And I'm Free! Free Fallin!"
In fact, it's EASY for me to do this. I am a creature of habit. Translation: I get on a roll with things. That cuts both ways. When I'm on I'm on. When I'm off, I'm REALLY off!
In the normal course of things, I weigh myself every morning. It keeps me honest about where I'm at. As it stands I haven't been on the scale for about a week. I've decided that if I only gain a couple pounds during the holiday season, I can live with that. The danger is it takes about 2 weeks for a habit to form. I could easily fall back into eating way more than I should, and easing up on the exercise routine.
Luckily, I have a few things going for me.
One: I can't afford new clothes.
Two: I have accountability. Every day at noon, there are guys waiting a block away at the Y to run our customary 5 mile loop. There is no pressure to be there, but knowing they're there in itself is a great motivator.
Three: I absolutely love being in shape. It took me a long time to get here, and I'm not ready to let it go after so much effort.
Which brings me to a couple of points. There are two kinds of habits... can you guess what they are? It is within all of our power to create good habits or eliminate bad ones. Small changes done repeatedly, equals a habit. We can replace things that are bad for us with things that are good for us. I replaced smoking with running. There is obviously more to that story, but I will expand on that in another post.
Accountability is key. Having a partner you can workout with, share your successes and failures with, whine to, high five, or push you that last 1/4 mile is HUGE when it comes to maintaining the desire to go do it. Just knowing that other person is going to hold you accountable can be a great asset. If you are really trying to lose weight, by ALL MEANS, find someone to fill this role. You can do that. If you have no one willing to join you, there are many, many ways to find someone who will. Facebook and Meetup come to mind. Social networking makes it easy to find people with similar goals, interests and schedules. Find them and get started! You may make a new friend as well.
I started this post a couple days ago. As of this morning, I DID get on the scale and I've gained a couple of pounds. I'm not worried. Things will smooth out when I get back on a regular schedule. The key is to not beat yourself up when things stop going in the right direction, but to stop, reassess, refocus and go on. Along the way to my 45 pound weight loss I hit several plateaus. Some of them lasted two or three weeks. Each time, I was able to overcome them by refocusing on my plan and moving forward. Occasionally my plan needed adjusting. But each time, my desire to keep going overrode my desire to give up.
Weight loss and even weight maintenance IS a journey. But it's also a journey that never ends. You don't get where your headed and then stop doing what you did to get there. You keep going. You keep maintaining. You keep feeling good about the positive things you've done and are doing in your life. You remember that YOU are important enough, that YOU matter enough to feel good about yourself. It doesn't matter if it's three pounds this week or just breaking even. What matters is trying.
So GO! Get up off the couch! Take your dog for a walk. Play with the kids outdoors. Go to the park. Go for a run. You can do it! And feel good when you do. Don't beat yourself up over the failures. The only failure is not trying. Celebrate the successes!
As for me, I'm done. The free fall ends today. I've popped the parachute and I'm going to try for a graceful landing and get back on the plane. Until next time!