If you are one of those people who hates lists and planning, then this post is definitely not for you! I am a planner! I love to make lists with bullet points and check in regularly to determine my progress and level of success. Very few things make me happier than being able to check off an item on my "to-do" list.
When I came to the realization that I really do want to stop hating my body and learn how to love it instead, I happened to be at work. That means that I had a lot of time to go over my game plan in my head while performing the monotonous tasks that I know so well! I am posting my overall plan and guidelines here so that I remain accountable to them (and to myself) as the weeks wear on and the going gets tough.
I'm starting with a 30-day plan of sorts. Many of the diets that I've gone on in the past start with a 30 day jump start plan so I initially shied away from using that format for my personal growth. After all, this isn't a diet plan, this is the beginning of a journey. However, this process is about me, after all, and I need concrete dates with which to measure my success, as in "well, I haven't (fill in the blank) for 30 days! Yay me!". That's just me, and I doubt that I could change that part of my personality. So, without further delay, these are the guidelines that I will be following, TO THE LETTER, until July 1st. I will take the opportunity at that point to assess what is working for me, and what is not, and I will adjust my guidelines accordingly, but this is my starting point. For the next 30 days I will:
NOT DRINK ALCOHOL
I used to drink about a bottle of wine a month, at most. Now? I can honestly drink one of those big bottles a night. By myself. I think that I started drinking to ease my social anxiety (my husband is super social and I am more content staying in for the night), but in truth I don't really like myself when I'm drinking. I turn into the worst version of myself. How does this relate to loving my body? I also find that I wake up puffy and tired the night after I have drank, not to mention how many empty calories sugary alcohol drinks contain. I just don't see the "win" for me here, so I'm going to give up drinking for 30 days and see what happens. I may introduce the occasional glass of wine back into my life later on, but we will have to see.
NOT EAT SWEETS
I have a sweet tooth, big time. I love chocolate and candy and ice cream. Those are my go-to feel-good treats. Sugar is bad for you, d'uh, so I'm cutting it out completely to (hopefully) get over my constant sugar cravings. I will still be eating fruit and whatnot, just not any manufactured treats.
NOT EAT FAST FOOD
As I mentioned yesterday, I'm a pretty busy person. I work a full-time job and have three busy kids. There always seems to be something going on on any given night or day. As a result I turn to the ease of ordering fast food more times than I would like to admit to! For the next 30 days I will resist the temptation and make food at home instead.
WORK OUT FOUR TIMES A WEEK
I'm great at making excuses to not go to the gym! The hubby and I have an (expensive) gym membership that we do not use enough. We always use the kids being busy or being tired from work as an excuse not to go. For the next 30 days I commit to working out at the gym or at home at least 4 times a week, whether or not I want to. I have some Beach Body programs ready to use at home for in case I don't have time to get to the gym.
GET AS MUCH SLEEP AS I CAN
The reality is, this one will be a challenge. I work many 12-hour shifts and only get about 5-6 hours a night in sleep. I know that sleep is important, but I just don't know where to find the extra hours in my day! When I am on afternoon shift I get up early to see the kids before they go to school so I pledge to get as much sleep as I can as often as I can! This one will be a work in progress....
DRINK MORE WATER
Honestly, I drink a lot of water already. The factory that I work in is HOT and we re-hydrate as much as possible. But since I won't be drinking anything other than water, milk, or green tea for the next month, I will up my water consumption as much as possible.
FIND SOMETHING THAT I LIKE ABOUT MYSELF EVERY DAY
This one could be a stretch for me. It feels like I'm hard-wired to find something bad about myself every day because that behaviour has been going on for so long! I know that repetition helps, so I plan to focus on one good thing about my appearance or body every day! Maybe some day I will actually believe these things that I tell myself!
So, there it is- a beginning. This is my personal place to start. These guidelines wouldn't work for everyone but I do think that they will work for me! I'll be honest, I'm a little worried about how this will all go down (the sugar cravings and the alcohol scare me the most!) but I know that I will stick this out and hopefully be on a better path towards loving myself and my body.