Earlier this year, I quit drinking. My life changed for the better after doing so. Exponentially. I mean, it turned around completely. And sometimes, I just need to remind myself of that fact. You know, maybe someday I will be able to live my life responsibly, while enjoying a drink every now and then. Right now isn't that time, though. And just need to remember that. That's it. I don't miss drinking. But every now and then, I have to tell myself that me not drinking is much better than me drinking.
So with that out of the way (it's been bugging me a bit!) let's talk about December. I've made a bet with a friend at work. I'm going sugar-free and grain-free for the next 24 days. Maybe longer, who knows? I want to add in an exercise component, too. Especially since I've been pretty much sedentary since returning to school this fall. Time to start actually acting like I'm going to run a half marathon in six months.
I used the not drinking thing as an excuse to lose focus on.. well, everything but not drinking. And I really shouldn't say it was an excuse. It was with good reason. I needed to focus on that. But now I'm to the point where I don't need to think about that part of my life 24/7. I can begin to focus on some of my other goals. Like fitness and health. And, you know, finishing school with decent grades.
So uh... Yeah, I'm going to use the next 24 days to get on track. What's that they say about creating habits? 21 days, right? Yeah, who knows about that. But it's worth a try, right? If I can go 300 days without drinking, I can definitely make smart, healthy decisions for the next three weeks, right?
Well, I've decided that I need to make some pretty substantial changes. I've known for awhile, really. But I'm reminding myself again that it's time grow up, take my life into my own hands and do something with it. This applies to all aspects of my life. My list so far includes: Diet Exercise Finances Relationships Work I'm kind of reminded of the hierarchy of needs here? Like once I get myself all straightened out, everything else will straighten itself out? I dunno. Just a thought. Anyway, I should say that as I write this I think about when I first separated from the The Other Half and how I said to him then that I needed to figure stuff out. Figure myself out. Get my shit together. I feel I've made quite a bit of progress in that endeavor, but I'm only just now getting to the point where I'm confident enough to set some real goals for myself and test my own strength. So let's start with diet. I purposefully placed diet and exercise in their own individual categories because, let's face it, one step at time. However I'm planning on attacking each of the items above simultaneously, just placing more focus on one or two at a time. Diet. This is a really difficult one. Well over a year ago, I adhered to a very strict diet for several months. Dropped 20 pounds, hit the gym three to five times a week, all while maintaining a very low caloric intake and eating very healthy food. It was not easy, but it was nowhere near as challenging as I find it to be now. And I know exactly why! Back when I did it before, I worked in an office. In a cube. Where I brought my own lunches and the only temptations I faced were in the vending machines and since I don't carry change, they really weren't an issue! But now. Where do I work now? A friggin' grocery store. How do you quit eating junk when you are surrounded by it all day, every day? It's not going to be easy, I assure. But it must be possible. So here's the plan. I want to transition to the Paleo diet. Gradually at first, but I'd like to be about 80% Paleo by the end of September. My 20% will of course consist of cheese and beer. Haha. But anyway, yeah. That's the goal. Limit my options, eat clean, and feel better. I'm starting one week at a time. Five days on, two days eating what I want. Slowly getting rid of all the grains and cheeses and not so lean meats I have in my house. And the junk food (read: ice cream, pudding, etc.). Aaaannndd... Exercise. I am registering to run a 5K this October. And I will do it this time. No ifs, ands, or buts. After that, sometime around January, I will run a 10K. THEN! I want to run the Shamrock 15K! And finally, a half marathon sometime around summer of next year. I CAN do it. Just have to stick to it. And actually train. So, to get started with both of these adventures, I've made myself a delicious and healthy almost-paleo lunch for work tomorrow (there's some string cheese and sugar-free chocolate pudding in there!) and I'm getting up early enough to gather some stuff together so I can go to the gym after work. But that means I actually need to go to bed at a reasonable hour so I'm not rushing around and forgetting things. One more thing before I go, though. Highlights. 1. Even though the poor thing was ill this morning, it was nice to be able just cuddle and hang out with my daughter. It's been awhile since she's really wanted to be close to mommy like that for longer than ten seconds. So laying around watching a movie and taking a nap together was pretty awesome. 2. Clean sheets on the bed! Though I've needed to wash them for, ahem, some time, my daughter's upset tummy kinda forced the issue earlier today! Soooo, clean sheets, pillowcases, duvet and even a tidied up room. Love it. Peaceful place to end the day. Good night!
