The easy part was declaring my love for my new life. Take a look at The Columbus Ten [Part One] to read about my move home, and why I love it. Because this next step is going to be hard on me. It is time for me to face the reality of bad habits returning, or reforming in to brand new monsters! The next step is being honest, and making positive changes. It’s calling out the behavior that I know I can change.
This was inspired by one of my favorite blogs, Brooke: Not on a Diet. She wrote a great post about tough love, that came out of a Fitbloggin’ session. I have been thinking it over for weeks now, and finally I am ready to make my list of ten. Ten changes to get rid of ten pounds. Not unrealistic, and not dangerous, just things to focus on.
This is the scariest, so why not make it #1? I need to re-evaluate my relationship with Weight Watchers and try to figure out if it’s right for me. Am I getting the support I need in meetings? Is the money I’m paying worth what I am getting from the program right now? Honestly, the more I think of it, the more I think it’s not working for me – and I need to take some time to reflect on that, and let myself walk away without feeling like I failed at something. I am taking a lot of inspiration from Running With Racheal’s Top Ten Reasons I Left Weight Watchers, because at every point she made, a little YES! went off for me.
2. MEAL PLANNING
I have not been great about this, and it is a huge part of my success. I need to start planning grocery store trips, and realistically planning meals for the week. ” When you fail to plan, you plan to fail!” I want to get much better at this.
Arguably the simplest change on this list. I have not been staying hydrated properly. I have bottles and glasses of water all over my house, but every morning I wake up feeling totally parched. This affects my mood, my running, and my overall feeling of being ” full”. This one should be easy.
4. RESTAURANT/MENU CHOICES
This might be the hardest. When I began my weight loss journey, I panicked about going out to eat. I never wanted a food that I couldn’t weigh, measure or track. I would stick to chain restaurants and eat things already available in my tracker. As I got more used to estimating points, and making better choices, it got easier. I was often the one speaking up with “can I get that with no cheese, no croutons, no sour cream, dressing on the side?!” I asked for what I wanted to continue to get healthy meals out. But I still treated dining out as an occasion and not the norm. Now, eating out happens way more often. And with the increase of new restaurants visited comes an increase in choices. And in my choice-fatigue, I’ve stopped making the best decisions. Old habits are creeping back, and I remember why I started this journey in the first place. My first step is simple: I want to avoid fried food (until the next Hot Chicken Takeover)!
In Part One, I mentioned all the incredible breweries and bars we are surrounded by here. And I love all of them, but that’s where the problem lies. A drink after work becomes three, and after work becomes all day Sunday and it’s easy to see weight coming back. Also, more alcohol means less water, and adds to the over all dehydration/yucky feeling.
6. EVERY DAY IS NOT A CELEBRATION
This really combines 4 & 5 but takes reiterating. Now that I am in a whole new routine that involves more outings, I need to treat these occasions as my normal. Being out to dinner is not an excuse to follow a meal with dessert, or drink 3 glasses of wine because it’s happy hour. In short, I need to check my indulgences. At my new job, I have discovered a group of kindred spirits who LOVE to throw parties. We have a monthly potluck, countless parties, and a group who reliably visits the Indian buffet once a week. I let myself go crazy at each of those occasions, but they happen A LOT. I am working on a game plan for this. “You should celebrate every day. But every day is not a call for celebration!”
7. FOOD REWARDS
Plain and simple, these need to stop. No more, I had a bad day, I deserve ice cream. Or even, I’m walking by my boss’s office, so I need a piece of candy! This will be a challenge.
8. EAT LIKE AN ATHLETE
I am bad about eating to meet my training needs. I need protein, carbs and good fat. My body often reminds me that popcorn for dinner means a terrible run in the morning. I started reading through Runners World Cookbook, and was at first turned off by recipes because of how they reflected in Weight Watchers points, but then it dawned on me that these are the choices I need to be making. Clean, healthy food that will give me the energy to train well.
9. TRAINING WELL
A lot fits in to this goal. I have not been sticking to a training plan very well. I have been failing to warm up or stretch after my runs. This makes me sore and grumpy with running. But I love running! My goals here: warm ups, cool downs, one day of strength training, one day of yoga. I have strengthening exercises galore, and I just need to commit to them. My next step is to write myself a manageable, flexible training plan.
10. SELF LOVE
Until I typed this out, I thought goal 10 would be “go to yoga!” but it dawns on me that this is the most important thing I need to focus on. I need to stop letting these ten drag me down. I need to recognize that I have turned my whole life around in the past year. I am proud of myself. I am fortunate. I am grateful. And I need to allow for mistakes but not for just giving up. I love who I am, but I don’t want these ten to become 20. Forgive, adjust, reflect, move forward.
This is my Columbus Ten.