Thursday, August 25, 2016

Exercise, Health, and Finding Success


I've tried on and off to get healthy for years.  Eat better, exercise more, weight loss challenges.  I got better at it and more consistent after I had our first son.  When it came time to model healthy behaviors for my son, I did find myself stumbling some still, but managed to do better.  Especially keeping up with him as he grew and became more active.

But I fell into a rut, complacent really.  I knew I weighed more than I should and didn't exercise as much as I could.  And kept telling myself, it's not a big deal to have a bowl of ice cream at the end of the day, every day...filled to the brim :).

After having my second son, weight wise, I was in much better a place to begin with than I had been in years.  Having got inspired by my sister in law, I decided I could do this.  It also helped to because my son was dairy intolerant, which meant I gave up dairy to make things easier.  So no more giant bowls of ice cream.

But now, I can eat pretty much whatever I want, whenever (having to keep in mind I have to share with my youngest if he is nearby).  So, I am back to some old habits again.  I've also realized and accepted recently, that I am emotional eater.  This comes into play even more when my emotions run high and I am stressed.  One cookie quickly turns into five or six.  And I always go for the sweets.  It has been and still is a coping mechanism for me.

I've noticed recently that the number on the scale doesn't seem to be changing.  I began to feel defeated and I wasn't meeting the weight loss goals I set for myself.  I exercised less, ate more, over did sweets every day.

But then I realized, that success doesn't have to be found only on in the numbers on the scale.  It goes much deeper than that.  There are the physical changes to our bodies.  While the number on the scale hasn't changed much, the inches around my arms, midsection, and legs has changed.  Beyond the inches, there is the emotion side of it.

How does it affect our moods? How does it change our outlook? How do we feel? What else has changed?

This is why dieting doesn't work and neither does extreme exercising.  Short term, yes it may, but long term it doesn't set up a very good foundation to go off of.  You need to have a balance between it all and a bigger outlook on it.  Changing your health through exercise and diet, changes you in all areas and creates a greater success.

Now, going forward, I am adding more to my mini goals in order to achieve an even bigger picture.  My success will come in the form of the number on the scale, the physical changes of my body through the loss of inches and the toning of muscle, the emotion well being, and my own perception of who I am, what I look like, and how I feel.

In the end, my ultimate goal is to not just say I am beautiful, but know that I am beautiful and truly feel believe it.

What is your ultimate goal?  How do you know you've been successful?