The past two months have not been the best months for me, healthy-living wise. I quit Weight Watchers. I stopped writing my #cbdiet posts. And I generally just took a break from all the tracking and struggling and disappointment. This is going to sound backwards, I know, but there was this relief once I decided to stop worrying about eating healthy. I think I needed to take the pressure off of struggling so much to live a healthy lifestyle and just live my life without the structure of a meal plan or tracking book.
And while it helped me get through the mess that has been my life for the past two months, it also lead to a nice 10-lb weight gain and all my pants being tight as hell. I’m having back pain and sleep comes fitfully.
But the past two months have been a growing (ha!) experience for me. I don’t want to eat healthy and exercise a lot only because I think my body is disgusting and needs to be skinnier. I want to eat healthy because it’s good for me and makes me feel awesome about myself. I want the extrinsic rewards definitely. I want to be thinner and proud of my body. But I also want the intrinsic because that’s going to carry so much farther than any extrinsic reward.
What I’ve started realizing is that my worth is not determined by the size of my pants. I think this was the biggest part of my downfall before: I was measuring my awesomeness by how well I was following a healthy living plan and losing weight. If I was struggling, it meant there was something fundamentally wrong with me as a person. Which is silly and ridiculous and I am just as amazing, no matter what the scale says.
And, above all, I need to discover what I need to make this healthy living journey a success — and something I can do for the long run. There is nothing wrong with me if I’m not running marathons or drinking daily green smoothies or going on crazy juicing fasts. All of those things are awesome but if they don’t interest me? That’s okay. We don’t all have to take the same path to healthiness and I need to recognize what foods and behaviors and activities that I need to keep me on a path to being healthy and fit.
Losing weight and maintaining a healthy lifestyle has always been a struggle for me. I don’t have the best relationship with food and use it as comfort and rewards, instead of something that simply fuels my body. I never want to lose my love for food and the joy it brings me, but I also want to heal this part of me and recognize the ways I sabotage myself in my quest to be a more healthy individual. With every failed journey comes new lessons learned and habits formed. I’ve become a more regular exerciser and I make healthier decisions than I did a year ago. Maybe not every day and maybe I make more unhealthy ones, but I’m doing better.
I’ve learned that, in order for me to stick with this long-term, I have to make small changes. I have to take baby steps and gradually work out the unhealthy stuff and work in the healthy stuff. I know I need to kick my soda habit. (And not replace it with a diet habit. Sorry, but you can’t convince me that diet soda is better than the regular stuff. They are both terrible for you.) I need to follow a low-sugar diet. I need to meal plan and stock my fridge with stuff that won’t tempt me to nibble and snack away.
I also know I do better when I’m working towards something and have accountability and community. And so this is my “official” announcement that I am joining this round of the Biggest Blogging Loser. I’m really excited to join in and have something big to work towards because I think this will really help my motivation and keep me pushing when I’m struggling. You can find out all the details here (there’s a $20 fee to join but this goes towards prizes). This round starts on Monday so email Regan if you want to join in, too! I think it is just what I need to stop messing around and get serious.
I’m going to keep chasing after this healthy living thing until I get it right. The option of just completely giving up is not even on the table. I’m not going to let my discouragement of failing again and again keep me from picking myself back up and trying again.