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Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Making a Commitment

I've had many people ask me, "How do you keep going"?  Or, "I've tried so many different things and nothing works, how does it work for you?

The answer, at least for me, comes in one word - Commitment.  I saw this quote tonight and thought it would be perfect to blog about.

When I first started this whole life changing journey, I had to make a pretty big decision.  I had to decide that I was going to commit to whatever I needed to do to make a better life for myself.  I've said before that my brother talked to Renee' about me before I met her and that I have no idea what he said.  And it doesn't matter.  The one thing he did tell me - she wanted to hear from me that I wanted to make some changes.  Honestly, that was the first best thing she could have done for me.  Notice I said first, as there are many more than I could ever list.  When I made this decision and knew I would stick to it, it changed my life in more ways than I could have ever imagined.  

In the past, I've always said I want to lose weight or I want to be healthy but it was fleeting interest.  I never made a commitment to a lifestyle.  For years I'd heard people say, it's a lifestyle change.  I didn't want to believe it.  After all, I'd lost weight before without making a complete lifestyle change.  Oh, wait a minute, I always gained all the weight back, plus some.  And, I wasn't happy.  Or healthy.  Or in shape.  Or a lot of things.  So, I guess lifestyle change is actually correct.  Why?  Because now, I don't just eat healthy when it's convenient.  Or work out when I have the time.  It's a priority.  I bring healthy snacks with me almost everywhere I go.  I look at restaurant menus ahead of time. If I don't think I'll have time to work out, I try to do 10 minutes of body weight exercises in the morning.  And, yes, even I have to get up early to do them.  Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I am not a morning person.  So, that should say a lot about the commitment I've made to this lifestyle change.

Results.  That can be interpreted in so many ways.  Yes, there's the obvious, the number on the scale, smaller clothes, etc.  But, the results I've learned to focus on are those that maybe aren't so noticeable to the outside world.  I can run.  Actually run.  Not fast.  But, I don't think I can remember a time I would have called myself a runner.  I can play baseball outside with my nephew for over an hour and not be tired or want to go inside and sit down.  I can do 100 of those darn tricep knee pushups - in sets of 20.  When I first started doing them I could barely do 10 at one time.  I can lift more than a 5 lb dumbbell.  I can do 5 real push ups (one of these days, I have a feeling I'm going to have to prove it...).  And so much more that I couldn't possibly list it all.  But, my most important result?  Happiness.  

You have to make the decision to commit to making a better life for yourself.  I know some people might say, well, that's easy for her, she doesn't have kids and multiple schedules to worry about.  And, in a way, you're right.  However, I have a lot of other things to overcome and worry about as I move through life.  Even if I did have a family, I believe I would just simply find the time to make myself a priority.  That might mean I would only get to workout 5 days a week instead of 7.  Or that I would have to get up earlier and work out before my family got up for the day.  I know my sister does that.  There are ways to make it work.  You just have to figure out what works for you.  As I said above, I am not a morning person.  So, I make the commitment that I am going to go to the gym every day after work.  And, I would say, 98% of the time, I stick to that promise to myself.

I would make healthy eating a priority for my family.  I've seen that it is possible to train your kids to eat healthy food.  My nephew and nieces eat fruit/veggies with every meal.  They love salad.  And peppers.  And raisins.  And yogurt.  And so much more.  And, typically, they get only one treat every day.  Heck, I even have them all convinced that york peppermint patties and dark chocolate are treats.  You know, more of that healthy stuff!

If you truly want to make changes that will make your life better (in any way, not just fitness or weight related), just be willing to make a commitment.  Once you do, it won't be hard to stick with it.  I think that is one of the most important lessons I've learned throughout this adventure.  And one I learn more about as each day goes by.