It was one year ago when I permanently shut the doors of my public relations business and started writing full time. I have gained so much in the process: a new set of supportive friends that get the agony and elation of birthing stories; a group of “followers” whom I have grown to love and admire; a better appreciation for both the time and dedication it takes to be a writer; and a realization that I am actually living my dream.
I have also gained 6.8 pounds according to my scale.
I have noticed my yoga pants getting a little more snug on my thighs, and my skinny jeans cutting off my circulation a bit more lately, but I attributed it to the fact that I was a wee bit dehydrated. My choice of clothes started to dwindle as I began feeling uncomfortable in certain outfits. And then one day, as I was about to nosh on my bagel with cream cheese before plowing into an essay I wanted to write, I decided to hop on the scale. And there it was. Well, I’m not going to tell you what it said, but let’s just say it wasn’t pretty.
I decided I needed to leap into action, so of course that meant I checked Facebook, my blog stats, responded to a few emails and ate my bagel. Then the light bulb went off. I remembered I gifted my husband a fancy FitBit for Christmas. One designed especially for runners, with all the bells and whistles. Because my husband and I are infamous for taking forever to set things up, I was confident it was still in the box. I ran downstairs, grabbed it and then rushed back to my computer.
I quickly installed the software and slapped it on my wrist. This would motivate me. This would tell me how I gained seven pounds. This would be the change I needed. Right after I wrote my blog post.
Several hours later I hit publish. My goal for the day was done. I looked at the time on my computer and saw I had exactly 45 minutes to take a shower, grab a late lunch and get my kids from school. I would then chauffeur them around for the next three hours before coming home and taking care of the loose odds and ends around our house.
I forgot about the FitBit until bed time when I checked the watch. 2700 steps. 1.4 miles. That is all I moved the entire day. That labeled me as sedentary…one step up from complete inertia. Sloths were more active than I was that day.
Yes, I know that numbers on a scale don’t mean everything (or anything). Yes, I know that the way I look doesn’t define me. Yes, I know it’s what’s on the inside.
But following my dream was actually making me fat.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I do move around on most days. I go to the gym a few days a week. I clean my house (sometimes.) I walk the grocery store aisles and my kids’ school. But on days that I don’t have much on my schedule, the days I save to write, the days I sit on my bed spinning stories, I am a statue with moving fingers. My FitBit weeps for me.
And this new lifestyle trickled down to my normally healthy eating habits. I didn’t leave myself enough time to go to the grocery store, so I guess it’s nuggets for everyone tonight! Or, it’s Pizza Friday, and Pizza Sunday, and sometimes Pizza Thursday, but at least Huff Post picked up my article!
While writing is what I love doing best, I am realizing that it doesn’t always allow me to be my best. I have spent a lot of time the last few days analyzing my time management and how I can do things better, how I can be better, how I can achieve my best self.
What I have realized is that life doesn’t have to be an either/or scenario like so many of us make it….like I made it. Life is about balance. Stopping writing for a few days allowed me to remember this.
I will lose the weight. And if I don’t, I’ll at the minimum become more healthy, which is what it’s really all about (and feeling good in my skinny jeans again.) I am determined, and even reached 10,000 steps the other day in addition to hitting the gym. I allow myself a certain amount of time at my computer and then I make myself get up and move. I have broken up with my mean boyfriend Carb and replaced him with Kale, who is a little rough around the edges but much friendlier to my thighs.
But most importantly, I want to show my girls that you can live your dream without losing yourself. Even if that means giving up pizza a few nights a week.
But don’t count on me giving up wine. I’ll throw my FitBit right at you for suggesting that!
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