I’ve been on the diet and exercise roller coaster so many times, I can’t really count. But there are definitely the periods of time that stand out – one in particular. I remember it clearly because when I talk to my mom about this point in time, she describes me as “obsessed.”
I don’t remember what it was that motivated me in the first place, but something had lit a fire under me and I had a goal weight in mind, and I achieved it, briefly. (It happened to be the lowest weight of my adolescent to adult life – a weight I hadn’t seen since I was 15 years old.)
Developing better eating habits has always been the toughest for me – I’m still working on it. But historically, I’ve been successful cutting back on the food intake a little bit and upping the exercise. During my period of obsession, I was doing yoga in the morning, walking a combined three or more miles during work breaks, and working out several evenings a week. I topped it off with five-mile hikes on the weekends, but that was really just for fun. I love to hike.
The weight came off, and at 25 years old, I weighed the same as I did at 15. And, thanks to the exercise, looked better than I did at 15.
I think about that point of my life pretty regularly because the mindset I have now is very similar to the mindset I had then. It makes me ask myself, Was my mom right? Am I obsessed?
Not obsessed. Just dedicated.
There’s something about knowing where you were health-wise before, and admitting that you let yourself go, that sparks a fire in your gut and you’re just… dedicated. You’re dedicated, determined, and motivated – you’re finally done starting over.
What I will say about that point in my life is that once I hit my weight goal, I didn’t then adjust as needed to sustain that weight. I knew then, as I do now, that it’s not about fad diets or 90-day programs. It’s about healthy lifestyle changes, and developing sustainable habits that can be easily adjusted to either help you lose weight or sustain your weight in a realistic way. The difference now is that I’ve reincorporated those healthy lifestyle changes into my routine and I’m careful to not start something that I know I won’t be able to sustain in the long run.
AKA: As wonderful as morning yoga felt, I really, really love sleeping a few extra minutes. It seems silly, I know. Maybe someday I’ll get back into it, but for now I’ll stick to my afternoon/evening workouts. It’s more realistic and sustainable for me.
So maybe wanting to incorporate all of this into my career teeters on obsession. But even with that, I think of myself not as obsessed, but passionate. That fire in my belly is back, and I’m holding on tight.