“I’ve learned you can’t have everything and do everything at the same time” – Oprah Winfrey
Weight loss is about balancing. Balancing what you can eat versus what you can’t. Balancing what you should do versus what you shouldn’t. As time went on for me this balancing act became more of a struggle. It’s easy to sit here and type like everything was peachy, but it wasn’t. This month was a struggle for me because this concept was so simple. Sit in the kitchen and eat. What followed from that simple proclamation was a host of issues I never expected to have to deal with. The first one hit me hard, but they kept coming and coming and that’s when I ran into issues.
The first issue that came was I got tired of cooking. I was working at home then helping my son with his homework. I was trying to make more mindful choices and realized my mind no longer wanted to make choices. Add to this every commercial on tv seemed to focus on weight loss. I could try Slim Fast, Weight Watchers, Lean Cuisine, or Jenny Craig. Why were people using these plans, because they didn’t have to think. Outside of Weight Watchers they pretty much told you what to eat. Slim Fast instructed you to drink your two fabulous shakes and even eat their snacks if you needed something extra. All you had to do was “eat a sensible dinner” and you would lose weight. Lean Cuisine didn’t need you to do anything but buy their breakfast, lunch, and dinner frozen meals and you would shed pounds with little to no thought. Jenny Craig was even better. She would just ship the stuff to your house. She took all the guess work out of eating.
I know it sounds crazy but my number one goal with losing weight was and still is to simply never have to think about losing weight. That’s where the motivation of one pound came from, but here I was thinking about what to eat to lose weight. Earlier I told you this was a struggle and as you can see it is still a struggle. You can plan for a lot, but you can’t plan for a lack of energy to cook. Most of the time when I had given up on cooking my husband would cook something. My kids were good with this for a day or two, but after that they would begin looking at me crazy. During another bout of non cooking I decided we could order food daily to support local businesses. This was a great idea for two or three days, but then again my kids looked at me like I was crazy. My oldest son one day looked at me and said “are you going to cook any time soon?” These were definitely my kids, they didn’t hold their tongues. Reviewing this now I realize this was part of the depression, but people with depression never catch the signs that fast. I wish I would have.
The lack of energy to cook and the eating random foods did nothing but make the situation mentally worse for me. I became lethargic and really just wanted to lay around from day to day. The concept of doing anything stressed me. Around this time a friend of mine told me I needed to start writing. I loved to write and thought this was a great idea. Really I was using it as something to keep me occupied, something to keep my mind off food. I tossed around a few ideas of what I would write about and actually began putting some stuff together. One day while sitting around doing nothing I decided, I needed to tell my story. I needed to tell this story. The story of one pound at a time. Making a long story short, this is how you are reading this blog. This is one big journal on my journey to lose weight and stop talking about losing weight. Very ironic I know.
I’ve told you all this to tell you again that you need to journal and of course keep reading this blog. You need to keep a record to hold yourself accountable. I keep a journal/planner for work. I keep a journal for gardening. I’ve kept journals all my life but they always focus on madness. No journal was ever uplifting and always started off the same way. I weigh this and I want to weight this. I needed this time to be different and blasting my life to the world was how I planned to do that.
Your journal doesn’t have to be public, but you do need to write stuff down. You need to find patterns that you find yourself so you can figure out how to overcome the negative patterns in your life. I had to realize that I couldn’t do everything. I couldn’t be a great mom, a great wife, a great boss, a great cook, and a weight loss guru at the same time. I had to just be ok at some stuff. Hell some stuff I wasn’t even ok at. I’ve been married for ten years and I still struggle daily on how to be better or how to just be ok. How to live daily without doubt or insecurities.
I remember that I use to think that stuff should be 50/50. Marriage, food, work, everything. Overtime I’ve learned that is not possible. Nothing is ever 50/50. Nothing is ever that perfectly balanced. You simply have to figure out what you are going to place importance on at that moment. I needed to place importance on self care during that moment. I had to focus on my mental and physical health. My family would understand, but I needed to tell them. That’s the first step really. Just open your mouth and tell someone. Once I was able to do that the pressure of not cooking was gone, someone else would do that. The pressure of being a good teacher for my son was gone, I got help with that. Things I was stressing over went away because people helped me when I asked. My husband was my number one supporter when I simply asked him to step in and help.
This week reach out and see who can help you. Figure out where you can take some things off your plate so you can focus on yourself for one week. I know you are thinking there is nothing you can release, but you can. This is where you need to balance. You need to place a higher importance on yourself for just a little while, just for seven days. With all of this going on I did manage to lose my one pound this week. I actually lost two pounds and got myself back on track. I don’t know if it was not eating from stress of what to eat, or realizing I wasn’t hungry. It may have been spending time with myself and changing my focus, who knows. What did happen was I was again focused on the end result. That end result of only trying to lose one pound and not turning this into some big production. To calm down and stay focused on this small thing I needed to do for myself. Remember you are the most important person in this journey. You can’t help others if you can’t help yourself.
I would again like to say this journey is full of ups and down and daily I’m learning to not beat myself up. Some days I have great days and other days I don’t want to do anything. If I could have wrote a blog with just unicorns and rainbows (my husbands expression) I would have. I feel its much better to tell you what’s really happening. Week two I wrote about depression and by week three I was writing about mindful eating. I thought the depression was taken care of, but clearly I was wrong. I’ve included this again to let people know depression doesn’t work on your time schedule. It shows up when it wants to. It shows up when things are going great, and there should be no need for it to drop by. I don’t know when it will come or how long the unwanted house guest will stay. What I do know is journalling and realizing when I’m in a battle helps. I am not always strong. I say this for you as much as I say it for me. Scream it if you want to. I AM NOT ALWAYS STRONG. Guess what though, its ok. Karyn White had a song called “Superwoman”. She was talking about a relationship superwoman but I’ve taken it to a much broader context. I’ve changed the lyrics. Originally they say “I’m not your superwoman”. Ive changed them to say “I’m not a superwoman”. Remember, no one asked you to put the cape on. You took it out the closet all on your own.
Put the damn cape back and do some self love this week. Enjoy the fact that you are two months into this journey and ready to leap into next month. Pause and reflect on your success and failures. Don’t worry, you will get a bonus reflection post. The last thing I want you to do is smile. Just simply smile.