Have you ever noticed that when you’re somewhere that you don’t want to be (in a meeting, in class, in line) you have a habit of checking the time every two minutes? As a result, that hour seems to take forever and you feel like you’re never going to get out of there! In contrast, when you’re having fun, the minutes just tick on by at the speed of light.
Obsessively keeping track of numbers makes us crazy. It’s particularly stressful when it involves stepping on a scale or counting calories or measuring our waist line. In fact, the more times you step on a scale, the slower those numbers seem to move.
I’m going to tell you a secret. I never weigh myself. In fact, the only accurate reading that I get is when I go to the doctor, which is usually only once or twice a year. After I had Parker (and was carrying around an extra 20 pounds post-delivery), I thought I would never shed the weight. But, the great thing about having a baby is that they are wonderful little distractions. I completely forgot about the scale and just went about my life making the best choices that I could (even if it meant that lunch consisted of a couple of slices of turkey breast rolled up and shoved in my mouth while I was standing at the fridge). And you know what? Six months later, I was within 5 lbs. of my pre-pregnancy weight. Would I have shed the weight any faster if I had been weighing myself weekly? Nope, but I sure would have stressed about it a bunch more.
With regard to calorie counting, I generally only track my calories for a one week period a couple of times a year. Once I’m comfortable that I’m getting the right caloric intake, I put the calculator away. Counting calories is simply a way to regain control. Once you’re comfortable that you’re well on your way to knowing what it feels like to consume the proper number of calories, the counting is no longer needed. Just go with how you feel.
I want you to do me a favor. For one month, forget about the numbers. Don’t get on a scale. Don’t count calories. Don’t check your pedometer or the number of calories you burned on the treadmill.
Instead, do the following:
1. Make good food choices. Eat as many fresh, raw fruits and veggies as you’d like and supplement that with lean proteins and lots of water.
2. Turn off the TV and get out there! Take your dogs for a walk, meet your friends at the lake for a walk, take your bike for a spin. It doesn’t matter what you do so long as you’re moving. If you live near a national park, see about joining a hiking group or if you have kids, make a play date at a local green space and join your kids in kicking the ball around. The key here is to HAVE FUN!
3. Think happy and positive thoughts. This is key. You have to stop beating yourself up for every wrong choice you make and start celebrating the right choices. Life is too short to feel guilty and down. Spend some time thinking about all of the blessings in your life no matter how small they might be. Surround yourself with positive people who will help you celebrate life. Don’t be afraid to feel happy or to share the blessings in life that you’ve discovered. Trust me, you will naturally repel the curmudgeons in your life if you live your life with glee.
And that’s it! Forget the numbers and find your happy place. Search for the balance in your life and once you find it, I bet everything else will naturally fall into place.