So often we try something, try again, and try yet again because we know we *should* do it, and it’s the right thing to do … but we just don’t pull it off. Or maybe we do for a brief, exhilarating time, but it doesn’t take. We fall back into our old ways and end up back where we started. Or worse.
In our financial lives, it might be going deeper into debt after nearly paying it all off. Or it might be another spending binge that leave us really, really strapped for cash after having been so.very.careful for months. Perhaps it’s overspending on someone (a lover? a child?) who we know, in our heart of hearts, won’t appreciate the sacrifice it meant.
When I had my financial turnaround all those years ago, I was lucky. My path was reasonably straight forward. I started tracking my spending, took control of my debt, learned how to invest and although I’ve had some lean and wobbly times, generally I’ve moved forward financially without too much tumult.
But my health – getting exercise, and managing my weight – is another story. I don’t look particularly overweight, but I can assure you I am not where I want to be nor where my doctor emphatically told me I should be. Since his blunt words 15 years ago, I have tried multiple times (Weight Watchers. Jenny Craig. Not eating after 7pm. Training for the Sun Run) to trim down, only to hit an all time weight high this past January. I was 20 pounds heavier than when he’d said I needed to lose at least 15 pounds.
I guess I felt how some of my money-coaching clients felt when they’d hit a debt threshold, or had a particularly bitter argument with their partner over money. I was discouraged and frustrated as hell.
For the umpteenth time I decided to TRY AGAIN. Since January I’ve been tracking my calories on a little app called LoseIt. And I made exercise a priority. A bit of Nia, Spin, Snow-shoeing and now the Couch25K. My goal was an easy 1 pound a week.
9 months later, I’m 9 pounds lighter. Merely 1 pound per freaking month after more hardcore exercise on a consistent basis than I’ve had in my LIFE, and often requiring miserable walks in extreme cold to the gym. And many’s the week when I’ve been meticulous with my food, except for one evening – one! – when I was invited out for beer and nachos, and then shot up by 2 pounds.
1 pound per freaking month after all that effort.
I’m 9 pounds lighter.
I AM 9 POUNDS LIGHTER.
And I can now run 5 K in 30 minutes straight and – no bullshit – I’m enjoying it.
And I’m starting to enjoy meal planning and trying new recipes.
And I do believe this is becoming a lifestyle change.
And it’s starting to seem probable that I will keep this up and wear size 10 dresses yet again.
If it takes another year before I get there, that’s cool. This isn’t about looking good in a bikini for a trip to Mexico. This is about me wanting to be as fully alive and energetic as possible both now and way into the future.
So, if you, like me, have tried or are trying or have had it with trying to change a habit, change a lifestyle (and of course I have a particular soft spot for those of you who grapple with your money habits) I fist bump you from Yellowknife and encourage you to continue on with me. It may be 1 pound a month instead of a week, or it may be saving $10 instead of $100. So be it. We’re getting there.