Happy February! This has always been such a blah month, especially weather wise, but this year we have so many fun things planned! Aiden turns 4 and we have a BIG surprise for both him and Audrey (hint: our Magic Bands arrived this week!!!) and it's also American Heart Month. I recently became involved with the Cincinnati chapter of the American Heart Association and look forward to bringing awareness to everyone in the next few weeks.
But back to the topic for today...I share a lot about my success and motivation when it comes to health and weight loss. Of course that's much more fun to talk about than the struggles, but I also want to be honest. It's easy to read someone else's story and only see the highlights...and get discouraged. The age old question of...how does she make it look so easy? Well...it's not. Not at all.
I am an emotional eater. Food is a major comfort for me, and I'm not talking about fruit and veggies. When I'm sad, anxious or bored, I crave comfort food. Fast food, sweets...all the stuff I try to limit. The past few months have been a true test to not "fall off the wagon." My mom's health has been a major struggle, we've moved, had lots of food-centered holidays and cold weather. All things that make me want to lie down on the couch with a big bowl of ice cream. Old habits die hard.
I have to remind myself on a daily basis why I chose to change my lifestyle. When I plan our dinners, drive past a McDonald's or see a recipe on Pinterest...I literally have to talk through why those aren't good choices. It doesn't always work. I eat carbs at dinner, order chicken nuggets with my kids and make delicious desserts from Pinterest. The secret...I've made this the exception, not the rule.
When I think back to when I first started adjusting my diet and putting fitness near the top of my priorities, I remember feeling excited and motivated. The fitness part of it has always been MUCH easier than the eating. I love working out and I love the way it makes me feel. But I also love the way a cheeseburger tastes. What it's taken me two years to realize is...it's okay that a cheeseburger tastes good. Eat it. And yes, every once in awhile, eat it with the bun. And then get right back to the healthy choices.
I've seen so many people try - and fail - at fad diets where you have to completely eliminate things. I used to do it, too. I've gone through phases of no carbs, no pop (the only one I still stick to), no fast food, no sugar, etc. Some people plan this for a short period of time and then go right back to the way they were eating...well, that doesn't work. And you know what? It's not good for your body. Now, I have also seen people do this (like a Whole 30 diet) and then continue with a healthy, balanced approach...now that does work. The key is to find what works for you - forever. Find a path that you can take for the rest of your life.
The point of all of this babbling? Losing weight is HARD. Keeping it off is even harder. I do not have all of the answers, but I've found what works for me and my body. I know that it will always be a bit of a struggle to make good choices when it comes to food, and I also know to allow myself to have what I crave. If you're trying to adopt a new, healthier lifestyle...stick with it. Hang in there. Give yourself some credit. You can do it - you WILL do it. I believe in you.
And Happy Heart Month! Please wear RED on Friday to support this wonderful movement :).