It’s easy to fall into the pattern of only recognizing the BIG WINS on your way to a healthier version of you. You know – seeing pounds disappear on the scale every week is awesome, but I know for me I don’t always see the big result I was hoping for and it’s easy to get upset about it. Sometimes I put on a pair or jeans, or a skirt from a few years ago and it still doesn’t fit the way I want it to and it’s a little depressing.
It’s easy to let those things deter you from making good decisions every day. But what are big wins made of? Tiny little decisions along the way….and the more GOOD decisions you make, the more likely you are to see those BIG WINS elsewhere. I try to use this mentality on a every day basis and it helps me get through periods where I feel like I’m plateauing or just not making as much progress as quickly as I’d like. I’m here to tell you that it’s NORMAL to not steadily lose 2 pounds a week for 2 months. I’m here to tell you it’s NORMAL to have days where you do everything right, and your clothes still feel a bit tighter. I don’t know all the science behind it, but it’s perfectly normal to have fluctuations in your weight on a daily basis. Don’t get caught up in all the scale drama.
Celebrate Good Decisions
I want to encourage you to celebrate the little things each day. Like when you go out to eat and you order something that is better for you than you normally would. When you stop yourself after 2 glasses of wine or 2 beers instead of finishing the bottle or 6 pack. When you choose water over soda. When you take your dogs for a walk instead of going home and watching a TV show after work. All these little things are to be celebrated – these are truly the foundation of a better YOU. You cannot have the BIG WINS if you don’t do the ground work first. And you must remember, BIG WINS are not a daily thing for most people. Maybe not even a weekly thing for some.
Deciding to become a healthier you is a journey (I’ve said this a million times), and for most people – the reward is not just being healthier at the end of it, but all the amazing things you learn about yourself along the way. I have discovered I have way more self control than I ever knew once I made up my mind to do something (or not do something). I’ve also discovered some people in my life are going to be more supportive than others. That’s okay – I’ve made a lot of new friends along the way as well – and I’m excited to have people to share my successes and set backs with as I go. I have also learned I’m not as picky of an eater as I once was – I just had to find the courage to try new things every once in awhile. I still have a ways to go, but I’m making true progress here (as in I suggest we buy and eat brussell sprouts on a regular basis now…who am i?).
I’ve learned despite having a pretty hectic schedule, carving out the time to plan my meals and make them in advance is the absolute best use of a few hours on the weekend. It allows me the freedom to not worry about “what’s for dinner” or “what should I bring for lunch today” at all. I don’t stress about what I’m going to eat during the week because I’ve already made the decision in advance – I never thought having such structure in my life when it comes to food would be good, but it really works well with a busy schedule. And it helps me continue to make good decisions because I’m not in a rush to try and cook something for dinner when I get home and it means I have a healthy and filling lunch to bring to work 4 out of 5 days (I allow myself 1 eat out lunch a week so I can connect with employers, other campus staff, etc.).
All these lessons I’ve learned along the way are helping me build a solid foundation for my healthy future. I’m making big changes for my future by making good little decisions along the way. It’s really just a matter of DECIDING that you want to make a change. Then you have to start trading your bad habits for better ones. A few words of advice though – don’t expect to meet your goals 100% of the time. Life isn’t designed that way and you will set yourself up for failure if you have that sort of ALL or none mentality. Baby steps, people!
I will share a little win I had this morning – it came as a total surprise! I didn’t step on the scale or measure (that’s what my Friday’s are for!), but I put on a pair of pants for work that I haven’t worn in awhile and they were pretty loose. So i was like, that feels nice. I decided to wear a belt. I pulled out my belt and when I pulled it through the metal frame – it pulled WAY more than it has before. I was able to put my belt on the next to last smallest hole. I seriously was like “WHOA – is this my belt?” because it was such a strange sensation.
Make a few better choices today. Do it again tomorrow. And then keep at it for the rest of your life. After all, the reward of being healthier directly benefits YOU!
When it comes to eating right and exercising, there is no “I’ll start tomorrow.” Tomorrow is disease. – V.L. Allineare