I have learned a lot over the years about health and fitness, especially nutrition, and yet I have a difficult time doing what I know to do. Sometimes I just don't care. Sometimes I tell myself that I deserve to comfort my aching heart with food, or that I can't take the time to exercise regularly. Sometimes I get really motivated and do extreme things. It's been a sad little roller coaster ride for as long as I can remember.
I've tried a little of everything along the way, all in the hopes of looking the way our society deems appropriate. But obviously that hasn't been the motivation I need because there's no bounce higher than the ones that happen when I've reached anywhere near my goal. Within moments, a sort of panic sets in, and I have immediately gone back to old habits in a terrible rush to restore the weight lost. I've learned through counseling that what I do is disassociate from reality while my body puffs back up again. Once my body has done what it thinks it needs to do, a scared and lonely place inside me has breathed a deep sigh of relief. But then I look in the mirror and scream, "What have I done?"
Thus, the process begins again.
A few years ago, I purposed to step off the roller coaster. With the exception of a couple times where I went through some terrible things with Redmond's health and gained a few pounds and then lost it once things settled back down, which feels like a normal thing that people do, I have maintained my weight.
During that time, I've been going to therapy to figure why I do this to myself. I wrote about it last week, so I won't go into all that this week. I have set a new goal to be fit and healthy in every way: physically, spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. My gym, Fusion Training, set a new goal during the pandemic closing and decided to re-open as the area's premier fitness coaching facility - helping their clients become fit and healthy in every way. When I heard their new plan, I knew it was time to go all in.
So I have been working with their fitness trainer, Jill, to get the ball rolling. I have attended several group training sessions, worked out at home, and altered my diet. I told her that I wanted something sustainable. I am no longer interested in extreme diets. Together, we agreed that I will focus my diet on lean meats, vegetables, nuts, fruits, and other high-protein foods. I will limit myself to one serving of a simple carbohydrate per day. If I want a dessert, I can have two bites. I will also drink half my body weight in ounces of water a day and limit Diet Pepsi and the like to once a week. When I am totally deprived of anything, I get resentful. This plans feels sustainable to me. In the weeks to come, I may add in some intermittent fasting to see if I can significantly improve my blood sugar numbers.
Of course, as soon as I started my new program, I went on vacation! But on our 11-hour drive earlier this week, I made a point to do squats and run sprints with the kids every time we stopped. I've been taking long walks, and have been running up and down the steps many times a day. It's been a challenge to follow my eating plan exactly, but I've made a point to consider each meal and the choices I make, sticking as closely as possible to it. My blood sugar doesn't go on vacation.
So here are some starting photos. I know that most "starting photos" don't show a smiling, happy person. But I AM happy. I'm happy to be starting something I feel really good about. I'm happy to have found the motivation that I can feel deep in my soul and to know that this time really is different. I'm happy to know that the current state of things isn't the way it will stay.
I have to warn you that I have a whole bunch of "Rockin' Mom" TM t-shirts. They are from the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network and they remind me of all the things I did that were so very far outside of my comfort zone for Redmond. If I can learn to insert a feeding tube, if I can care for horrific, gaping wounds, and so on, then I can do the workouts that Jill comes up with.
When she told me to do these stability ball ab exercises the other day and my poor little abs were still shuddering from the last ab workout, it took some discipline to remember that I'm Redmond's mom, and I can do it. But, I did. And I didn't die.