How I forgave myself after I messed up. Again.

January is just about halfway over. I already fell off of the fasting bandwagon earlier this month, after I tried to get through all of January without coffee. (I am weaksauce.) Although, I was coffee-free for about 10 days straight. That’s a record in my book. My addiction to caffeine is a bit stronger than I’d like to admit.

How about exercise? I managed to get in 30 minutes of exercise today, even if I did have to improvise with some interesting looking weights. Hey, my upper arms are still pretty weak, and wine bottles filled with water made for great dumbbell substitutes for triceps kickbacks!

It is also fairly hard for me to attempt anything like running and jogging in place without a proper bra. Otherwise, it’s just downright painful. I was able to jog in place for 10 minutes straight today while watching Netflix.

Progress, right?

In my previous post that talked about the changes in my postpartum body, I had mentioned that I had hit a weight loss plateau at around 200 pounds. Well this week, I managed to break it! I dipped to about 198 on Wednesday, before completely ruining my progress on Friday – after I tripped up and ate half of an extra-large pizza from Vito’s. Oops.

I gained the 2 pounds back at my weigh in this morning, along with some belly bloat and shame.

I guess if I have any more job interviews that ask me what my greatest weaknesses are, I should just list them as follows: coffee, pizza, wine, and chocolate.

coffee_and_computer
The oversized coffee mug from Target makes 3 to 4 cups of coffee look like one harmless mug.

Another thing also happened in the past week – I received the great honor of being a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding! The bride and her matron of honor met at my house for a quick brunch and planning session, and I was just thrilled to have some company over! It’s officially my first time being part of the VIP list in a wedding party, so I wanted to do my best to help plan and get my friend prepped for the big day. That’s also why the blog hadn’t been updated in a hot minute – my bad, guys!

bridesmaid_card_heart
Of course, I said yes, duh.

Even today, it is still a bit difficult for me to forgive myself if I end up overindulging at dinner, or if I forget to upload a blog post, even if I’ve committed myself to upload at least twice a week. Once something happens that disrupts my progress, it’s easy to just throw in the towel and just conclude that it will happen again, so why even bother trying to keep up, right?

Don’t quit on me just yet.

Here’s the thing. Habits are tough to break. That’s not always a bad thing since good habits take time to develop. Once they’re in place, it is easier to stick to them.

I didn’t always drink coffee. Especially not black coffee. That habit developed after I had started working early in the morning at an inventory service that crammed us all in a van and lugged us around to various places in Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana. We would all be reporting for duty at 4 am. I had just graduated high school not long before that.

It got worse when I picked up a job at an O’Reilly’s while in college. There were a lot of days that I would be studying until past midnight, and I would just put on my work uniform to bed at 2 am. I would roll out of bed at 6:30 and be at work to unload the truck pallet at 7 am.

So naturally, I developed a habit.

If I can do that with a simple cup of black coffee, then who says I can’t start a new habit that is good for me?

I actually was doing really good with my fitness goals before I became pregnant – I had a membership at the local YMCA and I took advantage of the free fitness classes and facilities there. Along with hitting up the gym 3 times a week, I was also filling in my “off” days with regular yoga classes that I enjoyed! I was even meal prepping regularly! Guys, this was big for me.

meal_prep_well_done
Proof that I actually did meal prep, even while pregnant. I can do this again.

I started to pick up more classes to switch up my routine and step up my intensity level of training. I was going to the gym every single day of the week! Then I found out I was gonna have a baby after three months in. I had to slow down and take it easy after that. Starting today, I am slowly getting back into a regular exercise routine. And it is not easy to do that when I had been enjoying my lazy time on the couch with Netflix and video games during the final days of my pregnancy. The lazy time had also become a habit.

With the bad habits I’ve developed over the past year, I’ve also started to create new ones that are more beneficial – subbing tea for coffee some mornings, eating better with portion control in mind, and limiting the amount of time where my eyes are glued to a screen. (Because my eyes need a break, too!)

morning_tea_and_breakfast_with_book
Enjoying tea and oatmeal while having a rare reading opportunity.

It may not seem like much at first, but keep in mind, this is how a lot of habits start. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until things go unchecked and start to become a bit out of hand. For example, I should not be drinking 12 cups of coffee a day, but I could easily do so. Yes, I have a problem. I know.

So if I keep focusing on things that will end up improving myself in the long run, maybe that will distract me from giving the bad habits the time and energy I would otherwise spend on them.

Starting up a new habit is tough, but with enough persistence and patience with myself, I’ve learned it is possible for me to start getting back in shape. There will be days that I don’t feel like doing any workouts, but I know that I have to do it, even if I don’t feel like it. And I can’t beat myself up when I fail, or I will be too afraid to try anything again.

So instead of getting discouraged that I only exercised 30 minutes today, I can pat myself on the back, and get ready to do it again tomorrow. Instead of giving myself a guilt trip over eating too much food in one sitting, I can set myself up to prevent that for the next meal I have. I will get there, I just have to take things one day at a time.

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