One of my favorite things about The Sisterhood has always been how everyone is real –not hiding their struggles and sharing their successes. That truly was the first thing I loved, all the way back to the beginning and up until to now. Another thing I’ve always loved about the ‘hood is that there is never anyone beating you down when you don’t reach your goals. It’s always been about looking for the good, cheering successes, and building people up.
Today, I am here to tell you that I have had a pretty crummy year. I have succumbed to the stress monster that tells me “to drink all the cokes, eat all the junk food, and exercise only when it’s absolutely forced”. I am here to tell you that I am human, and just like you I struggle with making the best choices under stress. In fact, I would say that under stress I probably do some things that would shock most of my friends. I’m ready to share them with the world so that I can move past it and make permanent changes. I, too, am struggling with making good choices.
Confession number one: I wrote about the evils of drinking soda, came up with a great hashtag to be able to support our community, and then dropped the ball completely. I doubt there has been more than two days in a row since I wrote that post that I have not consumed at least one soda. It’s gotten so bad that I won’t drink them at home, but purposely go “to run an errand” just so I can get a coke! I rarely drink them around my family but am consuming them nearly every day. On the days I “man up” and don’t have one, I have such a terrible headache that I feel sick.
Yes, I have a problem!
Confession number two: I eliminated gluten earlier this year after doing the Whole30 plan because of some health issues it was causing me. Following the Whole 30 plan also showed me that I should NOT consume much, if any, dairy. My confession? I gave up the gluten without too much difficulty, but dairy has been a major issue for me. Every meal or snack that I consume containing dairy sends me straight to the bathroom (TMI!) and makes me feel sluggish. Why was giving up gluten so easy, but dairy is so hard? Neither one are good for my health, but yet I keep eating dairy products. We eat a lot of Mexican food as a family, and I wonder what will I eat without cheese?!
Yes, I have a problem!
Confession number three: In the past few months, I have consumed enough sugar to last me a lifetime. Candy and cokes have been such a huge part of my eating lately –there have been times when I have eaten nothing healthy all day because I’m completely full from crap food. The junk that I’ve consumed this year has affected my health and has also affected how my son has started seeing snacks. It’s not pretty. The sugar I’ve consumed has also affected my weight… I was almost down a pant size this spring and now I’m back to having nothing to wear!
Yes, I have a problem!
Confession number four: I haven’t exercised the way I know I should. I have trained for my upcoming Susan G. Komen 3-Day by walking every weekend for the last 20 weeks, but I haven’t done the cross training I need to in order to be properly trained. I am not really concerned about the walk, but I really wanted to be more physically fit by the time the walk came along. We are now just over two weeks away from the walk and I am about 30 pounds heavier than I wanted to be to walk the hills of Seattle. I will walk them, but I’m sure it could have been a lot easier had I trained the way I should have.
I have confessed my sins, so now what am I going to do about these issues? First of all, they say confession is good for the soul, so I am confessing to the world that I do have some problems that need addressed and fixed. I need to learn to deal with the stresses in my life without adding more stresses! None of the things I have done over the past six months have helped me reach my goals this year. That doesn’t make me happy with myself, but I know with some hard work and dedication I can change this for the remainder of the year. A friend of mine has been learning some coping skills for dealing with stress and I am going to start implementing some of them myself.
Here’s my plan:
Exercise every day, even when I think I don’t have enough time and even when I just don’t want to. Even if just 10 or 15 minutes a day. It will make a huge difference in my thought process, if nothing else. I was doing this two years ago and made so much progress. Exercising first thing in the morning works best for me, but is not always possible. When it’s not, I will exercise at my earliest possible opportunity. The time does not matter. As long as I exercise daily, I will make a difference in my stress levels and my body composition (including my weight, which is important to my mental well-being).
Cut out the added sugar COMPLETELY until I can break the addiction. (Last year I did this and and found out just how strong I could be!) Sugar needs to be eliminated from my diet completely or I get hooked too easily right now. I will be doing this for the remainder of the year (with the possible exception of during the 3-Day walk). Cutting sugar means, No MORE COKES! So I will be using the #SJNoSoda hashtag to keep myself accountable. (Want to join me?)
Eat less restaurant meals and more home-cooked meals. I always do]=- better with my eating when I cook at home. This will be difficult, as our fall schedule is looking to be a bit more busy than I prefer, but with careful planning I can do it. Planning is KEY for me to eat properly and not succumb to eating out too much. It will also allow more control the food budget, which will reduce another one of my stresses.
Limit dairy. It’s really important for me to do this, even if it’s hard and not pleasant. Honestly, it’s not pleasant when I have it, so either way it’s not fun. My one exception is eating Greek yogurt –it seems to do more good than bad and I really do love it for breakfast!
Vitamin supplements. My doctor recommended I start taking daily supplements that will help several aspects of my health and well-being. I need to write it on my calendar and be consistent.
There you have it! My confessions and my solutions. I’m keeping it real and letting you know that I don’t have it all together, but I am on my way to making a difference for myself and my future!
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Ann is a wife, mom to 2 sons; a 24 year old Marine and a 10 year old who home schools. Ann has been “working” at losing her baby fat for 20+ years and is beginning to find success in that journey. Ann is a huge walker, and walks the Susan G. Komen 3-Day every year to help fight against breast cancer, a disease that killed her grandmother long before she should have died! She’s excited to be a writer on the best support group online, The Sisterhood of Shrinking Jeans.