It’s the first full week of the new year, and I’m sure that I’m in ample company in my resolve this week to start eating healthier and exercising more. I’ve seen posts from a few of my favorite bloggers about types of workouts they like, workout gear they recommend, and great ideas for keeping motivated. I used to write stuff like that, too. I had Motivation Monday theme posts that I kept up for awhile, but like a lot of things, those pretty much went by the wayside last year.
I’m not exactly sure how I went from a person who was pretty focused on healthy eating and fitness to one who routinely indulged in junk food and basically paid a gym membership as a charitable donation, since I never went. What I suspect is that the culprit was major upheaval in my life at the end of 2013, which completely and utterly disrupted my routine. I was living somewhere new, I was on my own for meal prep for the first time in six years, and I was dealing with a lot of anxiety. Since losing weight in the first place a few years ago was largely centered around establishing and sticking to a routine, having that crash down around me probably really contributed to my ultimate backsliding in 2014.
I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever really been overweight. My heaviest was about 155 pounds back in 2007, and was the aftermath of a bad breakup that just happened to coincide with taking a new job with long hours. The drive-thru and TV became my best friends.
About halfway through 2007, I hit a wall and realized that I didn’t feel good about the way I looked and that I wanted to change. I joined a gym and put myself on a diet, although I look back at said diet and cringe because I knew nothing about nutrition and lasting weight loss, so I just stuck to a very low-calorie diet that didn’t really do much to benefit me. I lost weight, because I ate less and worked out more, but I wasn’t feeding my body effectively.
By 2008 I had dropped twenty pounds, and was feeling better about myself, even though I did want to lose more weight. I transitioned from Slimfast shakes to salads or Lean Cuisine meals for lunches, and for the most part dinners were healthy home-cooked meals.
It wasn’t until I moved to Washington, and started Zumba, that my focus really shifted from just being thin to being fit. I began learning about how to eat to give myself energy and to fuel my workouts. I dropped another ten pounds, and kept it off effortlessly because exercise and healthy eating were part of my day to day life. I wasn’t on a diet, there wasn’t anything I restricted myself from having. I had good muscle tone and felt amazing about myself.
You would think that, having traveled that journey, I would’ve learned enough to keep myself from ever falling into old patterns. But like I said at the beginning of this post, routine is essential to my maintaining good habits, and all semblance of routine went out the window last year. Over the last twelve months, I knew I was falling off my good-habits wagon. I made a few feeble attempts to stop the madness, and would have some success…but ultimately would slip again. And now, here I am, fifteen pounds heavier. That doesn’t make me feel good. I look at the pictures of myself at my smaller size and feel a mix of shame that I let that go, and fear that I can never get it back.
I remember what it felt like to feel beautiful, and proud of my looks. I no longer feel that way. In order to get my confidence back, the extra weight has to go. I have NO excuses. I’m in a happy, stable place in my life and I have a great support system. I just have to do the work. That’s why trying the Dukan Diet is so important to me. It gives me hope, a road map that I’ve been assured I can follow, one that will lead me to success. It allows me to eat enough that I can still do the kind of workouts I enjoy.
I’ve succeeded on my weight loss journey before, and it definitely sucks to be where I am right now. But hopefully I can stick with this and be successful again.