The mental game and support

February 22, 2016

So how did I really get started?

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First things first, I had to commit to this journey mentally. If I didn’t want to lose the weight and get off my butt, I knew it wouldn’t happen. I could make TONS of excuses. I’m tired. It’s too cold out. But this food is delicious. Maybe in 5 more minutes I’ll go… etc, etc.

After seeing the number on the scale (or just being scared to step on the scale because of said number), realizing that I was going to have to start shopping in specialty stores or primarily online to buy the clothes that I wanted, only to hate the way they would look on me, and seeing pictures that made me realize the hard truth, I knew I needed to do something. And again, it ultimately came down to wanting to be healthy so I could be there for my kids in the long haul. I can’t prevent everything life dishes out, but I can take responsibility for my weight and overall fitness level.

I had contemplated doing Weight Watchers again, but the thought of committing to a program made me gun-shy. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to do it, I just didn’t want to be over-confident as I had been in the past to where I fell off the wagon after a few weeks. It was also why I didn’t join the weekly weigh-in challenges from my weight loss Facebook page until May. Instead, I wanted to work on setting small goals and targets that I could check off along the way. The feeling of ‘I did it’ would push me to the next one. So that’s what I did. I signed up for Run Like a Mother and then Ramblin’ Rose two weeks later. I started my Couch to 5k program and signed up for the training class. I did it with other people because if I missed one, it would be ‘where’s Christine?’ instead of just me sitting on my couch being the only one to know that I skipped out on a workout.

So signing up for the races and programs was what started it, but the only way I was able to do it was from having a strong support system at home.  My husband and I had struggled with weight gain and loss together over the years, but he knew this time I was serious. When I first started, there were no weekend long runs, but there were times where he had to watch the kids while I went to workout. Or if Little Fig fell asleep right before I headed out to training, he’d watch him instead.  As I got into working out more and doing long runs on weekends, he’d entertain the kids while I was out, or he’d do the bedtimes if I had a gym class that coincided.

At the same time, he started working out with me. He still isn’t a fan of running, but he’s done a few races with me, and likes to join me for the occasional lunch-time or evening run. We’ve recently started to do personal training together a couple of times a month.

We also changed the way we ate and the food we kept in the house. There are still times when my favorite chocolates are ordered as a treat, but in general, we now eat healthy as a family. We meal plan together every week – plotting out what our schedule will be like, what we want to eat throughout the week, figuring out groceries, etc. We cut way back on fast food… like we only go when we’re traveling or in a meal rut and need something quick. But that has saved us money that we’ve been able to just use towards more produce, our gym membership, etc. We also try to save eating out for special occasions. This helps us to save money, but gives us little treats so we can still indulge or have a nice night together or as a family.

There were definitely some challenges in the beginning. We both had to have talks about keeping certain temptations around, not being a food pusher, etc. But once we got into a routine and knew what our trigger points were and what would cause us to waiver in our commitment to this healthy lifestyle, things got easier. Don’t get me wrong, there are still meals, days, weeks, where it can be hard… but having someone there to be part of your ‘team’ and to help encourage you along, makes all the difference. If he was insisting on having completely different meals for the family, or stocking the house with junk, I imagine there would be a lot of resentment happening. But we try to be considerate of what works for each other and what we have planned for the week, our weight loss and workout goals, etc.

So, those two things boil down to being the most important aspect of this journey for me. If I didn’t have my own motivation to do it, I’d be out of luck. But having my husband there to also support me and go along with this lifestyle change has been key to making it work.

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