutes earlier so I can make a healthy breakfast every day. But that's two things - getting up earlier AND making breakfast. Actually it's three things, because getting up earlier means going to bed earlier. So let's start with just that last one...
Starting tomorrow night, I will go to bed before 10pm no matter what I still "need" to get done. In all honesty, there's really nothing I "need" to get done at night, except that I need to turn off the tv or computer or put away the book or laundry and just simply GO TO BED.
There it is, my baby step #1 - bedtime by ten.
It's not much, I know, but I also know that sometimes we get soooo down on ourselves, or we struggle with seasonal or situational depression/blues sometimes, and a small step like this one is all we can manage.
Funny how just writing it all out in a blog like this can help clear the cobwebs just a tiny little bit and give me a tiny little glimmer of hope! Thanks for listening (reading) and for all the support I know is about to come... I love my Spark people!!!