Hi guys, I am April F. I’ve never had a problem with my weight. Well, not in the traditional sense anyway. I’ve actually been very underweight for most of my life. No matter how hard I tried, I simply could not gain weight. Most people tell me “oh, I’d love to have that problem!”, but when you’re 5’5″, 96 pounds, and your high school nick name is “crack feign”. Yeah, it’s not as fun as it sounds. It still sort of hurts my feelings when people call me skinny. Apparently people missed the memo that insulting someone’s weight -even if they’re underweight- is just plain rude. And mean. You can’t imagine the things people think it’s okay to say to you when you’re underweight.
Now that I’ve had three children and am in my thirties, my metabolism has started to slow, and I’m finally at a healthy weight for my height. Although, I wouldn’t call myself “healthy”, and I definitely still don’t have the body I want. I never lost my baby belly after our third child was born – well actually, that’s not true. I did one summer when my sister and I worked out together, but then after we got back from vacation, and she had to go back to school, that went right down the drain. And it’s only gotten worse from there.
I think my biggest challenge is that people are constantly rolling their eyes or making comments anytime I talk about anything that has to do with exercising or eating right, so when I’m sitting there trying to convince myself to get up and exercise or not eat that little debbie cake, I hear all the things that people have said to me over the years: “you don’t need to exercise, you’re skinny enough.”, “Oh eat that cake! You need to put on some weight”, and so on and so on. So, I give myself a free pass, and say, “well other people think your just fine the way you are, so you can be lazy and not exercise.” or “It’s okay to eat that second piece of cake.” The problem with that is, I’m not happy with my body. I’m not happy with my diet. I want to be the best I can be, and as of right now, I’m not. So, it’s time to stop making excuses and giving myself a free pass just because other people don’t think I need to workout.
Another problem is, I’ve made this resolution before. Statistically, of the 45% of people who make resolutions, only 8% actually achieve them. So what can I do to make this time different? I’d been thinking about it for awhile, and then a couple weeks ago, I saw Dave Ramsey post this quote on Facebook:
“Resolutions are just flimsy ideas. Goals are better – they are specific, measurable, and have a deadline.”
Now why hadn’t I thought of that? I always just say that I’m going to exercise more and eat healthy, but never have a real plan of action in place. So this time, I took a minute to sit, write down my goals, and come up with a plan of action. I thought it was important to have them somewhere I’d see them often. It’s easy to get busy and just forget about the goals you’ve set for yourself. So I decided to write my goals in my planner. It’s a really nice one I got at Target made by Blue Sky. It’s got a monthly calender and weekly calendars so I use it for everything- keeping track of blog posts, appointments, homeschooling lesson plans – you name it . So basically I’m looking at it every day. The monthly calendar has a notes section in the right corner…perfect spot to write down my goals! I wrote them in a brightly colored ink that stands out from the rest of the page to be sure they will grab my attention every day. So here they are:
- Workout for one hour 4 times per week. On the days I work out, I get a gold star on that calendar day to help me keep track…also, I just like getting gold stars…even if I’m the one giving them to myself. There’s something about picturing a calendar full of gold stars that makes me all giddy! Right now I’m using Tracy Anderson’s Mat Workout and the Post Pregnancy Workout. I’ve only done each workout once, but I LOVE her style. And man, do I feel it! If I’m running short on time, I may do Jillian Micheals’ Ripped in 30 video since it’s only 22 minutes. That’s what my sister and I were doing, and I had really nice results as far as muscle tone goes, but I felt like I just bulked up. Tracy Anderson’s method is supposed to give you more of a long, lean muscle, so I let you know how that goes.
- Eat more whole foods. I want to make weekly meal plans. Nothing fancy. Just write down 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners, and 5 snacks. I’m only doing 5 because we usually have leftovers or eat out or at my parents’ house, so I don’t think 7 is really necessary. I’ll make a shopping list of exactly what I need for those meals, and shop at a local grocery store. We have this really great local market that carries mostly local meat, fruits, veggies, etc. They even have an app where you can scan the bar code and find out exactly what farmer it comes from. I’m going to allow myself $10/week to purchase foods not on the list, so I don’t feel completely controlled by the meal plan, but also, not leaving myself a lot of room for impulse buys. I’ll really have to think about whether I need/want the item before committing to purchase it.
My meal plan is something I’m not going to be too hard on myself about, though. I feel like it’s best to focus on forming one new habit at a time, so I’m not feeling overwhelmed by too many changes at once. I am going to try to implement it over the next 90 days, but my main focus is to make regular exercise a habit. Once I’ve got that down. I’ll focus more on my diet.
So now for the scary part…the before picture. Just standing in front of my husband for these pics I felt totally self conscious. It’s not even that I feel bad about how I look, just embarrassed that I’m not my best, I guess. You know like that feeling when you have to give a speech in front of class and don’t prepare and make a total mess of it and all you want to do when you’re done is run and hide?? I avoided taking these for as long as I could, but finally today I had to do it because it was time to upload them. I spent most of the day thinking, “Why did I volunteer for this????”, but I knew why. If I committed to this there was no turning back. No excuses. So here goes.
Ack! Okay, yeah…there’s some motivation to get my workout in tomorrow…