Well I'm back up to a weight that I'd rather not admit to and I'm torn on how I feel about it. I recently read a brief article (I wish I could link directly to it, but I wasn't able to find it again quickly) about just this topic.
The article posted "before" and "after" photos, but unlike your standard before/after scenario, it had the hot photo as the "before" and the "after" shows her being less than ideal. She wrote to talk about how she was able to accomplish a great body, with amazing abs and all. Then she listed the things that her life included in order to make that happen. As I recall, the list included items like:
- Waking up at 5:00 AM every day
- Exercising and never loving it
- Calorie counting
- Calorie limitations
- Not participating in celebrations (i.e. cake or special treats) or feeling guilty when she did.
- Not spending much time with her family.
- Stressing over the number on the scale.
Then the list of things that she was able to do to obtain the "after" photo:
- Spend more time with family.
- Enjoy the moment without stress or guilt
- Focusing on her career & advancing
- More laughter
- More enjoyment at meal time
Again, I'm rehashing only what I remember from the article, give-or-take, but it struck home for me.
I have been fortunate in that I've never been one to get my sense of self-esteem from the way my body looks. When I read about a boy who called a girl ugly and her response was "I'm not here to make a fashion statement, I'm here to learn! And I'm brilliant!" my heart couldn't help but smile a bit more.
The thing is, I go back and forth on how I feel about the topic of personal health. On one hand, I want to remain as healthy as possible to live a long happy life. I do not want to be one of those retired people who can't enjoy their retirement, or who go to visit Mont Saint Michel only to rationalize why they weren't missing anything even though they didn't walk to the very tip-top of the abbey. I like to eat healthy food. It's pretty darn yummy.
On the other hand, even when I was working out often and had a weight I was proud of, I wasn't enjoying that time. I don't like to get all sweaty and out of breath unless I'm on my way to a particularly pretty destination. I like eating healthy food, but I also like the unhealthy stuff. Food is just plain yummy.
I think it boils down to time management for me. I don't buy the standard excuse of "There's just not enough time," though I'm sure those words have escaped my mouth. It's a matter of prioritizing your time. When I was working out and maintaining my health, I was also in a place where I didn't enjoy my job and wasn't particularly engaged in my career.
I think that everyone should take a good long look at what really matters to them in their lives, and then choose from there. A couple years ago (specifically the timeframe when I was working out more), Michael and I both did this and we came up with the following priorities...
Michaels Top 3 Priorities:
1. His little family of 4
2. Financial health
3. His health/fitness
My Top 3 Priorities:
1. My little family of 4
2. Financial health
3. Helping others
Now, a couple years later, Michael's daily routine is very similar to what he was doing back then. He wakes up early every day and works out. He focuses on his job and his career advancement. And he makes sure that his little family knows that he loves them dearly.
As for me, my priorities haven't changed but I would say my daily routine has. I am not working out daily like I did back then. Instead I'm in a new job position that I love. I spend more time at work, but it's time I'm enjoying. My time with my little family hasn't changed much, and I believe they still know they're my priority. As for "helping others," I am still doing my yearly donations and have taken up making gnomes again. It makes my heart sing.
It's interesting to me, how my priorities haven't changed, but how I allocate my time has. True I'm not as fit as I was a year and a half ago, but I'm happy and I'm still living with my top priorities in mind. In the end, that's all I hope to teach my kids.
What do you think? How do you prioritize your time? How has it changed in recent years?