Restore Your Home, Restore Your Spirit!
I've discovered there is more than one "right" way to do things. Some people have a clear vision with specific end results in mind. Others are more laid back and live in the mystery and just do what feels right and are OK with whatever result is achieved. Perhaps they feel the outcome is then "meant to be" or maybe it's just a way to not be specific, overly goal oriented and especially never disappointed. Is one way better than the other? I've learned that if you have a specific goal in mind, the clearer you are, the more likely you are to achieve it. However, in real life our desires change and we're not always crystal clear. Our end result can change because we want it to or because of unforeseeable events or maybe, for whatever reason, we couldn't achieve our original goal. Maybe it wasn't meant to be.
When I began the challenge I wanted to lose ten pounds. I thought that I "should." I still would like to but it simply wasn't and isn't my number one priority. Along the journey, I realized one thing that I had really been struggling with was eating healthy while living with others who didn't want to make any changes and they weren't going to support me on any crazy diets or in achieving a healthy lifestyle. I committed to buying, preparing and eating in a healthy way that was doable for my lifestyle and me. I found solutions to eat the way I want to eat while living with others who didn't want to join me on my "health kick." For me, that was a big enough obstacle to overcome and one with ultimate victory. I make meal plans before going to the store, I shop and carefully read labels, I have whole meals that I can grab and go with and cook healthy dinners that my kids like. When I eat out (which isn't often) I know what to avoid or I only eat half a portion. For snacking or emotional eating, I have nuts, dried cranberries or popcorn when I have the munchies or tea when I need something warm. It's better than totally denying myself. I am also not crash dieting or eating too little throughout the day. All of that was a huge shift and I realize a more important one for me to tackle first. Now that I have that under my belt, I can focus more on the exercise piece.
I was doing far too much work and had too many other goals on the challenge to add in enough exercise to lose all the weight. Just tackling the food and squeezing weight training in was a big first step. If I could rename the goal, I think it would be to create healthier eating habits and a better mindset around food and health. I wouldn't make it so much about weight. I overcame a huge challenge and made changes, although not visible, that will positively affect my overall health. Bottom line, I'm healthier. I may not look better yet, but I'll live longer and probably disease free.
Most people who are trying to lose weight go on crash diets or make temporary changes that do not last. Statistically, they gain the initial weight lost and more back and in the process, wreak havoc on their bodies and overall health, ending up worse than they started. A permanent change might take longer but a steady, slow commitment that sticks is much better in the long run. Also, most women try to do it with diet alone and forego the exercise portion. I can relate, especially in the cold of winter but I am learning some methods to keep me active during the arctic chill.
Right now for me it's all about progress, not perfection. Life is a practice and I'm happy practicing getting better and healthier. I am doing what feels good and is good for me. Everything will come in due time. I may not have achieved exactly what I initially set out to do but I think I achieved something better, more substantial and worthwhile. i found something that will last long term and because of that, the rest will follow.