In December I knew I wanted to focus on my health in 2020. The past few years have really been a challenge and I was juggling a lot with my family, work and just life. Something had to give and like most women I gave up what I needed in order to take care of the demands that were pulling at me. We all do it. Work is giving us more crazy deadlines and challenges to make our head spin then we immediately have to run to get the kids from after school programs where we then proceed to cook, get homework done and a load of laundry. Our days can only hold so much.
Yet I knew it was time to push back. It was time for me to emerge from under the pile of to-dos and demands in my life and reclaim what I needed among that. It was time before I didn’t have the luxury of taking advantage of my health anymore. I had gambled with time trading my health needs for demands and it catches up to all of us sooner or later. Maybe it’s just a cold that forces us to slow down or maybe it’s something more significant but our health will eventually dictate our priorities if we don’t take care of it. I had gambled enough and knew I had to take some action to change the course before time passed by further.
In that thinking of how this would work in my life I didn’t consider how I would fit it in among the 100 other things I do in a day. I didn’t think about what it would mean and quite frankly I didn’t care. At some point I had reached the decision it was time and whether it fit or not I was tired of my clothes not fitting. I was tired from feeling slow, bloated, irritated, overwhelmed and fat. The number on the scale reminded me of how far I had gone any time I stepped on it. I knew what it said and I was embarrassed. It no longer matter if this fit in my daily life or not it had to find a way. So I declared in December before Christmas to my family that we should live up the holidays because I would be stripping our home of all junk food after that.
When I said that I was mad and determined. You know when you’ve just had enough? I meant every word as I eyed our pantry of all the things that wouldn’t be there in a couple weeks. One day not long after this, I was enjoying an afternoon hot tea and Christmas cookie during one of the crazy days at work where you just shove sugar and carbs in your mouth to ease the pain of what’s going on and feeling like a failure or not getting why people are making stuff so complicated. As I endured my 6th conference call of the day, I had the boldness to ask myself if I could really do it?
Could I really go without a cookie? Was I being serious? Apparently I was because my next thought was what would I replace that cookie with for the same enjoyment and support of crazy work days like this? This is when the bartering started of well maybe I could balance and still enjoy some treats. Maybe I was being too harsh. Maybe I don’t need to do this after all. Admitting this publicly and seeing this on the screen is very embarrassing.
After that sugar cookie incident I really thought about that question I asked myself. How many times had I done that to myself over the years that resulted in where I was now with clothes that didn’t fit and having to buy the dreaded next larger size? Most of the time I didn’t bother asking if I could do it, I simply didn’t. I would quietly let those declarations of change slip by as if I was just delusional when I said them. The truth was I had let myself down and didn’t keep my word and promise to myself each time I did that and I was on the verge of doing it again. I put other things in front of it declaring them more important and urgent. I put this value on food and not taking care of myself because of other stress and demands above what I really needed. It helped me cope. It made me feel safe. It gave me soothing when things were going rough at work or home. It helped me feel better when everything else felt like hell.
Yet I know it was just a bandage over problems I felt powerless to solve. I couldn’t make work any better those people are just nuts some times. Problems come up and people freak out trying to cope, respond and be the hero. No one wants to look like they are not doing a stellar job at work at all times, especially when there are problems and the big boss is looking. At home I couldn’t just forget that my son didn’t have clean socks for school or homework that was due tomorrow so I could go exercise for an hour. After working in chaos all day I would immediately shift to cooking a meal, doing that laundry and supporting homework getting done. There wasn’t a downtime in between work needs and home needs. This assumed too I was able to stop working at 5pm and didn’t have to stay later for something else that had come up. I know a lot of moms who live this life every day. Just like me bouncing from one thing to the next. It’s why our families get hot dogs and box mac-n-cheese for dinner and we wonder why we can’t lose weight.
I knew though I couldn’t continue this way. I knew I was gambling with my health in a way that would not end in my favor. The house always wins and in this case my health would give out sooner or later. Mentally, physically and spiritually I was breaking a little more each day trying to do it all and keep up with everything. I had to change the odds and I had to change the game.
The 2020 Wellness Challenge I opened up in January was my plan to overcome the question of could I really do it. I know a lot of mommas just like me who feel like life dictates to them how it’s going to happen and they are just holding on for dear life… with that sugar cookie. Life isn’t going to get easier so we have to get stronger, healthier and smarter about how we get it all done and keep it up. Yes we can do it without that cookie and we can actually feel and look fabulous while we’re at it. We cannot afford to gamble the time against our health anymore thinking we’ll get to it later. Honey, trust me the minute you get time something else will come to take that too.
Some days when work is just particularly feeling like an episode of Alice in Wonderland. I want that soothing comfort of chocolate that makes the drama feel less intense. It would be so easy to give in. I would follow it up in the evening with a glass of wine because I felt I earned it after managing to live through the work day. When I said that I was ready though and I meant it I can’t look back to how I used to deal with that drama. I can’t revert to sugary carb filled treats for temporarily relief. That’s all it was too. Temporary relief. I want real deep relief on a more long lasting term. I want that ability to protect myself better mentally, physically and spiritually that doesn’t leave me feeling bad, depleted and like I”m a big failure at all that I do.
When I said that I was determined and mad. Now when I say that I’m ready and I know what I really need. I need to feel my best and build on the strength I have in me to overcome these challenges in my diet, exercise, work, and family. I know I am ready to take control and figure this out in a healthier way. In a way that builds me up instead of tearing me down, leaving me feeling ugly, fat and failing buried under bandages of cookies, chocolate and wine.
Are you ready to say that?
Are you ready to step out of the chaos and into your own light of healthy and well-being?
I invite and welcome you as we figure it out together. Join me in the 2020 Wellness Challenge (it’s free)