Earlier this year, towards the beginning of the pandemic, I made a decision.
I decided I would write every day. As regular readers know, it started off as a creative writing challenge. I did many, many posts based off of some creative writing prompts I found online.
Lately, it’s evolved from that. It’s just become a habit. Instead of following the creative writing prompts, though, I’ve gotten into a groove of coming up with my own topics and writing (if not daily) pretty regularly.
A couple of months after making my first decision, I made another.
This time, I decided I would exercise. At first I said daily, but knowing myself I knew that wasn’t sustainable. So I set myself a goal of 4 times a week.
Seeing as the first decision I’d made had worked out so well, I was optimistic about this. It helped that Chico got us an exercise bike!
Sticking to It
I’m proud to tell you that (so far) I’m sticking to both these decisions.
Some days are better than others, but on the whole I’ve written and I’ve exercised on average four days a week for a few months now.
Each time I hit “publish” or get off the exercise bike, I feel proud. I feel like I’m doing something positive for myself, and it feels great.
I decided to do both of these activities (writing and exercise) for my own mental and physical wellbeing. Writing challenges my brain, and cycling pushes my body.
And I feel their positive effects daily.
Time to Make a Third Decision?
But now I think it’s time to make another decision.
I’m a bit nervous about writing this here, to be honest. It feels risky. I could be setting myself up to potentially feel very crappy about this if I fail.
And by telling you all about it, you’ll all know if I fail!
Oh well. Here goes…
I’ve decided to change my eating habits.
Breaking it Down
That’s a huge thing. So I’m breaking it down into one key element:
I’ve started (ugh, I shudder to think of it!) to count calories. Specifically, to use a free food tracking app called MyFitnessPal.
If writing is a pleasure, and exercising is a challenge, calorie counting is (let’s face it) a bit of a chore.
I have come to the conclusion, however, that this one act, this practice of tracking what I eat, will significantly contribute to both my mental and physical wellbing.
When I Look In the Mirror
Now, when I look in the mirror, or when I see photos of myself, I shudder. I am heavier than I’ve ever been (aside from the end of my pregnancies, but that doesn’t count).
The image I have in my own mind of myself does not match what I see in the mirror or in photos. And it’s jarring every time I’m faced with the reality of how I actually look.
Also, despite increased exercise, my weight has not budged. That means that the pressure on my back is the same.
While I am stronger and my heart and lungs are definitely healthier, I can still feel the stress that my excess weight puts on my lower back.
I’m not trying to look good in a bikini. I’m not even trying to weigh as little as I did in college. My goal is modest, and is really based on a feeling more than a number.
Writing makes me feel more creative, more observant and sharper. Exercising makes my lungs and heart feel stronger, and I don’t feel winded walking up the stairs, or chasing after my boys.
By counting calories (and watching how I eat), I hope to improve my digestive health, feel even more energetic, and feel good about the way I look.
Now I’ve Told You
So now you know. I’ve made this decision. And by telling you all, I hope to hold myself accountable.
If you want to join in, you can look up thebraininjane on MyFitnessPal. Or you can just get in touch and swap stories, share encouragement, ask questions, whatever!
(Now I know that there are programs like Weight Watchers, Noom, etc., and I’ve previously tried them to various levels of success. Maybe I’ll write an article about why these haven’t worked for me.)