Sunday, February 17, 2013
Many years ago, I had attained my goal in health and fitness. I could run a 10K, I weighed what I wanted, I worked out routinely, I ate 5 a day... I feel like my single greatest accomplishments right now are that I can recognize small positive steps and I don't feel compelled to beat myself with unrealistic expectations. My life is not the same as it used to be.
Back then, I had time to work out at the gym every day, staying for a good long time to attain and then maintain my level of fitness. Now, I walk twice a day, work on some basic multitasking strengthening moves.
Back then, I planned out a detailed menu that usually differed from my then fiance. Now, I have a family and FIL lives with us, so my goals are to plan a family meal each night and make it as balanced as possible. I look for new recipes to keep our lives simple, but to avoid depending entirely on frozen entrees.
Back then, I pushed myself almost to the point of obsession to attain and maintain my goals, and there wasn't much mental room for a slip-up. My thinking was very absolutist, and things were either a failure or a success. Either I made my diet day, or I blew it. Now, I work for sustainable lifestyle changes.
Back then, I pushed my body hard and long. Now, I have some real physical challenges, and I respect what my body *can* do. I remind myself each time that 10 pushups done well today can become more later.
So now, I work on keeping it simple. I have breakfast, snack, and lunch routines that help me keep my diet on track. They're pretty rote, but I like them that way. But it's that routine that lets me be flexible at dinner. It's that routine that lets me have a sliver of cake at the office party. Some nights, I sleep in my walking clothes, because I know the next morning will be a difficult start; when I wake up, I'm ready to go. My excuses are overcome. My shoes are beside my bed, my jacket is on the chair, and my coffee is ready to brew--just press start.
To borrow an awesome AA quote that I learned while working at a substance abuse treatment program: "When I focus on what's good today, I have a good day. When I focus on what's bad, I have a bad day. When I focus on the problem, the problem increases. When I focus on the answer, the answer increases."