I'm not sure what happened halfway through my freshman year of college, but something shifted, and all of the sudden I was running every night and going to the gym five times a week. I swapped dining hall pizza and pasta for the salad bar and vegetarian chicken patties. Nine months after I stepped out onto the pavement for the first time with purpose, I was at my lowest weight of all time. And I stayed that way for the next few years.
Okay, I'm not going to jump into this sad sob story about how I lost control and gained it all back, because I haven't. But I have abandoned some of my healthy eating habits, and I think a lot of that started after I turned 21. Wine with dinner? Mimosas with breakfast? Margaritas because it's Monday? Yes, yes, and yes. I went from mindlessly ordering the vegetable of the day as a side to opting for potatoes au gratin because 'why the fuck not?' My waistline, that's why.
So last night I stood in the mirror, pre-shower, post-day fair and thought 'ugh.' I felt round all over. I tensed up my muscles and felt more flab than strength. A margarita here, a slice of pizza there; it has finally all added up. Even though it was just a few pounds around my middle/lower section, standing there, I felt hopeless...mostly because I felt lazy. Eating whatever I want whenever I want is just easier. Margaritas are tasty, and so are Girl Scout cookies. Who wants to be fit, anyway? Who likes wearing bikinis to the beach?
I decided then and there I could do one of two things:
- I could take the easy way out - eat all the things, drink all the alcohol, and continue to whine to my boyfriend about how I wish I could be fit and healthy again but it's just too hard (and count down the days until he's fed up with me because honestly, who would want to date someone like that?).
- I could start making a change. Taking Einstein for runs instead of walks. Waking up earlier to go to the gym. Coming home for lunch instead of going out every damn day. I could make small changes that could eventually turn into one big change. A good change.
It's so easy (for me especially) to look at the big picture, or the optimal end result and think, "that's too hard, I can't do it, I don't have the discipline to do that." I do it often. My main goal for the next few months, especially as we make headway into the spring and summer months, is to shift my focus away from "getting fit ASAP" and into making healthier choices every single day. Easier said than done, right?
Have you every been in a similar situation? What did you do to stay on track?