A year ago I was in a place where I wasn't very happy about how I looked and felt. I spent a lot of energy thinking about changing, but mostly I just whined about not being happy about how I looked and felt.
A blog reader offered some advice: "Enough with the whining already! Why don't you DO something?"
I'll be honest with you: at first I was all, "What the—?" and then it hit me like a giant 'DUH!' out of the blue. If I wanted to see change I had to do something about it. End of story.
So I started Moving More and Eating Less. Every day, every month, all year long. It wasn't without effort. It wasn't ever automatic. And it wasn't without sacrifice.
Today, I'm 30 pounds lighter and I don't whine nearly as much. This is me right now.
I don't have all of the answers. I'm still trying to figure out where I need to be on the scale and still live a life of joy that still includes food. I fully anticipate the probability of more weight struggles in the coming year, but I will tell you one thing I've finally learned: there is no magic pill to help you get into shape.
Even today where at my last weigh-in I'm up 7 pounds from my lowest weight of the year, I'm fully aware that the ball of motivation lies squarely in my own court. No one can do any of this for me. Yes, life conspires to make it hard for us to Move More and Eat Less, but guess what? We get only one to work with. Life, that is. What is it you want to do with yours?
I'm challenging anyone who wants to make a serious change in their overall health and fitness to join me in 2011 with two simple goals: Move More and Eat Less.
You guys know I'm not a professional health and fitness expert, but I'm qualified to tell you this: there is nothing mysterious about getting into shape. It requires commitment, effort and a willingness to both fail AND succeed. And it is an unending process. There is no finish line to be reached, much as I really, really want there to be one. You have to start and then do your best to simply keep it up and take care of the one and only you.
Sure, you can have number goals, but even when you reach them, you have to find new motivations to continue on this journey.
I'll tell you what some of mine are:
1. I feel better ALL the time. I've hardly has so much as a cold this past year. No headaches. No congestion. Nothing. Moving More and Eating Less makes me feel better.
2. I'm less crabby overall. I used to be SO much more moodier than I am today. And let me tell you, for a high strung perimenopausal woman, this is no small deal. Taking care of myself physically reflects on my mental state every single day.
3. I'm less tired. I used to crave a nap almost every single day. Now? I get sleepy at 10 p.m. When I SHOULD be sleepy. I don't hit that crash and burn part of the afternoon.
4. I am thinner than when I started. It goes without saying that this is a motivator for me. I like looking fit. I like that my jeans are smaller. And when that's not enough of a motivator, I look at numbers 1 through 3 again for a kick in the pants, so to speak.
5. I like who I am as a sportier person. Yep. That's right. Me, the girl who used to just sit outside and smoke now really likes the fact that I put on running shoes and head out to sweat, or that I put on some goggles and swim laps, or that I clean the house with a renewed gusto that I didn't used to possess. I like feeling a bit like a badass in the weight room, even if I'm only lifting 8-pound free weights.
6. I have learned to stop limiting myself. Getting in shape this year has helped me to stop using the old "But I can't…" crutch. And I believe it really is a crutch. Anyone can find something to let them Move More. Anyone can find ways to Eat Less. Stop selling yourself short and test this theory out. You, like me, may be pleasantly surprised.
7. Moving More and Eating Less is the only thing that seems to work. As challenging as it can be to get started, there is something very basic in this approach. It can be whatever YOU define it to be, but make no mistake, if executed with care and dedication you will see visible changes.
Welcome to Move More Eat Less for 2011.
I'm refocusing my efforts for 2011. I have realized that Moving More and Eating Less is a process—a continual process that requires my attention not just when my jeans feel a bit too snug, but every single day.
I get one life and one body to care for. Period. I'm not willing to throw that responsiblity out the window after feeling what I've felt—both highs and lows—from this past year. I hope to inspire you to make the changes you need to feel the same.
This year, my tools will be regular exercise both in the world at large (running) my gym membership at the YMCA (swimming, weight training, elliptical machine), Weight Watchers online, and of course, planning meals and making the best choices for me and my family.
I've also created a new digital journal tool called the Move More Eat Less Fitness Journal to help anyone who finds that tracking their progess also serves as a great way to preserve their motivation.
This 5.5 x 8.5 size journal set contains 22 pages in printable PDF format and fully layered PSD files and they are designed to help you track how much you move, eat and the progress you make a long the way. Pages include:
• title page
• starting photo page
• starting measurements page
• statement of intentions page
• tools and resources page
• daily tracking pages for food and exercise
• weekview tracking pages for food and excercise (includes your choice of Saturday, Sunday and Monday week start days)
• monthly photo and measurement tracking pages
• journaling pages to document your thoughts and feelings along the way
• before and after photo pages
Pages come two-up on an 8.5 x 11 page for easy printing and trimming and feature my favorite color palette.
You can also just use a regular 5.5 x 8.5 3-ring binder and three-hole punch your pages.
The point of this journal project is tracking. It's not meant to replace a system you're already using, such as Weight Watchers, or The Daily Plate, or Jenny Craig, but it IS meant to help you continue to track where you are and where you're going.
The set includes Weekview Trackers (featuring week starts on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, depending on when you start an official week) and Daily Trackers.
I've realized this year that being aware of what you eat is key to the process. These pages are designed to help you do just that.
Then once a month, you'll take a photo and your measurements. The project only requires you log your weight monthly. I did this to take some of the focus off of weight as the sole factor to determine your success. It is really only one part of the equation.
The set includes places to journal about your intentions as well as your feelings as you go through this process of literally changing your life.
During this past year, I also documented my journey using templates, and for 2011 I've updated the templates for those of you who also want to record your monthly progress on a scrapbook page.
Again, I'm a firm believer in documenting all aspects of life, and taking steps towards better health and fitness is definitely one of them.
Of course, ANYONE can join in this journey. You don't need a fitness journal to do it. And if you are in, here's a blog banner for you to download and share on your own blog (PC users, right click to download the file, Mac users, Control Click and Save Image As):
I will be posting monthly, just as I have all year long, sharing with you my own successes and struggles with this process.
My goal is to live a healthy and full life in 2011. I don't intend to starve myself and deny myself sex muffins and Stephen's Hot Cocoa. But, I DO intend to make sure my treats are in moderation and that most of what I put into my body is nourishing and healthful.
I also intend to keep my butt Moving More in every possible way I can find to make that happen.
I would love to have you join me.
What do you say? Is this your year?
If you have any questions about this new journal project, be sure to post them in the comments. Also, in the name of fitness and better health, please check back here during the 1st week in January for a pretty cool fitness related giveaway.