PROMPT: Have you even been significantly less or more physically fit than you are today? What was different about that? What was easier? Harder? Did others treat you differently?
I was really fit as a teen. Wasn’t nearly everyone though? I walked two miles to school and home, lifted a 30 lbs back pack most of the day, ran around like a nut bar at lunch and was invited to go do active things with my friends like camping, theme parks, and bonfires at the beach. I was also “blessed” genetically with an hourglass figure so I had a tiny waist, and larger hips and breasts. (I can tell you for a FACT that having an hourglass figure is NOT ideal, no matter what people say. Clothes never fit right >_>) You could count my ribs when I stretched. I was about 110 lbs back then and ate whatever I wanted. I looked good in a bikini even. Life was carefree.
Two kids and ten years later, I’ve still maintained my hourglass shape although it has a significant amount of meat around it now. I gained 50 lbs and still eat whatever I want but that’s mainly due to the depression.
I don’t think that weight gain has changed how people treat me. I married my high school sweet heart so it’s not like I needed a hawt body to gain lovers. He prefers more meaty women anyway (although he admits when I force him to that I have an unhealthy weight at the moment). More cushion for the pushin’. My friends have gained a fair bit of weight themselves so it’s not like they can legit judge me (not that they would). The only bad association I have with my body is my own dissatisfaction with it.
It’s hard to see how over weight I am. I absolutely hate posing for pictures and wearing form-fitting clothing. My knees have a lot of strain on them from the excess weight and I tire easily while hiking or walking places. My strength is at its limit carrying one flat of water from the car to the house. My body is weak and flabby and it adds to the depression.
I’ve tried with increasing success to get into an exercise routine over the years. It hasn’t stuck for one reason or another but I have whittled down all the thousands of variables out there to a few that I consistently come back to.
First one is a free channel on YouTube called FITNESS BLENDER. I love Daniel and Kelli! They’re real people, no gimmicks. Trained professionals without any flash or pomp. Their videos aren’t fakey and peppy with clapping and shouting and loud music. They often do modifications for low impact needs in their videos and they always remind you to breathe and keep proper form. I tell ya, I LIVE for the “Workout complete” at the end. They have hundreds of free videos of all types to choose from. Yoga, HIIT, Tabata, Bored Easily, Strength training, Cardio, Pilates, Stretching, Kettle bell, Weight lifting…there’s something for everyone. You can also buy put-together programs from their website if you need more direction. Super helpful and focused routines. I discovered I love weight lifting because of these videos. And I dislike cardio. Haaa.
Second is a two fold variable that’s a no brainer. 1) Get rid of 90% of the junk food in the house. Candy, cookies, Kool-Aide, soda, ice cream, donuts, muffins…you know, all the good stuff. I do keep some dark chocolate around for those days where I need a sweet treat but the rest is gone. If my kids want a treat we’ll go out and buy a candy bar or an ice cream. Put the effort for the reward. 2) clean eating. Duh. But not all at once!
I’ve found that trying to do whole grains, veggies at every mean, no added salt, no red meat, no packaged dinner, etc is over whelming all at once, especially while trying to make changes for the whole family. It’s basically a one way track to a table flip and binge eating. Instead, do ONE thing first for a few weeks then add something to it.
It’s better to sustain a healthy diet gradually than to completely change your diet all at once. Your body is programmed to want as much food as possible as a survival instinct leftover from the cave man days. (It’s a true fact!) So it won’t like that you’re depriving it or giving it rabbit food at first. But if you give it little bits of things and force it to accept this is OK, then it will be easier to do more in the future. This method works well for me by adding more veggies first. I found out I LOVE Bell Peppers this way. I ate them cooked all the time but now eating them raw is one of my favorite snacks. Throw in some pepper jack cheese and MMMM YUMMY! I found my teeth can handle baby carrots better than regular full carrots and my girls prefer the smaller carrots as well (psychological trick for their brains smaller=less but really it’s one regular sized carrot broken down into littler chunks.) I’d eat broccoli at every meal if I could. Seriously. And I’m down for a salad as long as I have all the stuff to make one.
Exercise really is about sustainability. Humans are “Instant gratification” creatures, which is how we get fat in the first place. It’s not easy to change, no matter what road you take. But make little changes first and you’ll find you’ll beat yourself up a little less when you cheat or fall off the wagon for a bit. Redemption is only a Carrot stick away 😉 Focus on maintenance rather than end results.
And so at the conclusion of this blog post, I want to say I am getting back ON the band wagon. I’m going to try to meet my bestie Owen in May for his graduation. He’s a hard-core fitness buff Kineseologist going to college to be an Athletic Trainer. So I’m a little self-conscious. But major changes can happen in two months with moderate exercise and cutting out half the “Good stuff” from my diet.
Or so he says. We’ll see.