In December of 2013 while pet-sitting for a family in Seattle, I became the Urban Hiker Girl. I had become fed up with status quo in my life. I was overweight, sedentary, and unhappy with my life. I was the heaviest I'd ever been in my life and I knew I was going to keep getting heavier if some things didn't change.
While walking the dogs one evening I realized how easy it was to add a little more physical activity into my life. I knew that I had a lot of changes to make, but my goal was important - I wanted to be healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally - something I currently wasn't. So I set a goal, knowing that as I progressed towards it that I might tweak it, and started breaking it down into steps. In addition to my end goal, I also made a mid-year goal. Then I started breaking it down month by month into baby steps.
After I'd set my goals for weight, I set goals for physical activity to help me meet my weight goals. Realizing that healthy food choices also needed to be a part of this process, I started making food goals each month. Had I made all these changes at once, it would have felt overwhelming and unmanageable. But breaking it down into baby steps and small changes over a long period of time, it seemed more manageable and gave me time to adapt to a new life-style a little at a time.
December of 2016, and the status quo of the last few months is not ok. I've gained weight, become more sedentary, resumed some bad eating habits, and I'm unhappy with some areas of my life. I'm not the heaviest I've ever been, but I'm going to keep getting heavier if I don't change some things.
Since I now have a boyfriend who's a very significant part of my life now and my future, I've decided to include him in my planning process. What I do to take care of myself is going to affect him, so I want him to be part of the conversation.
What I do to take care of myself shouldn't be a punishment or because I'm afraid of gaining weight, but should be a celebration of myself through exercise and eating well.
I'm going to go back to my foundations. I'm going to set an end goal and date. I'm going to set a mid-way goal. And I'm going to come up with baby-steps to help me get there a little at a time.
By Valentine's Day, I want to be back into my button pants fitting comfortably. I want to weigh 165 pounds. By mid-January I want to be back to 170 pounds.
While I know cutting out sweets (processed foods and sugary snacks), it doesn't seem reasonable to completely cut them out of my life right now - it's December! Christmas cookie season! But I can set a reasonable, loving limit on the sweets that I'll eat. I'll only eat homemade sweets. (That means no more candy from the secretary's desk, but I can eat some of the sweets at the cookie exchange I'm doing with friends on Friday, as well as the birthday cake that I'm going to make for my boyfriend later this month.) And I'll limit it it to eating sweets once a week because if I eat it too many days in a row I get mood swings, body aches, and inflamed joints (the list goes on and it ain't pretty). Sweets will not be a reward - food should never be a reward - but rather a "sometimes" treat.
I'm going to increase the veggies I eat each day. Lunch and or dinner will include a side of veggies. Hmmmm... maybe I'll even make salad one of my main meals each day during the week (like lunch or dinner). Or bulk up my main entree, like soup or stew or chili, by adding lots of veggies to help fill me up without lots of calories.
And I'm going to make a more significant effort to get to the gym as often as my trainer is currently prescribing. Three days a week doing weight training and two days a week of cardio. Plus one day a week of yoga. And, of course, one night a week (at least!) of dance. All while keeping my regular Thursday night volleyball. With basketball season ending this week, it'll leave me significant more room in my schedule to do this without taking away time from other activities and quality time with my boyfriend.
I can do this. I believe in me. I am gonna rock this plan!