Thursday, December 06, 2012

Moving Forward with Coca-Cola's Balanced Living

I was compensated for my participation in Coca-Cola's Balanced Living Workshop, but my thoughts and views are my own.

Like most women my age ~cough~36~cough~ I struggle with my body image and shape. I am aware I am close to the same number on the scale that I was when I got married (give or take about 7 pounds). And I am aware that after 3 kids and 15 years of marriage, I should count myself lucky to be able to honestly say that.

But the number on the scale doesn’t accurately depict my health. My health isn’t just the number of pounds I weigh; it’s the condition of my heart, the strength of my arms, the size of my jeans and the energy I have at 9 pm. All of those areas could use a tremendous amount of work.

I own this. I own the lack of exercise and healthy activities I partake in. I own that the quality of the food I eat and serve to my family isn’t always beneficial to our health.

I could easily blame our finances or our family’s busy schedule, but truly it all comes down to the fact that my husband and I haven’t made health and wellness our #1 priority. Though we keep it in the back of our minds and provide healthy food and exercise when it’s convenient for our schedules, we aren’t known for being able to maintain it for any length of time.

I desperately want to change this! This past summer found me counting calories and minutes of walking and listing every single detail I participated in to try and find a way to burn more than I ingested. I lifted and sweated. I said “no” to the cake and ice cream and gulped down water with lemon instead. I felt justified when the scale went down 2 or 3 pounds and mortified when it went back UP those same 2 or 3, even though I hadn’t cheated or slacked off …

Can you guess the result of all of that stressful counting and consciousness of my food? I lost the same 5 or 6 pounds I always seem to lose/regain in the span of a monthly cycle! I lost and gained and lost and gained and never saw a true change for months! It was exhausting to constantly obsess over every single bite that went into my mouth and what I could and couldn’t eat. I was a righteous bitch, to be honest.

So I quit.

As many of us do when diet and exercise isn’t easy, I gave it up almost completely instead of simply modifying my schedule and routine to better fit my lifestyle and personality. I have continued “watching what I eat” in the essence that I am watching it as it goes into my mouth. I am exercising in the essence that I occasionally remember to stretch and do 30 minutes of mild aerobics or strength building. Basically, just enough to make me angry that once again, I’ve let myself quit a lifestyle change.

I am so sick of my lack of dedication to something that is so obviously pivotal in the length and quality of my family’s life! When I received the proposal to join the Coca-Cola Balanced Living Workshop in Chicago this December, I was immediately on board.

I have a very positive feeling about this workshop. One of the most exciting activities I will participate in is a personal consultation to discuss my issues, needs and hopes for the future. I have hopes that someone will understand that I cannot sustain a chart or count calories or anything similar to that and STILL maintain a happy, peaceful outlook on life. I have hopes that a personal and honest discussion with a professional nutritionist will allow me to devise a new plan for our family that isn’t regimented or rigid. Maybe this is the chance that will allow us to change without feeling like failures every time we stray from the intended path …

Because we will stray. Many times. Life isn’t a straight and simple course from start to finish. Life isn’t about reaching a goal and “finishing”. Life is about accepting our mistakes, learning from them, and moving forward without regrets.

Here’s to moving forward towards better health!
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