This week, I have been following the program, and had to cut out artificial sweeteners and the small amount of coffee creamer that I was using - and logging - but which made the morning cup of joe exactly the way I liked it. I cut back from three to one cup of coffee a day (during the winter...during the summer, I only had two cups anyway) - and was hesitant to give it up. Some people are anti-caffeine...but not me. It is a simple pleasure of life that I don't intend to give up.
Until my sweetener and creamer was taken away.
There is nothing like learning to drink coffee black. Unadorned, plain, hot and boring. Some people like the taste, but I found that I really liked the effects enough to try to make it work. Five days later, I can tolerate it. It isn't nirvana...but that's fine.
I won't get into what oatmeal without sweetener or almond milk is like. I just praise God for cinnamon and blackberries.
Why I am here - as of today 99 pounds from my goal weight - is because I made a whole lot of bad food choices. I chose convenience over cooking my own meals. I chose to eat my feelings instead of working them out. Chose to mindlessly not give a rat's behind what I was putting in my body or care about how it was responding. Chose to give in to the notion that I was middle- aged and I may as well look like it.
All c-rap, by the way.
Don't think I'm some kind of super-human disciplined mega-star of Paleo or anything, because that's not the case. I'm not even eating Paleo...although there are some similarities. What I have done is decided that I have two options here. Two. Not twenty. Not several. Two.
And to quote Yoda...they are "Do or not do. There is no try."
Do or not do. I can do whatever I need to do to lose this weight in a healthy way or I can slip back into old habits. I don't have the option of a "cheat meal" or a "bite of something" or anything else. I have DO. I have "log the food." I have "eat what I planned." I have "weigh daily." I have "take a whole food multivitamin." I have "exercise...including cardio and weight training." I have "showing up." I have "limitations on what I'll eat - both in scope and in volume." I have "drink at least 64 oz of water a day up to 120 oz."
While that may seem difficult or burdensome to some people...to me, it is freedom. It is the peace of knowing that I am doing all that is humanly possible to get my weight off. It is the determination to do all that I can and trust God, my teachers, and the program to do the rest. Basic science may tell you that you have to eat less than you burn off, but what it doesn't address is the quality of what you put in...and your output. I'm addressing those too.
I'm down 41 pounds as of this morning. I have 99 to go.
To some people, they might think..."well, I could do the water...or the exercise...but I like my glass of wine every night." Well, fine. That's a choice you're making. A compromise. As for me, I don't have that luxury. No alcohol.
Others may say, "Yogurt is healthy, so I'm not giving that up." Fine. But dairy is off the table for me. I'm actually allowed to eat plain Greek yogurt. Uh, no, thank you.
Others may think, "I don't have time to go to the gym, and even if I do go...I have no idea what to do once I get there." Well, my response is that showing up is half of the battle. Taking the "walk of shame" past the mirrors and lifting your head up anyway. Getting to a point where you are okay with modifications to your program because you simply are not ready for certain things. In my case...that's lunges. Mine are more baby lunges. Squats? Yes. Lunges? Working on it.
It is my contention that when you are ready...the teachers will appear. Mine did in the form of a very encouraging instructor, another who makes me cool with driving in 25 minutes to attend an 8:30 a.m. Saturday class, a trainer who just offered to help...and he is, and another gym member who told me about isometrics.
If you ask for help, you'll probably get that. My husband cooks breakfast and most dinners. He eats what I eat (and has lost 10 pounds in the process and had to wear a belt to keep his jeans up this morning.) If he wants to eat a Costco hot dog for lunch...that's his business. I'm just extremely grateful that he makes the rest of the day so much easier for me.
Also keep in mind that I'm an "empty nester" and I work near the gym...so it is convenient to just swing left out of the parking lot for there instead of right to go to the house. Plus, my daughter is my workout partner. Knowing that she'll be there with me adds extra incentive.
Speaking of incentive, I have a pair of bright yellow-green tennis shoes waiting for me when I hit 50 pounds off. Cannot wait to wear them.
Just remember that the choices you make every day are taking you down one path or another. If you need help...ask. If you failed at something...try something else. If you start getting weak...get yourself back on track. If you wonder if it is worth it...know that it is. Just choose to quit doing the things that you know are not in your best interest.
I'm not saying that it is an easy choice. It isn't. I am saying, though, that there is a lot of peace and joy in having the monkey off your back.
For me...I choose peace and joy over disgust and hiding my shame (which was always ridiculous since anyone with eyes could see that I was out of control) any day.
It is a new day and you can choose differently today. If you don't know where to start...start with the water. Anyone can do that. Then start reading labels and looking up what you are eating. Find a good program and a host of people to support you. Give yourself a break. Look for the teachers to appear.
They'll show up. Promise.
Choose to be the best you possible. Choose healthy over easy. Choose pushing yourself over the couch. Choose tenacity over apathy. You can do it.
I can too. Let's do this.