What are your non-negotiables? What are the things you must do for yourself and what are the lines that you just won’t cross? What would cause you to hit a limit and change your behavior?
I am 5’4″ and a 1/2″ (every half inch counts!) and there was a time in my life when I weighed 165 lbs. Most people said I carried it well (perhaps they were being kind), but I wasn’t happy and I didn’t have any energy. I would come home from work and watch TV all evening. There is nothing wrong with doing this now and again, but this was my practice every single night and most weekends for more than a few years. Combined with overeating foods, this resulted in weight gain.
I had tried diets in the past, some of them quite successfully, and this usually resulted in me losing the weight for a few years, and then my eating and exercise habits (or lack thereof) would get the best of me and the weight would creep back. At the beginning of the year before I turned 35, I realized that I was getting uncomfortably close to 150 lbs. I thought the needle on the scale was moving in the wrong direction, and I decided to make some changes.
For me, the mental limit was seeing the scale at 148 lbs while feeling uncomfortable in my clothes. My clothing was getting snug and I was being stubborn and didn’t want to buy clothes in a bigger size again. It wasn’t a cost thing – I knew in my mind that if I let myself buy larger clothes and be comfortable with being heavy, then I would have no incentive to change my behavior. Going over 150 on the scale and being okay with it would have been me giving up on taking care of myself.
This is not a rant against others who are heavier or less active than I am. We each have our own path to follow while we are here. Further, the scale number is irrelevant when used in isolation without regard to one’s height, body type and composition, nutrition and exercise habits, stress level, and other factors.
I am sharing this for those of you who are stuck, for those of you who don’t have any energy, for those of you who are frequently sick or overly stressed. I am sharing this for those of you who want to be healthier than you are today. It is possible.
Have you thought about where you want to be? Are you there? If you aren’t there, are you moving in the right direction? What are you doing to move yourself closer to YOUR ideal you? And have you defined your non-negotiables and limits?
For me, defining my non-negotiables (more on this later) and limits has helped me to self-check my progress toward my goals. Having a hard line that I refused to cross was an external data point that meant, “Hey, maybe you aren’t paying attention to where you are going.”
Only you have the power to change your life, and it is up to you to decide what is important and where you want to go. Once you’ve figured that out, make sure your daily actions support your progress and give yourself a way to track that progress and course-correct, when necessary.