Friday, February 3, 2012

My Thoughts on Change: For the Younger Crowd

Changing your lifestyle isn't always easy.  For me, the initial change was a no-brainer. Other than deciding to change, it required no thought at all.  After a while it got harder to stick to, but I pushed. The first two months were the hardest and then the change stuck.  I still have days or moments when I'm unhealthy, but that's okay. Going through life and being on-point with everything along the way isn't something that I'd guess most people do not have the discipline for. I am sure there are some who do it, but this girl needs (okay WANTS) a piece of cake or a glass of wine (okay, or both together) every now and then! I love living healthy and I do so the majority of the time. There are days though, that I need those treats. 

I'm honest about my planned treats. I'm honest when I have a bad day and reach for food. There's no sense in cheating yourself because it just leads to frustration later on.  Stay accountable. Stay focused. Don't beat yourself up; that just makes it worse. Don't have more bad days than good. You can't eat junk and not exercise and still expect to lose weight or to lose it quickly. It does not work that way. 

Sometimes I'm sad that I wasted too much time living unhealthy. I wish I'd had the strength and determination to change when I was younger. I wish I'd had the confidence. I wish I could have been who I am now...Ten years ago. Or maybe twelve.

I spent my twenties being fat.  The time in my life where I could wear skimpy clothes without judgement. That was the time I could walk around like I thought (whether I did or not) I was the hottest thing in the world just because I worked hard to be healthy.

I'm only 31. I'm still young. I made my change at 29.  However, at 31 I cannot run around in denim mini skirts and tube tops, looking like a 22 year-old.  Well, I suppose I COULD (and some people do) but I won't. That's just ridiculous in my opinion. I can incorporate these items into my wardrobe but obviously too much at once is, well, too much! Honestly I look at some girls in their twenties (and teens!) and think "seriously?"  My point though is that I feel like I'm too mature for some looks. I feel like a woman trying to be a teenager when I go into some mall stores. Thank goodness most people think I'm younger. Or maybe they think I'm buying for my non-existent baby sister (hmmm...maybe I need that front for shopping these stores!).  I generally avoid those stores because a lot of their stuff can be cheaply made and doesn't always fit correctly (obviously being that they're cut for stick-thin teenagers). If I see a 17 year-old wearing something similar to mine, that's probably a sign for me to not wear that outfit anymore. At 23 I probably could've gotten away with that. At 31, that's probably not okay. 

Although.... I do love Stacy and Clinton. I'd love a new wardrobe. Perhaps I should dress younger?

As trivial as it may seem, I'm kind of annoyed at myself for not being able to indulge in those fun outfits when I could. Hey, as much as this is about health...A girl's gotta have fashion. Well, this girl anyway.

My advice to twenty-something (and younger) girls? If you're contemplating making a lifestyle change...DO IT! Even just for the sake of looking cute. Tired of buying clothing that's either older than you like? Tired of wearing the same styles? Tired of wanting to wear what your friend/sister/cousin is wearing but you can't? Are you tired of only shopping in select stores or having a limited selection of cute clothing?  GET HEALTHY!  Losing weight and being able to shop in different departments is almost worth it on its own. I say almost because clothing is probably not the best motivation for losing weight. It's a huge perk though!!

I'm not discounting the fact that getting healthy is a good thing. Believe me, fashion is not the most important thing in the world. Your health, YOUR LIFE, that's what's number one. But? Fashion can be a motivator for some.  Generally weight loss starts out about appearance. The health part comes later, even though losing weight is obviously good for your health (if you're overweight, clearly not the case if you hit underweight territory).

You'll feel better. You'll be healthier. You might gain the confidence to do things you wouldn't normally do. You CAN do things you can't do when you're healthy because of weight limits and such. Yes, you will most likely look better too.

I know that I can't change it, but sometimes I look back on the majority of my 20s and think, "what if..."  Then again, I'm happy in life and I wouldn't have gotten here taking a different road. Things happen for reasons, and they happen as they are meant to (I do believe we are in control though).

This goes for any change... You can do it. Don't wait. Put your mind to it, figure out a plan, and make the changes you need to make in order to move your life in a positive direction. No matter the circumstances, the life you've lead so far, you can change. It's harder for some than others, but sometimes you have to fight for the things that you want. Make a list of your excuses, and then make a list of reasons why they're excuses, how they're holding you back, and how you can change them.  It gets to a point that you are the only block to change. You have to set your mind to it. It doesn't matter what you've been through or where you are, you have to make the change. Blaming others and waiting for things to happen on their own isn't a good plan. No one else can make the change for you (but others can help by giving support and guidance, or therapy!). You need to accept your responsibility and go for it. You'll only get what you want by putting forth the effort and working for it. 

To those of you who are older: You can make a change too. You're never too old; or too young. I went to grad school with ladies who were retired grandmothers, people who wanted to further their education mid-life, and people who had just graduated from undergrad. 

If you are older and lose wight you may want to skip running around in Daisy Duke style shorts and crop-tops.  Actually, that's just good advice in general!

If you're contemplating change, make that change. 

XOXO

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