It’s a monotonous Sunday morning. The girls were up early berating Brent for breakfast. Benny Rodriguez was fully engaged in puppy antics and the kettle was ready to whistle. There is ice, snow and northern type temperatures. None of us really mind. I’m bundled up with coffee and watching the Sunday AM Food Network line up of- every FNStar goes healthy- par for viewers in the month of January.
As the wife of a fitness gym manager, the mother of two young girls, and someone who admittedly has a dysfunctional relationship with food- I can’t help but analyze this disillusioned first month of every calendar year, aka: January and where I am with it.
First, let’s talk fitness. The easiest of the subjects for me because well, I don’t have any. I despise working out. Over the years there have been a few classes I’ve found that I like but I’m not paying hundreds of dollars for a class when I have access to a gym that I don’t use. I’m mentally and physically exhausted at the end of most days and the weekends are either fully jam-packed with no time for anything or completely the opposite, like today. The weather is forcing us inside and I have no desire to move from this spot unless forced by flames or freak outs. Sure, I’ve run a half-marathon, okay well two actually, but I didn’t have great self care; and certainly not because of my love for running. My training was minimal but I completed and hope to do so again this year. I don’t run for me. I don’t run for fun. HA! But I run for a purpose and that’s why I prefer half-marathons. It gives me the minimal motivation I need to prepare and complete some sort of activity; because as you all know if I PAID to participate I am going to finish come hell or high water.
The real focus for me is food. I have made mention a few times in my posts about the calorie restricted diet-turned-lifestyle-change I made in 2011-2012. It left me 40lbs lighter from my pre-baby weight and 90lbs lighter from the day I gave birth to my second baby. Yes, for those moms doing the math. I gained 50lbs when I was pregnant. Actually I gained 50lbs with both girls, putting my body through a crazy rollercoaster over the course of 4 years. Reflecting on this reminds me that my body is a ROCKSTAR! It has done so much and I have completely mistreated it. With Madz I got down to my normal weight but with Char I was so nervous about not losing the weight that I enrolled in what started as a diet class, and just kept going.
The class was all about understanding what you put into your body. How much you need. The good, the bad, the better and the ugly. I didn’t go extreme, I didn’t give up any of my favorite foods but I also didn’t exercise. Which I don’t recommend. Yes, I was able to slowly adopt a new understanding and appreciation for food, but I lacked activity for a variety of new-mom reasons, and the more I saw the numbers dropping the more I thought that I didn’t have to, but I should have. With everything there is moderation and it includes diet and yes, even exercise. I’m sorry but over-exercising, just like over-dieting is not attractive and interrupts one’s personal balance. Four years later I am a work in progress. Yes, I can now say that at my lowest weight in 2013 I was far too small. At 5’5 with no muscle or breasts to speak of (as a woman this counts in your numbers) getting under 110 was too extreme. While I know I don’t want to LOOK like that again. I battle the mental numbers of wanting to be that small. I could wear anything. I never had lines in my body and there is a sick twisted pleasure with that. Today, my obsession with the scale, the fluctuating gap between my thighs, and the way my clothes fit, continues to be a problem. I have some interesting side effects from my long term restricted caloric intake that I wouldn’t wish on anyone, but I digress. The point is I try to abide by my mantra “everything in moderation, including moderation.” It is a take on the 80/20 rule but this applies to everything not just diet and exercise.
To the actual point…
Why just January? If it takes 4 weeks for you to see your body changing, 8 weeks for your friends and family, and 12 weeks for the rest of the world why just focus on January? Most people go hard for a few days, maybe a few weeks and then they fall back. It is simply unrealistic. This includes those beautiful people on the Food Network, too. I think it’s safe to say that we most likely won’t see the famous red-headed BBQ king doing Yoga in a commercial promoting healthy choices in June, let alone November. None of this is realistic, so why do we do it? What are we telling ourselves? Where is the motivation and why can it not be sustained? And for those who do make the change, when will you be happy? When will you reach that “happy weight” or “healthy feeling” without feeling restricted or adopting a lifestyle that is either a. too expensive (because so many of these are $$$-will you always be able to afford it?) or b. too restrictive? I don’t want a life without chocolate or cheese. or c. when have you gone too far? What about balance?
I ask these questions not because I have the answers, I certainly don’t. I too am in the process of a wellness challenge to get back to my good habits, because yes the holidays are hard to avoid for the majority of us. I did this challenge in the fall and I’ll do it again in the spring. It’s not just about January. For the yogi’s, the gym-rats, the green-juice lovers. I’m envious. I wish I had the motivation but only to a certain extent. If I become something I’m not for reasons that society is expecting or telling me to, then I’m a fraud. I want to be happy, healthy and not be self-judged by the pictures I may or may no post on social media. I want to look at my smile; not judge the roundness of my face. I want to focus on the person my arms are wrapped around and not the thickness of my arms- I’m not there but I’m trying; and it is going to take me far longer than the heinous month of January 2017 to get there. For now I’ll practice patience, self-care and continue to learn how to fall in love with me. That is my 2017 goal.