The Journey Begins

Today’s post is a bit long, but hopefully will be worth the read. 🙂

My 29th birthday was 4 days ago, and over the past couple weeks, I’ve really been thinking about a lot of things-where I want to be in my life, what are some goals that I want to accomplish, etc., and as far as my health, where I want to be is so far from where I am that it’s really time for a change. What better time to make a huge change than when you’re staring at the precipice of a new decade! That’s when everyone does these things, right? Well, here’s the big goal… I am going to get down to my goal weight by my 30th birthday. If I follow the safe weight loss guidelines, that’s more than 2 lbs a week, so I’m giving myself a 15 lb leeway. If I get down to within 15 lbs of my goal weight by the morning of my 30th birthday, I’m getting myself something that I’ve always wanted. What is it that I’ve always wanted? Well, you’ll just have to wait 364 days to find out!

So how am I getting there?

Well, obviously since I failed my Whole30 once again, going super strict paleo is out-for now at least. I’m really frustrated at myself for failing, but let’s be honest… I set myself up to be doomed from the beginning. My mindset was that I just needed to get through the 30 days, and then I could go back to eating whatever I wanted, which is so not the point of the Whole30. I think that’s my problem with every diet I’ve ever done; I think of it like a temporary thing that I just need to get through until I can get to whatever goal it is that I want to get to, and then when I’m done, I can have all the cake and cookies and pizza and burgers I’ve been yearning for while on my diet. Obviously that doesn’t work.

If you want lasting change, you have to make changes that are going to last. For me, cutting out all sugar and carbs is not a lasting change that I can make. The thought of never having pizza again is a very sad thought indeed! I know that I need to make some changes, but they have to be changes that I can live with for the rest of my life because I want a new, healthier life. I love food, and I love trying new things, so severely restricting what I can and can’t eat just doesn’t work for me. I like the idea of not having to count calories or macros, but cutting out huge groups of foods and trying to tell myself that I can’t have them anymore just makes me want them more. Now the big question is what will work for me? That is something I am going to have to figure out. I have a plan, but it is flexible as I think a good lifelong diet should be. Our lives and bodies are constantly changing, so sticking to the same thing forever and ever amen, probably won’t work for most people.

My starting plan is to do a sort of hybrid diet combining mostly paleo with calorie counting. My focus is going to be on getting in high quality proteins, healthy fats, and veggies. However, I’m not putting anything on the no-no list. If I feel like having yogurt for breakfast one day, I will. If someone brings in a treat at work that looks too good to pass up, I’ll let myself have some as long as it’s within moderation, and it’s not all the time. If I find a dish that is high in veggies and protein, but also has some noodles or soy sauce in it, I’ll probably make it.

The point is, I’m going to make protein, veggies and healthy fat the priority, and work the other stuff in as I see fit without being so strict and regimented about which foods are “good” and which ones are “bad.” In order to repair my relationship with food, I need to get out of that mindset altogether. No foods are inherently good or bad. It’s just food. It’s our choices regarding food that are good or bad.

Ok, it’s confession time… In order to really start myself off on the right foot, I want to be completely honest to hold myself accountable. I am at the heaviest weight I have ever been at in my life. (Well, I did lose a little weight on my Whole21, so I’m technically 5 lbs down from the heaviest weight I’ve ever been.) Things have gotten so out of hand that I am now 115 lbs overweight. 115 lbs! That’s an entire (tiny) person!

This is a very hard thing to admit, but in order to get myself to a better place, I feel I need to be open and honest with myself and make it public. Being 115 lbs overweight is not ok! Now before I get comments about how I’m fat shaming, I’m not. I actually love myself. I think I look good despite the added weight, but because I love myself, I want to make choices that love my body. Carrying around all this extra weight makes my body work harder than it should, and it’s given me some health issues that are undeniably caused by my weight. (Hello asthma, back pain, and fatigue!) If you are overweight, confident in your body, and not having any health issues, good for you! If you are experiencing health issues, I would encourage you to take care of it, but ultimately it’s your life, and the only one who has any right to say anything about it is you. No one has the right to make comments about your life or your body unless they’re living in it.

Alright, off my soapbox now… Anyway, to have a truly healthy lifestyle, you need to not only eat well, but also be active. I think I’ve been doing pretty well with this side of things over the last several weeks.  I have been working out pretty regularly. For the last 6 weeks (aside from the week I hurt my back and was unable to work out), I’ve worked out at least 3 times a week. This is my longest streak in… I don’t even know.

I think the trick with my new motivation is twofold. The first thing is that I’ve always thought of exercise as something I had to do in order to lose weight. It was never something that I wanted to do, and I would always find excuses not to do it. But that just means that I was trying the wrong workouts.

Some people love going to the gym and spending hours on the treadmill and lifting weights. I hate it. It’s the most boring thing I could think of to do with my time. What I love though is Pilates and yoga and dancing. I also like fitness games like the Wii fit and my old Xbox Kinect games. To me, these things aren’t boring. I actually enjoy doing them, and it’s something that I even look forward to. When I was trying to force myself to go to the gym, I went for a few weeks, and then I stopped going. Now that I’m doing Pilates in the mornings, I actually want to do it.

I used to feel like I needed so much motivation to get myself moving, but now that I am back to doing something I enjoy, I’m really not worried about this side of the equation. I am going to step it up and work in more work outs, but I’m just going to keep up the workouts that I’m doing. 🙂 As with the food plan, I’m sure that as my body changes, I will need to change and make things more challenging, but for now, I’m going to stick with what I’m doing until it stops working.

So there you have it… I have a goal of losing 115 lbs in 362 days, and I am determined to make it happen! Since I did my initial weigh in on a Wednesday, I will make that my check in day. I hope you’ll keep checking in on my progress and cheering me along! 🙂

Before, never again

Here is my before. I will never look like this again!

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