This might sound a little weird to some, but while running errands recently, it suddenly hit me that it felt like I was walking around in someone else's body. For the first 30 years of my life, I was on the slim side of the scale, but the last decade has been a rollercoaster of weight loss and weight gain, each time creeping a bit higher.
|Photo by Samuel Ramos on Unsplash|
COVID was unkind to all of us, but it also led to some undesirable side effects, such as a more sedentary lifestyle, emotional snacking, and subsequent weight gain. Hitting 40 during that time period didn't help either. I've tried intermittent fasting, nightly walking, and calorie counting, but not consistently, and as a result the pounds continued to pack on.
Winter means bundling up in layers and digging out coats and gloves. The clothes that I've always had and felt comfortable in because they hid more...no longer hide it. Trousers are tight, coat sleeves feel constricting, and you can forget all about zipping up any of my old wool skirts. Not happening. Even my boots no longer fit, thanks to weight gain in my calves. I mean, really? REALLY?? Let's just add insult to injury.
And yet I can't seem to stop myself when it comes to sugary sweets. Buttered popcorn-flavored jellybeans from my kids for my birthday? GONE in a week. Late night cheese and cracker snacks, grabbing one or two of the fudge squares on the kitchen counter, and did I mention I broke out the ol' bread machine again? Danger, Will Robinson! I am aware that the biggest roadblock to my weight loss is me. I love food. I love the foods that for 30 years I could eat with relatively few consequences. I mean, bringing home a yummy snack for the Hubs and me to enjoy after the kids are in bed seems like a fair exchange for being grounded as parents. But I don't like the tradeoff.
While driving around in my car, I could feel the roll over my seatbelt. I could feel the way my gorgeous green wool coat was tight across my arms and chest. I was aware of the fact that just before getting in the car I had consumed a rather large handful of the Tootsie Rolls that the kids had included with my birthday jellybeans. And I knew that making choices like that was what led to me feeling like a stranger in my own body.
I've passed the magic 40 mark...I know it doesn't get easier from here. And I also know that if I don't start making some changes in my eating and exercise habits, next year at this time I'm going to be sitting here...weighing 20 lbs. more than I do now. And I'm not okay with that.
So when thinking about my "small victories" for 2023, I decided to aim low. Rather than saying, "I want to do what it takes to lose 40 lbs. in 2023," I'm focusing on just 2 pounds a month. That's 1/2 a pound a week. A tiny little 0.5 on the scale that I so carefully avoid in our closet. It's the difference between eating one Tootsie Roll and eating 20 of them. It's focusing on moderation rather than deprivation. It means asking the Hubs to put in an electrical outlet for the treadmill that was recently relocated...and then actually using it again. Learning to apply self-discipline and not just preach it. Ouch.
January is coming. Goals are being set. But February is also coming. Goals are being excused and abandoned. And March is right around the corner, along with all those regrets over failed resolutions. Which is why I want to focus on the small victories this year. At this point in my life, I would be absolutely thrilled if I lost 2 lbs. in January and kept them off. I'd be over the moon if, by the end of February, I was consistently down 4 lbs. And 6 lbs. by March? Yes, please! So small goals and small victories in 2023. Who's with me?