The year 2015 was mine.
The baby weight? Make no mistake, gone.
Determination renewed, laser-beam focus switched to on.
My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my figure. Prepare to die.
I made it Facebook official, tracked with the calorie-counting app My Fitness Pal and started blending green smoothies and running, no, not at the same time. Spring brought a glorious Florida vacation and birthdays and my daughter’s dance recital. June brought a trip to visit friends in Michigan.
Late summer rolled around and I noticed someone had been turning the dryer up to extra extra hot.
Why else would my pants be so tight?
Next, as part of a scheme to save money on my healthcare premium, I submitted to a physical exam. The good news? Every measure of health was better than the year before. Every measure of health but one:
I gained 14 pounds.
The numbers stared up at me from the scale’s cruel, accurate digital face. I hadn’t lost 20 pounds. I’d gained weight.
I returned home and called my sister to curse our genetic code, which, obviously, like the dryer, was to blame for my tight pants.
Here was her advice:
“Make peace with your rolls and have a glass of wine.”
Indeed. I let that sink in over my glass of wine.
She got me thinking. I thought about my mum tum, which I’d long viewed as the enemy.
Wrong. Mum tum is not the enemy.
I’ve been my own worst enemy.
Consider: I’m always encouraging my friends to go easy on themselves regarding baby weight, body image, mum tum etc.
I mean, most of our so-called body problems can be solved with Spanx, ladies, #amiright?
Yet here, in the face of a relatively minor setback, I’ve adopted a negative, punishing mentality toward myself.
And while we’re on the subject, self, why have I made weight alone a number alone the goal?
Don’t get me wrong, here. Would I like to lose some weight?
Of course! Gimme a break, half the population is tumbling toward obesity. Half of us will be there by 2030 at the rate we’re moving now! The fact of the matter is, most of us could stand to shed 20 pounds.
In the face of my amazing 20 pound weight loss failure, I realized that a number should not be the end-all-be-all measure of success.
What am I doing this for? What am I really doing this for?
I thought some more.
It’s not only about torching fat.
My son has a chronic illness, so it makes a lot of sense to eat right and get regular exercise to prevent more chronic illness from entering my family’s picture.
Another thing – exercise is a lot more than a calorie scorcher. Each workout, even those I don’t want to do (ie most) provides a huge mental boost. I notice I’ve got more energy to face the day when I go for a jog or take a class at the gym.
I started thinking about all the things I get from exercise that have nothing to do with weight.
For one, I’ve developed a great friendship with my co-worker, Brianna, a runner as slow as I am!
After my August encounter with cruel digital scale, I convinced her to train for a half marathon. We completed the race in October.
Exercise is a lot more fun when it’s social. That got me thinking other aspects of wellness that are part of the bigger picture.
I’m moving and counting calories with My Fitness Pal, sure.
But what did I neglect in 2015? How about sleep? Yes. How about stress reduction? Yes.
Yoga might help there. I got two DVDs from the library. I managed to not give them a try but renew without fines!
The great thing about fitness – and just taking care of yourself generally – is that if something isn’t working, you can switch it up. I don’t care if it’s a cliche. Every day is a new day. A chance to start over.
Along those lines, since August, I’ve busted up my exercise routine, including less running and more strength training exercises.
Over the course of the year I’ve adjusted the settings My Fitness Pal calorie counter three times.
I’m getting set to sign up for another race, an 8-miler. I use the app Runtastic to coach interval training sessions instead of doing the usual long, slow runs.
I said my goal for the Healthy 65 challenge was strength.
Strength is exactly what I need to move on from setbacks, and to keep trying.
By the way, I lost five pounds.
Failure? Nah. I’m calling this year a win.
P.S.: I’ve also put on muscle and ran my fastest slow half marathon ever (Brianna just pointed out, while noting “#$%^ scales #thatswhatfriendsarefor)
I’m in the midst of the Healthy 65. It’s a 65-day wellness challenge.
Participants are encouraged to pick a simple goal and keep it up from Nov. 30, 2015 through Groundhog Day, Feb. 2.
Share your healthy effort by using the hashtag #healthy65 on Twitter or Instagram.
Make sure to look for Healthy 65 posts on NewsOK.com, too, in a special spot on the sidebar at the right side of the page.
What will your goal be?
Mine is strength – physical and mental. Translation: weights and yoga.
I started the Healthy 65 to help her son Eli stay well. He has a chronic and life-threatening lung illness called cystic fibrosis. Children have a hard time pronouncing the disease and sometimes call it “65 roses.” This blog documents my family’s experiences raising a child with CF.