Last week, I read an interesting blog of a successful "weight loser" over on SparkPeople.com (which is a pretty good fitness website if you haven't checked it out... and it's free). In this blog, the author describes things she "gave up" in the name of health and wellness and I've been marinating on my own answer to that question over the past few days.
It is true... when you decide to commit to healthier living, you have to let go of a few habits and guilty pleasures. I gave up a weekly indulgence of chicken fingers and cupcakes. It was hard and my mouth does water a bit every time I drive by the local chicken finger specialty restaurant. I also have a 100 foot restraining order on myself from the local cupcake shop. But you also get to give up ridiculous mindsets and annoying habits that masqueraded as coping mechanisms.
Here are the top 5 things I have given up in the pursuit of health and fitness and I don't miss them a darn bit!
#5 Stretching my t-shirts after washing them and having to hang-dry them so they didn't shrink. I'm sure many a large-chested girl has done this too. Cotton garments just have a way of losing a few centimeters when they get washed and then losing a few more in the dryer. If I wasn't the one on laundry duty that day, I would have to dictate to my spouse which shirts could be dried and which ones needed that special post-wash "stretch" in the bust area. It was embarrassing and time consuming.
#4 Worrying if I'll fit in the airplane seat. It's enough to have to worry about if my plane is going to fall out of the sky or some lunatic passenger is going to put a bomb up some bodily orifice. Having to worry if the seatbelt would securely and comfortably fit around me was a headache I did not need.
#3 Worrying if I'll fit in the rollercoaster seat at the theme park. Same anxiety as the airplane seat. On a rollercoaster, I want to be locked in as securely as possible. And I want to be able to look at the person I'm sitting next to and not have my over-the-shoulder safety harness or safety lap bar sticking out 5 inches past hers.
#2 Buying the unisex or male version of clothing. Aeropostale and Old Navy have super cute shirts, but I could never make a successful purchase there unless I shopped on the guy's side of the store. That neon pink and teal t-shirt that looks like it escaped from the 1980s via the DeLorean? The largest female size wouldn't fit my thigh, so off I went in search of an XL in the men's section. There's nothing so humbling as having to find plus-size wear in a store that caters to the crowd that's 15 years younger than you.
#1 Coming up yet with another creative way to say "not tonight, honey." I'm going to be blunt with this one. One of the top benefits of losing weight is that your libido and your confidence in the bedroom have an indirect relationship with the amount of weight you lose. As the scale drops lower, the libido and confidence get higher. Yes, there are those among us who might say "it doesn't matter what you look like, you should be confident with yourself and you should be with a partner who loves you for who you are, not what you look like." But having been there and weighed that, that trite aphorism is easier said than done. My guess is that most overweight individuals struggle with body image in all areas of the house, but especially the bedroom, regardless of how wonderful, loving, and supportive our partners are. It's just human nature. With that said, it's amazing what even a mere 5-10 pounds can do for the physical intimacy within your relationship. It's not so much about the changing shape of your body, although it is pretty darn amazing when you realize you do have hip bones! But as we all know, confidence in oneself is sexy and when you work hard and achieve your weight loss goals, that pride and ego boost is immediately transferable to how you present yourself to others, including your partner.
What things have YOU given up in the name of health and fitness? Please share!