I’ve been MIA. Very MIA. I want to say “I’m baaaaack, and I’ll post every single day, and every post will be chock full of life-changing advice and funky cool things to try.” But, yeah. I know me better than that.
This blog is on my mind the majority of every day. I write posts in my head. I think of new things to try. I think of new challenges to give myself to record here in hopes of inspiring someone to try something that seems hard or something they had never even thought of. Because hey, if a 40-something, overweight, kinda lazy mom can make some changes, anybody can! So far, I haven’t been able to turn what’s in my mind into anything in blog-land…but this is all about baby steps.
Speaking of baby steps, everything I do is baby steps. When I was younger, I would get all fired up about losing weight, exercising more, keeping my house clean, starting a business, or whatever else struck my fancy that week. I would get a little obsessed about whatever my latest passion was. I would change everything immediately. If I was suddenly a fitness freak, I would exercise balls to the wall for a day. Maybe two. On day three I wouldn’t be able to sit down to pee. Aaaaaannd that would be it for the new fit and healthy lifestyle. I repeated this pattern with a million different undertakings over the years. The constant excitement/failure roller coaster made me gun shy on trying anything new out of a certainty that I would just fail anyway. So why bother. It also made my husband see me as very inconsistent and flighty…but that’s another story.
That certainty that I was going to fail has had me at a standstill for a long time. I gained weight but didn’t care. I became very lazy and hooked on my phone. I did a lot of busy work to tell myself I was busy but never really accomplished anything. I started this blog a year ago, fully understanding that I need to take things in baby steps and intending to do so. The nature of this blog is that I actually DO the things I’m talking about. So, it’s been a slow starter. Being overweight, eating terribly, and never exercising makes a person sluggish and tired. Most days I would fully intend to do bloggy things when I got home from work. Inevitably, I would get home and waste the hour or so that I could have been doing bloggy things by sitting on my ass, too exhausted from my day to move, until I was forced to get up and feed my children.
Recently, I started thinking about some of my old habits. I was an 80’s kid so it’s now surprise that in my teens and 20s I was hooked on Mountain Dew. I popped the top of a can of Dew first thing every morning. In my 30s, I attempted to grow up and become a coffee drinker. Coffee got me off of Dew, but my coffee is cream, sugar, and shots of flavor with a smidge of coffee thrown in. Not exactly the healthiest of morning beverages. Somehow, the coffee-flavored cream addiction morphed into Diet Coke. I’m convinced now that diet soda is one of the WORST legal things you can put in your body. I tried many, many times to cut down and get off of it with no success. A couple years ago, I finally managed to slowly wean myself off the caffeine by using caffeine pills and drinking Sprite. But then I was hooked on Sprite. Yeah, Sprite. For like two years. With all that sugar. SO. MUCH. SUGAR. Several months ago, on a whim and without much thought, I just stopped buying Sprite. I went a day or so and was fine. Then it became more difficult to force myself to buy water instead of Sprite. But, I pushed through and eventually I realized I was willingly reaching for water. After a couple of months of drinking primarily water and occasionally juice, I felt more clear-headed and my mood was more stabilized. I do miss the jolt-you-awake sensation of an ice-cold soda first thing in the morning though. I did think I would lose some weight with all the sugar and calories eliminated from my diet. In fact, I kinda thought the weight was going to fall off. Yeah, no.
Also, in the last year I’ve completely stopped smoking. I’ve always been that person most smoker’s hate who could have a couple cigarettes or even a full pack and then not smoke again for months. But, I had been smoking more often than not for the past 9 years. Then in 2015 when my sister died, I started smoking a half to a full pack a day and made no excuses for it. Smoking was part of my coping mechanism. Finally, in the summer of 2016 I was ready to give up the crutch. I used nicotine patches to wean myself off. It was hard. Harder than it had ever been to quit in the past. Until about a month ago, I was still craving cigarettes at least once a day but usually when I was hungry or thirsty. Unlike in the past, I have no fear that I will start smoking again. I’ve been in the situations that were my smoking trigger and have not had a problem. I will know that I’m officially a nonsmoker when I get through our annual summer music festival weekend without smoking.
Four years ago or so, I drank alcohol every day. I’m not sure if I was a true alcoholic, but I certainly had alcoholic tendencies. I’m a very habit-driven person, and having that drink and feeling that feeling was a habit. I used alcohol to hide from some issues in my life at the time that would have been bettered served if handled head on rather than numbing myself enough to be able to pretend they weren’t there. But that too is another story. My point is, I no longer drink every day or as an emotional anesthetic. More importantly, I no longer want to drink every day.
I tell these stories about my past bad habits because it just recently dawned on me that I did not fail at making those changes. Yes, it took years and it took baby steps. And it took false starts and do-overs. The realization that I really did change these major bad habits has given me the confidence to make some other changes…but with baby steps.
The baby steps I’m working on now are fitness and weight loss related. I’m also baby-stepping to a cleaner, more organized house and a better financial situation. Those things are my current focus and what the majority of my blog posts will be about. I’m using my blog as a journal of sorts. A journal of my successes, failures, methodology, pep talks, and maybe some whining thrown in. I am a little afraid that I’ll fail. Yeah, sure, I quit smoking, quit caffeine and diet soda, and quit drinking but now that those things are in the past they aren’t scary and hard anymore. What’s in front of me…losing 70 pounds and getting my shit together around my house and making more money…those things are scary and hard.
Baby steps, my friend. Baby steps.