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My Dirty Little Secrets

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Saturday, April 05, 2014

1) I dislike exercise--sometimes intensely.
I know we're supposed to love physical activity and seek out things that we truly enjoy. The truth for me is, apart from dancing, I don't like exercising and I still find it to be a daily effort to muster up the motivation to get it in. I always love how I feel afterwards, but that doesn't change how I feel before and during a sweat session.

2) I sometimes reward myself with food.
Again, this is another thing we've been conditioned to think we're not supposed to do. Our good health is supposed to be enough of a reward in and of itself and we should find other ways to stay motivated, right? But I find it highly motivating to stay on track the rest of the week knowing that I can have what I want and am craving during my one meal each week. I know this doesn't work for everyone and it took me a while to get comfortable with this strategy, especially since I'm a stress eater, but now I wouldn't trade it for the world. It helps me feel more "normal" and has taken the stress out of social gatherings because I don't have to obsess over my choices. What's more, I still find food to be a wonderful sensory pleasure even if I can't always indulge in what I want when I want it. I do find enjoyment in the healthy meals I make, but I'm still a foodie at heart and there's something in the preparation and eating of special meals, which might not always be the healthiest, that I love and really look forward to.

3) I weigh myself (almost) daily.
We hear a lot about not putting too much stock in the number on the scale and I think it is probably better to not weigh yourself daily if it affects your feelings of self worth. But as a serial regainer, taking my eyes off the scale for too long usually means that I'm ignoring weight gain. Weighing every day keeps me grounded and reinforces that I'm doing the right things to keep my weight and health in check.

4) I used the BMI range to set my goal weight.
I know that there are people who can be perfectly healthy and happy outside of this range, but I think it's generally a good indicator of where most of us should be. I'm not a competitive athlete or aspiring bodybuilder and I don't have any major health issues, so there aren't any compelling reasons for me to think that being and staying within that range isn't achievable. Yes, I choose to be on the higher end for sustainability purposes, but I'm still comfortably within my range.

5) I don't always eat mindfully.
I appreciate the value of savoring our food, its flavor and texture, and enjoying every bite, but sometimes that's just not practical. Sometimes food just has to be fuel to get me through a busy day. Not only do I sometimes eat standing up and literally scarf my food down, but I've also eaten on the run while walking from one appointment to the next. That's just the reality of my life sometimes and it makes me appreciate the times when I can savor a good meal in good time even more.

I'm not sharing these "secrets" to make anyone feel bad or to suggest that my way is the only way. I see people here use strategies that are vastly different from mine with great success every day. My point is that we don't always have to follow conventional wisdom to reach our goals. Just because certain strategies and catch phrases seem to be plastered everywhere doesn't mean that all of them will work for all of us. By tapping into the things that work best for us and avoiding the things that don't we can ALL enjoy success in this journey.
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