It boils down to two simple words really and my epiphany isn’t exactly what I would call jaw dropping. It’s pretty basic really: I’m human.
I know. Crazy, right? You were expecting some real wisdom weren’t you? Believe it or not, that is real wisdom. I talk all the time about the importance of understanding yourself, giving yourself a break when you fall, etc. Those things are always easier said than done though. I recognize that and I have for a while. Trying to apply such wisdom directly to myself on a consistent basis, well, not so much.
So what I have tripped and fallen a thousand times this year!!! What I need to focus on for the moment is this: Where am I today compared to one year ago today? Have I moved forward? ABSOLUTELY! Have I made positive changes? ABSOLUTELY! Am I healthier? ABSOLUTELY! So, why do I continue to beat myself up because my DDPYOGA journey hasn’t been stellar thus far? Good question!!!
I think primarily because it’s so much easier to focus on the negative about yourself. It’s hard when you set a goal and you only get half way there (in the time you anticipated) to think about the fact you may not be where you want to be, but you're at least closer than you were yesterday or the day before or a year ago. So, I’m going to take a moment and focus on some of the positives that have occurred over the last several months despite the fact I am not as far along as I had hoped I would be at this point.
The first focus is working out. Did I work out last year? Perhaps, but it was probably by accident and without design. I wish I had been keeping up since day one with how many DDPYOGA workouts I have done and other exercise this year. I know that in the first nine months of this year I have exercised at least four times as much as I did last year in it’s entirety! No, I haven’t worked out daily this year. In fact, there have been some weeks I haven’t worked out at all. BUT… I am still closer to my goal in that respect than I was a year ago. Right? Now all I have to do is work on better consistency. Boom.
The second focus is eating. Did I eat healthy last year? No, not really. Fried foods, lots of sugar, and oh dear Lord the gluten. Donuts. Cake. Whatever I wanted to eat. That’s what I ate. Have I had those things this year? Yes. However, I can guarantee you that I have had less gluten, sugar, and fried foods this entire year than I would have consumed in a month last year! I know that for a fact! So, am I eating perfectly? No. However, I have dropped the gluten. I eat VERY LITTLE dairy. I don’t eat any fried foods. The vast majority of my sugar intake is from natural sources like fruit versus junk pumped full of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup. My breakfast today was two homemade gluten free waffles with light syrup. Lunch? A smoothie with the following: 2 cups fresh spinach; 1 cup unsweetened almond milk; ½ cup chocolate almond milk; 1 cup frozen strawberries; 1 cup cucumber; 1 scoop protein powder; and 1 tablespoon flax seed. I sipped on that for about an hour. It was delicious, nutritious and filling. I never would have taken the time or even thought about making that for lunch last year.
A yummy grill cooked ribeye and a salad sans dairy (except goat cheese) and no gluten (no fun stuff like croutons) was dinner tonight. However, my salad with my feta cheese, mushrooms, cucumber, romaine, tomato, and gluten free sweet Vidalia dressing was the bomb! And snacks? I had a few of those. I had a protein bar and some carrots. That’s promising. Boom.
The third focus is weight. I have lost over 40 pounds this year. Granted, I am only down about 32 pounds because I gained back 15 pounds and then lost seven back. However, I don’t think I lost any weight last year with this possible exception: I’m pretty sure I just yo-yoed the same few pounds up and down and up and down without any real effort to lose anything. I rather stayed on a steady upward incline. I was too tired, frustrated and defeated to even bother. Despite the issues I’ve had reclaiming my mojo the last few months, I have managed, for the most part, to keep ¾ of the weight I lost the first four months of this year: OFF. I’m also finally crawling back on board. It’s been a snail’s pace, but I’m finally here. I’m going to be hitting 40 again in no time flat and adding some more to that lovely number. Boom.
The fourth focus is general mental well-being. The jury might still be out on this one. HAHAHA Despite this horrific flare I still had over the summer, there is one thing I know for certain: I have felt some frustration and defeat this year, but, and this is a really BIG but, I haven’t thrown in the towel. I haven’t quit. I haven’t given it up. Although I did gain some weight back, I was still eating gluten free and healthy overall. I have slacked on my exercising due to fatigue, but I am going to motor on through it. I have to. Last year it wasn’t even an issue of trying to overcome my fatigue or get past a block: I just didn’t even start. So, at least I have started this year. At least I haven’t given up. At least I am still learning every day. And I’m doing nothing but picking up steam for this stalled train right now. I’m getting ready to bust on down this track. Boom.
So, despite the drawbacks entrenched in my year thus far and despite my repeated falls off the wagon, I’m still headlong into my DDPYOGA journey. I’m picking myself up for the umpteenth time and brushing myself off. I’m also thinking about all of the wonderful things I’ve managed this year rather than just focusing on what I didn’t get done that I wanted to. A few things I have met goal wise this year: I DID lose 40 pounds; I was able to stop taking one of my blood pressure medications; I bought a new swim suit for the first time in over five years and was fairly pleased with how it looked on; I purchased clothes outside of the Women’s/Plus Size section that actually fit; I gave up gluten; I have successfully convinced my children that things like grapes, apples, and carrots are awesome snacks; I’ve worked out with my kids; I’ve learned how to eat healthier even on the hectic days; I have been called "skinny"; I have had a flare, but not one that has been able to completely take me out; and on and on.
To try and calculate what I have learned so far this year simply by stepping on a scale, well, that just doesn’t work. Obviously it’s the easiest of calculations and that calculation currently equals 32 pounds. There’s so much more though. I’d say for the better part of my life I’ve generally been a “pick yourself up by the boot straps” kind of gal, and I’ve always managed to do it throughout my life as needed and when necessary. What I haven’t been able to do a lot though is get on with letting myself off the hook and moving on when the picking up that needed to be done was a result of my own stupid mistakes or slacking or just plain giving up. The knowledge I have gleaned from the DDPYOGA program and my new all time favorite book, Wheat Belly, well, that's really immeasurable in terms of what it's doing for my life and health.
From here on out, I’m going to work a little harder on more walking the walk than just talking the talk when it comes to giving myself a hard time about everything I haven’t done. I’m also going to try and focus more on thinking about all of the goals I have managed to reach rather than just the ones that I didn’t. I’m going to try and look at the whole picture rather than just beating myself up about that one part of it that doesn’t look so hot. I’m also going to work my tail end off though to meet my goals.
Goal number right now: Be down a minimum of 50 pounds by January 4, 2014. That will be my one year mark, and that gives me three and a half months to lose 18 pounds. I lost 37 pounds earlier this year in four months. The holidays might not be as tasty, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be filled with less regret come the New Year! It also doesn’t hurt I have been so challenged by someone who has been an integral part of this journey. I’m not going to fail at this; I’m not going to fail him either.