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Commitment

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So.  Confession.  In the last month, I have fallen horribly and almost completely off the healthy living bandwagon.  In the 8 or so years since I got healthy, this has happened a few times, but I have to admit that it’s never felt as ‘severe’ as this time around. 

commitment quotes

It started a few weeks ago.  I was coming off my Half Marathon success and felt great. But I quickly became super stressed out with deadlines and work commitments.  Plus… taxes were looming.  Taxes are a very big deal when you own multiple small businesses – we were suddenly playing catch-up with bookkeeping and inventory, trying to reconcile monthly statements and income reports.  Also, I seriously hate numbers.  So I was knee-deep in all sorts of work stuff, trying to juggle being a mom and running the household… exercise quickly fell by the wayside.  I will say that, in general, staying healthy as a mom feels much more challenging than it did pre-child… there’s just so much more to think about and not as much schedule flexibility.  Anyway, my exercise faltered, and then – as I’m sure so many of you can relate – healthy eating quickly followed.   Lots of coffee to get awake and stay awake.  Lots of sugary cookies to jolt my energy up.  Excuses, excuses.  But I was really stressed out.

 

And there wasn’t ONE BIG DECISION to fall off the wagon.  It was one day of, “Oh, we’re so busy – I’ll take some time off” that turned into another day that turned into another day.  I was still making it to the gym, but I was mostly mindlessly spinning around on the indoor bike or the stairclimber while I read a book or texted friends.  Sure, there were a few good workouts and a few veggie-rich meals (and those definitely made it onto the blog, so maybe my fall didn’t look as severe to readers!).  But if healthy living is a balancing act, my scale was tipped WAY OVER to the “this is not how I want to live my life” side.

 

And then – I caught myself thinking things like, “Tomorrow, I’ll work out for real” or “Tomorrow, I’ll eat better.”  Always tomorrow.  Never today.  I’ve always told myself that each morning, each meal is an opportunity to honor your body, but I kept putting it off. 

 

So after a few weeks of stress, serious couch time, and way, way too many French fries, I’m finally ready to say – no more tomorrows!  I desperately need more balance in my life.  More healthy!

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Yesterday, I drank 80 ounces of water and ate a great mix of protein and plants.  I went to bed EARLY (9:30 – take that!) and woke up feeling great.  I had promised myself that I’d run a 5K, but when I peeked out my window, I was so disappointed to see that it was POURING.  A river was running down the road!  I almost thought, “Nah, tomorrow,” but I stopped the idea before it could even form.  TODAY.  TODAY.  TODAY.

 

I pulled on a hat and did a 5K on my favorite route in the chilly downpour.  I only stopped to walk once up a big hill and during the last few minutes – I was so winded!  It’s amazing how fast cardiovascular fitness disappears, isn’t it?  But I’ve always liked starting at or near the bottom after a break… It’s a great reminder of how far you can go, as long as you can commit yourself.

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Commitment.  If “tomorrow” has been my mantra of late, “commitment” is my new one!  I really want to get back into running regularly (I’ve got a big race scheduled in June!), and I need to start preparing for late summer triathlon season.  The time is NOW – not tomorrow.  I’m ready to get back on track today

 

So – I’m putting this out there to the universe.  This way, I’ll feel accountable to someone besides myself!  And maybe – just maybe – there’s someone out there who’s been saying “tomorrow,” too.  Maybe you’ve been saying it for a few weeks or a year or even a decade!  But there’s a point where you have to decide that tomorrow is today.  I’m ready to re-commit.  Are you?

{ 54 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Amanda April 19, 2014, 4:56 pm

    Way to recognize it and get back on the horse, so to speak! Nice job!

    Reply
  • Kim April 19, 2014, 5:15 pm

    i’m with you! as i sit here with black and white cookies in front of me…saying “tomorrow i’ll get up and run and eat clean all day” blah blah blah. I’ve been saying “tomorrow” for a few months now. I tend to stay on top of things for several months, then BAM! I’m off the wagon, eating bad, not working out. I feel like crap and its a vicious circle everyday. I’m ready too! Let’s do this!
    Kim
    Huntersville, NC

    Reply
  • Jackie April 19, 2014, 5:25 pm

    This is my first time to comment on your blog. But, I had to say how much I needed to read this today. I’m literally eating 2 balls of frozen cookie dough as I type this. :( I have the exercise part down pat but I’ve majorly fallen off the bandwagon as far as diet goes. There’s no telling what I could do if I worked as hard in the kitchen as I do in the gym. Sadly, I’ve never been able to find out as I struggle so very badly in this area of my life. Thank you for putting yourself out there. It’s nice to know there are others in the same boat. :)

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 19, 2014, 6:35 pm

      You too! We can do this!

