I’m taking a week or so off from blogging to get my head on straight. I’ve been really struggling with dieting and exercise. So right now, I don’t have a lot of advice to offer. I’ll be back in a little while, hopefully with a lot more enthusiasm.
Making the choice 02/02/2012
“Life is a sum of all your choices.” – Albert Camus
Every day for more years than I care to remember, I have made a choice to be unhealthy.
I have chosen to polish off that bag of sour cream and onion potato chips while watching television. I have chosen to skip the gym. I have chosen the gargantuan steak and french fries when I meet friends at a restaurant. I have chosen to drive rather than walk to the corner store. I have chosen to ignore all good sense when it comes to what I eat , when I eat it and how I can make up for it with moving more.
There was a brief time a few years back that I chose differently. I chose to watch what I eat, to treat the gym as a requirement instead of an option, to take small steps to improve my life. As a result, I lost 75 pounds in the space of a year. I started dating a cute boy. I improved my wardrobe options. I didn’t get winded while climbing a flight of stairs.
Then I got a new job, in a new town where I didn’t know anyone. I had a rough break up with a boy I’d been dating. I had trouble with my new boss. And I started making choices that were different from the ones that I’d been making.
All of which brings me to today. The choices I’ve made caused me to be 75+ pounds overweight. The choices I’ve made led me to be diabetic. After I was diagnosed, I continued to make bad choices.
My choices have led me to being on four different medications, which cost me more than $80 a month. And if I keep making the same choices, I will die of any number of complications that come from having diabetes.
So really, my diabetes is making me choose. I either get serious about losing weight, eating right and getting healthy, or I face kidney failure, heart attack, blindness and possible amputation. When you start thinking like that, there’s really no choice at all.
That’s what I keep having to remind myself about, when that little voice in my head starts whispering that there’s always time to start getting healthy tomorrow or next week. When I get angry about my diabetes, or sad about it. When I feel lazy about going to the gym, when I get a craving for french fries or chocolate-covered caramels.
I can choose the easy way, the habits I’ve had for years now. Or I can choose better habits, ones that will lead me to a svelte figure, cute clothes and working kidneys. The choice is up to me.
Your turn: What healthy choices do you struggle with?
Overcoming all or nothing 01/20/2012
I have a confession to make. I am a perfectionist.
Now, I know I don’t look like it. I need to lose 75 pounds and I could probably spend a little more time in the mirror before I leave for work in the mornings. Or, you know, at least make sure there aren’t any visible stains on my shirt.
I guess calling myself a perfectionist isn’t quite accurate. Really, I use the excuse of perfectionism to throw in the towel when I come up against any tiny setback or obstacle on my way to losing weight and getting healthy.
I’m sure some of you know what I’m talking about. Here’s a couple of choice quotes from the voice in my head:
o You already ate that bag of chocolate this morning. You blew it. So it doesn’t matter what you do for the rest of the day, you big fat failure.
o You can’t make it to the gym today. The day is ruined anyway, so why bother even trying to eat right?
And on and on. Here’s a little nugget of truth, though: It takes 3,500 calories to gain a pound. I’ll pause for a moment to let that … uh … digest.
That’s a lot of calories. I’m trying to eat between 2,000 and 2,500 calories a day (I’m fat, so I get to eat more and still lose weight. Woo!). So to gain a pound (a pound!), you have to eat more than an extra day’s worth of food.
Let’s be honest. I can probably plow through 3,500 calories in a day. Take me to the boardwalk at Ocean City, Maryland and I could probably do it in a couple of hours. (Mmmhhh … funnel cake. Mmmhhh …. saltwater taffy. Mmmmhhhh …. margaritas….. Oh, you’re still here. Uhhh, hello.)
Knowing that 3,500 calories makes one pound puts that 300-calorie screwup between breakfast and lunch in perspective. I’m not saying I can screw up every day. But one screwup, especially one that I can defuse quickly, shouldn’t ruin my whole week. And I’m going to focus on that the next time I’m feeling defeated about that doughnut that jumped into my mouth at work.
Your turn: What’s one of your biggest struggles as you try to lose weight? What are some strategies you use to combat them?