But you have to set the milestones. And then you have to celebrate them.
I have three favorite quotes I refer to from time to time (sadly, I don't know who said any of them). One is "A year from now you will have wished you started today." I often say this anytime I start to fall off the wagon. I fall off the wagon enough that I should be bruised and battered. But bruised and battered is when you need to pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and continue forward. Get back on the horse that bucked you off, so to speak.
The second is "What if I fail? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?" Anytime I start to second-guess what I'm doing or start to wonder if it's worth it or - worse - if I can even do it, I have to remember who I am. I am a woman of great resiliency, great strength, great fortitude, great drive, great ambition, great compassion (though not always for myself).
But I also need to celebrate the milestones. I used to celebrate with food but that defeats the purpose when you're trying to lose weight and get in shape. And I don't want to associate rewards or denials with food. I don't deny myself - everything in moderation. That's truly healthy.
I decided instead to reward myself with something nice. I have my eye on this very nice piece of jewelry that I will buy when I reach a milestone (I won't tell you the milestone but will have you celebrate with me when I reach it).
Some say we should celebrate who we are right now and not put so much pressure on ourselves. Our bodies are ours. I agree.....but.....
Covid scared me.
Aging scared me.
When I saw that being overweight was a risk factor for Covid I jumped into action (nearly literally if my knees would have allowed it). When I wake up in the morning at age .... over 50 .... and I groan and limp around the house until I "warm up" I know I need to jump into action. Certainly things are going to creak as we get older but I believe they will creak less with less weight and pressure forcing the issue.
For me it's not about getting into some damn dress from high school or whatever. (Um, I was in high school in the 1980s. No one wants that shit back.) It's about feeling good and fit and healthy. It's about doing what I can to survive beyond ..... over 50. And it's a losing game: Losing weight, obviously; Losing anxiety over what is "good" and "bad." (No foods are off limits.)
And it's a gaining game:
Gaining an appreciation of where food comes from (if it's grown rather than processed, that's a plus).
Gaining a green thumb (growing your own food is so satisfying).
Gaining my rewards for reaching milestones.....look for more in the future.
The last quote that I refer to from time to time? "She likes to have goals that no one else can imagine, so they'll shut up about how they understand exactly what she's going through."
I love to challenge myself. I love to see what my mind and body can do. I am learning Spanish at .... over 50 because, why not? I am training for an Ironman Triathlon because I like a challenge...and I'm batshit crazy. I started this website and podcast because I needed an outlet and I am a professor by trade and training.
Never stop challenging yourself. You are stronger than you know and you can accomplish anything.
We are each on our own path. Be true to yourself.