Sunday, February 17, 2013
How's that saying go? Today is the first day of the rest of your life? I like that one. Granted, I really like my life -- two amazing daughters (nah, I'm not biased. They really are), an incredible husband (college sweethearts, been together more than 22 years, which -- ahem -- kind of gives clues you in that I'm not a 20-something anymore. And not a 30-something either). I have a great, full time job, wonderful friends.
I've also got 40 pounds that I'd like to kick out the door.
Yep, I'm one of those who has struggled with weight since I was a chubby 5th grader in my blue school uniform, the youngest face in my Weight Watchers class. So I've been battling this since, well, I can remember. I've been fat. Nothing wrong with the word "fat". Fat doesn't mean ugly, it just describes where I was at. I was, at my heaviest, 220 pounds. I couldn't cross my legs. I couldn't sit in the chair in my college classes. I couldn't find jeans that fit. So I lost weight. A lot. Like 80 pounds. Then my weight bumped up and down (like one of those out of control carnival rides) for a loooong time, tho never that high again. In fact, about five years ago, I'd reached a good healthy weight for me and stayed there. Then I had a medical condition. I had to go on a medication that causes weight gain. A LOT of weight gain. Back up to 200. In the four years since, I've lost about 50 pounds, gained some, and now have the last 40 to go. (Nah, I'm not shirking responsibility. It really was medication related, but I fully acknowledge I've had a love-hate relationship with food forever. So the fact I am still carrying around this 40 pounds I "own", in psychobabble terms. I haven't eaten healthy, I've eaten an entire pint of Ben and Jerry's Chunky Munky while watching Mad Men -- in other words, I gained the weight but didn't do near enough to do anything about it).
So now I'm here. Will I make it? I dunno. Wish I could say "yes! absolutely!" But I'm going to try. I believe that's enough to feel proud about. Sometimes the hardest part of trying to take better care of yourself is deciding to try to change -- getting past that fear of failure, the inner voice that says "you can't do this. It's too much work, you'll just fail again." Getting past all that and saying "I'm going to try to lose this weight" is a huge accomplishment. It means we are putting faith in ourselves. It means we are taking that tenuous chance to believe we can do something hard and succeed. It means telling the inner doubt to shut up, thank you very much, because it's time to do this for me. Not to look like the skinny 20-somethings in the magazines. Not to get a better job, a new life, trendier clothes. But for us. Because while at times it may FEEL like we're depriving ourselves -- "no, thank you, I don't want any of that delicious looking chocolate mousse. I'm enjoying these carrots" (when, lets face it, we want that chocolate mousse like a newly quit smoker wants a puff) -- what we're really doing by embarking on this journey is saying "I'm worth it." I'm worth the time it takes to carve out 10 minutes a day to exercise. I'm worth the time it takes to fix up a delicious Argula salad with beets instead of popping in a frozen pizza.
I'm worth the time.
That's a huge accomplishment. So if anyone out there in the Spark world is reading this -- you've had a bad day, you ate too much at dinner, you didn't finish the three mile run -- STOP. Instead of looking at what you haven't done and the goals you have yet to reach, pat yourself on the back for trying. This is about mini goals, not how fast you finish the race. Because, along the way, we're learning an important lesson it can take a lifetime to really know: We are worth it. Our health is worth it.
So smile, we can do this. We can try.
And yes, Arugula really CAN be delicious....