A Week of Health with a Patient Heart

I failed to persist in sticking with healthy habits this past June: The first three weeks of our trip to Europe saw me feeling great and losing enough weight to fit into my tuxedo. The second three weeks saw a return of the unhealthy habits I’d developed over previous years, as well as a return of the weight. (And then some.) I blame it on Italy! I blame it on the travel!

Wine! Pasta! Tempura vegetables! Wine! Florence, I love you I hate you. 

Wine! Pasta! Tempura vegetables! Wine! Florence, I love you I hate you. 

Admittedly, Italian food and wine are delicious, and the last half of the trip was go go go. (Staying healthy on the road is tough; it’s something I obviously need to work on.) But ultimately I am responsible.

I was upset and disappointed, and I still am. I tend to be unnecessarily harsh on myself, so I’ve decided to re-explore last month’s theme of persistence, this time with a more patient heart. I'm learning that, for me, true and lasting perseverance can only be accomplished with patience. 

I’m a person who might start, say, a health program and then veer off the path after a couple of weeks. I think I've mentioned that part of my problem is an all-or-nothing mentality. If I miss a day, well, then, To hell with it.

I am working on this in a variety of ways, such as trying to take on my goals in smaller bites: week by week. Being more forgiving of myself: if I miss a day, then get back on track without the guilt trip. Reflecting on body memory: to remember how great I feel--physically and mentally--when I am being healthy and then to strive again for that feeling. Realizing that there doesn't always have to be a time frame: just because I dropped my big health endeavor over a month ago doesn’t mean I can’t try again now. I can be accountable while also being patient. And it seems with each trial, I learn something about myself, I get a little better. Even if I seem to have fallen a little lower, I've set the bar a little higher... I know I can get there. 

In fact, I am on day six of a 30-day yoga challenge; I started the challenge over forty days ago. The next time I practice yoga, I’ll move on to day seven. This is a particular exercise for me, though, and I'm doing it to prove a point to myself, to give a finger to that all-or-nothing mentality. The challenge is 30 days of yoga, not 30 days of yoga in 30 days. 

This is why we're doing our week of light detox, because it's about recognizing issues around, e.g., portion control and that if, say, I have a couple of drinks, I'm more likely to overeat. The more I exercise, the more I feel inclined to exercise again. But if I have several drinks, I'm less likely to be active the next day. And then I discovered that when I do exercise consistently, I can more easily bounce back from a few drinks the night before and go exercise again. So it all comes full circle: Justification for drinking. Only kidding.  

In all honesty, we're only three days into the week, and it's been fairly easy so far. We love wine, but we don't really miss it. Our meals have been not too far off from what we'd normally cook. It seems we just need to be more conscientious, enhance to healthy and reduce the unhealthy.

I'm already learning that it's ultimately about recognizing these patterns and connections. It's learning to moderate so that I can enjoy a healthy, balanced life. I'm hoping this week will jumpstart a new period and help lead to the lifestyle that is best for us. I don't necessarily want to be "Cut, like Marble." I just want to feel better in my own mind and body.