      Reply
  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs April 19, 2014, 6:12 pm

    Great post, Caitlin! It happens to us all from time to time. You can do it! :)

    Reply
  • Nancy April 19, 2014, 6:15 pm

    This was the first week I started working out & eating better, on a regular basis in the last 3 months. Since December really, due to the stress of moving to the USA. Thankfully I’m back on track like you, and now feel tremendouly better. Ugh, it’s rough going. I just want a cookie lol.

    Reply
  • River April 19, 2014, 6:40 pm

    Good work getting back on track! I think that’s the thing about having an interest in health and fitness – you gain such a huge knowledge, that no matter if you fall off the wagon for a few days or longer, you have everything you need to know to get back on the right track. So once the motivation/time comes back, you are good to go!

    I’ve been going through the same thing, and have just gotten back on track too.

    Reply
  • Amanda April 19, 2014, 7:25 pm

    I needed to read this today! I’ve been totally slacking on my healthy eating (still doing good on exercise). I’m 23 weeks pregnant and I keep using that as an excuse to eat excessive amounts of Reese’s PB Eggs.

    Reply
  • Becca April 19, 2014, 9:16 pm

    While I can definitely relate to this feeling, I have to say that this post and others like it trouble me quite a bit. I’m very concerned that “healthy living shaming” is becoming the new “fat shaming.” I appreciate your efforts to encourage women to love themselves and their bodies, but I find this kind of “fell off the bandwagon” shaming counter to this message. You’re berating yourself for making things other than fitness and diet your priorities; I think this is a limited and flawed way of defining what is important in life.

    By all accounts (“a few veggie-packed meals” and “still making it to the gym”), you’re still living a healthy lifestyle. Our bodies don’t require constant high-intensity exercise to be healthy. In fact, many studies suggest the opposite. I’m sure your blood pressure, cholesterol, and hip-to-waist ratio were all still excellent. You were not “off the health bandwagon.” Instead, it sounds more like you’re operating under the assumption that all women–or at least you–must constantly make exercise and diet a huge part of their lives.

    I’m writing with concern about the message you’re sending. I “fell for” this message quite a bit earlier in my life, which proliferates on healthy living blogs. I think it definitely made my quality of life worse. I was putting way too much pressure on myself to focus on diet and fitness when I was already healthy. I could have spent this time doing other, much more important things. In fact, sometimes I truly wonder what we could all accomplish if we would stop obsessing over diet and making sure we hit the gym seven hours a week.

    I understand that you enjoy working out and feel better when eating healthy. There is no problem with that. But when we put out there this message about being “off the bandwagon” and “uncommitted” when still living a reasonably healthy lifestyle, I’m worried that we perpetuate an unhealthy and often imbalanced mentality in others. I do feel this was the case for me. I would hope that your message of acceptance would translate here: you were enjoying french fries and relaxation. There’s no problem with that at all. Now, you’d like to enjoy other things. No problem there either. But I think that if we could stop “sounding the alarm” and using language of shame, punishment, and self-critique whenever our priorities shift, we would go a long way to diminishing the ridiculous notion that everyone must constantly be focused on exercise and diet (which are still tied to weight and body image for women in particular). We would move closer to truly embracing a balanced life.

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 19, 2014, 10:05 pm

      While I can definitely appreciate what you are saying (and agree with a lot of it), I guess the bottom line is that I DIDN’T feel good physically when I stopped making an effort with my health. It wasn’t relaxing at all! I felt all out of wack. But I get the sentiment and understand where you are coming from – we all need balance, mentally, physically and spiritually. I guess I just haven’t been feeling balanced at all. I’m not beating myself up for it – that’s not my style, and I hate if this post came off that way! Sometimes it’s hard to convey feelings through posts. I just don’t want to keep behaving in a way that makes me unhappy and exhausted. I care a lot more about feeling good than anything else. And I feel best when I’m making an effort.

