*** I wrote this post yesterday during the day, but I never got around to posting it. But I would really like to post it, as it was my yesterday and is my life right now, though I am feeling not so yucky today (thankfully) ***
I should do a "new job update" post, and I hope for my own sake that I will.
But today I am down in the dumps. And though I am not alone, I am feeling lonely. Lonely in my own little struggles, goals, attempts at change - everything. So I thought I'd see if writing helped.
I am currently in the throes of trying to make some life changes. One of those things that I think has honestly kept me away from this space on the Internet is attempting to write in a daily gratitude journal. I find it difficult to write positive and grateful things every day and to fill a whole page, so I often will write a bit about my day or mood, or even what is stressing me out. Then I will be grateful and positive - or at least try. Writing there daily (or mostly daily) has kind of made it feel redundant to come here and write. But then I had a yucky morning and had to come to work, so my outlet is here, on a lunch break. So cheers to that, I guess.
Another one of my life changes I am attempting to make is one that has been a constant struggle for me for so many years. It will come as no surprise that I'm trying to make changes to my weight, my fitness, and my health in general. And that's where my struggle and yucky morning came from. But here are some more details..
I have a dorky little calendar and little sparkly rainbow star stickers to help keep me on track. My goals, which each get a color-coordinated sticker, are: No Soda (mostly Coca Cola, because I am sadly addicted), No Alcohol (I'm trying to cut back - so I get a reward if I have a night with no alcohol - but I'm not trying to cut it out entirely or anything), Drink 64oz of Water (because this is a struggle), Walk (treadmill or outside - anything that is more walking than normal), Run (because I want so badly to be a runner, and now I have a 5k goal for next summer, so I have to now!), Follow Daily Food Plan (I'm a nerd - I have a worksheet to fill out with breakfast, lunch, and dinner ideas each day), and Go to Bed by Midnight (obviously a huge struggle for me, and a huge hindrance to a healthy life).
So nothing crazy. Just all good goals to live a healthier life.
I started my little calendar at the beginning of May, though I had already started attempting to make some of those changes before then. May 1 was also my first day at my new job. It was important to me to have my goals in place before I started my job, with the wholehearted understanding that I did not expect to meet all of them every day, especially when I was first getting started.
I've actually been doing surprisingly well, especially with a few of my goals. I am Coca Cola free since April 26! In fact, the only soda I've had since April 26 was an accidental vodka and Sprite on Cinco de Mayo - I didn't even realize I was ordering something with pop in it until I started drinking it. Oops! But to say my Coke-free life is huge would actually be an understatement, sadly. When I was working at Longwell's, I basically mainlined the stuff - it was free for me as an employee, and I sat there all day long. It also really helps with my headaches, which have been brutal since I stopped drinking Coke, and that's probably when I miss it the most.
In the past 19 days of my goal tracking, I've done a really good job of no alcohol, too. I've had alcohol less than half of the days, and considering Derek's birthday, Lincoln Beer Week, and starting a stressful (in a good way) new job have all taken place in those last 19 days, I could not be more impressed with myself! I think this one is hard on Derek. But we'll get through it! Also, I should say, "no alcohol" means I can have a sip of a great beer Derek is drinking and be alright, but beyond two drinks is considered a no-sticker-day in my book!
The water goal has gone well, too, especially since I bought myself a new Camelbak and can keep track of my water intake easily. Some days I think I drink too much water, and feel like I could just roll around from place to place.
Running is not happening yet at all, which is okay, because that is more of a long-term goal than anything right now. I have not been walking, though I did start yesterday again, and have planned to do it more often this week. I knew that I would want to relax, worry about my breakfast & lunch food prep, and making dinner consistently, and those were more important at this point than exercise. Maybe dumb, but it was my thought process.
The Daily Food Plan has been so-so. Last week was so weird in the evenings that my plan was no plan. Not the best plan, but we had events to go to most of the nights last week, so there was no point in planning too much. This week has been alright so far - stuck to my list 100%!
And do I even need to talk about the Go to Bed by Midnight one? Yeah, probably not. I try. And I do go to bed before 2am usually, and it ends up being closer to 1am, but I am still struggling with this. And besides - I'm not that much better on six hours of sleep than five, or even eight for that matter, so it's hard for my brain to make itself go sleep. Dumb, I know.
Here's the thing, though. Even if I haven't been perfect at meeting my goals, I have made a lot of improvements to my habits, I have been eating better and drinking less bad things and more good things. Shouldn't that matter, even if I'm not running five miles a day?
Maybe it's dumb, but I'm pretty heavy right now. And I kinda thought that the first 5-10 lbs would go faster because I have so much more to lose. I thought that's how things normally worked?
So this morning, for the first time since I started being more mindful three weeks ago, I stepped on the scale to see if I had made any progress. And I hadn't. Well, it was hard to tell, because the scale was all wonky. The first time I had stepped on the scale, I had gained two pounds, which seems basically impossible for the amount I've been depriving myself. Then I stepped on the scale again - down two pounds. Which would be great! So I stepped on the scale one more time, and it was the same thing I weighed three weeks ago.
Perhaps it is stupid, but I was really upset. I understand and appreciate the need for Non-Scale Victories. But sometimes you just need a Scale Victory, too! Especially since the no Coke has been killing me with these insane headaches I've been having, and the not-very-much-beer thing has been seeming to irritate my husband. I feel like I've been making sacrifices, and while they are all good for me, and not going to waste at all, I just really wanted to see or feel more progress. I was not expecting the world by any means, but I guess I was expecting something.
And now I probably need a new scale. Which bums me out because I'd rather use the same scale for consistency purpose from the start of this journey and throughout. And now that's ruined. Because I obviously cannot trust the one I have now, but it is the one I started with. And if I buy a new one now, how will I ever know the results of these past three weeks?
I am probably more upset about this whole thing than I should be. Just typing it out makes me feel pretty stupid. But I've never proclaimed to not be irrational, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.
So some days, being more positive, mindful, and healthful are not easy. Today is one of those days. I am proud of my effort and the strides I've made towards this lifestyle change - even if I didn't see the progress I had hoped.
If you've read down this far, or if I'm reading this later, here's a positive to end on for this blabbering post: yesterday, one of my new office colleagues said to me (not sarcastically), "look at you! The eternal optimist!" and I had to smile to myself, because three months ago, no one could have ever said that about me. So I guess some of these changes are actually working. :)