I have post-goal fizzle. It's pretty much like the week after your wedding, when all the excitement and build up of adrenaline has peaked and now real life resumes its natural courses. In my case, it seems like my whole life I've struggled with my weight. That goal became much more obsessive after the birth of my first child and downright demoralizing after the second. (Everything was demoralizing at that point, but we don't need to go there.)
In the past year and a half, though, I've made a concerted effort. I've done all the things that everyone knows they need to do with food and activity and lifestyle changes. I had a little "help" this summer when I sort of stopped eating for about a month, but over all, my successes have been my own. And now here I am, comfortable in my own skin. I am not so thin that my body rebels in hunger and fatigue. My regular lifestyle has become routine and unconscious, though not rigid, in the maintenance of my health. I know some people will think I'm still a bit too soft around the edges and some people will think I've gone and wasted myself away, but what actually matters is that I am happy right here where I am.
So here I sit, my weight loss goals behind me, healthy and relatively balanced. Now what? I'm not saying that my achievement is not fulfilling or that maintaining it will not be a lifelong endeavor. I'm simply stating that it's not something I focus on daily anymore. At this point, the question begs, where do I go from here?
The trouble with having a goal like losing weight is that it focuses on a negative- changes that are hard to make, what things I'll need to give up, in both time, energy and comfort. Shifting those goals from a struggle to unconscious action has been the hardest part of this whole "journey" for me. I was in the home stretch when I hit the point where I didn't have to think about it anymore.
Instead of making my days about what I will not do (not stay inside all day, not even walk past the dessert aisle at the store, not snack in front of the TV, etc.), it's time to look forward to what I will do. Honestly, for me, I think this will be harder than losing that first or last five pounds ever was.
I'm a big wuss, I don't try new things, I'm afraid of heights and completely bound to my routine. I hesitate and equivocate whenever we're out for the night if I have to stay up past 10 P.M. I won't eat sushi or mushrooms or escargot or really anything that I haven't been eating in some form since I was three. I've been to approximately three concerts in my entire life and only when dragged by someone else. I have lived in Colorado more than half my life, but I've never been to the top of even the mountain right over my head. I've never even taken a long day's hike up a challenging trail. I always stick the ones I know won't take more than an hour or two and will be fairly level in the deal, careful to turn back in case I get too tired. I tried to ski once and was absolutely terrified the entire time, sure that I'd run into some 5-year-old pro on the bunny slope and kill us both. Don't even talk to me about the chair lift. Eek!
I'm a healthy 31 year old woman and I've never really tried anything new. So, here we go, internets. I am going to have an adventure. Or two or three. I'll hike a difficult trail in the area that I've been avoiding for YEARS. I will try once again to (gulp) ski down a hill (oops, I first typed "kill") that can only be reached by chair lift. CHAIR LIFT, people! High up in the ski with no 5-point harness and you have to get off by JUMPING! I will eat a meal completely of my husband's choosing. I will go on a nice long date and not once look at the clock (hello, Sante Fe!). And, here's the biggie, I am going to make it to the top of a 14-er, of which Colorado has several to spare, come hell or high water.
It's time for some new goals and this time, it's not going to be what I will lose but instead what I will gain. Can I get an "Amen"?