      Reply
      • Lisa April 20, 2014, 4:54 am

        Caitlin, I think you were reaching out to your readers as that first “push” in the direction that you want to go (I know I’ve had similar “confessionals” to people around me!). Sometimes it’s hard to get momentum when our habits have fallen to the wayside and it’s a great idea to share our intentions with others! I totally understand what Becca is saying (I applaud her for recognizing some issues that many women deal with!) but I think long-time readers, like myself, understand you and this post’s intention. :)
        I’m happy to hear you’re putting one foot in front of the other to become more balanced again! Just so you know, you’ve been my inspiration for taking steps forward, no matter how small…after all, everyday decisions add up to something amazing. ;)

        Reply
    • Katie April 20, 2014, 5:56 am

      Becca, I would like to add my 2 cents to your comment. I think you made a good point and touched upon a topic I have myself wondered about since I follow couple of healthy living blogs. I agree with your statements about how we can easily put ourselves down when we ‘fall off the healthy/fitness bandwagon’ and that can derive from unhealthy mentality of healthiness. But I don’t think Caitlin’s post came from that mentality. I really appreciated her honesty and message in this post and it was just the right motivation I needed right now! I think it’s ok to feel a sense of guilt because living healthy is a lifestyle “choice” since American society tries to encourage us to do the opposite (at the market, at work, even family and friends – not intensionally of course, when my parents sent me Easter candy from the States in a care package of course I can’t refuse in the “name of health”!). So when we break our commitment to healthy lifestyle, because we try so hard to stick to it, I can understand why we feel so guilty. I myself needed this blog post to fire me up after not exercising for a week. And yes, I feel extremely guilty over not doing anything for a week! So I get what you’re saying Becca because MY guilt might be ridiculous! lol In my case I truly think I needed “a break” to relax my body after a few stressful weeks at work (poor sleep, constant agitation, spontaneous fighting with my hubs, oh dear!). So I emphasize with your post and think it’s appropriate in some cases, but I don’t think Caitlin is having/conveying any unhealthy views or mentalities. :)

      Reply
      • Becca April 20, 2014, 9:41 am

        I do appreciate everyone’s thoughtful feedback, and I am certainly not saying this was Caitlin’s intention. I understand not feeling the greatest after a week of lots of beers and fries (trust me). :) I just think it’s time we be very careful about the language we use. I don’t like the idea that we label ourselves “uncommitted” or “weak” or “unfocused” or “lazy” whenever we change our priorities. The guilt that Katie talks about above is EXACTLY why I worry so much about this (and I have definitely felt this guilt before, and still struggle with it). I don’t like the idea that we attach some kind of morality to whether we worked out that week or not. It’s very odd, when you think about it!

        Reply
  • Adrienne April 19, 2014, 10:14 pm

    Totally ready to commit!! I ALWAYS say ‘tomorrow’ when it comes to eating healthy. Veggies here I come!

    Reply
  • Caitlin April 19, 2014, 11:07 pm

    I hear you! My ex boyfriend broke up with me and im ready for a challenge! I’m ready to recommit!

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 20, 2014, 7:33 am

      Sorry to hear about your break up… There are better things on the horizon!

      Reply
  • Abby April 20, 2014, 12:32 am

    Caitlin,

    I’m in my second year of college, and forget the Freshman 15 – I’ve gone quite beyond 15. But the catch is that I was anorexic in high school. Not severely, but I was. This semester has been extremely challenging in terms of how I feel about my body. In high school, I never, ever had to worry about clothing being too small. Everything was always too big! The “knowledgeable” side of me knows my weight gain was for the best, but the “emotional” side of me wishes for the days when I felt comfortable in skinnys and spandex shorts.

    Every time a negative thought comes into my mind about my body, I think about Operation Beautiful and “What would Caitlin say?” So thank you for sharing Operation Beautiful on your blog!

    The process of becoming used to and loving my new body is slow – small steps must be taken with patience. I wish for you courage to take steps – even if they are small – every day toward your goal of regaining your healthy lifestyle, as well as patience with yourself and the world around you.

