The woman on the left was slightly overweight, but what I really remember was how it FELT to be that woman. Throughout the day she ate pretty healthy, making smoothies full of vegetables and big salads. But she was also really busy and stressed, and every night her habit to unwind was to watch Netflix and have potato chips and beer. Or chocolate chips and wine. Or White Cheddar Cheez-Its and Scotch. You get the idea. Night was her only down time, so she’d stay up way later than she should have, then go through the next day tired and achy, slugging cups of coffee to survive.
She knew exercise was important and she’d keep at it for about 5 days, or maybe even a couple weeks. But when life got extra busy, exercise was always the first thing to go. Plus, it really didn’t seem to do much…. Part of her knew it was because of her poor eating habits, but she rationalized that if she ate “healthy” during the day, she deserved those nightly treats. She conveniently overlooked the little “pick-me-ups” during the day when she’d make cookies, or have a dessert with a friend, or find a reason to stop for ice cream with the kids…
The thing that troubled her the most was the “brain fog” that made everyday life even more of a struggle. She read that wasn’t uncommon for women her age and chalked it up as yet another thing she just needed to endure. Wine helped, right? It wasn’t until she found herself unable to comfortably button her jeans (that she had just gotten in yet another bigger size just couple months prior) that she was ready. Ready to really change. Ready to really stop making excuses. Ready to stop sabotaging herself. Ready to cut the b.s. and say YES to being the woman she was meant to be.
I’m no longer that woman, but I won’t forget her. She taught me so much about using food as a reward or a crutch and I know every excuse in the book when it comes to not exercising. The funny thing is, my life is busier and potentially more stressful than before, but now I am handling it in healthier ways. I make time for me, no matter what; I focus on inward growth through reading and journaling, I nourish my body with healthy and delicious food, and I love myself enough to exercise every day.
My journey hasn’t been easy, and like anything in life, there are always setbacks. Old habits like to sound appealing but I am not drawn to them anymore. The difference is, now I have a whole toolbox of resources to help me along the way and a community of people who get it and keep me motivated. It’s been life-changing!