Measurements

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As you know, my 2013 resolution was to not weigh myself on a bathroom scale for the entire year.  I posted an update in February, and my unspoken plan was to reflect monthly or so.

Now it is June.  I missed a few months.

That shows me that I didn’t need as much reflection as I thought I would.  Am I tempted to weigh myself?  Yes.  Every time I see a bathroom scale.  My friend Trisha has jokingly offered to keep my bathroom scale at her house until 2014, and I’ve seriously considered taking her up on that!  🙂  For now, my scale is hiding in the back of my closet.

I do think it’s easier, for me, to give it up entirely than to try to weigh myself in moderation.  When I see a scale in someone else’s bathroom, I think, “I don’t weigh myself.”  It’s much easier to say, I just don’t do that, than to decide whether or not doing it today would be a reasonable choice or not.

As I’ve said, my intent is to live this year like the number on the scale just doesn’t matter.  If I were the exact same weight and shape for the rest of my life, what kind of choices would I want to make?  Do I want to be a person who exercises, or not?  Do I want to be a runner and/or a yoga student, or not?  Do I want to be a person who drinks green smoothies or not?  Do I want to be a person who eats fruit and salads or not?

At first, the idea that the number on the scale doesn’t matter was freeing, but pretend.  Now, it’s true…it just doesn’t matter.  If I were a person who ate healthy foods when I was hungry, exercised five or six days a week, and indulged in a treat upon occasion, I would be as healthy as I could reasonably be, and I would be as attractive as I reasonably care to be.  Whatever the number on the scale.

A couple of months ago, I was in a doctor’s office with my pregnant sister.  The nurse asked her what her weight was, and she didn’t know for sure, because of course little She-Baby is growing quickly and my sister also doesn’t care to weigh herself regularly at home.  The nurse’s reaction was funny, I thought, as though it was unreasonable for a person not to know their exact weight on any given day. I am also now someone who would not know her exact weight when asked, and I would kind of like to be that way for the rest of my life.  Pregnant or not.  Skinny or not.  I would like to measure my health by my participation in healthy habits, not by the numbers.

The resolution stands, but the battle to build healthy habits goes on.  A part of my original 2013 plan was a goal that I was unsure of, to run a 5K, 10K, and 20K this year.  I have let that go.  It is more important, right now, to build habits of exercise that are stress-free, no-pressure.  One goal at a time.  My current goal is to be in a habit of going to the gym four to six times per week, and find it easy and pleasant.  Just part of my routine.  To be in a state where I would no sooner skip a workout than I would skip brushing my teeth.  I’m getting there.  I’ve gone to the gym MUCH more this school year, overall, than any previous school year.  But the habit still comes in starts and fits.  I workout for a few weeks, and then a busy week comes along and I skip a whole week, and then the next week.  Before I know it, I’ve taken three weeks off and I feel like I’m starting my routine all over again.  However, in years past it would be two or three MONTHS off before I start again.

To what do I owe the (small) improvements?  No question, I owe it 100% to my mindset of making it easy!  I watch Netflix on my phone while I’m on the treadmill.  I make one small promise at a time:  “I will bring my workout clothes with me today, but we’ll see what happens after work.”  “I will GO to the gym and be on the treadmill for one whole episode of Grey’s Anatomy, but I won’t promise to run hard or sweat.”  “I will run an interval of 2 minutes right now, but I won’t promise to run any more intervals today.”  “Okay, I will run one more interval right here, and then I can walk the rest of the 40 minutes if I want.”  It works for me.  Most days, I do run the workout that I planned.  On days when I just can’t bring myself to push hard, I have still gone to the gym, changed into my clothes, and spent a half hour or more on the treadmill.  My ultimate goal is to build a habit, and a half-hour walk works toward that goal as effectively as a hard run.  When this habit is strong and established, then I can think about the next goal.

(photo credit: mrjorgen via photopin cc)

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