My goal was to lose ten pounds. Sounded attainable yet worthy. Then the muscle started building and my focus shifted from pounds to inches. Then I started noticing what those new muscles could do and that focus shifted again, this time to an amazing number of things. How many pushups can I do? Situps? Reps? How many miles can I run? How quickly can I run them? Can I do TurboFire with weighted gloves? Can I do even one pullup? And will I be able to wear a bikini this summer? (I never said I lost complete sight of my shallow goals.)
The same change happened with my food intake. I had been so focused on caloric intake that I had stopped enjoying any intake. If it was within my range, there was no flavor. If it left the range (and it often not only left the range but scaled the wall and travelled into another realm), I felt massive amounts of guilt, ruining any sense of enjoyment. I went back to my recipe books, juggling the various meals to suit not just my own tastes, but my family’s as well. We began eating more healthfully, even trying new foods (to my immese gratification and nearly everyone else’s chagrin). I now look at labels for the nutrients foods offer vs. the calories they cost me. We prepare meals at home, going out for dinner only as a special treat (which has the added benefit of saving our family of six beaucoup bucks). This means there are no added sauces, butters, oils, or salts. We know what we’re putting into our bodies and our bodies are thanking us. I believe my proudest moment came when my 7-year-old swore off McDonald’s of her own accord, stating it made her feel ill to eat such junk. I think that alone makes me a pretty successful mom. And the end result of the increased attention to fitness for its own sake and healthful eating for its own sake? Bye bye, inches!
The shift happened so gradually I nearly missed it. Laundry began to pile on the scale. The tape measure got misplaced. I started counting reps and comparing run times. I started buying organic and filling the fridge with produce. I ate when I was hungry and stopped when I felt full. The irony of it all is that I actually work harder and eat better when I’m not working for weight loss. And because I’m working harder and eating better, I am losing more. Yes, please, and thank you!
So now I have more specific goals. This year: complete a marathon, finish a Spartan, start swimming, and get certified as an instructor. Next year: more marathons, Tough Mudder, triatholon, and teach classes. Of course, the bikini is still on the list, it just sits a little lower (next to the mini skirt)…