I have been struggling again with my weight, an unwelcome 10-15 pounds that has decided to attach itself around the center part of my body. It seems that over the last several years I am a bit on-again, off-again when it comes to exercise. And for me, that makes all the difference. I don't know how everyone else is wired, but in my particular brand of madness, I start running, biking, training for a triathlon, lifting weights, women's boot camp, yoga, and so on...and it is exciting and enjoyable for a while. But at some point I get a bit bored with it. Some two months later I realize I am barely exercising and I have to look for something new to "ring my bell."
Now it's the holiday season, so on top of not exercising much, I realized around Thanksgiving that I have been lax about my eating habits too. Eating healthy is a core value for me. I belong to a CSA, and eat lots of organic vegetables grown at Grant Family Farms in Northern Colorado. I'm not a vegetarian, but I only eat meat that has been raised naturally and humanly. I am a bit of a foodie, I'll admit it...I'm crazy about wholesome, well prepared food. But my downfall is processed foods. When I feel tired or overwhelmed, I am much more likely to turn to cheese and crackers, tortilla chips, bread...well you get the picture. I've been watching this pattern of behavior in myself for several years, and I'm tired of the merry-go-round. I decided I wanted to understand more about why I seem to get stuck in these self-defeating cycles. This time I vow, I am going to find my way to sustainability.
I hired a nutritionist/health coach at the start of December. I decided to start the process before the New Year resolution crazies got a hold of me (because I've done that a dozen times or so). We met right before Thanksgiving and between then and now, I started taking my vitamins (including Omega Complex, a probiotic, and extra Vitamin D because I have a tendency to become deficient) every day. I also drink at least 70 ounces of filtered water each day. I reestablished a habit from years back, of filling a large water bottle at the start of the day and carting it around with me. If I see it, I can remember to drink it. It has worked like a charm.
When my coach and I met two weeks ago, I had committed to exercising four times a week at our initial session...and I failed miserably. What I had done really well was getting started again on the right mix of vitamins and drinking lots of water. I also worked on my awareness of maintaining an attitude of ease for the holidays, which meant I prepared a tasty and healthy Thanksgiving dinner without getting stressed out. So all was not lost.
These past two weeks I have been doing better on the exercise front. We agreed that with Christmas and end of the year work responsibilities, I would exercise at least 30 minutes three times a week. Since I had been struggling to get up early enough to get in a work out, we discussed lunch hour walks, and hitting the gym at the end of the day. I still have not taken a walk during the middle of the day, but the past two weeks I have been able to get to the gym three times a week and work out for an hour each time. Progress!
I still haven't focused too much on my diet. I'm mainly paying attention and noticing what is going on when I reach for something to eat. And my coach recommended that I start eating a healthy carbohydrate at breakfast and lunch to help curb my appetite and my tendency to hit the carbs in the evening. But for now I have decided not to restrict myself during the holiday season. For example, my husband made some Christmas candies a couple nights ago, and I can assure you I didn't pass up sampling the fruits of his labor.
I don't know if any of this is contributing to losing weight, because for now I have decided to avoid weigh-ins. I am working on this from the inside-out. What I can get passionate about is my health and eating real food that is grown naturally and free of pesticides. So for now, I will evaluate what I do against that value. I'm going to hang out in that space for a while and see what shows up.
Socrates said, "We are what we repeatedly do." I'm looking for excellence at the intersection of being and doing.
If you are interested in a great article from Harvard Business Review on the Six Keys to Being Excellent, CLICK HERE