In 2017 I did not achieve my fitness goal.
I’ve had the same goal weight for twenty-four years. I reached it once in 1994 for about ten minutes. I still thought I was fat, which I equated with ugly, and so set another even lower goal weight but got pregnant instead, thank God.
In the beginning of 2017 I set my same old goal. I didn’t reach it. In fact, I gained ten pounds between January and December.
I am telling you this boring story because of a conversation I had with three friends the other day. We were talking about healthy eating.
“You can’t let perfection get in the way of being good,” one of my friends said before leaving the room. It was one of those workplace conversations where somebody dropped wisdom that we were all too busy to adequately ponder at the time.
Pondering later, I reflected that while I in fact have not achieved my goal weight, something else cool happened. In 2016, I lost thirty pounds in a lifestyle overhaul that included giving up sugar and wheat. Sleep and exercise happen no matter what. No alcohol. Lots of fresh water. I’m no paragon of virtue, but I plan and prep my meals ahead of time so that I eat a bunch of vegetables every day and don’t allow myself to get too hungry. It’s amazing what happens when you stop poisoning yourself and take a nap once in a while.
And while I gained ten since November 2016, I also kept off twenty. My clothing size has held steady for over eighteen months. This might not sound amazing. You won’t find me on Instagram #AfterPicture doing a back bend in a bikini on the beach. That lady on the cover picture is so not me it isn’t funny.
Nobody notices the subtle Before and After. I went from Fluffy to Sorta Fluffy. Who cares?
Yet, this is the longest I’ve ever maintained a baseline fitness. I’ve never gone more than a couple of months being able to wear everything in my closet.
I’ve been the same size for over a year for the first time in my life. I’ve kept my promises to myself for the first time in my life. I’ve been free from disordered eating for the first time in my life.
In 2017 I learned to value daily small steps over the grand gestures in exercise as well as eating. My daughter joined my gym which means I go more frequently but for shorter sessions. I used to blast through 90 minute workouts and then find excuses to not go for days. My kid doesn’t want to stay for 90 minutes, but she does want to go three mornings a week. I’ve kept a consistent strength training and aerobic exercise schedule because my fourteen-year-old likes to make her weight-lifting #Gainz.
The healthy relationship my daughter has with her body inspires me. So do her biceps.
My fitness goals for 2018 include the same goal weight as ever. Maybe I’ll meet it.
Probably not though.