When I first heard about the Commit to Fit Challenge from Lisa (@ljenator on twitter) it really got me thinking. Not so much about what my commitment was because I had already decided that, but more about what being fit really means.
Something I’ve learned from the FABULOUS Pete Cohen (@Pete_cohen) is that sometimes, to figure out what something IS, you have to first identify what it is NOT.
That was a bit of a struggle – and I’m not to ashamed to admit it – because I really don’t have any experience with living a “Fit” lifestyle. And it is a lifestyle- A way of life or style of living that reflects the attitudes and values of a person or group.
So after some careful consideration, here’s what I’ve come up with:
- –Being fit and healthy does not equal deprivation. I encountered this yesterday at work. We were celebrating some work anniversaries and what better way than with a big ol’ chocolate cake, right? Immediate reaction was to RUN – not walk – as quickly as I could in the opposite direction because Chocolate cake is not exactly “weight loss friendly.” And then it hit me. That’s where I’ve failed at this before. By depriving myself of what I want, I end up wanting it more. That desire becomes so overwhelming that I end up in a downward spiral of binging on the desired food, feeling bad about myself, and binging more.
- –Being fit and healthy does not equal punishment. Exercise was never a large part of my life. Well, I take that back – I was on the Drill Team in high school – (anyone from Texas already knows what that means, but for the rest of you we’re the adorable dancers that are on the field at halftime at the high school football game trying to entertain you with rows of high kicks while you are in line at the concession stand getting your hot dog and Coke.) I never thought of it as exercise because it was fun, but with the practices and performances, I’d be hard pressed to say that I wasn’t active back then.
- –Being fit and healthy is not like my crock-pot. It is not a “fix it and forget it” situation where you can say, “Ok, I’m fit and healthy” and then go back to life as you know it.
- –Being fit and healthy is not about unrealistic goals and expectations. Subway (@subwayfreshbuzz) is not recommending that everyone run a marathon like Jared
Now that I’ve identified the NOTS, I’ve gotten a better idea of the ARES
- –Being Fit and Healthy is about finding a balance. Remember that chocolate cake from before (let’s be honest, you haven’t stopped thinking about it since I mentioned it have you?) Well, I had some. And it was good. I took a small piece, enjoyed two bites, and disposed of the rest. That was all I wanted – just a bite or two. And you know what? (this may shock you) I don’t feel even a little guilty about it. By changing my mindset about what I eat, I am in control and no longer feel the need to binge on foods that don’t really make me feel any better. I made good choices throughout the day about what I did and did not eat and there is a HUGE difference between deciding to take a few bites of chocolate cake and eating impulsively without concern or care.
- -Being fit and healthy means moving any way you can. I sit at a computer over 8 hours a day. My life is was the definition of sedentary. Something changed though. When I found Mamavation, I started finding new and creative ways to build daily activity into my schedule. Maybe running isn’t your thing – no problem, what about riding a bike or Zumba or kettlebells or swimming or… you get the idea. The trick is to find the thing that you love to do and do it. I personally treat exercise as a reward now (get all your chores done and you’ve earned a jog!) and have more energy than I ever had before. And for the record – don’t tell me that you don’t have time to exercise – We make time for the things that are important.
- –Being Fit and healthy is a daily decision. Every day in our lives we are faced with choices – what to wear, what to eat, what to do… Once you have a game plan for how to reach the desired level of fitness and health, you have to plan for contingencies. For example, I now bring my lunch everyday to work so that I’m not tempted by the various fat fast food establishments that surround the office. Sounds like a great plan right? Well, I also know that there are times that I’m not perfect *GASP* and either forget it at home or get in too late and don’t make it the night before. I have to be prepared for how to make a healthy choice (and for the record, I have a Subway right near work so they have gotten a bit of my business over the last few weeks). When I get home from work, I can choose to sit and watch TV or I can choose to go for a walk/jog. On the weekends, I can choose to sleep in or I can choose to get up and play Wii with my kids. Having choices is an incredibly powerful thing
Lastly, the Commit to Fit challenge is about setting YOUR goals. Everyone is at a different spot and you have to honor that. Your goals should push you a little further than you were yesterday but should Not be compared to anyone elses.
Here are my goals for the Commit to Fit Challenge:
- Balance – Find balance in my relationship with food so that I fuel my body properly and break the binge cycle I’ve been in for far too long
- Movement – I have registered for the Schlotsky’s Jingle Bun 5K on December 11, 2010 and am training now to *GASP* RUN the whole thing.
- Decision – Make choices every moment that lead me towards my goal instead of away from it.
What are yours?
PS – If you didn’t know, I’m a finalist in the Mamavation Mom Campaign. If I inspire you, or you want to support my quest for a healthier life, Please take a minute to vote for me here. Let me know that you voted so that I can thank you personally!