Posted on 06-26-2015
Hello everyone! Amy here, and I'm hijacking the blog today for my first Fitness Friday post! My coworkers and I have decided to take the big leap and commit to a healthier lifestyle. For some people this was an easy decision; "sure, sign me right up" they said. Unfortunately, I fit into the second category, "um, can I think about it?" I said. Today I'd like to explain why exactly it isn't so easy for the rest of us to decide to make that change, to commit to being healthier and living healthier. And I'd like to tell you how I helped myself make a better choice.
Living healthy hasn't always come as second nature to me. I grew up in a fast paced family. Where a grab-and-go meal was much more common than a sit down dinner. We had a busy lifestyle, I had multiple siblings. So making healthy choices sometimes took second seat to easy and fast. Fast forward to my adult life, and I can very easily say, the fast paced grab-and-go meal was an everyday thing.
But now things in my life are changing. I'm now married and just added a baby to the mix. So now, not only am I responsible for my own decisions, but I'm responsible for the health of my husband and daughter too!
This is where the pressure comes in. I can live unhealthily all I want. But I'm no longer living for myself. I'm living to share a life with my husband. We have goals; we have dreams of travel and children and grandchildren. I can't sacrifice these things just because a PopTart and Netflix is easier than a well balanced diet and a cardio session.
So in order to make this decision, this hard decision, I had to think it through. Because for people like me, people who "healthy" and "fit" don't come naturally to, this is a hard decision to make. I decided to make a list. Two actually. Two lists. Why I should, and why I shouldn't. Let's start with the should's.
Amy's Reason's to be Healthy and Fit
1. I'm a mother. I'm now a mom. HOLY COW, that is kind of a big deal. I'm now responsible for a living breathing little being of life! I need to be here for her not just now, but as long as I can be; through prom and graduation, her wedding and the birth of her children (it's crazy how a whole life of events flashes before your eyes when you become a mom, isn't it?). And I might not be around for all that if I'm not treating my body with the respect it deserves.
2. Eating healthy is for adults too. It didn't really click how unhealthy I was eating until I started transitioning my daughter to solid foods. I was pureeing fresh fruits and veggies, reading article after article and blog after blog. Realizing all the benefits these fresh foods have for her. When all of a sudden I realized, these wonder-foods would benefit me too! Why haven't I ever realized this before! For example, did you know all the benefits of a simple banana??? I didn't, until this article popped up on my Facebook feed one night. I was astonished! And they are so grab-and-go friendly. Needless to say, I buy bananas instead of PopTarts now.
3. I'm a role model now. This one goes back to being a mom. I now have the responsibility of the self esteem of my daughter. Being a girl is hard enough. I won't get started on the impact of media and our culture on young girls. But as a woman, I know how hard it can be. I think all the time about her future and I pray regularly that she will have a strong sense of being and a good self esteem. I realize that I can't make her thoughts, but I can at least set my daughter up in a healthy environment. Where making the right choices with food and exercise ARE second nature to her. Just because living a healthy lifestyle isn't natural to me, doesn't mean it can't be for her. If my husband and I start making changes now, they will become habit by the time she can make these decisions on her own.
4. My tower of jeans. In my closet, in the deep dark corner, was a stack of jeans. I think everyone probably has this stack of jeans. It's the stack where jeans go to die. They get a little too tight one day, and boom, I discard them to the pile of doom. These poor jeans, some only worn once or twice, never got the chance to live their life! I've now moved that stack of jeans to the front of my closet. So every day I see them glaring at me, saying "AMYYYYY... make a better CHOICEEEE today!" I want to wear all of those jeans again. And one day soon, I will!
So the first list was pretty much done. Some very good reasons to be healthy and fit. Then, it was on to my second list. The reason's not to make a change. And lets be real. Making excuses is much easier some days. So first I made the list.
Amy's Reason's NOT to be Healthy and Fit
1. I'm tired.
2. I just had a baby.
3. I'm embarassed.
There were a few other reasons, but these were my main three. These three reasons have ruled my life, the last one for years. So staring at this list I decided to really think about it. How can I debunk these reasons. So instead, I made these into the opposite, reasons TO get healthy and fit.
1. I'm tired. Well missy, you are probably tired because you don't do anything to get your energy up! You sleep horribly because you aren't active enough. It is a viscous cycle really. So I knew in order to sleep better, I needed to up my activity level.
2. I just had a baby. Yeah, over 10 months ago!!! I've been using this as an excuse for far too long. Of course there's the initial period of rest and healing that goes along with having a baby. But newsflash Amy, that period of rest and healing doesn't last 10 months. I decided from now on, I am no longer allowed to use this sentence in any way, shape, or form.
3. I'm embarrassed. This is the big one. The scary one. Because I am embarrassed. I've let embarrassment run my life. I've let it bog me down into inactivity and unhealthy choices. I can still remember to this day the first time I was made fun of in gym class. I am flat footed so running doesn't come as second nature to me. My feet point out, my right more than my left, and I look extremely awkward, a little like a duck actually. In school, no one had a problem telling me that. It was very embarrassing to me, so much so that by middle school, I stopped running. I walked the mile in gym class. Every. Single. Time. I still do not run to this day. But over this period of self reflection, I realized, being embarrassed is going to get me nowhere. It sure isn't going to help me lose weight. It will probably cause me to gain more wait actually. I don't need to run, but I can do plenty of other things. And I will never NOT be embarrassed about my weight, my shape, my eating habits, unless I make a change.
So up came this Fitness Fridays challenge at BACC. And it wasn't an easy decision for me. Because I was told right away that we'd have to hijack the blog and Facebook. We'd have to "go public" (or that's how I saw it), and for me that was an extremely uncomfortable thing. But after debunking all of my fears, my excuses, I realized all I really needed to do was finally out myself, force myself to be held accountable for my decisions and actions when it comes to my health. And while it wasn't easy at first, and it was a busy, scary, hard, different first week, at our first weigh in today I was down five pounds. And while it's only five pounds (and I know it was probably mostly "water weight"), it's five pounds of hard work and long walks with my daughter and good choices with food. It's five pounds of finally deciding to make a change. And I'm really excited to prove myself wrong and make these choices habit and second nature.
Sorry this was a long one. And if you've stuck with me through the whole blog post, thank you. Because you are now someone who can hold me accountable! Don't let me give up, because this is all about support. If you want to join in with us on Fitness Fridays we'd love to hear from you! Your successes. Your failures. Please share them! Because we are all in this together. I'm excited about this new journey and I'm excited to hear about yours too!
So proud of you amy ! Glad I can look up to such a motivated woman! We can do this girl!