I often rationalized that there was a perfect time to start, like a special date. For example, I often told myself, "I can't start until after the Thanksgiving or Christmas holidays, because I am sure to fail if I start before then." It is like I was saying to myself that I needed permission to eat as much crappy food as I could during the holidays, and then I would be good. Often I would gain extra pounds during that time, and then be frustrated at the amount of weight I needed to lose. Or how about needing to start on a Monday, because I certainly couldn't start on a weekend. After all, that is when I ate all the good food. Again, I was giving myself permission to indulge before I started my new eating program. Or how about the most magical date of all--January 1st? What I didn't know then is that only 46% of the people who make New Year's resolutions even stick with it for six months, and in the end only 8% are completely successful. So if there is no magic date, then when will it ever be a good time?
My other theory was that there were certain times or phases in my life that made the shedding of my extra pounds more likely. I was assured by many people that when a mother breastfeeds, the calories it takes to produce nutrition for your child would almost certainly help the pounds to just melt off my body--three kids later I was still over 200 pounds to prove that I can even take a good theory and ruin it. So if breastfeeding my children wasn't even a good time to lose weight, when would it ever be a good time to lose it?
My final test for myself was Ironman training--I was certain that with all the working out I was doing, there was no way that I would not be able to finally reach my goal range of 145-155 pounds. And imagine my surprise when even after 2-3 hours of intense workout six days a week, I hadn't shed a pound. I shouldn't have been surprised, because I hadn't changed my eating habits at all. In fact, my working out had actually given me a great reason to eat food I wouldn't normally eat. I had the extra calories in the bank after all, so why not get a scoop of ice cream at Cold Stone? Why not choose french fries instead of fruit with my sandwich? If I couldn't lose weight now, maybe there was no hope for me to find a good time.
I have written about this before and not followed my own advice--in order to lose weight you have to make healthy food choices and make time for exercise. You need both or it doesn't work. Enter MyFitnessPal--this was honestly the best resource I added to my daily routine. I have been consistently tracking my food and entering my exercise, and I know exactly how many calories I have eaten and how many I have burned. In 45 days I have lost almost 11 pounds, and I am so close to the top of my goal weight range I can taste it. I am now at 157.6 pounds, and I still have over two month until Ironman and the absolute deadline to fit into my wetsuit.
So stop making excuses for why now is not the right time for you to begin making healthy choices. There is never going to be a perfect time or phase in your life--you need to make now the perfect time! Find an exercise you love and stick to it, and balance it with making healthier food choices. If MyFitnessPal is not for you, find another way to track that fits into your lifestyle, so you have accountability and know what calories you have coming in and out of your body. You deserve to make yourself a priority, because NOW is the time to be the best you ever!