**Warning. Honest and confronting disclosures to follow**
In case it escaped your notice, today is the second last day of the year ! A lot of people use this time to think back on their year, to set goals for the coming year, and generally reflect on life in general. I used to avoid doing that like the plague. I didn’t want to look back over my year, and tally up the failures, which ALWAYS revolved around my weight, my smoking, and my health.
This year, finally, it’s different.
I started my year the same as every other year. I promised myself that THIS YEAR would be different. I started a ‘healthy’ eating plan that included supermarket bought meal replacements that had barely any calories in them, and set myself up on a road to failure by trying to exist on a calorie limit that wouldn’t sustain a fruit fly. And then I failed. And then I got upset at my failure. And then I used that upset feeling as an excuse to pacify myself with food. I joined a gym, but never went. I made excuse after excuse. And I kept smoking. Because you can’t quit smoking and go on a diet at the same time, can you?
Does any of this sound familiar?
I repeated that cycle about 3 times before I gave up any further thought of getting healthy, and at the age of 43 I resigned myself to the fact that I was just meant to be fat. I was just meant to be the ‘funny friend’.
43 years old and I was going to give up on my health, and basically my life. I had already shut myself off from most of my friends. I made excuses to decline social invitations because I was embarrassed about how I looked, and embarrassed that I had no clothes that fit me, and the ones that did looked like they were more suited to an 80 year old. I used to joke about the fact that all I owned was scrubs or pyjamas. In truth, I was mortified at the clothes I had to wear. So I used to go to work, come home, put on pyjamas, stuff my face with unhealthy food, and smoke a packet of cigarettes a day. On the weekends when my kids went to their Dad, I would only get out of bed to drive to a take away food shop. I would spend the whole weekend laying in bed and eating crap.
I made excuse after excuse about my weight. From “shift work screws up your metabolism” to “it runs in my family” to “I’m too old to change now” and even a bit of “I don’t have time to look after myself”.
The cold hard truth was a lot more simple. I lacked the willpower and the drive to change my habits. I valued a 3 piece feed more than I valued my health. I valued a large latte over nice clothes and better sleep. I didn’t have the courage to change my bad habits, even knowing, as an ICU nurse, that they were literally killing me. I would routinely nurse patients with end stage respiratory issues secondary to smoking. I could actually see the future I was heading towards. And then I would go home, eat crap, and smoke.
I was lazy, I was beaten down, and after so many failures I was scared to try again, because trying again meant failing again.
And then one day I got introduced to an amazing program that has changed my life. No other way to put it really. I was finally able to be honest with myself about the state of my health, what it was doing to me and my life. And also what it was doing to my children ! I knew that they were worried about my health, but not how much. I knew that I was setting a bad example for them, but the reality was too hard to confront, so I ignored it.
Ignoring it doesn’t make it go away… we all know that. What it did was make me feel even more guilty, and even more sorry for myself, when in fact, I only had myself to blame for poor choices. Because if we get real, no one forces you to make bad food choices. No one forces you to drink all the soft drink or all that coffee. No one forces you to sneak the food that no one but you knows about. The choices are yours and the consequences are yours.
You just have to choose to make a change, and commit to it. Not be lazy, not make excuses and not blame things that have nothing to do with your situation.
YOU have to make the choice.
One of the biggest misnomers about changing your habits and your lifestyle is that “I can’t go out, I can’t socialise, I can’t go out to dinner with my friends”. Of course you can. You just need to make different choices for a while. If you want to make a change to your health and weight, then you have to make a change with your choices.
If you stay the same…. you stay the same.
Some of my results so far:
- 4.5kgs lost in the first 11 days
- 9.6kgs lost by day 30
- 15kgs lost by day 60
- Total kgs lost now is 25 !!
- Given up smoking – 5 1/2 months now smoke free
- Gave up coffee for 4 months, and now only have one occasionally
- Gave up my 4-5 can a day coke habit
So many things have changed in the past 5 months. I’m so very grateful for the fact that this year, my resolutions can be about something other than getting fit, losing weight, and stopping smoking.
I am no longer the same person I was at the start of the year. I am no longer the reclusive fat girl who accepted poor treatment from others because I had such a low sense of self worth.
I am fit
I am strong
I am healthy
I am a hell of a lot happier than I was 5 months ago
And for the first time in YEARS, I’m looking forward to the new year.