Happy First Day of Fall! Another glorious summer is now over and in the books. And while summer is by far my favorite season, I do enjoy autumn in Washington. The morning air is cool and crisp, the leaves on the trees are turning to vibrant oranges and reds, and I can start adding back some of my favorite sweaters to my wardrobe.
A lot of people take a break from their normal routines in summertime, whether they’re on a vacation or just spending as much time outside as possible to take advantage of the nice weather. Then once fall comes, it’s back to the grind. School is back in session, the days are shorter, temperatures are cooler. With more of the year gone than remaining, it’s a great time to reflect on where we started, and where we want to be by the time we bid 2015 goodbye.
Since the start of the year, I’ve been struggling with the extra ten pounds I gained in 2014. I started off January strong by going on a diet, but gave up by mid-February and lost all progress I’d made. Over the summer I spent a lot of time outside, and not a lot of time whatsoever in the gym. I indulged a lot. I had fun. Then after Labor Day, I thought to myself, okay, time to reign it in a bit. Time to get back on track. Honestly though, what was I trying to get back on track to accomplish? Yes, I’d like to drop those pesky ten pounds, but was that really the extent of my end game? I know I didn’t do myself any favors by trying to lose weight through dieting. It just doesn’t work for me. I had my greatest successes in the past when I gave up on diets and just focused on being fit and healthy.
I’ve ultimately decided that I do need to recommit, but to my goal from years ago of taking care of myself and living a balanced life. No diets. No extreme workouts. No restrictions and nothing off-limits. Maybe now that I’m in my thirties, what I weigh and look like right now is what the new normal will be for me. I’m not sure if that thinking falls into the category of self-acceptance or if I’m simply giving up and saying I can’t get back to where I was, but either way I am at peace with it.
I’ve spent the month so far packing myself healthy lunches, enjoying my Zumba classes, walks outside, and Body Combat classes at my gym (if you have access to a 24 Hour Fitness,check these classes out, they’re awesome!). I’ve been determined to make more home-cooked meals for dinner and have really enjoyed trying out easy, healthy recipes. Every time I try something new and Bill goes back for seconds, I practically radiate with pride that I made dinner and it was good. I’m balancing these healthy habits with some not-so-healthy, but fun ones: I still play trivia with my friends every Wednesday night at American Brewing Co., and I’m not going to go to my favorite brewery and not enjoy one of their delicious beers! I still eat a slice of birthday cake when someone is celebrating at the office. I still enjoy nice dinners out with Bill. I feel that these indulgences are absolutely okay if I’m eating healthily the rest of the time. And I am no longer going to force myself through workouts that I don’t enjoy. There are so many options for exercise that I love doing, so it seems silly to make myself miserable doing things (like running on treadmills!) that I just don’t like. I’ve exercised much more consistently and felt much more satisfied with my workouts since making this promise to myself.
In keeping with the be-healthy theme, I went to see my doctor this week for a wellness visit. She assured me that my weight and BMI are within the normal range and that she is pleased with where I’m at, and also said that my exercise frequency and levels were exactly where she likes to see them. So, there you have it. I’m healthy, I’m not overweight, I don’t NEED to lose ten pounds. What I do need to do is live a healthy lifestyle and take care of myself.
When I was younger, what I weighed was very much tied into my self-worth and how I felt about myself. This, thankfully, is no longer the case at all. I love my life, just as it is. It’s filled with love and happiness. A number on a scale does not define me and it does not determine my value. I refuse to let it. And anyone who likes me less because I weigh a bit more is not worth my time or energy.
Recommitting to living a healthy life – and giving up on weight loss goals – has been incredibly freeing to me. I am peaceful, calm, happy. And those things are greater than anything a number on a scale could ever say about me.