For a few very hard years this word was my mantra.
The word means
-undismayed; not discouraged; not forced to abandon purpose or effort
-undiminished in courage or valor; not giving way to fear
But the truth is, I was often dismayed by everything that had taken place, and I did battle discouragement. I battled fear and doubts. I hurt and was angry, and sometimes "undaunted" sounded more like a mockery than a mantra, and I was determined to be real about all of it in these posts, thus the name, Undaunted Reality. More than that, though, I was determined to live undaunted, not because I'm so great or strong, but because my God is, and no matter what this world looks like, He is the only reality that matters.
I pray I live the reality of Him beautifully undaunted.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

My Fitness Journey: It's NOT a DIET. It's a Lifestyle.

This past week a few folks have commented on my "diet", and I've been asked questions that I don't know how to answer, so I stare at people or go silent, not because I'm upset about the comment or questions but because I don't really have an answer. Due to a variety of time consumers and physical injuries, this thread has not become what I want it to be. It will get there, just hasn't yet. One of the things I wanted to explain is the difference between a diet and the journey I'm on.

First, a diet has the purpose of weight loss. Period. The goal is for the numbers on the scale to go down. That's it. That's the point of a diet.

That is why people use extreme things like less than a 1000 calories a day or vomiting or weight loss pills or weight loss surgery. Now, let me say here and now I am not criticizing those who use weight loss surgery, but I will say that very few people I know who use it actually keep the weight off because the problem isn't the size of the stomach but the size of the pain they are trying to feed.

Because the goal is weight loss, people use tools (like food deprivation, exercise, and calorie limits) to make that number change, and when they reach their happy number, they no longer need the tools, and the weight starts going back on again.

That is dieting in a nutshell.

That was never my purpose. A number on a scale was never my goal.

I didn't build a 300+ sq ft covered deck in order to lose weight.
I didn't renovate a house in order to lose weight.
I didn't work with a trainer for over a month in order to lose weight.
I don't walk 3-4 1/2 miles a day to lose weight.

I lost weight because I did those things.

My muscles toned because I did those things.
My clothes got too big because I did those things.

My weight loss has been a result of doing what I love and wanted to do, not the other way around.

I built the deck because we have no shade here, and I've wanted a deck since we moved. Finally, last summer I had a friend who could give me a few days help and carried 60 lb bags of cement for me, and I built the deck I wanted to build.

Last fall I had a situation where I needed to renovate a house to rent it out. I hired folks to do a lot of the work, but I ended up building fence, moving truck loads of landscape stone (big ones, by hand), digging stuff out, tearing things down and rebuilding, and so on.

In the process of those two projects,  part of my heart was restored. Part of me I had made small so I could try to fit in some absurd box people shoved at me so I could be acceptable and not intimidating.

I remembered that I love being outside.
I love building things.
I love moving heavy things.
I love being strong.
I love feeling athletic.
I love the mental satisfaction that comes from hard physical work.
I loved the muscle tone I saw in my legs and arms.
I loved how my body was changing.

And for the first time in nearly 20 years I could see myself as the person I physically want to be.
I could see myself as the person climbing the climbing wall at the rec center.
I could see myself hiking miles in state and national parks.
I could see myself doing 5Ks again.

So I called Adam, told him my goals, and we worked together to develop a structured program to implement once the projects were done.

My physical goals included:
Be stronger than I've ever been by the time I'm 50. BTW, before I got pneumonia, I was chest pressing 70 pounds, the most I've ever done.
Walking 5Ks. Now my goal is a 10K, and I am eyeing a half marathon.
Climb the climbing wall at the rec center.
Be one helluva hot MILF.  I know some will find those words and that term offensive. I'm not trying to be offensive. Just keeping it real as a woman and human. We like to feel attractive. Plus, I plan to remarry one day, and I want my husband fantasizing about my body, thank you very much.
I want to wear size 12 jeans because it is an easy size to find.

There. My one number in all that is the jeans, not because it is a magic number but because I want to enjoy shopping and finding something in my size.

Then there were the goals we didn't discuss because he couldn't help me with them anyway. My non-physical goals:
Find activities that make me happy and fed my soul instead of taking the easy way out and eating something.
Find activities that feed my mind so I don't boredom eat.
Take responsibility for enjoying life.
Take responsibility for engaging in life.
Actively create a life I love being part of.

See, none of this was about a diet. Yeah, I wanted to lose weight, but that is a result of doing what I love, not the driving purpose of what I do.

Let me give you a clear example of the difference in how this looks in real life.

A friend of mine at church last night asked me if I am still losing weight. I stared at her like she had two heads, not because of the question really but because I didn't know how to answer it, and she clarified, "Are you still walking?" Oh, yeah. I'm still walking.

But here is what I stared:
In the last three weeks, I've lost 1.5 pounds. In the "weight loss" community, that really isn't good results. However, in that same three week time frame, I have gone from not being able to get my "carrot jeans" on to being able to get them on, zip, and button them. Now I can't squat down in them. I can't sit in them. Motion is pretty none existent, but I didn't have to lie on the floor like Julie Roberts' character in Eat, Pray, Love, so yes, my body is changing even if the number on my scale isn't.

THAT is the difference between a diet and a lifestyle.

I'm not on a diet.

I'm actively creating a life I love.

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