Take Small Bites & Let It Go

I really need to make my phrase more succinct. Small and free? Praise progress & don’t stress the small stuff? Hmmm… not really more succinct. Maybe affirmation and acceptance?

I first started doing a word or phrase for the year a few years ago. I copied Anne, one of my readers. She has a word each year. I liked the idea.

I feel like each word or phrase builds on the next year’s. For example, my first word was “change”. That was 2020. I don’t mean to imply my word of the year caused the pandemic but I can attest to the fact that I dealt with some serious change that year! But in the words of Patty Loveless, “life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same,” so I continue to try to embrace change, even bring about change. Maybe that’s in the way I frame something. Maybe it’s in a new life experience.

The following year it was “attitude”. Sing your praises, Sam! Don’t let negative thoughts take over. That’s what attitude was all about. Take charge. Focus. That’s not something you leave behind at the end of the year. You continue to build on it.

Last year it was a phrase: Be Here, Be Still. For the most part it was about not envisioning the worst. Kind of like attitude. Don’t worry about the plane crash until it actually starts to crash. Some might say that’s poor planning but I think it’s equally accurate to ask, “Why bother to borrow trouble?” Rejoice in the moment. Don’t worry about what might happen. Focus on what you do have instead of dwelling on what you don’t. Be more present.

That was really a big one and I think I failed on that. I still spend a lot of time reading and playing games on my phone. I’m becoming quite the hermit. I used to have a lot of friends and I used to do a lot of things. Now… not so much.

Anyway, this year is going to be spent trying not to let the little things, like traffic and stupid drivers and fast food restaurants that can’t get their shit together, bother me. It’s going to be tough. We’ve got another road closure coming up in the exact same spot where the road was close for a good five months. I don’t know what the hell they did for five months and which is going to take them even more time come spring, but that’s what I’m hearing. I’m preparing myself to put on a happy face. I can’t change it so I can either bitch each day I have to drive into work, or I can simply plan on leaving earlier and accept my fate. And all the damn traffic that comes with it.

But wait- there’s more! I’m also taking to heart the article I wrote about a few years ago, the one that talked about the Boston Marathon of weight loss. I’ve pretty much put back on all the weight I lost. Hell, I may weigh more. I don’t know. I won’t step on a scale right now. I will know I’m headed in the right direction when my fat clothes start to fall off of me again. Anyway, I was really disciplined for four months. Really disciplined. Between the beginning of March when I began and Memorial Day I did not have a single cheat day, not even when everyone else around me was chowing down on Chinese food for Mother’s Day. I took my mom to Olive Garden for her birthday in May because that’s where she wanted to go and I ended up eating nothing except salad because the salmon I would have ordered was not on their limited menu during this time of Covid. My first time cheating was when I went on vacation down to Virginia. We ended up flying up to New Hampshire for the mobster’s son’s wedding and I had Chinese food, wedding cake, lobster rolls, ice cream. It was awesome.

I continued to do a good job when I was at home. I had my cheat weekends when I was with the mobster and it definitely slowed down the progress. Instead of losing 2 pounds or so a week sometimes it would only be a half a pound. It was really discouraging considering how hard I continued to work and the foods I continued to avoid.

We also started back up with the Couch to 5K program. We finished it right before December and I think I got about another week in and I haven’t ran since the first Sunday in December. Instead of throwing up my hands and telling myself I have to start all over I’m going to give myself some grace. I figure I’ll either attempt to run a mile without stopping or I’ll try for 20 minutes, and if that doesn’t work I’ll run for 10, walk for 5 and run for another 10.

I’m going back to low carb eating but this time I’m trying not to be so hard on myself. I obviously can’t treat myself every weekend, but I can have a “cheat day” once or twice a month. I also need to reign myself in because I find myself going hog wild when I do finally allow myself to cheat. Instead of saying, “I’m going to allow myself to eat that piece of cheesecake,” it turns into, “I’m going to have that cheesecake after I finish off that steak with a baked potato and fifty yeast rolls.” I find that on my weekends with the mobster I allow myself to indulge a little too much. Instead of just enjoying a bismarck at the bakery, we order 6 and each eat 3 throughout the day. We go to the other bakery the next day. I allow myself a Milky Way coffee also at the bakery and then eat a carb laden lunch and dinner.

I never really got to the maintaining part of my lifestyle change because I still wanted to lose weight but maybe this time around I need to be satisfied with a smaller weight loss, maintain it, and then after a month or so go back to trying to lose again. And again, if I lose anything that’s a win for me. Just because I don’t get to a specific number on the scale or down to a certain size doesn’t mean I haven’t accomplished anything.

So again, not really sure how to word this phrase. Maybe this year it isn’t so much a phrase as it is actual resolutions. But since I don’t much care for resolutions we’re going to call it a phrase. For now, Take Small Bites & Let It Go is the phrase for 2023. If I come up with something better I’ll let you know.

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