About two months ago, I wrote about my new year’s resolutions. I talked about the fact that I’d been making the same resolutions, unsuccessfully, for the last year or two. I knew that it was my attitude that was holding me back. I also knew that I was going to have to face up to some bad habits if I was going to be successful. It’s been seventy-four days since I faced up to those habits, and I’m happy to report that I finally feel like I’m back on track!
January coincided with the end of the course-based component of my graduate degree. For the first six months of 2015 I would be generally left alone to do my thing and write my thesis. Suddenly, I couldn’t use the excuse of having to attend classes or work on group projects to justify my lack of gym attendance. I started going regularly during the last week of December, and have averaged four workouts per week for all of 2015.
I also knew that there was work to do on my diet, as well. I don’t think of a diet as being a calorie restriction. Instead, I use the word to refer to all of my food choices every day. I realized that I was using coffee as a caffeine and sugar crutch on workdays, so I cut it out entirely for the first six weeks of the year. I also cut back on unhealthy snacking, and instead tried to plan better meals that would keep me feeling fuller and more energized. For example, I’ve been eating lots of homemade muffins for breakfast (sometimes sweet, sometimes savory, but always made with healthy ingredients), soups and salads for lunch, and different combinations of grains, vegetables and vegetarian proteins for dinner. When I’ve needed a pre- or post-workout snack I’ve been turning to low-fat Greek yogurt, apples or small portions of cheese. Instead of having dessert, I’ve spent my time after dinner writing my thesis and then going to bed with a cup of herbal tea. Sure, there is the occasional treat, but the satisfaction of fitting back into a cute dress outweighs the satisfaction of a glass of Moscato (albeit only slightly!).
My goals were to fit back into my tiniest pants and to be healthier on my upcoming beach holiday. I am happy to report that I can fit into some of my old pants quite comfortably, although others are still too small. At this rate I should definitely be able to fit back into all of them by the time I submit my thesis, though! My beach holiday is coming up in just over a week, and I’m confident that I will look good in my bikinis (and one-pieces!) and won’t be too bouyant when I am scuba diving.
For me to be successful I had to recognize my unhealthy attitudes (making excuses because I was wallowing in self-pity) and make a conscious decision to change my habits. Once I started getting into better habits, my attitude also started to shift. In early January I wasn’t sure that I would ever be truly fit and healthy again, but when I did five perfect full-body pushups last weekend I realized that getting back to the body and lifestyle I had in 2012 is well within my reach.