As I sit down to start to write this entry, I’ve just gotten back from an exercise session. It wasn’t super intense – a fast paced walk – but it was a step in the right direction. It was also good for my head because I did a lot of thinking. I must also mention that this may be a bit long as well as scattered in flow. I would love to be able to just sit down and write the whole thing in one sitting. However, I have 2 kids and we all have to go to school (I teach at their school) so I’m writing this in segments.
For the past 7-8 months I have been in an Action Phase (described in more detail in the LL book). I dropped my weight down to the same weight I was in high school. During this period, I also had some immovable goal dates to shoot for. I didn’t realize, at the time, just how motivating they were. In October, I had my 15K race with a pretty ambitious time goal and shortly thereafter, I had my 20th High School Reunion that I wanted to look fabulous for. Then came November, these 2 dates were gone and the Holidays (which also happen to include the birthdays for both my kids) were right around the corner. I found myself without much in the way of goals and I was entering into the Maintenance Phase. This can be a very difficult phase as I’ve found out.
When I was in the Action Phase everything seemed to come so easily. Getting out to exercise was a snap and making proper food choices were no problem. I had my goals, they excited me, and I was going to reach them no matter what! Then came the Maintenance Phase. During this time, I had parties to go to and other parties to plan and throw. I was up late and not eating well. In short, I got out of all my “good” routines. It was at this time that I could really feel myself starting to lose my motivation and drive. I have been struggling to get it back ever since.
My weight has gone up to 140 (5 pounds over my high school weight) and I haven’t been able to really find a goal that excites me. In the beginning, it was all about getting rid of the weight (I started more that 20 pounds heavier than I am right now). I knew I was heavy, I knew I didn’t look good and I knew my clothes didn’t fit. All these things together were enough to light the fire and keep it burning bright! It’s different now. Yes, I’ve gained weight – there only 5 pounds to lose instead of 30 pounds – but since I’m not feeling as bad as when I first started, weight loss alone doesn’t seem to get me going.
I’ve also decided that I have a very hard time dealing with more than one major goal at a time. When I was in action, I pretty much focused on that and not much else. As a result, my house started to get messy and cluttered. Add on all the Christmas “stuff” and the house needed a lot of work. So, about a week or 2 ago, I started getting the house under control – that seemed to be the goal that was firing me up. See the connection? As I was getting fired up about my goal (the house), I was really struggling with the other goal (my fitness). I need to find a way to balance these 2 areas of my life.
Last night, I sat down and started to re-read the LL book – specifically the section on the phases of change. As I read, I decided that right now I’m in the Contemplation Phase (please see the LL book for further explanation – it is well worth the read!). I also came across some really great quotes:
“Action creates motivation, not the other way around.”
“Energy does not precede your Lifestyle choice. Energy succeeds your Lifestyle choice.”
“You have to start. Quit procrastinating!”
“If you want to change your body, start with a change in behavior.”
“It is important that you at least start the Lifestyle. Even if you are not totally ready in your mind.”
“…you don’t have to have the perfect plan to get going.”
You truly must act your way through the stages of change.”
Do I have everything figured out? No. Do I have everything set up and in perfect order for me to get started? No. I did however get out for some exercise this morning and my eating has been better today. I still have to find a goal that really excites me – something more than “just losing weight”. I also feel that I need to get a good handle on my “Why” – more on that to come.