You can have it all just not at the same time
And I feel like I am living proof of that. In fact I should have it penned on my arm or forehead as a reminder because I am trying to do too much.
Here’s what I learned in June
- You need sleep especially when you’re working out. 5-6 intermittent hours a night, only to awake at 5 am to work out, is not wise, especially if you plan to (a) remain upright during the day (b) compose any coherent thoughts or sentences
- You cannot work 30 hours a week without childcare. If you feel like trying something dangerous or risky go bungee jumping instead. Full time hours with a patchwork of childcare is not for the faint of heart
- Passing your husband like a ship in the night as he enters the house and you leave is crazy-making. Communicating via slips of paper and emails isn’t fun when that person you’re trying to keep in touch with is your best friend
That one little sentence “you can have it all just not at the same time” has been catapulting around my head for the last week. I have made health and fitness my priority for the last 10 months and in June it wasn’t and as much as I accomplished I didn’t like the fact that working-out and healthy eating took a back seat to the rest of my life. Because even though I complain that this journey is miserably hard work and often sucktastically un-fun I actually like how I look and feel and I don’t want that to slip away.
But when I was 50 pounds heavier it was easy to stay motivated because the weight dropped off a lot faster and I still didn’t like how I looked or felt: the pull towards the 50 pound weight loss goal was strong. As much as I would like to be noble that this weight loss journey is first and foremost about the long-term gains for my health it really isn’t: right now I’m tired of being fat, of looking fat, of not liking how I look, and of judging myself and my body (and having others judge me because of my weight)
The challenge now is that I’m the lowest weight I’ve been since I was 19. I’m still overweight and I still need to lose weight but for the first time in a long time I don’t cringe when I look in the mirror. My friend took this photo of our kids playing together last week and my first thought when I saw it was that I no longer hate how I look. I no longer cringe at the thought of seeing pictures of myself, even from unflattering angles. I’m also in good shape: I no longer huff and puff walking up stairs or hills and I can run around for six consecutive hours doing photo shoots and not feel exhausted. On Friday I challenged myself by running 5km continuously at noon, in the heat, and finished my run in 35 minutes. I have never run more than 20 minutes at a time and even then it was more of a very very very fast walk then a true run.
I truly believe my motivation is still there (albeit hidden) but that I don’t have the energy to turn it into any semblance of action towards my goals. I suspect that the last six weeks have been a lesson in the fact that you have a finite amount of energy and you can have everything you want but not at the same time.
I miss working out five days a week and I miss seeing the numbers on the scale drop and writing this post has made me realize that I need to re-focus my priorities. We’re a month away from the one-year Losing It anniversary and I’m nowhere near where I wanted to be. This might just be the wake-up call I so desperately needed.
Because plans are worth absolutely nothing unless you actually take the steps to back them up here’s what I’ve done:
- Registered for the Xerox 10K on August 16th to keep my shoes on my feet and my tired legs out on the road: I need something to work towards
- Scheduled five appointments in my calendar this week for exercise (running, personal trainer, and classes at the gym)
- Delegated parenting duties to my awesome husband for two mornings this week so that I can fit in work AND working out without stretching myself to the max