A New Year is all about change, right? Big changes, different perspectives, new beginnings.
For me, the New Year must have started at the end of November ‘10 because I took one small step towards losing a few lbs and from there… well, the rest will soon be history.
What has changed my perspective? Why am I so motivated this time? Why do I wholeheartedly believe that this is going to be the one time I change my own life? Because of small changes. Because one small change led me to achieving one small goal, which encouraged me to keep making small goals and reaching them.
Today? It’s been two months and I stand (err…sit) before you 11 pounds thinner and on a journey to become a runner. Is that my final goal? No, but I couldn’t be much happier. What changes have I made?
I joined Weight Watchers.
With the suggestion from a dear friend, and the inspiration to help her achieve her goals, I signed up for the WW online program. For years I’ve been skeptical since I’ve tried other popular diet methods that have failed, but I figured what the heck. I signed up. I started tracking what I was eating on a daily basis through the application on my iPhone, or through my computer. I made healthier choices. I had one cookie, not two.
The WW program encouraged me to focus on losing 5% of my body weight rather than just jumping to a number 30 pounds lighter. It seemed pointless, but I did it. When I hit that first 5% loss goal on January 2nd I felt awesome. I had never realized how good it would feel to just make small achievements along the way to my ultimate goal. For that reason, I’m thankful I joined.
I lost one or two pounds a week for the next 5 or 6 weeks. Down 11 pounds? Check. Making small changes in my eating patterns? Check.
I started running again.
In high school I was a cross country runner and golfer. I stayed relatively active and remember a time when I ran 5 miles without stopping. A week after I hit my 5% loss goal in WW, I decided to take up exercising regularly. I had been reading about the Couch to 5K program for a while and after seeing how well others have done with the program I stepped on board. I downloaded the application that tells you when to walk/run. On January 9th, I walked and ran for 30 minutes. On January 11th, I did it again. On January 15th, again. Now here I am on the 18th having completed my first workout of my second week of the program. And while nine weeks may seem like a long time, it’s a consistent step in the right direction.
I started blogging again.
Some of you may know that I started up a blog at Blogspot over a year ago, which I ended up transferring to WordPress. Eventually, I registered my domain as eatinggreenstayinglean.com. However, life caught up with me and I wasn’t able to balance a fast-paced political campaign with blogging twice daily, feeding myself (and my kitties), exercising, and keeping up with any type of adequate social life. So here I am, almost a year later, committed to blogging for this whole year and seeing where it goes.
I have missed writing. I have missed the blog community. I have missed making an effort to eat real, whole, organic foods. And I have missed cooking. I love cooking. If the blog doesn’t lead to anything more than a few people being inspired by something I have written than that is enough. And if by the end of the year nothing else comes of it, at least I’ll have kept myself accountable through my writing and will have made a few friends along the way.
What larger goals keep me motivated?
The fact that I have my whole life ahead of me. I’m almost 23. I don’t want to be sitting in a chair in 40 years and be out of breath from just having walked up the stairs. I don’t want to be confined because of what I can’t do. So instead, I will continue to focus on what I can. I’ve spent too much time being negative about things and I have my whole, seemingly short life to be more positive.
On August 7, 2011 I plan on running in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Providence, Rhode Island. I’ll either be signing up at the end of February or early March (need to keep my budgeting goals in mind), and I can’t wait to cross that finish line. I’m going to keep making small goals, achieving them, and before you (or I) know it, I’ll be running a Half Marathon. I’ll be 20 pounds thinner. By then, I’ll have been making small changes for almost a year. And that’s something to celebrate.
So for now: I’ll keep being accountable to myself, I’ll continue to make small goals and to achieve them throughout the year, and I challenge you to do the same.
At the end of the day you can whine about your weight, you can bug your friend to go to the gym with you, you can tell yourself that you’re a failure simply because you didn’t go to the gym today, but in reality you are the only person who can change your life; the only challenge you’re really facing is being accountable to yourself. So go ahead, make a small goal. Achieve the goal, even if it’s only taking a 20 minute walk, or eating a salad for the first time in a month. Achieve the goal and I promise you…that will be enough to encourage you to make another.