Monday, April 1, 2013

Day 670 - In with the News

Mood: Awake

Weight: 140 lbs. (12 more lbs lost)

Pant Size: 8/10

Today is Monday, April 1, 2013. I'm back! It's been over a year since my last post... Whoa. Time for a little news update...

The good news: I lost 12 more pounds!
The bad news: That's only about 1 pound per month. I also have a sneaking suspicion that some of that weight happened because of muscle loss. I believe the muscle loss is a result of my inconsistency in (or complete lack of) strength training exercise, but it could be because I am much more active during the day (due to a career change, more about this in a later post).

The good news: My clothes are still getting smaller and more flattering.
The bad news: I can't afford to buy new clothes, nor do I really have much use for cute "going out" outfits because I can't really afford to go out either! Also, my new job calls more for comfort than style, so even if I do find inexpensive and flattering clothes, I rarely have opportunities to wear them. It's not all that much of a problem in the grand scheme of things, but it just means wearing baggy/oversized clothes for a while which can sometimes be uncomfortable.

The good news: Since I started this journey 22 months ago, I have lost a total of 41.6 lbs. I'm only 10-15 lbs away from my goal weight, already at my goal size, and feeling generally more comfortable/confident with my body image. I do yoga once a week (since the beginning of the year) and walk/hike for 30-60 minutes roughly twice a week. I cook more often and with more nutritious ingredients and have made breakfast an almost-daily habit. I meditate regularly, and rarely have trouble falling asleep anymore.
The bad news: I'm still unsatisfied with the overall quality of my efforts (exercise, sleep, and nutrition). Although I've come leaps and bounds from where I started, I continue to cling to old habits (not in the excess that caused my weight gain, but definitely enough to get in the way of more progress). For example, when I'm presented with a lot of down time, I still tend to busy myself with sedentary (i.e. online) activity rather than exercise. I also find myself turning to unhealthy foods when I'm alone/lonely, anxious/nervous, and stressed/overwhelmed. Luckily this doesn't happen every day, but it happens, and it means I haven't learned to cope with some aspects of life in healthier ways.

I plan to address these issues (and the motivations underlying them) in a later post, but I think it's important to recognize that both the good and bad circumstances will not prevent me from giving up or getting too comfortable. I could say, for example: "Ok, what I've done is good enough... I can tolerate the way I look/feel from now on." 

I could also take another approach: 
"I'm happy with what I've accomplished, but I know I can do better. If I work harder and put more care into the choices I make, I have the ability to feel great instead of just good enough. I can have the assurance of knowing that I am truly healthy, but not if I keep doing just enough to get by. I am worthy of the time, effort, and dedication required to be a healthy person. I am worthy of the sometimes painful moments of getting out of bed to work out, to refuse an unhealthy treat, or to burden my body with too little sleep. If I'm as eager to help myself as I am to help others, I can set myself up to have more energy, love, and acceptance toward myself and others."

The best news: In many ways, I'm in a MUCH better place than I was a year ago. Mentally and emotionally, I've also lost a lot of "weight"... and although, as mentioned above, I still have some work to do, I can honestly say I feel much more at peace with and inspired by the changes that have come from the difficult work of finding my true self. 

The journey is far from over, as I believe it's a lifelong one, but I'm so grateful to have seen so much progress in such a relatively small amount of time.

Ciao for now!

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