Hands in the Air

Yesterday's lackluster look at a year of progress was partly due to the fact that I have been having issues getting good sleep lately.  Last night, I finally slept long and deep and awoke feeling so refreshed!  What a great feeling.
After spending some time reading other weight loss blogs, I am realizing that it is tradition for many many people to put off getting healthy or committing to plan until the new year.  That is exactly the mentality I am familiar with, and have used for decades.  And, it doesn't just pertain to the holidays.  There have been so many times when I have procrastinated getting on plan (or back on plan) until after a certain day or event, or series of events.  The truth is, whenever I give myself permission to indulge for a set amount of time, I find it hard to not let that snowball, as something else always comes up.  I can always find a reason to put it off, and can justify it until I'm blue.  But what I am learning is that, by simply not allowing that mentality lessens my slip-ups.  If it is a week that I have planned to be on track all week, and I want something counterproductive to eat, it is much harder to put that something in my mouth.  When I have allowed myself a "break" from clean eating, I don't even give food (or my health, for that matter) a second thought, whatever I want at the moment, goes right in, because I know I am going to buckle down on said day in the future.  That mentality led me down a very dark path, and now that I have taken the time to analyze this negative pattern, I am going to refrain from using it.  It might be reduced to a trick of the mind, but in the bitter battle against the bulge, the mind is such a huge factor!  That doesn't mean I am not going to have bad days or weeks, but it holds me more accountable to remember that it isn't planned.  Moreover, when I do get off track, I am going to make a genuine effort to start fresh the very next meal, instead of waiting until Monday, as I usually do, which is just a way of giving myself a free pass to eat any crazy thing I want for whatever time until Monday morning.  That is a sure sign of non-committence, and in the future, will be a red-flag for me to refocus on my inspirations and aspirations.  It all goes back to accountability and responsibility.  As a parent, I have been scolding myself for things I do that I would not allow my kids to do, which has been a somewhat effective way of keeping my mind straight.  It could be something as simple as wearing a hat in the cold weather, as I stand outside waiting for them after school, shivering with a bare head and I say to myself, would I allow my kids to stand out here without a hat in this weather?  And from that, I decide to take care of myself at least as well as I would my children.  So, as far as the giving myself a free pass for a month of holidays, would I let my kids eat whatever their hearts desired from now until Jan 1?  Hell no!  And for that matter, I would be frightened to let that happen for even a full week.  So, the same goes for me, if I wouldn't allow my kids to do it, I know it is not a healthy decision.  This mentality has helped me out of a jam more than once lately.  And in the end, it makes a good role model of me, and lessens my likelyhood of being a hypocrite.  All positive results!
So, today feels like a fresh start, of sorts, 'day 1" of my second year of my quest for a fantastic physique and continued health rewards.  I started paying a lot of attention to my posture and gait, as my hips and knees have been so irritated lately.  Granted, the frigid weather isn't helping.  Yesterday was a bit of a breakthrough of sorts.  I have had hip problems for more than a decade now, and my knee started acting up a year ago, I either never paid attention to or never delved that deeply into the cause, I just thought it was due to weak leg muscles and being way too obese.  But yesterday when I was walking on the treadmill, it was a light went on as I realize how much I rotate my knee when I walk.  That realization led to another: I rotate my knee to avoid feeling strain in my hip.  And the strain in my hip is caused by really bad posture.  My habit, when I am standing still, is to have my knees touching each other and locked, with my calves somewhat spread apart.  if that sounds absurd, it's because it is.  I think it is because my calves have always been so big, that if I stood with my feet together, the calves would touch or press off one another.  Because I lock my knees, I am using my hips to support my upper body, with my pelvis tipped forward, and my shoulders scrunched down.  Honestly, I must look a mess.  Basically, I feel like I am avoiding using my quads, glutes and hamstrings to stand, which is completely without logic!  Once I softened my knees and forced the right muscles to support me, all the pain in my hips disappeared!  And I have been focusing on maintaining better posture while walking, and it feels like I am gliding instead of clunking around or walking like an old lady due to sore hips.  Best of all, I feel like my lower body is strengthening, just overnight, by using the correct muscles and actually paying attention to it instead of being on autopilot.  What a difference a day makes!  Before I figured that out, I was fully expecting that I would be one of those ladies who has to get hip replacement surgery before the age of 50.  So, I am well on my way to solving a bad habit already, and it feels so nice, physically.
Today I forced myself to do a weight session.  I don't know why I dread doing them these days, but I did it.  I know it is the essential key to getting the physique of my dreams, so much more than cardio, but it has been so hard to talk myself into doing it lately.  It is a bad habit I need to get out of.  That's what this new year is for, breaking bad habits and improving on good ones.  And what is new for me, is that I am starting today, not waiting around for some magical date on the calendar or some silly food-based holidays to pass.  Life is going to come weather or not I feel ready to overcome challenges.  It's not just a black and white choice to  either seek comfort in things that end up disappointing me, or chose to be more powerful than my weaknesses.  Instead, I choose to live in the grey area, and in a very flawed and spectacular human fashion, I choose to try.  To try to make good choices, and to forgive myself and move on when I don't.  That is the beauty of the grey area, and we are ever able to edit and restructure things as we grow and learn. 
Life may be a rollercoaster, but I for one, am going to be sitting in the front seat with my hands in the air.


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