I never thought I would type these words, but I am now the proud owner of a fitbit! Welcome to the new me – 2016!
As one of the steps I am taking to better EMBRACE my health, I decided to join a TerraFit challenge to kick off my journey to healthy eating and movement. The 12 week challenge basically combines healthy eating and exercise with team motivation, point earning and even chances to win prizes for your successes! I didn’t know much about the program, but had watched a video and read some information on their website. A friend had had seen some great success a year ago with it and it seemed to focus more on healthy living than on just dieting.
Improving my health is a fairly urgent need for me in 2016, and this looked like a great way to charge into the new year, so I signed up!
I start my new challenge this Monday and I’ve been busy getting ready. For the past week, this has involved clearing out all of the unhealthy food items from our home and making sure I’m ready to start an at-home exercise program. It also has involved some soul-searching and mental preparation to make sure my head it right for this new way of living.
For me, it has also involved saying my goodbyes to things like white bread, sugar, chocolate, ice cream, bacon and sausage! Things on the “naughty” list – at least for the next 12 weeks!
When I initially read the list of unhealthy foods, I panicked a little. No chocolate? Seriously, what is a pre-menopausal woman to do without my beloved dark chocolate? And that was just the one that popped out first. It got worse as I read the list. These were all the foods that had gotten me through my bad days, my bouts of boredom and were my friends when I felt alone!
And I’m being serious, even though it sounds like over-dramatic whimpering!
I could feel my mind heading to that place where it goes when I am feeling ambushed, bullied! New year – New me! So I decided to focus more on the healthy food list – the things that I COULD eat. Hey, ok! I see some old friends there, some favorites! I could work with that and yeah, it may be fun to try those new items. I felt my spirits lifting and started to create a meal plan for my first week.
This wasn’t so bad. I think I can do this! Heck, I even got my husband to agree to eat our main meal based on my plan – which makes my life a whole lot easier!
Food – CHECK!
So I started to look at the movement part of the challenge. Hmmmm – 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week. I can feel that anxiety coming back, along with my normal penchant for immediately finding excuses why that is not going to work for me. They are engraved in my psyche and I can recite them without blinking an eye – arthritic knees and back, bad ankle, bronchial issues…want to hear more, because I’ve got a whole list of them! And have I mentioned my schedule? When am I going to fit in all this extra stuff?
Before I got back to that “I want to quit, before I even begin” place, I decided to go check out the exercise videos that are offered as part of the program. They would be challenging, but not deal-breakers. Another friend had also recently introduced me to an online fitness site that offers routines of all different types of exercise and range from 10 to 30 minutes. If I schedule my workouts into my day, and add on a new weekly Zumba class starting at my church, I’m thinking I can do this. I may have to do it at my pace for a bit, but nothing I can’t manage if I try!
Exercise – CHECK!
I’ve gotten to meet my challenge team through postings and have made plans for getting together for regular motivational and accountability check-ins. Our coach is wonderful and a success story for the program as well! She’s also become a friend over the past year – and that helps a lot!
So motivation and support – CHECK and CHECK!
So the only thing that remains is my head and those danged voices! The ones that tell me I can’t do it. I’m too heavy and I’m too busy and I’m not ready and as usual, I will fail. ARGGGGH! SILENCE!
I learned in a management class many years ago that negative internal self-talk is our worst enemy. It stops us from moving forward, from trying new things and from accomplishing our goals. It takes all of our fears of failure and embarrassment and unbelief in ourselves, and turns them into life-halting blocks in the road. To combat negative self-talk, we were told to reset our minds. A reboot, of sorts! In the instant we felt those negative thoughts overtaking us, we needed to replace those thoughts with an interrupter. One word to stop the cycle. For our class that word was STOP – repeated many times, until that negative self-talk was gone!
STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP STOP …until you could breathe again!
I’ve actually used this technique many times in my life. New jobs, new projects, new roles and just about any major life change I’ve encountered. I’ve used many single words for the reset – STOP, ENOUGH, SILENCE…JESUS! Each work, if I put them to use!
I start this new year with a challenge. A challenge to take the steps to get healthier. To EMBRACE me! No more negative self-talk, no more excuses. Just lots of prayer and support from my family and friends.
And that works for me!
Oh, and the fitbit? Just a tool to help me be successful! It’s all the fad, you know!!!!