the time is right

I wanted to quit Thursday. I blamed it on the fact that there was a different instructor for zumba and on the fact that I couldn't quite get into the zone on the rowing machine or on the bicycle. But placing blame on anything other than myself is futile. It's up to me to make a workout into what I need and want it to be.

Still, I was beyond discouraged. I had done so well sticking to my exercise goals. I didn't want to let go of those goals. But what I quickly learned was that it was my body telling me it needed something other than what I fed it.

The morning started with McDonald's Egg McMuffin and a non-fat caramel mocha. It was the second morning in a row for to me to eat and drink those calories for breakfast. I blamed it on the fact that we were out of eggs at our house and said I was out of time. But it was my choice to wait in the drive-thru and pay for breakfast rather than eating greek yogurt for breakfast and not for a mid-day snack.

I felt like my eating had been under control. I felt like I was making better choices. And I was. Only my better choices were better than what I had made months ago when I might have splurged on two Egg McMuffins.

There's a quote by Jillian Michaels that says "The past doesn't define you, your present does. It's okay to create a vision of the future because it affects your behavior in the "now," but don't dwell on past mistakes. Learn from them and focus those lessons in the moment. That’s where change can really happen."

While I've learned to let go of the past, I am still holding onto the thought process of what I am doing now is much better than what I've done in the past so the weight should just be falling off. After all, I completed a total of nine work outs between Monday morning and Friday afternoon; that should be enough.

But it's not enough. Because how I fuel my body impacts how I work out and how I feel at the end of the day.

So while I wanted to quit, I chose to keep going. I made better choices for lunch the rest of the week. I rushed home and made a healthy dinner for my husband on Thursday, and then I headed to the gym for circuit training with a personal trainer.
a combined 815 calories burned.

I, honestly, do not think I have worked out as hard as I did that afternoon. With someone watching me, telling me how to complete the reps and making sure I kept my heart rate up the whole time, I finished the 30-minutes of circuit training with sweat dripping down my forehead and soaking my back. My legs felt like Jell-O, and I felt accomplished.

I planned to head home but instead went to another class which focused on abs and the back. By the end of the hour long work out, I felt rejuvenated and refreshed. The evening work out surpassed my expectations and made up for the lunch work out that was not.

I no longer wanted to quit. Instead, I wanted to keep going (and going).

Friday morning I had every intention of jumping out of bed at 5:15 and heading to the gym. I wanted to spend time running and walking on the treadmill. I wanted the sweat and achy legs every good morning should start with. But my legs still felt like Jell-O when I woke up. My shoulders and triceps ached. My nose was stuffy. And my body told me it needed more rest.

Maybe it was the fact that I stayed up too late watching Tuesday's episode of The Biggest Loser on my DVR. Or maybe it was that I ate too much ice cream (sugar free!) last night while watching The Biggest Loser. It could have been that after eight work outs in four days my body was just plain exhausted. So I listened. And I cuddled up with the dogs and fell back asleep for another 90 minutes.

When I woke up, I felt refreshed. My legs were a bit more firm, and I was ready to tackle the day. I promised myself that I would make good choices. I promised myself that I would succeed, and I did. I focused on what I ate and how much I ate. I pushed myself at the gym during spin class. I drank nothing but water - including when we went out for dinner.

Most of the weekend was a success as well. I completed over 50 minutes of cardio on Saturday morning. I recognized the bad choices I made (finishing off the sugar free mint chocolate chip ice cream) and promised myself that I would keep from making those same bad choices again. And I decided on a plan to prevent future excursions into the ice cream container - not buying ice cream unless it is already in an individual serving. I ate sushi and drank lots of water before going to the Taylor Swift concert. I allowed myself to take a day off from exercise, allowing my body to heal some, and rewarded my hard work with new workout clothes and two books.

And then I took a picture of myself in my new workout clothes and started to see what others have been telling me that they saw - change.

Comparing my current state of mind now to the state of mind I had on Thursday isn't something I can really do. Because I don't want to return to where I was on Thursday; I want to recognize my current successes and remind myself that I am capable of doing this. And I want to move forward.

So I will.

I will allow myself days off when I need them. I will reward myself with healthy rewards (IE: anything but food). I will take time to see my successes, point them out to other people (which I did with my husband), and remember that there are more successes to come. And when I stumble? Because I will stumble. I will pick myself back up and never give up; I will take the responsibility I need to and then move forward.

(title from "you are here" by needtobreathe)

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