So what areas of your life are you currently allowing indecision to rule you? Have you got a health goal? A relationship goal? A business/career goal? A weight loss/weight gain goal? A fitness goal? A travel goal? A cash positive goal? (I believe that when we focus on what it is we want, it is better for our brain...instead of saying, a goal to pay off debt, I like to say I have a goal to become cash positive). The first thought that comes, is your truth...now write it down. What was your first thought for a goal you've been indecisive about? Now write down all the reasons you've been stuck, not making the decision you know that you have deserved to make for a long time now? Once we can be honest about why we are not willing to decide to make a change, we can recognize the reasons (or excuses) as valid...and also thank them for showing up and allowing ourselves to release them.
My personal testimonial is a vulnerable one...possibly more information than I ever thought I would share in one area of my life for now (I have many other areas of decision that are harder to express just yet).
Some people reading this will know my story...some will not, so I will write this in a way that makes sense to everyone reading it.
When I started my health and wellness journey in 2009, I remember my decision day as clear as anything. It was September 1st and my kids deserved a healthier mom than I was at that time. I had a 2 year old and a 6 month old (our 3rd baby wasn't here yet). Within 6 weeks of me making a decision I had successfully released 25 pesky pounds and I felt better than ever. I managed to maintain that feeling until I became pregnant with our 3rd child a year and a half later. The great thing was that even through my 3rd pregnancy, I continued to be very healthy. My metabolism was incredible, it was as if my new way of being had finally caught on and I wore my rings throughout my entire pregnancy...not a bit of water retention and my 3rd trimester was through the summer (many ladies know what I mean when I say this can be rare). My doctor even gave me permission to fly 5 hours one way (so 10 hours for the total return trip) within 6 weeks of my due date as she said I was healthier during that pregnancy than I had ever been in my previous other two.
Fast forward to the birth of our 3rd little miracle. Everything was going great. Baby was healthy, other two kids were doing well. Hannah was 4 (and starting JK every other day), Jack was 2.5 and still at home with me and Kate was a newborn.
I will not complain at all about the craziness of parenthood...because I was once dreaming of the day I would be a mom. However, I will be real. Having 3 kids within 4 years was CRAZY! I think of it now (that they are 10, 9 and 6) and can completely understand why my health took a back seat during that time.
As demands increased at home with the kids, my home based business grew as well...it was booming. Within a few short years I almost doubled my husband's full time salary as a full time police officer (*results not typical) and he had worked for almost 3 decades by that point. Trying to keep everything together, trying to be everything to everyone, I began to let my own health needs slip. I became extremely stressed out, my thyroid and adrenals were struggling to support me, I sought private medical care through a naturopath and before I knew it 30 pounds or more crept on causing me to be very self critical, embarrassed and wanting to avoid all social and business interactions. I became depressed, tired and unhappy.
My internal thoughts:
"It's summertime my favourite time of the year! Oh Sh*t, that means pool parties, friends, family, and our company's annual convention." When I was at my optimal health and body weight, I was excited, I was raring to go all the time. Bring it on! Socials, BBQs and business events. But a week ago I was devastated.
More internal thoughts: "I feel like such a failure. Why can't I get my weight off? Why do I keep gaining weight? Why are my clothes shrinking? Seriously can this really be what happens when we turn 40? But I use Isagenix and have used it for almost 9 years now. What must people think? They must think Isagenix doesn't work. I have done this business helping others with Isagenix, why can't I help myself? What a fraud I am." (and these were the tamer thoughts inside my head)
The day that broke my self loathing, pity party....I wish I had taken a photo, but I have a record of it on my fitbit app (I have a scale connected to my fitbit app), so it will never be forgotten. This day was just a few days ago. Sunday, July 8th. As my son was being tucked into bed, he asked how much my husband weighs (he was curious as he is now reaching a new size for a lifejacket). My husband answered him and they did the math to see how much more weight daddy was than Jack was...he was enjoying the "math". So next question was, "mommy, how much do you weigh?". I was generous by saying 160lbs (to make it a nice even number), but that day I actually weighed in at 161.6 pounds and I said it with a smile to not show him my disappointment because I don't ever want my kids to get an unhealthy attitude or obsession around weight. As I walked back to my room, my husband followed and he said, "you are not 160lbs". I turned to him and said, no I am actually almost 162. Feeling so upset with myself for indulging that day with family (beautiful bbq with snacks and cold drinks while we enjoyed the pool)...I started to realize that on top of being 41, on top of not being very active, on top of eating and drinking what I felt like (most of the time)...I knew that I had to make a decision. And that decision HAD to be for the right reasons or I would NEVER make it last.
