Earlier this year…waaayyyy back in January, I resolved to take better care of myself. To eat healthily and exercise. To lose the holiday weight, plus a few additional pounds that had crept on over the past few years….I vowed to get back to my pre-kid weight. It was only 10 pounds. I figured I could do it. I had jumped onto the “do something for me”…”Year of the Oxygen Mask” bandwagon…
It lasted about two weeks. Tate was not sleeping well. I was tired and then got sick. The kids got sick. I was overwhelmed. I came up with any excuse I could find…I just was not motivated. At all. I had a terrible habit of snacking once the boys went to bed. That started when they were younger and went to bed at 7. Now that they go to bed around 8:15, I still was doing the mindless evening snacking. And I sat around, often too tired and too overwhelmed to try something new. I started numerous “healthy eating plans” this year, just to give up a day or two into them. I had no energy. The scale would go down a pound…then up a pound…then down a pound, then up two pounds. I didn’t really buy any new clothes for spring. Or summer. By fall, I had to buy new clothes…because my jeans were too tight…and my shirts were unsightly. sigh
Buying jeans a size bigger, my lack of energy, and an achy back and knees motivated me to sign up for a class at our Y. I had to pay for it, so I knew I’d go. I missed the first class due to a Halloween party at Cole’s preschool. Not a good way to start. The next week, I dragged my sorry self to the class. It was called “Barre Burn”…and oh my goodness, did I ever burn. I ached for 3 days after the class. I could barely do the stairs in our house. Hubz teased that I hadn’t gone down steps that gingerly since my c-section with Tate. (Truthfully, I ached as badly as I did after that major abdominal surgery…) And yet, I went back to class the following week. And the week after that. I felt good after going to those classes. It was time just. for. me.
Initially, I intended to start working out regularly and eat more healthily when I started the class. But….the leftover candy from Halloween was calling my name. And the extra handful of kettle-cooked potato chips. And the Cub Scout popcorn. Next week, I’d think. Next week. The next week would come, and nothing. I was faltering. But at least I was still doing my class..and squeezing in a walk here and there.
Eventually, we reached Thanksgiving. The holiday notorious for its excess and delicious, fattening foods. Knowing that we’d be eating a big meal, we took the boys out to the park in the morning. We walked and played for over an hour. Then we came home to get cleaned up before we went to dinner at Hubz’s parents’ house. My biggest pair of non-jeans were snug. As I felt the waistband cut into my abundant waist, I made a decision. This holiday season, I would not gain the “typical” 2-5 pounds that I gain every year. Instead, I would work towards losing the excess weight that had already become a part of my body. And I was doing this for me. Not for Hubz. Not for the kids. Not for society that has a very particular image of what a woman’s figure should be. But for me. I wanted to feel better. I wanted more energy. I wanted to wear my jeans, dammit, not the bigger ones I bought at Target.
On Monday I weighed myself. I inhaled sharply as I read the number on the scale. Ouch!! I didn’t realize how much weight I had gained. No wonder I had to buy new clothes. I joined Weight Watchers online. I measured my food. I tracked it. I exercised. I watched the DVR at night without a snack. (Which was harder for me than I can truly put into words.) Amazingly, though, I never woke up starving the next morning. And I have noticed some increased energy, too. In just five days.
So, today marks the fifth day of my resolve. Five days behind me. I have some challenges ahead of me (like Brunch with Santa on Sunday, an Ugly Christmas Sweater party next Saturday, and a cookie exchange on the 15th of December). But, this is for me. I know I can give this gift to myself. And…if I can do this for a month, then I can do it for two months…and three…and hopefully?? Enjoy the benefits that come along with a healthier lifestyle such as more energy, less aches, and, yes, smaller jeans.