It’s the 9th day of the new year and I finally did something exercise-y. Never mind that I had taken off the 2…or…4…weeks prior to that. You would think that purchasing a blog site to keep myself accountable would have, well, kept me accountable.
But you would be wrong.
What I don’t understand is why this is so damn hard. I mean, my workouts in high school and college lasted for hours. Hour…with an “s”. I ran, kickboxed, lifted weights, did Brazilian jiu-jitsu, practiced yoga and pilates. On the 4th of July one year, I ran a 10K in the town where I lived and then grappled for 4 hours. Now I can barely hit play on a 30 minute boxing video.
Is it because I’m 40?
Is it because I have a 6 year old son who pushes my limits every minute that he’s awake?
Is it because I’m too tired, too busy, too overwhelmed about where I’m starting compared to where I left off?
What I do know is that health and fitness are important for anyone to thrive, but with my family’s health history, it’s pretty much non-negotiable. And they are intimately connected. My family likes to keel over from heart disease, diabetes and anything having to do with high cholesterol or increased blood pressure. So, you would think that I would be extra motivated to eat a plant-based diet and exercise regularly.
Again, you would be wrong.
And by the end of the day, when I reflect on what I put in my mouth, I think, “Oh I had an apple at breakfast, some salad at lunch, and a sweet potato at dinner. That’s winning.” But I forget about the breakfast bagel before the apple, the bourbon ball after lunch, and the 3 glasses of red wine I had while cooking dinner. If coffee and wine consumption increase your life expectancy, I’m gonna live forrrreeevvvveeerrrrr. But I’m fairly certain that’s not how it works.
So, I joined Weight Watchers. Again.
I hate Weight Watchers because I hate keeping track of anything. It’s just a lot of work – like one more thing. I’ve started and quit Weight Watchers no less than 3 times. I would lose 5 or 10 pounds after dedicated food tracking, attend a party or go on vacation, end up saying, “to hell with all of this,” and cancel my membership because that money was better spent buying wine. But I think I may have been missing the point.
I’ve been off the wagon for awhile….really since we left Kansas. I have basically tried to eat whole grain carbs, limit my amount of sugar to something that wouldn’t kill me immediately, refrain from single-handedly drinking an entire bottle of wine in one day, and include a vegetable with dinner every night. I’m holding steady at 195 and size 16-ish jeans…most days. But I know this isn’t my best life. It’s OK, but I’m reminded every day when I encourage our son to make better choices that I should be listening to my own advice.
Tracking every single thing I eat is exhausting, but as I see those daily points tick away, I’m reminded of why I’m still carrying 30 extra pounds. Because we really are what we eat. Currently, I’m 60% pasta, 20% tortilla chips and chipotle dip, 10% red wine and 10% bourbon balls. I’m comprised of the worst parts of 3 different food cultures. I kind of knew this already, but Weight Watchers is making me come to terms with it. Most days I would prefer not to log what I’m eating, but what does that accomplish? I may as well take that membership fee and adopt an orphan in Africa. At least it would be money well-spent.
So, today I ate an apple instead of tortilla chips, had 1 serving of pasta instead of 2, drank a little more water (not hard to do when you’re starting at zero), stopped at 1 bourbon ball, did a PopSugar Yoga video for 30 minutes, and walked to the school to pick up Blue. And all of that wasn’t that hard. It was certainly the result of making conscious decisions throughout the day, though. Being healthy and fit is no longer my auto-pilot setting and that makes me sad because it used to be. Some days I wonder if I can ever get back to that. And some days I’m just happy to not die in downward-facing dog.