diet

Obstacles and Motivation

I got an email from a reader who had some questions for me. I thought I’d try and address them here.

The vision that motivated me was twofold. First, I was tired of being in pain. I was having a lot of health issues (high blood pressure, pre-diabetic). My back and knees and feet hurt all the time from the extra 100 pounds. Second, I was tired of not being okay in my body. There was definitely an emotional aspect to wanting to lose weight–wanting to be skinny, wanting to be pretty, wanting a life partner some day, wanting to be able to wear cute clothes that actually fit properly. There is definitely a motivating factor in vanity, but I would say that the health issues were the #1 reason I wanted to lose weight.

The biggest obstacle? Good question. I would say there were several. The first obstacle was that the idea of losing 100 pounds was a very overwhelming number. It seemed unattainable. In order to overcome that very scary, very unrealistic goal, I decided I would start small. I was going to be a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding in one year and I wanted to lose 50 pounds by then. I worked really hard and reached that goal and then it didn’t seem so hard to lose another 50 pounds.

Another obstacle would probably be the weight loss plateaus. Those were really hard. I’d be losing weight, feeling better, getting stronger, buying clothes in smaller sizes…and then all of a sudden it would stop. I didn’t know a lot about nutrition, really, and I definitely went through phases of overexercising thinking I could just work off the weight. I see now that that was pretty disordered–like working out for 3 hours because you ate some pizza. That’s not healthy. It’s better to just recognize your mistake and do better the next day…not punish yourself!

I don’t know that I ever “failed.” Failure implies that I gave up or that I stopped trying. I was so determined and so focused on my goals that failure was not an option. I was not going to quit. Even when I hit plateaus, when my weight fluctuated up and down, I kept my eyes on the road and just kept doing what I was doing. And it worked in the end.

These days, I am definitely finding it harder to not look at my lack of weight loss post-baby as a failure. I have been very hard on myself about how difficult it has been to lose even 10 pounds. It can be discouraging and frustrating and depressing. But I am still trying. I never gave up before, and I don’t plan on quitting now.

Whenever I didn’t hit a goal before, I looked at what I was doing and tried to figure out things to I could change. I often got into ruts and switching up my diet helped. Cutting out trigger foods helped (pizza and ice cream). Changing my workouts was definitely good! I started running and fell in love with it and it was very motivating for me in terms of weight loss and just EATING BETTER. I had to re-evaluate everything I was doing to be a better runner.

Training for races helped. It helped keep me focused. It gave me a goal to work towards. It helped me stay motivated to work out. I had something to train for. Something to look forward to. That has been the #1 thing keeping me going–HAVING A GOAL (losing 50 pounds before the wedding, training for a race, etc). I think it’s better to have focused, specific goals instead of vague ideas.

So there ya go, hopefully that answered the questions!

New Year, New Goals

The older I get, the less I am interested in New Year’s Resolutions. I like making lists, I like having goals. I definitely set personal goals for myself and the new year seems like a good time to reflect on those. But I also feel like New Year’s Resolutions are a way to set people up for high expectations and disappointment if we don’t meet those goals (right away!!).

New Year’s Resolutions have been synonymus with weight loss goals. I am still trying to lose the baby weight, and who knows, I may be fighting that fight for awhile! But I am making slow progress on that and at least moving in the right direction.

I’ve said it a few times, but the low carb diet is not a diet for me. It’s too hard for me to maintain for very long. It’s definitely difficult with my workout schedule. I see a big difference in my energy levels when I run during low carb days. It’s HARD.

With that being said, I am not going to swear it off entirely. I think it might be a good way, short term, to jump start weight loss after plateaus. So I will probably try it again in the future, but I will not be beating myself up when I can’t continue the diet for long term. I am ok with that.

One thing I did learn with the low carb diet attempts in 2017, cutting out SUGAR made the bigger difference on the scale for me. IF there is one New Year’s Resolution goal that I might be focusing on, it’s trying to cut out sugar!

2017 was a really hard year for me personally. There was a lot of heavy, hard stuff that happened that weighed on me for a long time. My hope is that 2018 will be a better year for me and my family.

I want to be a better person. I want to be happier with where I am in my life, what size clothes I wear, etc. I want to focus less on things that don’t really matter. I want to be better at self-care and resting when I need to. I want to drink more water. 

We have a few vacations and road trips that we’ve planned. I am really looking forward to those. I’m excited about showing Logan different things and now that he’s getting older and can participate more, it will be fun to make family memories!

Some things I’ve already started:

I started 2018 off right with a workout on New Year’s Day. 😀

A few months ago, Michael and I started a tradition of family dinners at the dining room table Monday-Thursday nights. No TV, no phones, just family time. It’s going well and I am happy that we are doing that.

I’ve been toying with the idea of ending this blog and perhaps starting one entirely dedicated to book reviews. I don’t know if I will, but it’s a thought I’ve had for awhile. Stay tuned. 😉

QUESTION: Do you have any goals for the new year?