The first thing I did this morning after helping my husband shuffle off to work, was step into the kitchen and consult my meal plan. It's no longer a chore. It comes to me as easily as turning on a pot of coffee.
After breakfast, I loaded up a short strength training video via YouTube to cross a bit of exercise off my daily list. Early morning work outs are best for me. It's so much easier to say, "Oh, that? Already did it," than it is to say, "At some point today, I need to get that done." I stretched when I was finished and went for a glass of water, rather than soda or fruit juice.
For the past three months, I've been on a kind of bandwagon, making the choice with thousands of other Americans to clean up my kitchen, straighten out my eating habits and whip my body into shape in the new year. It wasn't the first time I'd tried to tackle these sometimes terrifying tasks, but it has been the most successful and given me the most insight.
I've learned a priceless amount of useful things by working with a gym full of professionals rather than going it alone. I've learned how much recovery a body needs after you've stressed it, but also how to "cheat the clock" with things like a long soak in the hot tub and protein-heavy meals. I've learned that too much cardio is counterproductive. I've learned that there are only so many times you can do the exact same routine before your body stops reaping the benefits.
The most important lessons, however, have had nothing to do with exercise. It's these that have me confident I'm ready to relax the assault on old habits, allowing what I've learned to simply blend in with my daily routine and keep me on track. I know how to discipline myself in moments of weakness, how to reward myself for hard work, how to forgive myself for making mistakes. It was this that took the longest, it was this that made the greatest impact.
Since January, I've shaved off 12 pounds (but put back two that I'm perfectly content with), increased my weight training treshold by 15 pounds and saved about $100 each month by no longer patronizing fast food restaurants nightly. These changes were made with equal parts effort, education and having an audience here to share the experience with.
Although Lazy Girl Fitness will be going into hibernation as of today, my decision to live a healthier lifestyle won't be, and I hope I'm not alone in saying so. If I've done any good here at all, if I've inspired a single resident of Woodstock to keep going past the initial rush of resolutions and fresh starts, I'll consider the project a success.
Maybe in another three months, or another three months after that, a proud few of us will be looking back at how far we've come, and heading into another New Year where taking control of our lives and bodies won't have to be on the to-do list.