Here it comes. Another year, another rush of ‘I’m going to do this or that better than last’ list of plans. How long will it take before you start slacking off, having doubts, giving in, giving up? February? April? June?
It always starts off so well. You have the best of intentions. You feel that typical rush of determination. You are all fired up, your mindset is on point and no one can sway your focus. Right? What changes?
I, like millions of others, have a need to lose some weight. My ex-roommate in Italy, Oriana, will be married in June. When I heard the news, I said to myself that I want to look the same as I did six years ago, when I left Italy and returned to the U.S. I said to myself, ‘You need to lose at least 50 pounds!’
So here we are on the edge of January – six months before the target date. Am I filled with high hopes of looking fabulous in Italy in June? Am I setting up my motivation to keep me on track through these next months? I left Italy in my fifth month of pregnancy. With the active lifestyle and Mediterranean food, I was still able to wear my champagne colored two-piece wedding gown as evening wear to my brother’s wedding. The goal in the back of my mind has always been to get back into that dress. Since September 5, 2009, I have never tried it on again. I will wait until around April, I think.
But, is it realistic to think that I will suddenly lose – in six months – all of the weight I’ve been putting on since 2012? In order for that to become reality, some of the things that I have been doing these last few years have to change. If my life is still on over-drive and I have had no time to myself except the wee hours of the night for the last several years, how is 2015 going to be any different? How will the onset of January 1 suddenly spark this new awakening in me – or any other person for that matter – to make this coming year better than the last? How will I spontaneously be ignited to become a better me? And is the ‘me’ that I already am so bad? When does the change really start? Where does it start?
On June 6, as I stand down the row from the best roommate EVER, can I really hope to be fifty pounds lighter? I think it is attainable. I think I will reach my goal and truly shine on Ori’s wedding day! Do you believe me? Do you have faith that I can do it?
What makes this year different and what puts my goal within realistic reach? I got the news about Ori’s wedding back in October. I started immediately feeling like I wanted to make a change this year. I started immediately getting on the scale each morning or each week and monitoring my weight? I started immediately paying attention to my sleep habits and stress levels.
The first step in the right direction happened in August when I started a new job. It’s my dream job, really. Interesting new work, better hours, better pay, closer proximity to home and more involvement but less physical stress all contributed to me dropping ten pounds that month – without even trying.
So, I had already begun making the changes necessary, not waiting for some unrealistically over-rated future day to get mobilized, active and regain the self-love that I lost after being an exhausted over-worked, badly nourished, body-aching mom of toddlers in my mid-forties with PPD. I have anemia, asthma, arthritis in my left ankle, carpal tunnel in both wrists, continuous shoulder and neck pain following two major car accidents in three years. (I wasn’t driving in either, thank you very much.) And (TMI, I know, but…) three years post pregnancy, I still suffer pelvic pain. So jumping on the new year resolution bandwagon needed to start a bit earlier for me. Today, I’ve lost nearly twenty pounds. So, I figure a doable five pounds per month can get me where I want to be by June without much more change or exertion of energy in my already over-booked life.
When other people are ‘ringing in 2015,’ I hope to be checking off another five pounds and being midway to my goal, not just at the starting point. And speaking of being mid-way…
Yesterday, I met a lovely lady who happens to be an illustrator and cartoonist. Just the missing element I need for my children’s book, greeting card line and poetry collection that have been halted at the mid-way point since September 2012 – when I started working full-time again. The thing about being mid-way toward goals is that reaching them is not an uphill battle anymore. The hard part is getting to know my characters again and taking them to completion with the same confidence and understanding that I had when I started. I figure at this point, it’s got to be all downhill from here. But in a good way!