Getting Back to Me – Life Happens and I’m OK With That

I hit the ground running with the 3 eating goals I set last month. I struggled a bit with curbing my evening snacking, but I settled in after about a week. I lost 2 pounds in the first week and then I got stuck in the madness of December. First one of my ribs went out, which derailed my running/workouts for several days. Instead I chose to do therapeutic exercises to calm my back muscles while I waited to get in to the chiropractor and afterwards to recover. I got restarted with my exercise, then I got way too relaxed with my eating over the weekend and jumped back into my over-snacking. A re-set on Monday with my eating and I was back on track. Then I forgot to write in my food journal. That spiraled into multiple days of “forgetting.” Fortunately, all of my off days were just a few days and though I didn’t make any forward progress, I managed to keep those 2 pounds off. But, seriously, I’m a goal-oriented person. I kept asking myself, Why am I struggling with these goals? Since I have a total of 5 goals right now (3 eating and 2 exercise) I wondered if I was “over-goaling” (is that a thing?) But, since I tend to be motivated by goals, I decided that I just needed to re-focus and keep moving forward.

With Christmas just around the corner, I knew I had to stay on track in the days leading up to the holiday. I was headed to Idaho to visit family, which would inevitably mean less exercise and more indulging. The week before I left, I got serious. I made a couple of lunchtime “running dates” with friends to ensure I would get several runs in before I left in combination with getting my workouts in. I stayed on track with my food journal, as well. I checked on a couple of gyms near where I would be staying to make sure I would get a workout in. I knew that running was probably off the table with the cold, ice, and snow, but I still packed some running clothes – just in case. Yes, I planned optimistically, all the while knowing that time with the relatives would mean lots of inactive time.

My husband and I freezing our faces off on a icy, snowy walk in Idaho.

I was out of town for 4 days, but managed to get in a workout class at my parents’ gym on one day. Another day my husband and I got in a short, ridiculously cold, walk in the ice and snow. It wasn’t much, but it was intentional movement 2 out of the 4 days.

As for eating, I chose not to get stressed about it. I knew I wouldn’t be on my own schedule, or cooking my own meals, so I focused on several things:
1) Trying to get enough water throughout the day. That was a challenge, especially since the water where my relatives live doesn’t taste great. I drank filtered water when I could and purchased a few bottles of water when I had a chance. I definitely didn’t get as much water as I was used to. However, adding in more hot tea helped me endure the cold weather as well as get a little more water in a creative way.
2) Eating protein at every meal so that I would stay full longer. This was also a challenge for me because I am a very picky eater. I wasn’t always able to do this, as sometimes I really didn’t like my options. But, I was intentional about eating protein-rich foods when I was able.
3) Enjoy the indulgences. Yes, that’s right! I made a plan in advance to enjoy the holiday treats. There’s no way I was going to pass up my mom’s homemade cinnamon rolls or English toffee. Those are treats that I only get every few years, so I was going to have some without guilt and just savor them. Did I over-indulge at times? Yes! Did I beat myself up over it? No way!

So, I returned home after Christmas without too much damage done and ready to get back to my own schedule. Instead, I came back with germs from my travels. Even as I type, I am sipping hot tea and dressed in warm, comfy clothes while I take yet another day off work due to sickness. I haven’t worked out or run for 6 days. I’m not even attempting to keep up with my food journal – what’s the point when you’re sick? Despite this crazy month of December, I’m OK with where I’m at. I haven’t quit. In fact, mentally I’m still focused on my goals even though physically I’m being forced to take a break. Life happens! The holidays, travel, chiropractic issues, and illness are all just part of life. It just happens that they all fell in the same month. As the saying goes, “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you choose to react to it.” I’m choosing to react by taking this in stride and riding it out with a positive attitude. I know that as soon as I’m feeling better I’ll get back at it. My crazy December is almost over. Even though 2016 has been a positive year overall, I’m ready to dive into 2017 with a renewed energy and focus.

Stay tuned. I will continue writing about this journey back to me in 2017 with the hope that this will help someone else who is in the same boat and needs some encouragement. Join me! What are your goals for the New Year?

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