    Cheers!
    Abby

    Reply
    • Amy April 20, 2014, 7:39 pm

      Hi Abby,
      I hope you don’t mind if I respond. I really relate to your comment. I am out of college almost 10 years, but those feelings still catch me from time-to -time. It’s easy for me to say now, but I wish someone had told me not to worry about it! Those years go by so quickly and your life will never really be the same as it is in college. Don’t waste any time feeling bad about yourself. Try to enjoy the people, parties, classes, relaxing, etc. and make some great memories. I really regret that some of my college memories are me feeling bad about myself. Good luck!

      Reply
      • Caitlin April 20, 2014, 8:18 pm

        Love this response. Thanks for sharing!

        Reply
      • Abby April 23, 2014, 12:52 pm

        Amy,

        Thank you for your advice and kind words! They were taken to heart.

        Abby

        Reply
  • Emily April 20, 2014, 12:48 am

    Thanks for your honesty.

    A lot of blogs I read are afraid to show vulnerability, but I think it makes them seem more human as pitfalls are part of our journey :)

    Reply
  • Cat April 20, 2014, 3:44 am

    Love this. I’ve felt a bit ‘off the wagon’ lately, and it was bringing me down – but then I realised life doesn’t have to be all or nothing. So, if my life is a little crazy with late nights and social activities right now, it doesn’t mean I can’t make healthy decisions around them.

    Reply
  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More April 20, 2014, 9:12 am

    I’ve been pretty good at sticking with my fitness schedule but I always let yoga go to the wayside. I know it’s importance (in my body AND MIND!) but it’s always “tonight” or “Tomorrow” or “later” but never “NOW!” That’s something that I’m working on. And while currently training for my 3rd half, I’ve also know got my first FULL marathon on the books for October which is going to require a new level of commitment. What a great reminder for TODAY!

    Reply
  • Kim L. April 20, 2014, 9:14 am

    Thank you for always ‘keeping it real’. When you are honest about your life it gives me hope that I can say ‘today’ instead of ‘tomorrow’ too.

    Reply
  • Jaime April 20, 2014, 9:26 am

    Love your honesty and can totally relate! As life gets busier, I’ve slowly given up on reading healthy living blogs, but HLP is one that I truely find so inspirational and filled with wonderful ideas and what I appreciate most of all is how REAL you are! Keep it up and wishing you and your family a Happy Easter:)

    Reply
  • Katie April 20, 2014, 9:45 am

    I didn’t really notice, but I’m not super duper healthy. I’m big on taking care of mental health, and doing what you can, but I’m not big on hard and fast rules. Good for you for getting back in your groove! Also, if you really hate numbers, is there any wiggle room to hire someone to help with settling the end of the month? It might help you schedule those duties that you don’t really like.

    Reply
  • Jackie Fo April 20, 2014, 9:46 am

    I’m there with you…been working out like 2 days a week instead of my normal 4-5 and haven’t run in 2+ weeks. I don’t know if I could run 2 miles right now! Stressing out about it but also giving myself a chance to just be okay with it bc I have a lot going on…will get back on it this week!

    Reply
  • Lauren April 20, 2014, 10:26 am

    Thanks for keepin’ it real. :)

    Reply
  • Fluty April 20, 2014, 10:53 am

    I love your post and I’ll keep it somewhere as something to read every time I fall off the wagon. I think it is so human to lose a bit of motivation once in a while but I feel like once I stop exercising for a few days and that my nutrition is not so good, afterwards I’m so much more motivated to be back on track. It is like a wake up call or a boost and these bad moments show you how good it is to exercise and eat healthy. Anyway, thank you again for your inspiration!

    Reply
  • Emily April 20, 2014, 11:53 am

    I love how open you are on your blog about slumps like this. If you can admit to it, and get back on the wagon, and not feel bad about it, then I can, too! Way to go, Caitlin!

    Reply
  • Kristina April 20, 2014, 1:43 pm

    It happens to all of us, dear! The slip is always gradual, but it’s amazing how much better we feel when we move back into a life of balance.

    Reply
  • Amber April 20, 2014, 4:28 pm

    Thank you so much for putting this out there! I have been struggling with motivation and have been making excuses for weeks. Seeing other people have the same struggles is helpful to getting me back on the horse!

    Reply
  • Morgan April 20, 2014, 4:52 pm

    Chimin’ in here for the first time…but I really needed this today. I always say to myself after i have decided not to work out or eaten 5 cookies in one sitting, tomorrow, tomorrow. I’m with you on this one! I need to get back in the groove today! Thanks for the post :)

    Reply
  • Ashley April 20, 2014, 8:37 pm

    I am ready to commit! Today, today! Going to bed early and getting a good nights sleep before a healthy tomorrow.

