This time last year, I was seriously committed to exercise and eating well. I felt really awesome, too. I wasn’t afflicted with my usual bout of seasonal depression and I dropped around 25 pounds. I wasn’t on a diet, but I was tracking my calories, as I tend to underestimate how much I’m eating if I don’t.

When I moved to New Paltz, I felt pretty burnt out from 10 straight months of tracking calories. I decided that I wanted to lose around 10 more pounds and shift my focus from cardio to strength training, but I knew that I needed to take a break from counting calories because it felt like such a chore.

I took the break and was able to maintain my weight through a trip to Austria and my stressful start at a new school. Even though I was eating more deserts than I should have, I wasn’t gaining or losing weight, and I felt good. Then something happened…my cousin got married and all of us guests were faced with the task of eating as much delicious food as possible so that my aunt would get her money’s worth. I was up for the task, and ate tons of delicious soup, salad, and artisan pizza. And then continued to eat the leftovers with my family for the rest of the weekend…plus a giant breakfast the next day. I pinpoint this weekend as the one that kind of unraveled my health. Ever since then, I have really been throwing caution to the wind. And, as would be expected, after Thanksgiving I noticed that my jeans felt a little bit tight. D’oh.

Thankfully, after a few days of eating normally again after Thanksgiving, my jeans are fitting comfortably again, but that little scare was exactly what I needed to jumpstart my recommitment to healthy living. I am simply recommitting to tracking calories, and this was the kick in the pants I needed to get back into exercise. I used my elliptical for the first time since I moved to New Paltz on Thursday morning, Dan and I went on a long walk on Sunday, and I used my elliptical again yesterday. Just like last year, I’m not going to focus on weight loss, because that tends to be inconsistent. I’m going to focus on how much better I feel when I am eating well and exercising regularly.

To get myself over the hump of exercise feeling like a chore, I am planning my exercise at the beginning of the week on my calendar. This week I have three days scheduled, and next week I’m going to bump it up to four. I know that after a few weeks, it will feel weird not to exercise, but I am prepared to struggle to find the motivation for the time being.

Yesterday, for example, I had a mini meltdown after bickering in the grocery store with Dan. We were both tired and grumpy, and when he realized that I was totally messing up the mac & cheese I’m making for dinner on Friday by adding in cauliflower, using whole wheat pasta, and substituting plain yogurt for the sour cream, (his quote: “What’s the point of being good all week if you can’t even be bad on Friday?!”), he was not happy. Each ingredient was debated, and I really didn’t have the energy or patience for that.
I find grocery shopping to be draining anyway, so I got super crabby, and when I got home I just didn’t want to make dinner or exercise at all. I took some time to mope around, proceeded to wrestle Dan to get my frustration out (which is not a euphemism for sex, and is something that I would recommend for any couple who is having an argument [so long as no one has any anger management issues]–just wrestle. I dare you to still be in a fight after a good wrestling match!), and then got the rest of my frustration out on the elliptical before making dinner. It was the right thing to do, and each time I choose exercise even when I don’t want to (especially when I don’t want to!) I’m getting one step closer to the place I was in last year, where eating well and exercise was just a part of my daily life.

I have been noticeably absent from blogging as I have not had much in the way of healthy living to talk about. Now that I’m back at it, I expect to be posting much more!

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