Friday, February 14

Finding the Grey

Recently I had an epiphany. It was during a conversation with a girlfriend about eating habits and healthy eating while breastfeeding. I was concerned about not eating 100% healthy and if I was setting up a routine that would lead to bad examples for my daughter. As we were chatting and she was giving me great advice, it occurred to me what my issue was with my whole eating/working out habit is.

I have always had an issue with food and working out. I would have weeks were I would go hardcore, eat right all the time (salads, veggies, smoothies, beans for protein, boiled eggs etc) and I would manage to fit all the workouts I had planned for that day (insanity, running, stretching, lunges and squats) without dying. Then something would happen that would make me retreat to bad habits of eating (I know how to make a one person portion of cookie dough, too many carbs in one day, hardly any veggies or fruit, hardly any water) and for some reason my energy of working out became none existent. (but hey, I caught up on my television watching, so bonus, right??) Why do I do this? Why do I go through these vicious cycles?

When it comes to working out and eating healthy I see it as black & white. Yes or No. Do or do not. I need to be hardcore, eat healthy all the time, no sweets ever, work out hard and fast and only see improvement and never failure and go go go never stop blah blah blah. And if I cannot be that or if I have a weak moment, I may as well not even try. I may as well eat what I want, stop complaining, couch potato, never able to commit, if I can't be the best than don't bother trying attitude. SIGH

There is no middle. There is no try. There is no grey.

I am also addicted to sugar. There have been many people who have told me to just have ONE cookie. ONE chocolate. ONE of something. To not cut out sweets entirely. To enjoy life. That is hard for me because my tastebuds take control and all of a sudden I am craving more and more and more and before I get my senses back I have eaten more than one cookie. Then I feel bad. And I eat more to make myself feel better, which backfires and I end up feeling worse. If I can't stop eating sugar than why bother working out? I don't know how to balance the two things. I didn't even realize that one could balance them both.

This is what I discovered while chatting with my girlfriend. That there IS a grey and that I need the grey. The only way I will be able to succeed in working out, gaining the body, the energy and the healthy habits I want so bad - is to find the grey. To be able to workout, do my best, and feel good about taking the next day off - without taking the entire week off. To be able to run because I like to run - without needing to see change on the scale or change in the mirror. To be able to notice the change in the scale or in the mirror - without being critical. To try new things and have new goals - for fun not because I am stressed or freaked out that I am not perfect. To see how far I can go - without it consuming my every thought. To be able to make good choices when it comes to food and to feel good about eating a homemade cookie - without eating the entire dozen. To be able to find joy in eating the apple - without going towards the baking supplies. To be able to go to the baking supplies to make a treat for our family - without eating the whole thing before the dessert even gets cooked. To feel better and life a lifestyle that is healthy for myself, to create a healthy lifestyle for my family - because I want too. Because it's a healthy thing to do. Because my family deserves it. To be able to have dessert night, movie night, eat the cake while not freaking out or counting calories or telling myself what a failure I am.

My goal is to find the grey. The balance between being healthy and enjoying life. I know its something that comes easy to most, but for me this is my challenge. To find the joy in working out and eating well. To find the joy in life. To find the balance between wanting to be healthy and eating the cookie. And to not feel bad about the cookie.

I have decided that for the time being I am cutting sugar out of my system except for one day a week. I don't want it to become a desire & need (and oh boy is it a need right now) in my life, but a treat. A privilege. And instead of freaking myself out and saying no sugar forever, I am going slow and taking it day by day. Going one day without sugar. Then I will try for a week. Then I will treat myself with something that makes me feel good. And I will try for another week. I am trying not to look at the big scary picture. But pieces. Just little pieces that one day will build a puzzle that I am happy with.

Same goes for working out. I am not going to jump into Insanity (even though I have gained weight because of my pregnancy and I really really really want to have a quick fix) I need to create workout pieces. Do a little each day. Start slowly. Not to just jump into action. To build habits, a lifestyle. Not just a quick fix.

Right now I am doing a 30 day yoga challenge to help with my bad back and with my flexibility. I cannot wait to start walking every day and to eventually start running. I do have work out goals. I need to focus on having a life as well. So instead of making a plan to "get fit in five months" "have a beach body as soon as possible" "six pack in 4 weeks" "food cleanse - stop eating sugar, caffeine, starches, yeast" - I am going to take it slow. Work my body slowly so that stretching, running and any other workouts become a healthy thing to do in the morning to start my day properly. I want my body to be flexible so that my joints don't hurt, I want to be able to go hiking with my husband without taking a million breaks, to have energy for my daughter, to create healthy habits for my family. And if I skip a day from working out - that's okay. If I need a week break - that's okay. If I go on vacation and I don't have the time to work out - that's okay. And instead of freaking out that it was a waste for nothing - I will just get back into the workout route as soon as possible. LIFESTYLE not TIME LIMITED. I want to make good choices about eating and to feel good about having a cheat day, or cheat meals or dessert or sugary coffee goodness. I want my daughter to grow up understanding this balance. To be able to eat her cake and to understand loving herself and her body. To not have the same struggles that I am currently dealing with.

This is my goal. This is me. Finding the grey.

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