We Go Back

Have you ever heard the phrase “glory days”? Do you have any of them?

I have had when I like to call Glory Kicks throughout my adulthood. I identify these as times when I made choices and did things that moved the ball of my life forward. In all of them- I learned lessons about myself, but as their title would indicate, the lessons were sometimes short lived- a kick I was on.

For a period of time in college I was on the Atkins diet. This served me well- I was a carb addict and by tracking and limiting the carbs I lost good weight. Unfortunately I also began an unhealthy obsession tracking my ketosis. Like constantly.

What I learned: Carbs make me gain weight and cutting them out helped me lose. Meat and cheese is took expensive for a poor college kid. Tracking sometimes makes me a little nuts.

Also while I was in college, I enrolled in a tae kwon do class to get an extra few credit hours. I learned a ton and I had so much fun in the process. I earned a medal in a form competition and I got a green stripe when I tested at the end of the semester. Unfortunately, when the class ended I couldn’t afford individual lessons so I stopped.

What I learned: I love the discipline and fitness required for martial arts. Martial arts have a significant cost associated for lessons.

After college and after the job that helped me gain 100 pounds I stumbled on Nerd Fitness. I jumped into the community and challenges. I started running and tracking my food. Eventually I realized I had an issue with gluten. I lost 100 pounds and was so happy. Then things went sideways and I had conflicting goals. After I ran my marathon I was stuck with- Do I run? Do I lift? Do I eat to train? Do I go back to calorie watching? How do I keep doing what I was doing when I just got married and our eating and fitness habits re so different? Slowly I started putting weight back on… then I had a baby.

What I learned: I don’t need the quantity of food I had been consuming. Some running was great for me. Gluten is bad. I like being strong. Too many goals makes me stop achieving any of them.

Most recently I completed a DietBet challenge. Normally I don’t just shoot to have a weight loss goal, because there are so many other and better markers of health, but I needed to do something to motivate me out of my slump. This plan worked- I woke up early and went to the gym 3 days a week, tracked what I ate, and lost 9.4 pound in 4 weeks.

What I learned: Money can be very motivating. Working out early helps me start my day. I still don’t need to eat like I’m nursing.

So here’s what I’m getting at- our lives are races that we run and we have these power bursts (or kicks) that propel us forward. We just need to be able to look back at what we learned and put those ideas into practice when we need a jolt.

For me this looks like: Eat only what you need; not too many carbs and avoid gluten. Choose a sport or activity that allows you to be disciplined; don’t just go willy nilly and play it by ear (have a plan). Get up early and either workout or at a minimum get your head right. Have a financial stake in your success.

These rules are specific to me, not a blueprint for everyone. They can get me where I want to go because they are time tested.

I think that anyone who is willing to look back with a discerning eye on their life, like I did, will see patterns of what worked and what didn’t that they can lay over their current circumstances to help define a beat path.

Also, I think I’m going to go back and try tae kwon do again.

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Me

Dear Me,

Today and always I love you. I may not always show it by how I treat you or by the way I talk about you when I’m with others, but I’m trying to be better about that.

I didn’t get you anything today, no gift or card seemed fitting. All I have to offer is the promise to keep trying to make good choices that are self honoring.

I’m sorry for all of the years I was mean to you and mistreated you- I know out of everyone, I broke your heart the most.

Today, let’s try to move forward. Self- you are the best and no one ever gets to tell you otherwise or change that.

Don’t forget it.

Uncomfortable

Last night I learned a hard lesson in budget execution. I had decided at my last pay period that because eating better was a little more expensive, but important to me, I would reserve some of my “fun money” for the end of the pay period in case my grocery money wasn’t enough for the full two weeks.

I did great until this weekend, when I splurged and ate out at least 3 different times. It was all good food that was on my eating plan, but eating out just plain costs more than cooking at home. Fast forward to last night. I was at the cash register buying some more fresh produce and I realized that I may not have enough money with me to pay for everything I needed. You can’t weigh your produce at Target, so my total was up in the air. I was looking at the food I had put on the belt and started trying to decide what I would put back if I had to. I don’t have credit cards anymore or any back up cash in my purse (cause I’ll spend it) so I was stuck. I was angry, at first. It wasn’t like I was buying frivolous things, or trying to decide between these cute shoes or that cute shirt. I was buying nutritious food that will save my life.

But I was, in fact, frivolous. Just not last night. I was willy-nilly with my spending all weekend, and the fall out was happening right before my eyes.

I was in the position that I was in because of the choices I made. This interaction showed me how uncomfortable money issues make me, and in turn how that affected my emotions. Anger, sadness, feelings of neglect all swarmed me and there wasn’t anything I could do about it right then and there to placate myself. I just had to be uncomfortable. Growing hurts. Being stretched stinks. Coming out a better person- so worth it.

I had pennies within what I needed, so I guess for me it’s also a good lesson that God will provide.

Good to know I’m still teachable…