I don’t know where you are, but where I’m at the winter has passed us by with hardly even a whimper. We had about two days of severe weather and temperatures more in the 40s and 50s than in the typical 20s and 30s.
I’m not complaining, mind you, but I draw attention to how brilliant the weather has been to make one point:
Why on earth have I allowed myself to slack off?
I weighed myself the other day and noticed that it hovered 3 or 4 pounds more than it was at the end of last year. Sure, that doesn’t seem like a lot of weight, but it’s creeping up and once that happens, I’m a stone’s throw away from destroying any good I’ve done the past year.
You’d think with the wonderful weather that I’d stay motivated and feel empowered to charge through my routines every day – not so. I’ve felt drained, uninspired and just tired.
Even with my whole willpower week, there crept into the picture a few things that I’m not too proud of:
- Dried fruit became my “excuse” snack. I fell into the trap of thinking that crystallized pineapple and dried dates were better for me than other sweets. On one level, sure (they have more vitamins than an Oreo), but on the other, they are full of sugar. Sugar equals calories and those calories were starting to add up.
- My mother got me started on the dark chocolate “therapy” and while it is good for your health, it isn’t necessarily good for your waistband if you happen to not make appropriate allowances. I wasn’t eating much (two pieces from a Trader Joe’s Dark chocolate bar), but it was again the law of addition striking again.
- Cereal is my go-to snack for after work. I love cereal and while the types I buy are healthy (Weetabix, Barbara’s Shredded Oats and Kashi Go Lean), I was starting to eat it “by eye”. I used to use a measuring cup to pour out exact portions, but then I decided that I “deserved” the extra amount that just might fall into the bowl since I was working so hard. I would also go back for small “seconds” of another cereal since I had “extra” milk. These were things that I wouldn’t have dreamed of doing a year ago, but were actions I would have gladly done back when I was heavier. It’s amazing how much we can justify bad habits.
- I was not giving exercise my all every day. Sure, I still did my workouts, but they were done with reluctance. I was thinking more like “I have to get this done or else…” and not “I’m really looking forward to it!” like before. I used to go to bed anticipating (happily) what routine I would do in the morning. Now, I find it difficult to get myself going, even though I normally still strap on the shoes and pop in the DVD. This meant, however, a sub-par workout session that probably didn’t burn as many calories as it might have if I was more into it.
So, while being a bit down about things at work, and trying to think about how to blog about my recent escapades into “old me” land, I came across this LiveStrong article that addresses failed resolutions. Apparently the failure rate of those that make resolutions is 88%. That’s high. That’s so high, I wonder what the other 12% is doing to make them succeed. Or do they just end up failing in August.
I’m finding it harder this year than last to stay motivated. I’m not sure if it’s due to the weather (even though it’s been so mild we can go take walks), the lack of novelty value in my routines (even though I’ve acquired three new DVDs), or even a lack of structure (I don’t plan out a routine and keep track of it like I used to). Whatever is causing this blah feeling is starting to get me down. I don’t want to be a part of the 88%! I want to win every single time and I don’t want to fail at something I set out to do myself.
This is what I listed as my 2012 goals:
2012, Here I come!
- I hope to allow myself more leniency and not beat myself over every little transgression. This applies to my personal life, my work life and, more frequently, my health(y) life.
- I want to continue the exercise and health goals I set for 2011. I want to keep me as the focus and remember that if I let my inner cookie monster win, we’ll be right back into 2009, overweight and unhealthy.
- I plan to build my relationship with myself. This means tapping into bits of me that I’m scared of, or that I’ve ignored. That paint set that my hubby thoughtfully bought me last year? Picasso, roll over right now because I’m moving in!
- Balance will be my keyword this year. Balance in all areas of my life. What will it take to get to that point? No clue, but I plan to at least keep it in my sights. It might get a bit foggy and I might have to take a roundabout or two, but my final destination is set.
I like that girl. She’s got focus. She’s got motivation and she has spirit. I want to get that back.
So, it’s back to the drawing board and back to the tried and true basics that worked last year.
- Designate 4 “treat” days a month. This means I can have a “treat” out (like ice cream, cake and such), but only 4 times. This sounds like a lot of days and I debated changing it to 3, but I think 4 has a good ring to it. It means we can have fun, but I have to pick and choose more carefully. It means that I can also feel a big WIN if I don’t use up all of my treat days in a month. I’ve designated the days as lollipops on the white board on my fridge. Each time I have a treat out, I fill it in. It’s only March 8th and I already have half my lollipops filled in. That’s startlingly and slightly scary. One lollipop was for the cheesecake I had at the Cheesecake Factory and the other was my chocolate chip cookie I had at Barnes and Noble since hubby only ate a small corner. Hubby, sweet thing that he is, claims that it shouldn’t count (it was just a cookie after all). I say it should, because it was combined with other “nibbles” I shared with him that weekend and that all adds up to one BIG nibble. I can already feel this method working. Just today, I was hungry after having spent ages running around the town doing chores. I was tempted by the quickie carbs (donuts, mainly), but I resisted because I knew I had to save the lollipops for the rest of the month. I also knew that one more lollipop was going to be used when we go visit my parents in a couple of weeks. That left me with one lollipop and I’m going to save it for something BIG. Bingo!
- No more dried fruit binges unless it’s dried prunes. Prunes are high in fiber and therefore a better option. They’re a bit sweet without totally racking up the calories and they’re full of antioxidants. I won’t buy the other dried fruit until I can get back to resisting them more effectively.
- Cereal in the evening must be measured out and not left up to my weak-willed and tired brain. I have these measuring bowls with a premeasured line.
I’m going to use the 1 cup bowl to measure up to the half cup line so that I don’t overdo things. It doesn’t make sense to eat too much right before bed, anyways. I’m also going to stop taking seconds on the cereal. That was a bad idea and I knew it while I was doing it, but I thought I could “absorb” the impact of the calories. Apparently, not so.
That’s a good list to go with for now. I’ll see how things go in the weeks to come. Hopefully I’ll get back that sparky girl I lost sometime in February.