Walking through Target last week, which happened to be just two weeks after Christmas, I was shocked to see all of the bikinis already on the racks. I had just passed packages of Easter candy, so I shouldn't have been so surprised, but I was. Bikinis? In January?
If all of the post-Christmas/New Year's ads for workout equipment and Slimfast didn't make us declare war on our New Year's resolutions, I'm thinking the thoughts of pouring ourselves into our swimsuits in a few months may be... inspirational. Or depressing. Take your pick.
In years past, I would have had a detailed battle plan for my war on weight, but this year, I'm sticking to the basics. It's less of a war, and more of a daily regimen to get this soldier in better shape. I will admit that I find myself recommitting to workout and healthier eating goals now that the holidays are over, not because of a weight loss resolution, per se, but because I know I stand a better chance of fitting into my jeans again without any major holiday or family celebrations for the six weeks following Christmas. I'm hoping these weeks will set the tone for the rest of the year.
A few months ago, a friend shared a 7-Minute Workout app on her Facebook page. (Click the link if you're interested. I'm not being paid to endorse their product. Just sharing here.) I've been using it, occasionally, but this week, I've been a little more diligent. It is harder than it sounds; don't laugh, but who can't devote seven minutes to building some muscle mass? I've been glad to have the app in my personal arsenal.
When I found myself face down in the beige carpet of our family room after attempting the prescribed planks, wall sits, and modified pushups, I just concentrated on stabilizing my breathing. My skin was "dewy" and flushed.
Who am I kidding? I was a sweaty mess and exhausted. My drill sergeant would have been screaming at me. It's hard to believe that just a brief decade ago, I was a gym rat, lifting weights and running four miles several days a week. Look at me now. "Pushing" myself to last a whole seven minutes of calisthenics, and feeling proud if I get through 30 minutes of moderate cardio on our stationary bike; I call those good days. Go, me.
Weight Watchers proclaims this is The Year of Our Best Bodies, with Oprah as their poster child, saying 2016 will be the year of her best body yet. Well, here's hoping, Oprah. And yes, you and I both know it takes more than hope. So I've been making a more concerted effort to improve my own health, avoiding my trigger foods and working out more days than not.
Like Oprah, I've been up and down the scales all of my adult life. My body just seems pretty happy where it is these days; it's hard to convince it we don't need so much sugar, and we need to move a lot more. The battle continues, but this soldier is kinder to herself these days. No self-flagellation when I do indulge. No hard and fast rules that make it difficult to be successful. No obsessive weighing. No forcing myself to commit to eliminating certain foods from my diet. Adopting a common sense approach of eating more nutritious foods, and less junk, and moving more is my battle plan. I'm less of a warrior these days, and more of a good little soldier.
These days, I'm just trying to avoid my trigger foods most of the week, and allowing myself to indulge in something during the weekend. I'm working on limiting myself to one or two servings of a favorite treat, but it's hard because I LOVE COOKIES AND ICE CREAM. And I've set the goal to work out at least six days a week.
I'm trying to be flexible about exercising, too. Like when we went to LAKE GENEVA for our anniversary last weekend, I didn't utilize the hotel's gym, but I declared my goal met when my Fitbit buzzed on my wrist letting me know it was time to celebrate walking 10,000 steps that day. (Yay for walks in the snow!)
So this year, no more declaring war on my body. It's been a good body. I've made peace with these curves, and no longer require strict boot camp regimens to whip myself back into shape. I'm just going to plod along, and try to do better. That seems like a better way for me to win the Battle of the Bulge. I'm determined to like myself along the way, and be kinder to myself when the inevitable setbacks occur. I'll just dust myself off, and keep going. 2016 is my year to SOLDIER ON, and if I end up with my best body ever, well, that would be just great.