Many times over the past year I’ve asked myself, “Are you doing what you can?” Even before I got pregnant, I often thought about my daily actions and whether or not they were in line with my goals. It sounds simple, but just because you want something doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing what you can to make it happen.
A year ago my goals were to lose weight, build muscle, and increase my cardiovascular fitness level all while learning to find the balance. I wanted to feel better about my body (mentally and physically), to be comfortable in my clothes, and to prepare my body for pregnancy. I worked really hard in 2013 to figure it all out and although I had a lot of success in some areas, it was a tough year mentally. Looking back, I know I was doing what I could in many areas, but in some areas I was really sabotaging my efforts.
Fitness is a true passion of mine, and I know I was doing everything I could to meet my goals before pregnancy. I played full contact football, lifted weights, went for runs (training for the Army 10 Miler), took spin classes, and tried out new workouts. I knew I was doing what I could and felt the positive effects of those actions.
My diet and eating on the other hand have always been a struggle for me. Thinking back on a year ago, I know I wasn’t doing everything I could to reach my goals! Sure, sometimes you work really hard to lose weight and your body just doesn’t allow you to see the effects of your actions, but I know that wasn’t the case for me a year ago. I did a lot of things right, choosing healthy foods, eating out less, and trying to learn the ways of intuitive eating, but I really struggled to change the habits that kept me from losing weight.
Pregnancy has been a whole different ball of wax. Have I done everything I can to be happy and healthy for 10 months? Yes, yes, yes! Have I been perfect? Nope! Did I eat perfectly? Nope! Did I do every workout I ever intended to do? Nope! But I can sit here 10 months later (still pregnant) and say to myself, “Ashley, you have done what you can,” and feel proud!
So what’s my point? What am I rambling about? Well, I think it’s really important to ask yourself if you’re doing what you can and to know how to act based on your response.
If you are doing everything you can to reach your goals, results or no results, don’t be so hard on yourself! Sometimes our bodies do things that we can’t explain (a plateau for instance) and other times we have to be at peace with the changes occurring to our bodies (pregnancy for instance). If you ask yourself, “Am I doing what I can?” and the answer is No, then it’s time to really think about what’s going on, what you may need to change, and how to go about doing that.
Last year, 2013, I should have been more honest with myself about my diet. Yes I was doing everything I could fitness-wise, but I was really all over the place with my diet and it was that inconsistency that led me to gain and lose the same 10 pounds all year. I tried a number of different diets, including not dieting, last year but really what it boiled down to was that I wasn’t doing everything I could to lose weight. I wasn’t listening to my body the way I could have been and I wasn’t watching my portion sizes as I should. Not to discount the great decisions, but the bad decisions often far outweigh the good ones.
Yes, I’m still pregnant, but I’m excited about this next chapter and am working to get my mind to a healthier place before I start working to lose weight again. I want to spend the rest of 2014 knowing that I’m truly doing what I can to reach my goals! After having the baby my goals are to heal, to transition into motherhood, and to transition away from pregnancy. As time goes on, my goals are to lose weight, to get back into pre-baby shape, and to model a healthy lifestyle for my daughter (no pressure). Through it all though, I want to be able to confidently say that I am doing what I can and to know that I’m not lying to myself and others. I want to end each day knowing that I ate what I intended to eat, moved as I intended to move, and was kind to myself! Beyond that, I just have to be patient with myself and my body. My goals will come!