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Day Zero

Monday, December 10, 2018

So tomorrow is day zero. I'm refusing to call it day one because that would imply that I'm going for a streak. In a perfect world, there would be a streak of perfection... perfection every day for the rest of my life. But I know thats unrealistic. So it's day zero. It's the end of the countdown. It's time to get real.

I just told my husband I was blogging. He jokingly said "oh, you gonna talk sh*t about me on there?" I explained to him that its on SP. It's not a vent about life or him or our family. It's me feeling like I want to get my life together. Let me clarify before I get into some of my story - I'm not looking for an audience. If someone reads this and can identify with me, great! But I'm really laying this all out (FOR THE LAST TIME - keep reading and you'll understand why this is important) so I have something to look back on and say "oh - thats right... thats where I started and I refuse to go back."

When I was younger, I remember my grandma mentioning things about my body size - about how my jeans were tight, etc. - that she later imposed on my daughter. Luckily, my daughter was only about 2 or 3 at the time (which kind of makes it worse, to be honest), so she doesn't remember her GiGi saying things about how her body proportions were perfect. Thats the kind of pressure I grew up with. My dad mentioning things about keeping my shoulders back (and, therefore, my chest out) so I could take advantage of my sexuality as a blossoming teenager. As a junior in high school, my first true love picked my body apart - my chin has a small cleft, my nose isn't quite straight, I'm "pleasantly plump," and on and on and on. There are so many things I could blame about my current situation, but I'm choosing to leave them here, on this page, instead of dwelling on them and giving myself yet another excuse for my own lack of ambition.

Now I'm a mom and a wife and a social worker and I can't seem to find anything within myself that seems worthy of change. The last two years of my life, despite paying for fitness subscriptions and all of the droopy lettuce and mushy fruit that ended up in the garbage, have been the most unhealthy of my life. I picked up my old habit of smoking just over a year ago. I've exercised maybe once in the last six months and couldn't walk right for three days. I haven't stepped on the scale in weeks, but the last it read was 225. I'm 5'3.

I wake up in the morning and have to cough up the phlem that has settled in my lungs over night - a pretty evident sign that my body hates me for putting it through 10+ cigarettes every day. I hobble to the bathroom because my hips and my back and my achilles tendons (an old running injury) hurt. I get to work and run up the two flights of stairs (my only physical activity throughout the day is those damned stairs) and am out of breath by the time I get to my desk. I sit at my desk and occasionally run to some classrooms or another school to see how things are going. I'm a social worker at a school and, by all accounts, I have my ducks in a row. But nobody sees the discomfort I have when I walk into a room because I'm just sure they're all judging me for my appearance. After work, I run to get my daughter from school, chat with her teachers (also uncomfortable) and head home. We get home, I make dinner, play with the kiddo, and do housework. My house is as chaotic and cluttered as my mind is. I smoke, I take a bath (because being in the bath is one of the few places where my body doesn't ache and my mind can stop racing), and head to bed. When I lay in bed, I lay on a heating pad to soothe the pain in my lower back and hips. I feel a funny feeling in my ribs, or get a "stitch in my side" (as my grandma called it - a quick stabbing pain when I breathe in), or an ache in my lower stomach and I start to wonder what in my body will give out first. Will I die of a heart attack in my sleep? Are these aches some sort of cancer? Is it my gall bladder? My appendix? My kidneys? (Surely a diet of McDonalds and other crappy food can't be great for my body, but I find a way to excuse my way into eating whatever I want. I'm busy. I forgot to pack lunch. We don't have leftovers. Just this one more time.) It's really a miserable way to fall asleep - to be thinking of my mortality and how I'm failing my body. And then, the truly disturbing thing, I wake up and do it all again the next day. But why?

Because change is hard. It's hard to get up off the couch when my body hurts. It's hard to meal plan when I can't find much time in my day for this super important thing. I'm the QUEEN at excuses, guys. No joke. Start working out? Whats the point if I'm not eating right. Start eating right? It's haaaaard. I have to meal plan and then I'd likely have to make a separate meal for my daughter because Lord knows she's not eating salad or baked fish.

So why is it important that this is the last time I'm writing all of this down? Because I've done it about 17 times before. That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but a minor one. I've probably had ten SP accounts, and thats on the low side. And thats because "starting fresh" has been a thing for me... lack of perfection means that I erase where I was and start over where I am. Spark has seen me go from 190 to 220 to 175 to 250 (when I was pregnant) to 200 and now back to 225. All in the last ten-ish years. Consistency is not.my.thing. Not even in the slightest. I'm a shameless (shameful?) fad-dieter. I'm a Beachbody on Demand member and have used it ONE TIME in the two months that I've had it. I jump on bandwagons and then I fall off, skin my knee, and end up on metaphorical bed rest for months. And this has slowly, slowly, slowly spiraled out of control and has landed me where I am today.

So I'm here. It won't be perfection. It can't be. Because no part of life will ever be perfect. But everyone has to start somewhere and this is where I'm choosing to start. Tomorrow is not Monday. It's not the first of the month and it's not the first day of the new year. (This is relevant because all of my "DAY ONE" mindsets in the past have always been on a set day or week, etc., etc.). I'm putting aside perfection with the hopes that maybe I'll learn that progress and perfection are not mutually exclusive. I can make progress by simply not being complacent.

So that's my mission. Erase complacency. Maybe tomorrow I just don't eat McDonalds for lunch and MAYBE even drink all of my water. I might do some yoga after my daughter goes to bed. Eventually I'd love to start working out before work in the morning. I'd love to have a routine and some consistency so I can finally declutter my brain. But tomorrow I'm going to choose to show up for myself. I'll show up here tomorrow morning and lay out my plan for the day (or the week, if I'm feeling ambitious). I'll show up for myself because I'd show up if I made the promise to a friend. And I'm ready to start keeping promises to myself.
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