Loralie and Melissa, two busy work-at-home moms, are partnering with Advocate Condell Centre Club to take steps towards better health. Today, Loralie updates us on how she’s doing.
I fell off the wagon.
It’s a familiar cycle. All my life I have seen diet and exercise as my punishment for being fat. I had to deprive and torture my body because I had committed the sin of not being thin. Is it any wonder that so many people fall off the wagon again and again? When we view healthy choices as a prison sentence instead of a way to show love to ourselves, why would you want to stay on that wagon?
I am slowly learning to reframe the idea of taking care of myself and instead treat my body with the same love and concern that I give to my children. Do I give in to my child’s every request for candy? Do I let my child sit inside day after day in front of a screen? Of course I don’t. Love doesn’t always look like a “yes.” Sometimes it asks you to make a better choice.
But when you make a mistake, even a big one, that does not justify giving up on yourself. So it’s time for me to hop off this cycle of shame. Instead of beating myself up and finding comfort at the bottom of a bag of chips, I am going to focus on the progress I have made.
This same time last year, I sat on the porch with my leg in a brace while I watched my husband plant our garden. Arthritis in my knees at only 38 years old, caused by years of carrying extra weight, had left me incapable of doing the work myself. But this past weekend, I dug trenches, hauled mulch and pulled weeds all on my own. Today I am stronger and able-bodied.
The other day, instead of shuffling behind my 5-year old and yelling at her to walk, I challenged her in an impromptu race.
At the playground, instead of plopping myself on a bench with my smartphone, I played hide and seek with my kids and ran from tree to tree to avoid getting caught.
Today I am a Centre Club member who can leg press 240 pounds. This is what real progress looks like.
So rather than mope around over what I did not do this last month, I’m going to celebrate my victories and practice forgiveness.
I don’t demand of my children to never argue and get 100% on every test. As a mom, I don’t expect that I will never lose my patience or that my home will always be sparkling clean. So why should I hold myself to the same unrealistic expectations when it comes to nutrition and exercise?
Life happens. If I make a poor choice, I am no longer going to use it as a license to throw the baby out with the bath water. It’s time to check my baggage at the door and keep on keeping on. Real change takes time, patience and fortitude.
So I am back on the wagon again. I know there will inevitably be missteps along the way, but I now feel confident that I can stay positive, regroup and jump right back on again.