“Happy New Year! So what’s your resolution?” Ugh. Isn’t just about everyone trying to lose weight? Well, I’m here to tell you that will NOT be my New Year’s resolution this year. Please don’t get me wrong…I could stand to lose the 10 lbs. I gained not exercising AT ALL when the weather turned cooler, then warm, then cool – ahh, Texas weather – and I ended up with a beast of a sinus infection and bronchitis. Then, of course, I felt sorry for myself, so I just had to eat that dessert. You get the picture!
I grew up as an overweight kid. Not obese, but just enough overweight that I got picked on for it in grade school and middle school. I even remember attending a college basketball game with a good male friend who was quite good-looking and while walking across the parking lot, hearing a snickering guy who had been over-served in his “pre-gaming” yell, “Hey, dude, why is a guy like you with a fat chick like that?” At 16 years old, this broke my heart. After that, and my history of always trying to diet and give things up, something in my head triggered and I began to associate anything that didn’t go my way (e.g. not making cheerleader, not having a boyfriend, not being on Homecoming Court, not making the musical) to the “fact” (in my head) that I was too fat. And I mean a whopping (being sarcastic here!) 12-15 lbs. overweight.
I tried my hand, literally, at forcing my meals back up in college, and ended up thinner for a very brief amount of time and in counseling for bulimia. There were at least 10 girls on my one floor in our college freshman dorm all doing the same. Several months of great counseling sessions along with a very stern conversation with our physician about how this would affect my body in the future, changed my perspective. So, in my 50th year I still catch myself looking in the mirror and thinking, “do I look fat?” but I now have great tools that were given to me all those decades ago to fight that voice in my head.
My secret? I don’t give things up. I don’t deprive myself. I sacrifice a lot for my children, my husband, and my job. I don’t want to feel like I have to “sacrifice” for my body. I try new things and I found my “Happy Factor.”
I have worked in the physical fitness area off and on in my years (taught aerobics and “hip hop” aerobics when that was a thing J, have my 200 h. yoga certification and taught for years, played competitive tennis) and I have learned a few things about how I view my body. So I’m passing a few of my “secrets’ on to you with the one warning that not everyone tells you:
Your body will respond to different exercises, different foods, different efforts to drop a few pounds DIFFERENTLY depending on YOU (your age, your genetics). My secret is this – there is no secret “one way” to accomplish losing a few pounds. The real secret is your Happy Factor.
Let me explain:
When I stopped attaching everything in my life to my weight, something inside of me shifted. I have tried a LOT of different forms of exercise but for ME, when I tried Power Yoga, something inside of me shifted again. When I started to bring my mental state and my physical state all into balance, I found a calm inside of me, a peacefulness with the shifts in weight (5 – 10 lb. fluctuations depending on the season and the busy-ness of life) and a bigger smile on my face. As I began to feel in balance and more comfortable with me, I tried new, very simple things:
- I keep water with me at all times and sip away all day long
- I drink Green Tea with Lemon 2/day
- I eat smaller portions of EVERYTHING I LOVE
- I eat sweets sparingly (watching my sugars*)
*I love Wild About Harry’s Peppermint Custard with Oreos on top!
- I attempt to get to a yoga class or walk 45 minutes in my neighborhood 3-4 days a week, as the schedule allows, but sometimes I just do a lot of “plank poses” and walk up and down my stairs J
- When my hubby and I go to dinner, we split the meal (so I can have that one margarita guilt free is my rationale!)
- I don’t freak out when a pair of pants gets tighter in the rear and hips, because I know that if I make some adjustments, I have control over it
You get the picture. Then I challenge myself with new projects and endeavors, like this blog and my India Hicks business, I surround myself with people who are positive, happy people, I give back as much as I can (not so much with money, but with volunteer time, listening to others, smiling at strangers) and there you have it…
That is MY formula for my Happy Factor.
What’s yours? I would love to hear from you all (post in the comments) what is that one (or even two) special thing you do or add to make up YOUR Happy Factor. I can’t WAIT to read them! What are YOU trying that is NEW in this New Year??
Notes from the SHE Files: Physical Health and Mental Health go hand in hand. Try new things, smile more, keep the glass half full, help others and find your HAPPY FACTOR!