I want to find a lifelong solution to my eating and weight problems. I want this to be the last time I have to lose a significant amount of weight. Yet I know that it’s always going to take time and effort to maintain whatever lower weight I stabilize at.
If this is going to be a part of my life forever, I think I should get clear on HOW MUCH time and effort it takes to maintain a healthier lifestyle and reasonable weight. I can then plan other parts of my life with this reality in mind. If I don’t keep enough time free for maintaining my health (taking care of such things as meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking and kitchen cleanup, exercising, and much-needed spiritual and mental health practices), there’s a high probability I will gradually pack my life with more and more activities and responsibilities and end up dropping the ball on my health and weight maintenance. It would be very easy to do this, especially with kids and a career in the picture. In short order, I could regain everything and more, and this will only take a greater toll on my body as it ages.
I don’t want that to happen! I know I will not be at my best for family or work life if I’m obese, depressed, and always fatigued. And for me, those three things are deeply intermingled. I’d rather scale back on the scope of what I do inside and outside the home, and do those (limited) things while feeling well and taking care of myself, than sacrifice my health to take on more and more. I don’t want to have to fight this obesity battle throughout my entire life. I don’t want to have to lose
pounds in my thirties, again in my forties, again in my
fifties, again in my sixties…
I am speaking from experience here. I lost a noticeable amount of weight my sophomore year of high school and during my fourth year of college. (Never
125 pounds, though. I didn’t need to lose that much back
then.) In both instances, the weight loss was
facilitated by having a quieter-than-normal schedule for a decent stretch of
time. And in both cases, my schedule and
commitments got ramped up again and I gained back everything I had lost and
then some. Perhaps a busier schedule
didn’t make the regain inevitable, but since I didn’t have a clear idea of how
much time I needed to set aside to take good care of myself, I failed to block
out that amount of time. And really,
it’s not just a time issue, but an energy issue as well: I filled my schedule
up with other activities, and doing so left me not only with less time, but
less ENERGY to devote to working out and procuring/ preparing decent
meals. Not to mention my stress levels
went up with a busier schedule, and stress depletes my willpower reserves and
makes me want to eat. What a mess!
So, to increase my odds of lasting success, I am going to start paying more attention to the time commitment aspect of this lifestyle change. I am going to start tracking the amount of time I spend on things like kitchen work and exercise. I’m certain there is a minimum time commitment required for achieving certain results, and I’ve got to figure out what this is for me. After awhile, I hope to discover the most efficient yet sustainable/effective way of doing things.
Any thoughts or advice out there on time-and-weight management?