I was doing Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred a few days ago (level one because I’m only in mediocre shape at the moment), and something she said has been on my mind. During the second strength circuit, toward the end of the lunges, she says something to the effect of, “I know this is tough, but when it gets difficult, when it’s uncomfortable, those are the ones that count the most. That’s when you have to push through. That’s when real change will happen.” I’ve done this DVD dozens of times over the years. I’ve heard her say those words countless times, but the last week, as I’ve been contemplating how I’m going to get some weight off for good in the coming months, they had extra meaning for me. Weight loss happens outside of the comfort zone. When it’s easy–when I feel like eating light meals and skip with delight into spin class–those times don’t count for much. If every day were an easy day, I wouldn’t find myself with 50 extra pounds. It’s the days when I want to eat everything in sight and can’t drag myself to the gym to save my life that really count. When it gets tough is when it counts the most. My inability to recognize tough period and push through it has held me back for years.
Tina from Carrots n Cake and I share a love of motivational quotes. She posted one the other day that I can’t stop thinking about: “If you’re tired of starting over, stop giving up.” Talk about a truth bomb, and one I needed to hear as I’m quite literally back at my 2006 Weight Watchers starting weight, 10 pounds shy of my highest weight ever.
The first way I’ve implemented this philosophy is with hygiene. I have to admit I’ve never had a nighttime routine. I brush my teeth before bed only half the time. I rarely wash my face on nights I don’t take an evening shower. I know I need to work on these things; I want this face and these teeth to look as good as possible 60 years from now, when I’m (hopefully) an old woman. I also have an Invisalign retainer that I must wear at least a couple nights a week, otherwise my teeth will start to drift and space almost immediately. Here’s my usual cycle: Wear my retainer for two nights in a row. Don’t wear it for two weeks. Put it in and practically cry from pain for the first thirty seconds. Repeat. It works well enough that my retainer always fits and my teeth are still straight, but it’s certainly not ideal. I took the “tired of starting over” mentality and applied it to my nighttime routine. For the last five nights, I’ve washed my face, whitened, flossed, brushed, put in my retainer and moisturized my skin before climbing in bed. I know it’s cheesy, but I tell myself, “It’s time for your self-care routine. This will only take five minutes and is a priority.” My retainer has been fitting really well, and I can tell my teeth are straighter than normal. I’m hoping this will turn into a habit.
The rest of December is going to be a bit nutty, between a trip to Florida for a wedding, Disneyworld (SO EXCITED to experience it as an adult), and of course Christmas and New Years. I’m working on maintaining a decent fitness level by getting in at least three good workouts a week, and I’m trying to keep my meals healthful despite the overabundance of Christmas cookies (many of which have ended up in my tummy, I’m sorry to say). I already know my goals for 2013: Lose some weight to feel more comfortable in my skin and follow through on a serious writing project. Both these goals require tremendous discipline. I’m preparing to get uncomfortable, and I will never give up.