Breaking Into Reality [+ the Weight-Loss

*The full title should say Breaking Into Reality [+ the Weight Loss “Project”]. The end of the title is gone for some reason…

For the last two and a half months, I’ve felt like I was living on vacation. It’s very surreal to live in a place that had only vacationed to before and had dreamt about living in for years. I’m sure everyone has an idea of where their dream home would be if everything lined up perfectly. Ever since 2009, that “dream” location has been Colorado (and Greg has wanted to live here for even longer than that). If you had told me a year ago that I’d be living in Colorado today, I wouldn’t have believed you. It always just seemed like something that was so far-fetched, and there were too many obstacles in the way. Our jobs, family and homes were in Maryland- that was a lot to keep us in one place. But then, things started happening. I quit my job as a teacher and got my personal training certification. Greg’s company opened an office in Denver. We met with a realtor and figured out that we actually could sell our home (which we had just bought two years earlier) and even make enough money to cover moving expenses. As for family and friends, that was tough (and still is tough!). As much as I’d love to live within driving distance to the people I care about the most, I just had to follow this dream and not always wonder what life would be like somewhere else.

I’m thankful every day that things worked out, and that I live in a place where I am truly happy and feel like I belong.

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I can’t describe how great it is to live here and to have so many things that I love nearby. Within 20 minutes, I can leave my front door and go on a hike that takes me above 6,000′ elevation.

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I can drive an hour west and hike to above 14,000′ elevation and surrounded by 360˚ views of some of the most beautiful mountains in the country.

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There’s also the breweries, the food, the people… it’s just so happy and peaceful here.

Unfortunately though, vacation doesn’t last forever. Soon enough it’s time to get on a schedule, get some discipline and bring home a paycheck (which I am finally doing- more on that later). For me, the toughest part about living like I’m on vacation has been the way I’ve been eating and drinking. Before I moved to Colorado, I had a pretty solid schedule of training clients, teaching group exercise classes and working on various partnership opportunities through my blog. After getting my metabolic rate tested, I had a good idea of how much I should be eating and how to lose those stubborn 20 (or so) lbs. that have crept on over the last few years. Once I had that information, I changed some of my eating habits that were sabotaging my weight-loss efforts and I was on a roll!

…And then we moved 1650 miles across the country. During that 4-day adventure, we ate out for every meal and had very little activity due to driving all day long. When we got to Colorado, Greg and I went out to eat often and took every opportunity to hit up the local breweries (and there are a lot of them). Even though I was hiking several times a week and going to the gym almost every day, I started to gain weight. I haven’t actually gotten on a scale in several months- but I can definitely feel the difference in my clothes and my body in general. I made a few half-assed attempts to “get back on track,” but nothing lasted for more than a day. And it wasn’t that I was really eating “bad,” I was just eating too much.

The big issue that’s been standing in the way of me truly re-committing to weight loss and getting back into a body that I’m comfortable in (aka my “happy body”) is that I just haven’t felt inspired enough to do it. In that past something has always come along that makes me gung-ho and super excited to get back on the weight-loss bandwagon, and I just hadn’t found it since moving to Colorado.

And then finally, about a week and a half ago, I finally had that “a-ha” moment. It was at Fitbloggin’! Remember how I wrote in that post that I had felt horrible about my body that week (and just didn’t feel like me) but there was a happy ending? Well, this is it. I finally had a breakthrough and a big ol’ metaphoric slap in the face. I finally felt inspired to get back on track and claim my happy body again.

I don’t know what it was about that week in Oregon, but I just didn’t feel like me. I had a lot of fun and spent some wonderful quality time with Greg prior to the conference and saw a lot of great friends that weekend, but something was just off. For the first time in a while I felt like I wasn’t really in my body. I felt heavy, out-of-shape and just yucky in general. None of my clothes seemed to fit comfortably and I didn’t want anyone to look at me. I cringed while looking at any of the photos of me that were taken.

Before you say anything, I know I’m not unhealthy or morbidly obese, but trust me- I could definitely afford to lose a few pounds and get to a healthier weight. I can’t help but feeling like I’ve failed because of the amount of times I have “started over” with my attempts at losing weight. Can any of you relate? I learned some very useful information about Fibtloggin’ through a few of the sessions I attended. I wish I could remember exactly who it was that said all of these words of wisdom, because I’d love to thank them.

Someone used the term “weight loss project” rather than the term “weight loss journey” like most of us have been using. I like that. Think about the definition of a project: it’s something that you work at to achieve a goal. Weight loss can certainly fit into that category! There was also discussion on the feeling of failure for those of us who have lost weight, re-gained it, lost it, re-gained it… etc. Let’s put this in perspective think about anything in your life that you’ve accomplished. Has it been easy? Has it always been perfect? Have you had obstacles along the way? No matter what, you’ve picked yourself back up and tried again in order to succeed. That’s how I’d like to view my own personal “weight loss project.” No matter how many times I feel like I have “failed,” I keep on trying because I ultimately have a goal that I will achieve.

The morning after I returned from Portland I got myself back on track. For me, that means a few different things:

Tracking calories on My Fitness Pal This isn’t something that I plan to do forever, but it’s a tool that truly keeps me honest and helps me to really see how much I’m eating. I’ll be tracking calories until I get back into the habit of eating the right amount of food each day.

No Grazing I’m a grazer, a grabber, a snacker- whatever you want to call it. I have a bad habit of mindlessly eating a handful of this or that without really being aware of how many extra calories I end up taking in. Tracking my eats on My Fitness Pal definitely helps keep this at bay!

Being Kind to Myself It’s extremely important that I keep the negative self-talk at bay. I know that I’m not going to get anywhere if I continuously point out what I don’t like about my body, so I’m trying to hard to spend focus that energy on what I do love about me. Speaking of which – if you haven’t read Cassie’s awesome post about embracing your body – go over there right now!! It’s incredible!!

Cutting Back on the Booze Despite how it may appear, I’m actually not a big drinker. I genuinely LOVE the taste of (good) beer, but having any more than one or two will leave me with a two-day hangover- and that’s just not worth it to me. But, having even a half of a beer every night (or every other night) certainly isn’t helping me lose any weight. I’m not ruling beer out, but am just planning to cut back and try to only indulge on the weekend and “special events.”

As you can see, exercise isn’t on that list. I’m sure you’re well aware that I (luckily) have no problem fitting exercise into my life. I actually really like the muscular gains that I’ve seen from doing LiveFit Trainer for the last few months and plan to keep up my strength-training routine. I would like to fit some more cardio back in, because it’s mostly come in the form of hiking lately. (It will naturally fall into place if I can finally find a job teaching Spinning again!)

I’ve been doing a great job of eating mindfully and sticking to the rules listed above for over a week now and am determined to keep going this time. This certainly isn’t the first time that I’ve “started over” and it probably won’t be the last: it’s all just part of this big project to get to my happy body. In the words of Gretchen, onward and downward!

Do you find yourself “starting over” (with weight loss or anything else) again and again? What motivates you to get back on track?

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