For most of my adult life my weight has fluctuated. The freshmen 15, Post university party weight, Baby #1 weight, Baby #2 weight, Traumatic life event weight… It has now been one year since I have been working on getting back in shape and so far, so good. You never know what can happen but something tells me that I have reached a new stage in life where I am able to control my weight. I have put a system in place that have made it very hard to go back. Keys to my success?
1. Alcohol: My party days are over. At least the days when I went out 2 nights a week, partied like it was 1999 and then went out for poutine in the wee hours of the morning. The end doesn’t justify the means anymore. Alcohol is not only bad for my wasteline, it is bad for my mood. I still drink, but I don’t do it excessively (or at least not often) and I usually regret it the next day when I do drink too much.
2. Exercise: I have forced myself to stay fit by becoming a fitness instructor. I don’t teach a lot of classes but I do need to maintain a certain level of fitness to teach my classes. Every Monday morning, as I jump, squat and sweat in front of a crowd, I remember why I need to stay fit.
3. Food: In the last year I have come to learn that full “deprivation” mode will lead to some bingeing some time later. I try the best I can to eat mindfully, but when I want a burger and a beer I will allow myself to do so. I am still working on this one.
4. Set Goals: I have signed up for 4 Spartan Races this summer. I have found an activity that I love and I train for it. In the past, I have signed up for activities that I thought I should love (like half marathons for example) but didn’t enjoy training for them because I really don’t LOVE long distance running. But running in mud with obstacles for short (5k) to medium (10k) distances, I love.
The formula is pretty standard. Eat well, don’t deprive yourself, exercise and set realistic goals.
So that is where I am today, four days shy of my 36th birthday. I have come a long way but I still have a long way to go. I have worked very hard on my outer shell, but I still have to work on the inside. Changing the inside will be my hardest challenge. That will be my focus in 2012. Stay tuned.