I don’t diet.
Let’s start by making that clear. I had never been on a diet in my life.
I considered myself happy with my body so I felt superior to diets.
I have gone through periods of time when I have both gained and lost weight but never really on purpose.
I tend to gain weight when I’m happy and lose weight when I’m stressed.
Over the past few years I have really been lacking in the self-care department. I am a working mother with two active and busy children. Busy days are filled with homework, soccer practice and dance lessons on top of cooking meals, cleaning up, doing laundry all while both my husband and I work Monday to Friday day jobs and I am trying to balance a freelance writing career.
There simply is no time.
I had been a regular at the gym but I just stopped. I didn’t know how or when to fit it in to my jam packed schedule so I just stopped. The lack of exercise led to poor eating and I found myself snacking on cookies and chips over healthy fruit and veggies on an everyday basis.
One evening I noticed that I was completely winded after walking up one flight of stairs. One flight of stairs! I started to pay attention and noticed that each and every evening I felt nauseous. I would flop on the couch exhausted at the end of the day and battle nausea all night until I finally dragged myself up to bed. I struggled with daily headaches and there was no denying that my clothes were all getting a little snug.
I try not to stress about my weight. As the years go by and my life goes through changes I accept that my body will also. For that reason, I ignored the weight gain.
I couldn’t, however, ignore how I was feeling physically.
The extreme fatigue that took over every day. The sick feeling I was left with after all the unhealthy snacking. The fact that I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs without feeling it.
Enough was enough. I needed to make some changes and I couldnt' do it on my own. I needed some help.
In my late 30’s, I went on my very first diet.
It wasn't just any diet. I went on a diet that I had been seeing all over social media. The same diets that I shunned and judged and rolled my eyes at. I started following one of the diet and exercise programs that I kept seeing in Facebook and Instagram posts.
I felt ashamed that I had to turn to a diet program so I kept it mostly to myself.
The first morning that my alarm went off at 5 am, I wanted to roll over and go back to bed but I forced myself up and into my exercise gear and down to the basement.
That first workout was brutal but that motivated me. I was really out of shape and that made me want to keep going.
And it got easier.
I started getting through each workout without as many modifications.
Not only do I not get winded going up stairs anymore but I can do push ups! Quite a few of them!
I can do squats with my eight year old son on my back.
I do burpees! At five o’clock in the morning you can find me in my basement doing burpees!
It’s been six months since I went on this diet and I have lost over 20 pounds.
This diet that was on the recieving end of all those eye rolls actually worked for me.
It was just the kick in the butt that I needed. It reminded me of the things that I already knew. It reminded me that I needed to eat the right types of foods. I was eating way too much sugar and carbs and not enough protein and vegetables. It reminded me that I needed to drink a lot of water.
It reminded me that exercise is essential to my health and well-being.
It reminded me that it was ok to take care of myself too.
I spend so much time taking care of everyone else that I let myself slip. It’s not healthy physically or mentally.
It’s been six months and I have barely missed a day of working out. I actually look forward to my workouts. I feel stronger, healthier and calmer.
I am setting myself healthy goals. I would like to run a race. I’m not sure what kind of race yet. Maybe a colour race or a 5K. But I would really like to run a race.
I like feeling fit and strong. I want to keep getting stronger.
I was a diet judger. Every time I heard of someone else jumping on these fad diet trains I sighed inside. I felt like caving to a diet meant I was weak and that I wasn’t happy with myself the way I was.
What I realized is that I can be happy but want to improve. I can be happy with the way I look but want to be healthier.
It’s that time of year again when the gyms start filling up and people start adding healthy diets and getting back into shape to their New Year’s resolutions. I used to judge those resolution makers.
Not anymore. Getting in shape is hard enough as it is without adding shamers to the mix.
There is no shame in needing a little help. There is no shame in wanting to be a little better.
Sometimes we all need a little help.
There is absolutely no shame in that.
If you have found yourself feeling sluggish this year and wanting to feel healthier there is no shame in setting yourself a get healthier New Year’s resolution. I support you! Judgment free. No matter how you choose to do it.
And if you need a little motivation, you know where to find me!