April 28, 2009

Daily Struggle

Today I decided to write about something that is a daily struggle for me.

Motivation. (Have you seen it lately, because I sure haven't!)

I'm feeling a lack of it in some aspects of my life. Mostly in the area where exercise and healthier eating are concerned. When I am honest with myself, this struggle worries me a bit. I say "worries me" because I know how I respond to things and the minute I let myself slip on something it becomes a snowball effect.

I'm not someone who goes to the gym 7 days a week, but I do make an effort to go at least 3-4 times a week and do some type of activity on the weekend. Lately, I've been having days where I don't feel like exercising, then before I know it, a whole week has gone by and I haven't made it to the gym once. So, the question I pose to myself is: If you know this is your pattern, then why do you do it? (I'm not looking for answers, just venting about some things going on in my head!)

The other area where motivation lacks lately for me is on the healthy eating front. It is so easy to fall off the wagon where this is concerned and I am well aware of that fact. Right after college, I let some things get out of control in my life and my weight was one of them. Thankfully with hard work, I was able to regain control of my weight and also start a fitness routine.

Weight has never been about the number on the scale for me. It is about my health. About 7 years ago, I visited the doctor and got a real wake up call. She told me that I really need to start exercising or my overall health *would* be affected by my "sedentary lifestyle". It wasn't until this doctor had the guts to tell me she was concerned about my health that I actually looked at myself and saw who I had become, physically. (I say physically, because I whole heartily believe that I have always been the same on the inside. Weight doesn't change my feelings, nor does it change my hopes, dreams or fears. It does change my health and therefore my future.)

What I started noticing about myself was hard to see, even more hard to feel. I didn't recognize myself in photos, I wasn't able to do daily activities with out being winded or out of breath. I had that major wake up call that people talk about and I vowed to change my life, for my health.

I changed things like instead of eating a cheeseburger & fries, I ate grilled chicken sandwiches & baked potatoes. I stopped keeping 2-liters of soda in the fridge, limiting myself to 1 can a day & carried bottled water with me everywhere. I stopped buying things at the grocery store that I knew I would eat all in one night, like a bag of Doritos!

I started walking. Simply walking. I would go the mall, before it opened, and walk with a friend. She helped me learn how to use fitness equipment at her apartment's gym, and as time went by, I saw small changes in my life, like way my clothes fit & how I felt in them.

Overtime, my hard work paid off. I lost quite a few pounds and felt so much better, physically and emotionally. When I went to see that same doctor a year later, she looked at my chart and asked me "how did you do it"? My answer was simple. I changed my life.

I write all this background information to help myself remember about the struggles I've face with weight and motivation to work out. I've tackled it before, the ups & downs, and it will be something I struggle with every day. I'm writing all about this to remind myself that it's okay to have a "off" day or even an "off" week, the point is not to give up. It's about following through on the long term goal of living healthier.

As I finish this post, it feels really good to write about this part of my life. I've told several people "my story", but sometimes it's good to re-tell it to myself also. I know I have the motivation to live & eat healthier, now it's just digging down deep and picking myself up to get back on track! Thanks for listening.


Mommy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mommy said...

You are an amazing writer Lenna!!! You are such an inspiration and I am so proud of all of your accomplishments. You did a 5k which is really motivating to me. xoxo

Blond Across the Pond said...

I have a real problem with this too honey. Here's what I do and it is not endorsed by doctors haha... I would rather not exercise so I've changed my eating habits completely. I always, always have fruit, veggies and hard boiled eggs on hand and learn to drink Green Tea...burns fat. I lost 10 lbs in one year by doing this and not exercising at all OR decide to eat how you want and devote youself to exercise. Instead of feeling down for not doing either...try doing one with focus.

Carole Warrick said...

You've come a long way, Baby! Give yourself a break now & then, and then get back on track! I think this article speaks to a lot of us!!

WestEnder said...

Oh, great. How am I supposed to bring up my happy hour & BBQ idea NOW??

LW said...

WestEnder - no worries, just means I'll add extra minutes on the eliptical machine! Let me know when the details get set ~ we'll see you soon!!!