Sunday, January 11, 2015

Are you losing weight?

Well, yeah. Kinda. Sorta.

Don't get your hopes up, people!

If there's anything I've learned about weight loss in the myriad times I've tried to lose weight over the past, oh, twenty years, it's this: the minute you get cocky is the exact moment you start to gain it all back.

It starts with something little like, "I was so good today. I went for that long run. I deserve a little treat. I'll just have some popcorn. That's healthy, right?"

Twenty minutes later you're eating handfuls of chocolate chips straight out of the bag or you're at Cafe Rio ordering a full-size salad. And don't let the salad part fool you. There are 990 calories in that thing. That's almost as much as two Big Macs. Gross. (But also oh-so-good!)

That's why when it comes to weight loss my main mantra is: This isn't working. I need to step up my game. 

Half the time that's actually true. And the other half of the time, I get pleasantly surprised when I read the scale in the morning. But I'd rather believe that I'm failing and be surprised to find that I'm not than believe that I'm winning only to find out later that my efforts have gotten me nowhere.

Does that make sense?

That feeling applies to the rest of my life too. It sounds pessimistic, but I think it's more like a combination of humility and acceptance of the fact that I can't do this on my own. I need to rely on my Heavenly Father if I'm going to be successful at anything in life.

Plus also, this whole attitude reminds me of Taylor Swift. (Yes, I know I already posted about her and possibly I'm a little obsessed. Whatever.) She does the same thing. The other day I was watching this Youtube clip of Taylor on The View and one of the not-Whoopi, not-Roseanne women on there basically said to Taylor, "How are you always surprised by how well your albums do? Do you really not know how awesome you are?"

And Taylor was basically like, "I never want to assume that something I do is going to be good because then I'd stop pushing myself to be better. So I try to keep a healthy dose of insecurity going at all times."

For those who are curious, here's the clip:

The part I'm talking about is around the three-minute mark.

That's how I want to be too—as a writer, as a weight-loss-er (I tried weight-loser, but that sounded wrong.), and just as a person in general.

In all aspects of life, I'd rather be pleasantly surprised by any success I might have than assume that I'm going to win at being a human because I'm just that awesome without trying. 

But anyway, back to the original question. Yes. I have lost 25 lbs. since August. It's been a little more slow-going since the holidays hit, but I am not giving up yet. And I'm very happy to be starting the year in a good place. It can only get better from here.

So, yay. Go me! 

But I'm nowhere near reaching my goal yet. Which is why I refuse to dwell on my success. That way lies cockiness. And in cockiness I will meet my doom.

Or something like that.

You know what I mean.

The best part is that I've started running again. I secretly love running. It's such a big secret, that half the time, I don't even remember it myself. But it's true, I do love it. I'm terrible at it, but I don't let that stop me. It's just such a fun mental game. I love watching myself get better.

Lately I've been doing this thing I call The First Mile Club. I warm up a bit and then I try to run an entire mile as fast as I can and beat my time from previous attempts. I won't even tell you guys what my time is because it's that bad. But the point is, it's getting better. And I'm almost, almost, almost to the point where I can keep run/jogging the whole time instead of having to walk for a bit in the middle.

It helps that at the moment I only run on a treadmill at the gym. For some reason I run way better on treadmills than I ever do in real life. I think it's because I don't notice that I'm doing it. But I'm looking forward to continuing this habit outside once it's Spring again.

You might remember that last year in May I did my first 5K. This year I'm thinking I'll make it goal to go the whole way without walking. Or at least not walking much. There's this one part of the race that's like straight uphill. I'll probably have to walk that. 

Anyway, the reason I'm telling you all this is so that I'll hold myself more accountable. I don't think I'll be giving you guys frequent updates on the number of pounds I've lost or the number of minutes and seconds I've shaved off my mile time. The specifics are embarrassing to me. But I do want to admit that I'm trying. This is something I've struggled with forever. And maybe I'll fail again. I don't know. I hope not. I hope I'll keep at it. It might take me ages, but I have faith in my sustained efforts over a long period of time. 

That's how I got my book published, after all—lots of sustained effort over a long period of time. If it worked for that goal, I think I can make it work for this one too.

What about you? What resolutions have you made for this coming year? I know I have a lot I need to change, but right now I'm trying to narrow down my focus to four things:

1. Losing weight.
2. Writing my next book.
3. Finishing the Old Testament.
4. And trying to be more social. I haven't worked out the specifics of this one yet, but I'm open to suggestions.

I've found that fewer goals = more results. So those are the only ones I'm going to try for this year.

To end my pretty pessimistic post, I think I'll leave you with a hopelessly optimistic video. I love this one so much. It reminds me that when God asks me to do something, it's because He knows better than I do what I need in my life at that moment.

There are definitely times when I wonder if moving to Utah was really the right thing for me to do. But I try my best not to look back because as this video reminds me, you can't change the past. All you can do is look forward to the future and hope that God has a plan for you that's better than what you've got going on right now.

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