Back to Normal

Snow Path

Or at least back to what has been normal and the start of trying to get to a normal that is slightly better than where I had been at before the holidays.

The kids are all back in school and Hubby is back to work, so it is incredibly quiet in the house today after having everyone home since the 21st of December.  I love having everyone home for that extended time as we get to do a lot together as a family that we just don’t normally have much time for, like the movie marathon days we have around New Year’s, but I am always a bit relieved to have the quiet back.  One of the hardest parts about trying to get back into that routine is trying really hard not to fall back asleep after everyone has left and doing so without downing an entire pot of coffee all on my own.

I’m not one for resolutions and setting big goals for the year.  I am not a fan of doing anything that, if I don’t do it exactly right, in the set time, go quite far enough or whatever that goal may be that ends up making me feel bad or like a failure.  I do much better by doing things in stages through small attainable steps.  Several years ago, I wanted to feel healthier because I hated the fact that I couldn’t keep up with my kids.  Absolutely weight was a part of that, but it really wasn’t my main focus.  Instead of setting a long term end goal number on the scale that would constantly frustrate me because it was still so far away even after making lots of progress, I set smaller mini-goals with the idea that I’d get there and then see how I was feeling and decide if that was where I wanted to be or if I felt I still need to do more work (at least with the weight part of the getting healthier goal).  For me, that was the only way I was going to feel as if I was succeeding at what I wanted to do.  Because the biggest part of that was the actual feeling healthier part, I spent a ton of time trying to find better, healthier ways to eat.  Ways that I knew I’d be able to hang on to in the long run and not just for the time I was doing this.

In the end, I lost more weight than I ever imagined I could, felt better than I had since I’d gotten together with Hubby years before and maybe even better than I had even then.  Since then, I’ve done a pretty darn good job of maintaining the majority of changes I made.  The biggest being not snacking a lot, really paying attention to what my body was trying to tell me about what I thought were “I’m hungry” moments, having almost entirely all whole grains in what I ate, cutting back on the coffee (one of the hardest things to do) and just being overall more active.  In the 3 years since I stopped actively trying to make changes and just began living those changes, I had only put back on a small percentage of the weight I lost and Hubby had gotten me a Garmin VivoFit to remind me to get off my lazy butt every now and then so I was staying more active even in the cooler months after our pool got closed for the season (my big activity that really kick started the getting moving part).

The last six months or so, though, I’ve started to slide backwards a bit.  I haven’t cared as much about my eating choices and have been finding it harder and harder, especially now that it is cold out, to get even a low goal on my daily steps and to stay away from the extra coffee.  It has become really noticeable and I’ve started feeling much like I did before I made all those changes nearly 5 years ago.  It is easy to think those extra thousand steps really don’t make much difference or that going the easy route on the bread or pasta when there isn’t a whole grain option isn’t going to impact all the work I’d done, but when you do it once, it is incredibly easy to just keep on sitting on the couch to read one more chapter or grab the quick and easily available choice just because it is there and it becomes the norm instead of the exception.

So, instead of setting the huge goal of losing X number of pounds or setting my daily step goal to my ideal number, I’m going to take it a day at a time and try and build back to where I was before I started to backslide. Even though this is probably one of the toughest times of year to start working towards this, what with almost every single birthday in the family falling over the next couple of months and the cold outside keeping me wanting to stay bundled with some blankets and a book, I’m going to set a new minimum, easily attainable step goal to get me moving and start being more conscious on my food choices and servings.

This week’s daily step goal is going to be 5000.  This is my minimum that I need to get everyday and the only reason I can miss that goal is if I’m actually sick or physically incapable of doing so (which shouldn’t be an issue, but I give myself that specific out to keep me from just making any excuse to miss a day).  Ideally, I’d be back to my 9500 I was getting a few months ago, but I’m giving myself room to work back to that, hopefully soon.

I need to do this not just for my physical health.  I know that when I feel better physically, I’m better able to mentally and emotionally deal with some of the BS that I need to deal with on a regular basis.  Maybe I’ll be less likely to stick my head in the sand when it comes to some of the bigger stuff Hubby and I are trying to deal with in regards to my oldest.  I know I’m going to need it as we approach his 18th birthday.

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Author: TJ Fox

Slightly sane artist, book addict, wife and mother of 3 who is forever rethinking her place in this world.

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