A lady was in my store shopping yesterday. She couldn’t have been any taller than I, if even that tall. She was very fit. Dressed in running shorts and tank top, I couldn’t help but notice how perfectly sculpted her legs and arms were. I’m a girl. We tend to check out and compare ourselves to other girls. Or at least I do. I found myself looking at her almost longingly, feeling jealous of her build and wishing I could look the same. The thought crossed my mind, “She’s so lucky she looks like that!”
Almost immediately I realized how utterly stupid that thought was! She’s not lucky! She worked her ass off for that body! And if I want one like that, I need to realize that I have to do the same thing! I found myself saying, “I could do that, I just don’t have the willpower to be that dedicated, though”. WTF, brain? Who looks at a challenge and immediately comes up with reasons why it can’t be done? I’m not always the most optimistic and positive person, but it’s pretty rare that I’m quick to come up with reasons why something can’t be accomplished.
So why is it that my confidence in my ability to lose weight, eat healthy, and ultimately, get that body I’ve always wanted is so low and unstable? I have a few theories I’m considering at the moment.
We are programmed to think that way. Woman are constantly judging themselves and one another. She’s skinnier than I am, she’s prettier, altogether she seems to have a much better life. But why? How is she so different than me? And why do I feel the need to compare myself to her? Dumb. But we do it anyway.
I work in a freaking grocery store and even though we have a decent selection of healthy options, we also have an overwhelming assortment of just the opposite.In my face.Every.Single. Day.My store has THREE AISLES of frozen food options.THREE.Why is it necessary to have eight doors of Marie Callendar’s artery clogging entrees?That’s no exaggeration.Frozen meat and veggies, even a few of the simple meal starters, I get it.But all of this prepackaged-complete-meal-with-five-times-your-RDI-of-sodium-throw-me-in-the-microwave-for-five-minutes-on high “meals”?Why is that necessary?And how could they possibly be any good for you?That being said, they are so damn convenient.And cheap!And right there and ready to go in minutes.Perfect for the standard retail management lunch break of approximately 12 minutes.
I’m lazy.I know that getting in shape isn’t just something you do for awhile.It’s a lifestyle change.And until I fully commit to that (and that involves my family making the commitment, too), I often wonder, what’s the point?But then why is it so hard to commit to being healthy?
So here’s my thoughts after mulling over all of this for the past few hours, coming across some seriously awesome blogs via Pinterest, and chatting back and forth with the other half: It’s time for a lifestyle change. I need to feel better, physically, mentally, and so on. I need to make a commitment to change several things. My eating/fitness habits, my drinking habits, my spending habits, and... my job. So many things come down to these simple, controllable aspects of my life. While the job thing isn’t entirely in my control, it is ultimately my decision what I do with my life, and my responsibility to take the steps necessary to ensure it isn’t making me miserable.
It's definitely just about time for me to close my eyes and drift off to dream land. Long day at work after a long night of staying up too late, imbibing a few tasty beverages, and nerding out the future husband-or-something. I'm tired. But I've wanted to log in and post for some time now. Getting back to the subject of my last post. The two highlights of each day. I've been thinking of them when I remember, but never writing them down. And while I do experience catharsis from simply reflecting on the day and all of it's good parts, I feel like this whole thing will be more effective if I actually follow through with the original plan and record these positive thoughts. So for now, I'll be brief, and hopefully will have a minute to elaborate tomorrow.
1. My precious baby girl allowing her slightly hungover mommy to snooze on the couch while she busied and entertained herself with the millions of toys she has in her room. Her excited smile and exclamation of, "Mommy! You're awake!" when I finally decided to roll over and face the day was quite awesome, as well. :)
2. Climbing into this bed. I always forget how amazingly comfortable it is. I cannot wait to snuggle up with my blankets and pillows and knock out for the night.
I have so much going on in my head that I want to write about but I am just TOO tired to do so right now. Stay tuned for "Back to it, part deux".