Fitness & Wellness Update: 2 years, 9 months along

A fitness and wellness update: 2 years, 10 months along

It’s that time again: a fitness and wellness update! Somewhat embarrassingly, it’s been nearly 18 months since I’ve offered anything in this realm. I’m overdue, and it’s time to come clean and admit I’ve lost some the headway I made from July 2014 to the beginning of 2016. My backslide wasn’t too bad, thankfully, but it was enough to be a wake up call. Not surprisingly, it comes down to mindfulness, consumption, and activity.

Let’s get the numbers out of the way first, then I’ll get into the story. The last time I provided an update in January 2016, I was happy with my weight and measurements (148 pounds; 34.5″ B // 28.5″ W // 36″ H) and how I was living. Right now I can’t even tell you my weight because we’re traveling in Europe, and I don’t have a scale handy, but the last time I weighed myself in mid-December 2016, I was at 148, but the trouble hadn’t even started yet (more on that later). After not having a tape measure for nearly a year (an oversight on my part), I finally measured myself at the end of March, and I was up to 37.5″ B // 30.5″ W // 37″ H so I’m sure my weight was well over 150. I’m happy to say that in the five weeks since we’ve left the US, I’ve already lost on all three measurements, and as of Sunday May 1, I’m currently at 36.5″ B // 30″ W // 36.5″ H, so I’ve made some progress.

As I lay out all of these numbers, I realize that I’m not really that far off from where I last reported. What’s bothering me most here is that my habits changed (and not for the better). For the past couple of years, I’ve been priding myself on mindfulness and my healthy diet (what I eat, not that I’m “on a diet”), moderate alcohol consumption, and active lifestyle. I allowed that to falter since we returned from Mexico. I really wish I’d taken my measurements and weighed myself immediately upon returning from Mexico. We ate very well (read: healthy), drank minimally, and walked a whole bunch during those five months. But the fact that I didn’t stop to measure and record these numbers is a symptom of my problems in the US overall: keeping myself too busy and not making the time to take proper and adequate care of myself.

Where I mainly faltered was that trap of “oh, this is all just temporary!” First it was returning home right before the holidays. Then it was recovering from the holiday madness (it seemed exceptionally busy and harried compared to our laid back, slow life in Mexico). Next was time in Brazil, where everything was so tasty and fatty and grand. Cap that with six weeks at my mom’s, which is lovingly dubbed Mimi’s House of Calories and Dessert Palace, and, well, you get my drift. Mindfulness summarily went out of the window with my eating, and my exercise–while maintained daily–was less intense than it had been for the previous year, at least. All of these factors converged into a three month long backslide that left me feeling chubby, out of shape, and generally not happy with my consumption patterns.

While I’m writing this at the beginning of May, I’ve been thinking about many of these things since about mid-March, when I had to finally come clean with myself that I wasn’t happy with how I was feeling my body shaping up, and I also wasn’t happy with the decisions I’d been making over the last few months. I’ve come to several conclusions in this time, the primary one being that I am recommitting to being mindful about my consumption patterns and my activity levels. I’d been doing OK since returning from Mexico–I didn’t go completely off the rails–but I allowed myself to slip back into eating a lot of candy and sweets and drinking whenever I wanted to. In the end, I wasn’t happy with where I found myself.

Since coming to Europe, I’ve recommitted to a healthy and active lifestyle. If I want my body to be healthy, trim, and fit, that’s how I have to live. I’ve had to realize that naturally, I’m not as trim and fit as I like to be. My body holds weight when I eat too much and don’t move enough, and that’s something I’ve just had to accept and work around. I must remain vigilant and will not allow myself to slip back into periods of time where I just do “whatever I want” in terms of eating junk and drinking booze. What I’ve had to accept about myself and be honest with myself about is that as much as I love healthy foods, I also REALLY like sugary and carb-rich foods, too. And in order to feel good about where I am and what I look like, I must keep the sugary foods in check and focus on the healthy foods. It’s a balance because it’s not depriving myself: it’s realizing what’s the best choice for my body and my lifestyle at any given moment and making that choice.

So that’s where I am. In being public and forthcoming about all of these things, I’m shedding light on my situation and not hiding in the dark, mired in shame and guilt. Those are two emotions I literally have no use or time for, and being transparent about where I struggle and where I find success helps me to feel better about my efforts. I am on a healthy, productive path, and when we return to the US in about five weeks, I will remain on that path. I know now where my temptation points are and where my pitfalls lie. It’s empowering to acknowledge all of these things and embrace the vision I have for myself, my body, and my life. Being healthy, fit, and trim are all critical to living the active traveling lifestyle that I so enjoy. Maintaining my health and fitness levels is the least I can do for my present self…and my future self.

I’ll check back in at the beginning of July, when I hit my three year anniversary of endeavoring onto my fitness and wellness path. If you’re interested in seeing how my story has evolved, read my past check-in posts from July 2014October 2014January 2015April 2015,  July 2015, and January 2016.

Thanks for reading!