I'm not just talking about weight. I need to open myself up and let the whole "me" come through. I am tense all of the time. Part of that is that I am a full-time stay-at-home mom. Yes, my almost-three-year-old is mostly good, intelligent, creative, and constantly surprises me. As I write, she explores a balloon with her mouth and *POP!* My life is filled with surprises right now. I was not a girl who liked surprises. Planned spontaneity? Is that a thing?
So, I just typed into the Google search bar, "I want to change my life. How do I start?" The first link was to this wonderful article in Forbes, called "Do You Want To Change Your Life For The Better? 7 Ways To Make It A Habit.*"
The first step is to identify my Keystone Habit- the one that I want to start/stop. The biggie. So, what am I most unhappy with?
Well, the answer obviously is "my size!" It isn't for social normality that I pine. I can feel my back fat. My breasts hurt when I run, even double-bra'd. My hip goes out more and more often. I have some really, really cute clothes that I would love to wear. Mostly, I want to see who I believe I am looking back at me in the bathroom mirror. Without makeup.
Now that I have identified my problem, let's think about the one thing we could change to get the most effect. The thing that I'm doing least of. I don't exercise. I like yoga a lot. I enjoy walking. But I never do these things. I have sex occasionally. My husband and I have very little time alone together so we generally have sex once a week or so. Not bad for a couple who has been married 6- or is it 7- years now?
It is hard to think of the idea of adding another priority. I want to make my husband and his happiness a priority. I ache to see his smile. Yeah, corny, cheesy, awful. I love it. I wouldn't have it any other way. Unfortunately, I can't do as much of that as I want. My other priorities get in the way.
My second priority- which is actually my first priority- is my daughter. She's the one that I'm with almost 24/7. She's the one that needs me the most. She's the little, drunk, adult foreign-exchange student that I am teaching our language and customs, while trying to instill values and principle in her tiny, almost 3-year-old noggin- all via co-mom anecdotes and trial and error. Hopefully, I am doing ok. I'm trying my best and that's all anyone can do, right?
My third priority- people keep telling me that this should be my first priority- is allegedly me. I don't know what to do about that. I don't know in which order this should all really go. I feel guilty about making myself a priority at all. Unfortunately, after several days of selflessness, this little introvert needs to bury herself in a book. Or a blog. Right now, I should be upstairs doing the dishes and bathroom, at least one load of laundry. It's getting late. I would normally do things during the day. But this last week or so, I'm just exhausted. Not really physically, but emotionally. Because of that, I'm shirking all of my responsibilities. I'm not being the best me. I want to be the best me.
What do I do about this? I'm totally confused.
So, let's push that all away for now. Let's focus on some exercise habits that I would like to enact. The second step is to identify my current routine and the reward I get from it. My current routine: wake up, make coffee, breakfast for babygirl, do whatever she wants to do until noon so that she stays quiet and my husband can get at least 6 hours of sleep before I lose myself to impatience and wake him if he isn't already awake- usually about noon:15. After that, I try and cram in as much "in the same room" time, cuddle time, or quality time as second breakfast and my darling daughter will allow. I'm supposed to make food for second breakfast (breakfast for him), and lunch/dinner. OK.
After 3, I try and fill the time with more of whatever my daughter wants to do until 7pm. Hopefully, in that time, I will have launched at least one load of laundry and done some random household chores. If not, I'll have to cram as much in between 8pm and midnight as I can. And that's if I'm lucky enough to get her to sleep by 8. No nap. *sigh*
So, looking at that, I see some problems with my grab-bag day. Again, a mental tangle. But do I have to tackle it now? I think that I'm just going to focus on one thing- THE thing that I want to change the most. Creating healthy exercise habits. Let's say this again, with emphasis: Creating Healthy Exercise Habits.
Identifying the rewards of my current behavior.
- I don't have to get up earlier than my daughter, so more sleep.
- I am flexible with my daughter's schedule, so fewer meltdowns.
- Aaaand... that's all I can think of right now.
- More energy for every day.
- Fitting into my "cute" clothes.
- Feeling better. Feeling much better.
- Seeing my self in my reflection. Without makeup.
- Re-regulating my hormones.
- Better sleep at night.
I'm sure there are a lot more but I think that I have enough for now.
The third step is to identify the challenges.
- My biggest challenge is actually being awake at 6:30am without waking my honey-bunny and my little girl. I know that I will shortly get used to waking that early, but sometimes (a lot of the time) my daughter co-sleeps. I have to shave hours off of my evening time and try to be more productive during the day in order to get up earlier. And I need some sort of gentle alarm. Out-of-commission cell phone so that I don't get calls during the night?
- So, I guess that my daughter waking up early,
- an unobtrusive alarm,
- and finishing chores early are among the rest of my challenges.
Now that they are listed, they don't seem so bad. Not too hard. Sometimes, all you need to do is list them, I guess. Cathartic. Soothing, after a fashion.
Next, I plan my new routine and claim my reward. OK, so new routine:
- Be in bed by 10pm.
- Use alarm to wake me at 6:30. OK, realistically 6:15am. Or maybe even 6. I need time to wake up before I exercise.
- Exercise of my choice: yoga, pilates, HIIT, etc.
- Greet babygirl with a smile on my face as she stumbles bleary-eyed, yet smiling, into my workout space.
- Make coffee.
- Proceed almost as per usual, for now. Rescheduling day for more optimum living to follow as I see how this works.
And to pinpoint the reward...? "Yes" to being comfortable in my really cute clothes from pre-aimless me. "Yes" to seeing me when I look in the mirror. "Yes" to having energy. "Yes" to blah, blah, blah... Etc.
Next step: Set up a 30-day challenge.
OK. Starting tomorrow, 30-day challenge. I can't guarantee that I'll blog about it every day, but I might. I should. I need some encouragement. I need someone to hold me accountable.
Maybe that someone should be me.
Number 6 is to power through setbacks. Don't let things get in the way. Easy to say. Harder to remember. I will remember.
Finally, I need to hold myself publicly accountable. I'm starting here. I could post it on facebook but people rarely care what others' weight goals are. I also don't want every convo with my female friends to involve the cliche, "You look good! Have you lost weight?" You have no idea how much I loathe that. That, and the unnecessary high-pitched squealing that accompanies the perfectly expressive hugs. Hugs are fantastic. Why accompany them with annoying sounds? And false compliments have to go. They do more harm than good. Promise.
|I love you, baby. Kisses.|
So, Adam. I know that it is a hard thing to hang all your accountability on one person, but he is the only person that I can guarantee will care enough about and remember to support me. I just hope that I haven't burned him with the lack of follow-through in the last few appointments.
So... 30 day challenge. Do I just decide what I want for exercise in the morning? Yeah. I think that is what I will have to do.
Sayonara for tonight. I'll see you in the morning. :)