Happy New Year! I don’t know about you, but I am so thrilled to have 2020 behind me and am looking forward to 2021 and a return to some normalcy.
A new year offers an opportunity for change. An opportunity to recommit to our goals.
New Years day often finds us making resolutions…. Promises to lose the weight, get healthier, workout more, and so much more.
Did you make your resolution yet?
I stopped making resolutions years ago. Why? Because, frankly, I never keep them. I always had grand ideas of what I was going to accomplish, but often lost motivation a few weeks, sometimes a few days into the new year. So, I stopped making resolutions. Instead, I decide a theme for the year, something that helps me to grow into a better version of me, something that challenges me to step outside my comfort zone and to make real change. Something that encompasses ALL of me, not just my weight or health. 2021 is the year I continue to live mindfully, present in the moments of each day and it is the year I focus on kindness, toward others and myself as well as focusing on daily gratitude.
But not setting a New Years Resolution does NOT mean I don’t set weight/health goals when the new year arrives. I set them all year, but the new year allows me to refocus. and gives me an opportunity to look back and see what worked and what didn’t work the previous year. Then I can set my course toward the goals I have in mind—long term goals and short-term goals. I can learn from the past and use those lessons to help me achieve the goals I have for myself in the new year.
2020 was rough. REALLY rough. I struggled. I started 2020 by getting a virus in mid-January that turned into pneumonia, keeping me from participating in my favorite 5k race…. The race I look forward to ALL year. I was sick for over a month. And then, a couple of weeks after getting better, I injured my back, seriously. I couldn’t walk. I couldn’t do anything for a few weeks. Slowly I got better. Slowly my back began to heal….. but by then, we were in the midst of a stay-at-home order and I wasn’t going anywhere. Life just stopped. For everyone. Our routines were upended. Life as we knew it was at a complete halt. Being sick was stressful. Being in pain was stressful. BUT a pandemic, and all its effects, THAT was even more stressful.
Stress became the daily staple of my life. And my weight was showing it. I found myself 34 lbs above my goal weight and very close to a point I said I would NEVER go back to again. NEVER! I had to do something.
But we were in a pandemic. And what worked for me in the past, well, it wasn’t there now. I couldn’t meet with my friends for weekend walks. There were no in person 5ks to sign up for or train for. And Weight Watcher workshops were all online…..which just isn’t the same. I couldn’t talk to friends online before the workshop or visit after. It was NOT the same. The world was different, and I was going to have to figure out how to do this differently.
All of this added to the struggles of 2020. I am an emotional eater, so the stress, the worry, and the fear were taking a toll. I REALLY struggled. (Oh, how I long for the day I can meet with friends and hug people again!)
More health struggles popped up for me…. the end of May found me excessively tired and dealing with a bad cough. This lasted for months. I thought I was losing my mind….it had to be all in head, right? And then more symptoms, more pain, this time in every joint of my body….severe enough to prevent me from walking at times or prevent me from using my hands to pick up something…… making any thought of exercise out of the question! And bronchitis….. Finally, in early December, a diagnosis of Valley Fever and the beginning of treatment. THIS was and still is testing my patience, but that is for another post.
Yes, 2020 was a struggle.
Yet, I found, through the challenges that I have inside me, what I need to get to where I want to go. I have what I need to reach my goals, right there inside of me.
I just have to believe in myself.
I have to make me a priority.
I have to remember what is really important to me.
I have to remember to not give up what I want most for what I want in the moment.
And I have to remember just how far I have come!
I took the first steps to getting back on track the beginning of November. I stepped on the scale and told my husband right away what it said. He is my weight accountability now.
What other steps have I taken to get me back on the path that will lead me to my goal? This–
—A little movement is better than NO movement! I found that if I wait until later in the day, the pain is not quite so severe and I can go for a walk, sometimes just around the block and sometimes a mile or two. Just depends on how I am feeling. I also discovered that the more I sit, the more pain I am in, so moving helps me heal.
—Tracking and portions! I found that tracking is not so difficult on a phone app. I am not perfect in my tracking, but I am tracking. That awareness is so very important. How can I know what I need to adjust if I don’t know what and how much I am really eating? And that means, weighing and measuring my food too.
—Accountability and motivation—I still use my WW app and read the stories, but I don’t follow the points for now. I track calories and I pay attention to calorie-density of foods. I look for the foods that will keep me full longer and keep me satisfied. I have an accountability coach that checks in with me every week to see how I am doing and helps me to set a new weekly goal. And I find motivation online, reading stories of others and in my talks with and messages with my friends.
—I am taking time for me. Time for meditating, using the CALM app and time to just read or listen to music. With all the stress of these days, I need to take a step back and just breathe sometimes.
—And starting today, I am adding yoga to my days, to help with the pain and to give me those moments where I can just breathe. Another way to take care of me.
These are just the first steps in taking back the control of my health and my weight. And they are working. I am down 9 lbs now in 2 months. Would have been more, but Christmas goodies happened…….
I am jumping into 2021 full speed. I have my long-term goal to get to my goal weight and then below it. And I have my short-term goal—just 5 lbs. 5lbs at a time. I CAN do that!
Add to that my 2021 theme of being kinder to others and to myself, practicing daily gratitude and living mindfully and the year should be a much better one!
This journey, though, is far from perfect! But it is so worth it! I am worth it! And so are you!
What are your goals for 2021? What are you doing to get yourself on that road toward your goals?
Let’s do this together!
Here’s to 2021!