22 September, 2011

Just Say No, it'll be Worth it.

I am not a very motivated person. Not when it comes to losing weight anyway. I get all excited for the first few days, and then two more days in a row come along where either I don't feel like working out, or something prevent me from doing so... and I just forget about it. That's all it takes. Some might say I have a short attention span. I'd say they were right. But this time is different. I feel it in my bones.

(click photo for source via Flickr)
About 6 months ago, I made the decision to drastically cut my drinking. Drinking wasn't something I did because I necessarily enjoyed the alcohol. Quite the opposite, actually. To me, vodka tastes like what I imagine nail polish remover to taste like. Other spirits like whiskey and bourbon are forever ruined for me because of the sensory association I now link between these drinks and vomiting. 
Truth be told - I had a few wild months after my first divorce. Parties and alcohol were how I coped with the end of a disappointing marriage. I tried to discover myself at the bottom of glass after glass thinking that this would really help me shed my Mormon upbringing. Needless to say, copious amounts of booze were ingested (and expelled) during a moment in time where I felt had no limits. 

After I settled back down, the party life behind me, I would still occasionally go overboard with drinking. Why? Because I believed my limit was much, much higher than it was. These drunken nights and hungover next day(s) grew fewer and fewer in number, and almost stopped altogether... until I met mine and my husband's Polish friends. Like I said before, I drank to keep up with them, and that pretty much never worked out well for me. In May, I stumbled home after an evening of vodka, laughter, television, and more vodka having a conversation with myself. I remember literally making fun of myself because I could not walk a straight line home. I could barely make it to the toilet in time to get sick, ended up breaking a glass and cutting my foot pretty badly, and feeling absolutely wrecked the entire next day.
This is when I had an "aha" moment. Since then, I have had no more than one or two glasses of wine on an occasional evening. I realized how damaging drinking can be for my body and for once, I listened to myself. I really took it to heart and I'm proud to say that I have not been impaired even once since. There's no looking back for me. 
But this is not AA... this is about weight loss. 

The point is - that was the first time in my life I had ever made a personal decision about doing something and not once second guessed or psyched myself out of it. I haven't ever thought, "hey - I don't think I can do this."
It's just a matter of letting myself say, "No." 

Being inspired by my growth in that area, I have recently made the decision to lose weight (again). I'm not sure if it's because I feel empowered by my alcohol decision or if it's the fact that we recently bought a very nice scale (on sale! hooray!)... but I looked myself in the mirror and said, "It's time to lose the weight, Shannon." to which I replied, "You're right. Let's do this." And it stuck. 

For 12 days, I have been recording my weight. I have been watching my calorie intake, and recording it on CalorieCount.com for almost a week. At the beginning of this week, when I started calculating all the calories I was consuming I was absolutely shocked at just how much I ate. I didn't realize it but I was eating more than 2000 calories most days and slowly growing out of all my clothes as a result. I even tried to excuse it by saying my clothes were shrinking. Funny how that works.
For 12 days, I have been consciously making an effort to control what goes into my body, and trying to make sure that the things that do go into my body are healthy and that I don't waste time with junk food that will only set me that much further from my ultimate goal - my ideal weight and fitness. 

At the end of August before I made the actual decision that I was going to actively tackle my weight, I saw an article on NerdFitness called "Is It Really Worth It?
The blogger says this about getting fit:

It will require commitment and dedication.

It will require you to say “no” sometimes.

It will require sacrifice.

It won’t be quick.
It won’t be easy.
It won’t be fun all of the time
Your friends will laugh at you for doing things differently.
Your coworkers will gawk and poke fun at your new eating habits.
Your loved ones will call you crazy and ask you to “be normal.”
You will have to change some habits.
You will want to give up.
You will want to go back to bed.
You will want to say “eh, good enough.”
I read this and it really got to me. I'm not the only one who has felt that way when trying to lose weight/get fit in the past. All of these things are very true and they ate at me for days after I read the article. The article also posted this video, which I replay in my brain daily for inspiration. Not because I want to be an athlete in the NFL - but the story is great, and it's always inspiring to watch someone else's dedication to fitness (especially at 2:30 in the video).

But what made me really decide to make a plan and stick with it this time is the end of the article (even if it is mostly about strength and fitness rather than weight loss). It says,

You will feel great when you set a new record for push ups.
You will let out a rebel yell when doing your first pull up.
You will feel awesome running faster this week than last week.
You will be amazed at how far you’ve come when looking at old pictures.
You will feel good when people ask “have you been working out?”
You will smile when your kids say “I want to be strong like you!”
You will be surprised when people come to you for fitness advice.
You will feel pride when you look at yourself in the mirror.
You will go to sleep knowing that you’re a better person today than you were yesterday.
It is worth it.
Mostly, I just want to look at old pictures and be proud of myself. I want to like what I see in the mirror. I want to have stamina to go on walks with my husband and play with our (future) kids. I am young. There is no reason for me to feel 90 years old when I get out of bed. There's no reason for me not to be able to take a hike on the weekend. For most of my life I've been ashamed of my weight and disliked what I saw in my reflection every single day. 
I realized that before 12 days ago, I didn't want it bad... I just kinda wanted it, no matter how much it sounded like I was saying, "I want to lose weight", I really just wanted another spoonful of Nutella.

12 days ago I said, "No!" and today I still feel as resolved as ever to make my goal. This time, I don't feel any of that second guessing that I felt before. I haven't tried to psych myself out of it. Why? Because this time, I want it badly. I want it as badly as I need air to breathe. Because every single day, I see results. Because of those results, I feel proud of myself, and because of feeling proud of myself and seeing results - I am motivated to push on. 
I know that when I can finally fit into those cute jeans I put away in my closet, I'll say, 
"It was worth it to just say no."


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