I love good food. I like to try new dishes. I enjoy checking out restaurants (not that I have the opportunity to frequent many these days). There’s nothing wrong with that. My problem is mindlessly munching when I’m not even hungry. When I’m stressed out and have so much on my to-do list that I don’t even know where to begin, I nervously chew on anything within hands’ reach. I also eat out of boredom. Actually, that’s probably not quite accurate as I technically haven’t been bored since the Reagan administration. As a single mom to six kids, working two jobs, “boredom” isn’t really part of my vernacular. I suppose it’s more of a stress-related eating. When I’m “bored” (which really means, I just don’t want to do what I should be doing), I eat.
The thing is, that mindless food shoveling never satisfies me. I know, on some level, that the only thing that will solve my hunger is to get to work on that never-ending to-do list. The only thing that will make me feel full is the sense of accomplishment that comes from tackling those chores we always seem to put off until tomorrow. The thing that always makes me feel better is re-centering my life and getting my priorities back in order. I know what works for me – God, family, work, etc. But I have a hard time remembering that from day to day and sometimes get lured to the lazy side where fun comes first.
I’ve also been so wrapped up in caring for my kids that I’ve utterly forgotten about myself. My kids have been my priority for a reason and if that meant that I didn’t have the time for myself, that was a sacrifice I was more than willing to make. I love it when exercise fanatics say that anyone can find time to work out. I want to punch them in their faces and proclaim it my boxing workout. Looking back over the past couple years, I honestly don’t think I could have found a spare ten minutes in my day to exercise. My kids had a tough time adjusting to the divorce and the move and any spare time I had rightfully went to them. Given the chance, I honestly wouldn’t go back and change it. I’ve done what needed to be done.
However, the result of stress eating, in combination with the complete and total lack of exercise, for years was a huge butt, a lack of self-confidence, and the feeling that I was going into cardiac arrest when I climbed the stairs. That has recently changed.
Now that my kids and I have settled into a new routine and have found our places here in Florida, I’ve been able to shove my guilt to the back of my head and take a few minutes for myself every day. I’ve done Bikram yoga, step aerobics, aqua fitness, and walking. I still hate to exercise, but I force myself to do it every day. I’ve been eating healthier foods, avoiding the junk, and putting a stop to the mindless munching (at least most of the time). And you know what? It’s beginning to pay off. Here are some before and after pics. Well, they’re not actually after pics yet; they’re more of halfway there pics. What do you think?
(I feel like throwing up when I see the fat pictures. I can’t believe I’m putting them on here for the world to see. But I love looking at BEFORE and AFTER pictures because I find them inspiring. I hope you do too.)
If you liked this, here are some more favorites from Dawn.