I thought I might try out the Flashback Friday concept and see how it works. I first saw the idea on Nicole’s blog a while ago and I think it fits in quite well with the ‘Past-Present-Future’ theme of my blog.
Ok, so today is actually Thursday, not Friday, but this is my blog and I make the rules around here, and if I say I can do Flashback Friday on Thursday, then I can.
Anyway, to kick off what might become a occasional series, today I’m going back to early December 2005 and reproducing an extract from my journal.
For a bit of background, several years ago I weighed 73.4 kg. For someone who is only 151 cm tall, this was somewhat* overweight. It was caused by a lifetime of unhealthy eating habits and many years of very little exercise. After Slabs and I moved to Tasmania in 2005, I made a decision that it was time to do something about my unhealthy lifestyle.
I improved my eating habits, ate a lot less, drank a lot less, and started to exercise. I started off by walking in my lunch breaks at work. This increased to walking in the mornings and, before I knew it, I’d started running.
This was a surprise to me because I'd always hated running and at school had struggled to run the couple of kilometres around the sports fields that had been required of us for phys ed and sports training. But I started off very slowly – one minute running, two minutes walking – and over about four months I built this up to being able to run for 45 minutes. And what was even more surprising was, I sort of liked it.
I felt great, looked pretty good and, for the first time in my life, felt like I was actually getting fit and healthy.
And this is what I wrote at around this time six years ago:
I’ve let myself go a bit this week, but still exercising, so it should be OK. I think ideally I’d like to lose five more kilos and get down to 51. That would be perfect, but I know that this month it’s going to be difficult with work lunches coming up.
So I will set a goal of 51 kg by 13 February.
This morning I did a 30 minute run (including ten sprints the length of the oval – what absolute torture, but at least not as boring as jogging around the streets the whole time.) I had plans to do the long walk tomorrow morning and run the first 30 minutes and see how long it took overall. But it is pissing down with rain (our roof is leaking, that’s how heavy it is) and the forecast is for rain all weekend. I can’t see myself getting up at any time to go out in that. No way.
And why, you might ask, have I chosen this particular flashback?
Well, I recently read about one of my friend’s achievements in completing a 10 km fun run recently. I felt really inspired by how well she had done, and thought to myself that six years ago my goal had been to complete a similar fun run.
(I stopped running when I got pregnant because the things the pregnancy hormones did to my body made it too uncomfortable to continue, so while I kept walking I also ate a lot, and I stacked on a lot of weight that I still haven’t managed to lose.)
I started thinking that if my friend can run 10 km, and I got close to it six years ago, why can’t I do it again? I seemed to have no incentive to get healthy again and was only too willing to remain in my lazygirl rut.
Earlier this week I had a bit of a moan about it on Twitter. How am I supposed to find time to do any serious exercise when I have a child, and I work and I try to keep the house clean, and I have so much gardening to do, and my lunch times are filled with doing errands so I don’t have time to even go for a walk, and, and, and . . .
As usual, my tweeples were sympathetic and helpful, and I began to think that I might actually be able to do this and that just maybe now was the time to start.
The suggestions were simple (there’s only so much you can say in 140 characters), and were things I already knew. For some reason I just needed someone to say them to me, and this time I was ready to hear them. Simple things like making changes to my daily routine to bring in some exercise – something I've read and heard a millions times, but have thought it’s all too hard and I have no time and I’ve never made the effort to think about how I actually could do it.
This week it suddenly became a lot clearer, and now I think I can really do it.
The main reasons I want and need to do this are (1) to increase my energy levels so I’m able to keep up with with Juniordwarf, (2) to try and improve my moods and overcome my anxiety issues, because my bad days are starting to become really bad and I’m not coping well, and (3) to fit into the clothes that I bought six years ago and wore for about a month.
Also, much as I try to convince Juniordwarf that I’m 29, I’m not, and I’m getting to the age where my chance of developing ‘lifestyle’ diseases is going to increase if I don’t make changes to my lifestyle now.
I hope that these reasons will outweigh the excuses I have: (1) I can’t find a sports bra that fits (this is a serious problem if you are endowed like Dolly Parton), (2) I don’t actually like running (I didn’t six years ago either, but I grew to like it), and (3) it is going to hurt (it will, but the good feeling is going to outweigh the hurt, and last a lot longer).
Seriously, I know absolutely that making healthy choices makes me feel so much better, but for some reason, it’s easier to stay in my rut and keep doing what I’ve always done.
It doesn’t make any sense when I know how much better I can feel.
Anyway, it’s time.
I did question whether the ‘silly season’ was the right time to start, because there would be lots of excuses not to continue, but I figured that the best time to start is when I’m motivated. If I put it off, I might just slide back down into that place I go to on the bad days and it might take several more months before I feel able to get started.
So the time is now.
Also, I have deliberately not weighed myself and I’m not going to. My aim is to get healthy, improve my moods and start feeling good about myself. If I can achieve that over time, then I don’t care what the scales say.
For someone who likes tracking progress to the nth degree (like I did in 2005), this is a big change. But I’m trying to cultivate a new attitude that the numbers on the scales are (like age), just numbers, and my measure of success will be things like more energy, better moods and feeling better about myself.
I have no doubts this will be hard – everything I’m doing has been hard, and there have been major setbacks – but it’s important, so I’m doing it.
(And just so you know I wasn’t joking, after I wrote this post I went out for the first time. I’ve started with the same routine that I had back in 2005. Even that nearly killed me, but I know I have to stick with it. I will get used to it and it will start to feel OK. I’ve done it before, so I know it will.)
* An understatement.