The next day, I reconnected my fitbit (and I put it on). Part of me was always afraid to use it, because I don't want to have to track my every move. I didn't want to become addicted (like I've seen others), to hitting those 10,000 steps (especially since if I am up and clapping at a business event...it will add to my steps and not be an accurate number). I didn't want a day under 10,000 to make me feel like another failure...I've already done enough of that self talk long enough. I also reconnected to My Fitness Pal and Map My Ride (and I love that it can scan barcodes, that I can upload recipes I find online, I can log my own recipes and all of my Isagenix foods are in that app too. It is a great system. However, much like my thoughts on using the fitbit again...I was afraid that I would find myself wasting a ton of time logging my foods (I've tried and failed to log my food many times so why would this time be different), making sure I have the right combo of macros and that I was tracking all my exercise and not failing to put everything in there so that I could get a real representation of my results based on my true actions.
That day felt like another failure...stepping on the scale isn't so much fun - and I also know it isn't the best way to "feel" better and it isn't always a true representation of our health. It said 162.7! My jaw dropped..."but I've tried so hard to stay within my macros today. Why bother? I am doomed. Maybe I do have something medically wrong that is causing me to gain so much weight. I feel like such a failure. My 5 foot 3 stature is going to become my width before I know it"
I went to the store and found a food scale for $12. It was a bargain, because I had no idea how much they would cost and when I saw that it was on sale from $29, I knew it was a good step in the right direction. Never wanting to have to weigh my food before, I realized that if I truly wanted a better result I had to change the way I was doing some things. Mindless eating and drinking (alcohol) wasn't working...so why not try to start monitoring my portions more closely? I quickly saw where one of my downfalls was. I love cheese and to cut it out cold turkey isn't something I am willing to do, however...I am willing to be more mindful of the amounts I do eat. So when I weighted an ounce of the most amazing old Beemster cheese and I logged it into my food diary, I saw that it really bumped up my fat content for the day and I knew that this awareness will help me so much as I move forward.
One of the things I want to say is I really do want to get back to my optimal weight, and I also don't want to be so extreme with my lifestyle that I can't enjoy the foods I love most. I want to still live with balance and never obsession. A glass of great red wine and my favourite old cheese will still be a treat and I never want to feel guilty or stressed when it comes to food. However, recognizing some things I had taken for granted (or lived without mindfulness with regards to food) has had consequences.
Another area of massive awareness was water intake. I assumed I was drinking enough water, but the first day I logged it, I had only 3 cups of water (which I realized was my norm). The second day I logged it, I got 9 oz over my recommendation. Today I am writing this at 11:30am and I have already had half of my daily recommendation and I have even gone for a bike ride before 8:00am. Sometimes being accountable to ourselves (even through the use of an app that works for us), not only helps us make new habits, it can help us feel better about ourselves too!
I don't believe that being obsessed about these apps online is what is it all about, although I can see that at the beginning of starting a new mindfulness approach to prepping meals can be both helpful and can also seem obsessive at the start. It can make the most eager among us want to quit just to save time (and money).
I made some wonderful things yesterday and the thought of making more balanced and fresh meals again today makes me feel a bit overwhelmed because it is a completely different way to shop and prepare. When we get busy, it is easy to fall into the same unhealthy ruts we've been in, because they became a habit for so long. I personally have always been a meat and potato girl. Making roasts, rich sauces etc. Eating mindful and more aware must become our new habit if we want lasting change and making the decision for me was a BIG deal. Habits don't change overnight and they don't happen until we decide we are going to make them happen. Without that decision...I would never start the new way towards my health and my family's health. Today my scale showed that I was down 2.4lbs. It is not something I will obsess about, but in all honesty seeing the scale move in a positive direction gave me some hope. My goal is to get back to my ideal weight, which for me at 5 ft 3, is 130. It may not happen as fast as I want it to, but I know that because I've now made a decision and I am taking action, I will reach my goal and I will enjoy the journey (even though as times I will feel discouraged or indulge too much). I am a human, just like you are. And we all have times when we know that we can improve, when we know it is ok to fall down and times when we know when it is time to get back up and move in the direction of our dreams again.
So whatever it is that you are ready to make a decision on...start by asking what makes you want to change. If it is an emotional answer, that will help you move. There is movement in emotion...so let it get raw, let yourself FEEL the frustration, sadness, determination and I hope that you will share your goals, your moments of decision with me...because human to human...when we can be open, honest and real about it all, we learn how similar we are to others. We are not alone in our struggles, in our triumphs and we are supported by more people than we know...if only we will be transparent and vulnerable enough to let people in!