Monday, October 10, 2016

My Two Words for the Year

I like to select my One Word around my birthday. September always feels like the start of a new year because of my birthday and "back to school" time. My daughter doesn't go to school yet, but I've never really shaken the rhythm of the school year/summer vacation. Last year I selected one word as a woman and a different word as a mother, because being a mom doesn't define every part of my life and yet all parts of my life are interdependent. 

Last year's words were Execute and Playful and I feel a satusfied sense of accomplishment in both areas. I executed my weight loss goals, my desire to have regular date nights with Luis, and my resolve to be productive and effective at work. I also had a lot of intentional play time with Emily. Being playful doesn't necessarily come naturally to me, so I knew I needed to focus on this. Baby play time is really baby learning time, and I take my role as Emily's teacher very seriously. I love to watch her develop as her play time leads to fine and gross motor development, problem solving, and spatial orientation. That's super nerdy to say, but it's also super me.

My words for this year are Moderation and Modeling. 

Moderation is absolutely dismal for me and I really feel like the missing key to my weight loss success will be moderation. I HAVE to master this. Or at least budge it a little. I'll be honest that I have no idea how to even start, but this is really necessary and something I truly need to do. 

I see Emily watching Luis and me, and picking up all kinds of mannerisms. She pretends to put toothpaste on a toothbrush, she spits in her hand and pretends it's lotion (so gross), and  even knows her own nickname. I am more aware than ever that she will learn a lot from me, simply because the most important influence on a person is the parent of the same gender. That is an amazing amount of pressure and a bit overwhelming, but also an honor and really, really cool.

Gretchen Rubin says not to let perfection be the enemy of the good. Marla Cilly says to aim for progress, not perfection. Here's to just doing SOMETHING.

Monday, October 3, 2016

A New Version of my Authentic Self

When I was first learning about minimalism and incorporating it into my life, I kept coming back to this idea of who my authentic self is. I would keep coming back to a box of wooden stamps and a big collection of Peanuts-themed collectibles, for example, and putting them away because I just could never get rid of those. And yet, I never used my stamps, except for one stamp that I used for Christmas cards (which I am not very consistent at sending). And even though the Peanuts are my favorite cartoons, I hate having a bunch of knicks knacks around the house. Once I was honest about who the "true Kate" was, it was easier to align my home and surroundings with that.

I have been thinking about this idea again as I have approached the one year start of my weight loss journey. I am really nervous about transitioning from "I am trying to lose weight" to "I have lost weight and want to keep it off." I have never successfully done this and I don't want to fail at this again. But the truth is that I do know how to keep it off because I have been actively learning this lesson for the past year. The way I will keep the weight off is by doing what I have been doing, day after day. 

I have always been a person that hates exercise. When people would advise me to find an activity that I loved, so that I would miss it if I stopped, I genuinely only had nasty things to say in response. The truth was that after a long day of sitting, the only thing I wanted to do was to keep sitting. But the craziest thing happened: last week we finally got a wave of fall weather and I was so excited because it meant I could finally take Emily out for a walk in the stroller again. I was so excited that I could walk up to the day care and bring her home. I was double excited when she asked to go play at the park on the way home and then I was triple excited to climb the equipment because she wanted to try the big slide. I realized how much I missed our walks when the summer heat made it impossible to go  for walks after dinner. That was the activity that I missed. 

So the truth is that I have a new angle to the concept of my authentic self. I genuinely am a person who is capable of eating 10 potato chips, not the whole bag (even when I want to). I genuinely am a person who likes exercise and misses it when I don't do it. In other words, I am a person who is capable of moderation and getting back on track. I am a person who is capable of sustaining this new lifestyle, even if it's only a year old. That's new for me, but it can be permanent.

This has to be the last time I lose a massive amount of weight. I am a mom now and I want to model good habits for Emily and teach her to have a healthy lifestyle. That is the basis for all of this, the motivation for all of my efforts. 

If you are trying to lose weight, or reach a goal, or change a habit, just keep going. When you get off track, get back on. When you plateau, keep pushing and working and it will all pay off.  Hebrews says that no discipline is pleasant at the time, but later it produces a harvest of righteousness. You don't even have to believe in God to find some wisdom and truth in that.