    Reply
  • Mary April 20, 2014, 8:54 pm

    Thank you for this post! I’ve been saying “tomorrow” for quite a few weeks now, and it’s time to start loving my body again!

    Reply
  • RunnerGirlEats April 21, 2014, 6:00 am

    It happens. I am currently in a running slump. Even though I have been killing it with strength training, each time I head out for a few mile run, I feel like I am starting from the beginning with each crappy step. Hang it there! We’ll get back at it ;)

    Reply
  • Jodi April 21, 2014, 8:50 am

    I can totally relate to this post! I used to be a really healthy eater but over the last couple of years, I sabotage myself all.of.the.time. Why do we do this to ourselves? In the past I could refuse sweets that were offered to me, but now it’s almost like I feel “I’m not going to be successful anyways, so just eat the cookies and get it over with”. I will use this opportunity to re-start with you! I hope you’ll keep us updated on your progress?

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 21, 2014, 9:54 am

      DEFINITELY!

      Reply
  • Kirsty April 21, 2014, 9:17 am

    Hi Caitlin!

    I came across your blog after looking up some issues on knee pain and after reading through your old posts it’s seems you went through the same thing I am going through now.

    I LOVE the food posts and your positive attitude towards a healthy lifestyle :) it’s inspirational. I’m just struggling at the minute to come to terms with the knee issues and I have a few questions for you. Would if be possible to email you? I understand this might be a part of your life that you don’t want to remember.

    Anyways your blog is awesome! Henry is such a cutie :)

    Kirsty

    Reply
  • jen April 21, 2014, 9:44 am

    This post truly could not come into my life at a better time. Lately I find myself looking in the mirror wondering who that person is. I’m shocked at how difficult I’ve found it getting back to myself after having a baby 8 months ago. I fell into the blame game. Working full time 45 mins. away, trying to keep my house neat, and staying healthy fell by the way side. I want to be a strong role model for daughter so I decided today was THE day. Imagine my luck when I read this today! I’m ready to go and so appreciative that you keep it real. Thank you for helping me recommit and let’s all get happy!

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 21, 2014, 9:53 am

      YAY! Let’s do this!

      Reply
  • ellen April 21, 2014, 9:48 am

    I needed this post today. I have been feeling very guilty about not getting back into a regular exercise routine. Before my son I ran 3-4 days a week. Then I had the baby and went back to work and grad school…all excuses then I told myself I would be better when I graduated, but this winter was horrible, so here I am and I am lucky if I run once a week. But I know I have to make that commitment!

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 21, 2014, 9:53 am

      For me, it’s been about understanding that what I used to be able to do is NOT what I can do now – probably the same rings true for you with a baby and grad school. But we can find a happier balance

      Reply
  • Monica April 21, 2014, 11:50 am

    I’m with you and really needed to see this today! Thank you!!

    Reply
  • Julie April 21, 2014, 12:08 pm

    Needed this today! Can totally relate and as I sat in bed last night vowed to myself that tooooday is the day! As easy as it is to be lazy and not put effort into making lunches ahead of time or thinking about what to make for dinner, I always feel so crappy afterward it’s just not worth it in the long run! With the craziness of Easter food and candy I’ve had it. I laughed when I read how you are tired so can justify “taking a break” but then it becomes days! It’s funny that we think that way! I am right there too! But, today is a new day and it’s happening…today and tomorrow! =) I saw a quote awhile ago but I can’t remember where or who said it but I keep trying to remind myself of it…”don’t give up what you want most for what you want right now”

    Reply
  • Zulkey April 21, 2014, 1:27 pm

    I like you/the blog more for posting this. I don’t people who allegedly are perfect 100% of the time boring and also obviously liars. Learning how to pick oneself up after a slip is much more valuable I think than just saying “Well I’m healthy, now just going to stay exactly this way until I die.” Anyway, hope you’re feeling better.

    Reply
  • Stephanie @ Whole Health Dork April 22, 2014, 12:33 pm

    Life can get so hectic, and I don’t even have kids or my own business(es), so I can’t imagine how crazy your life can be at times!
    Ever since I’ve become a healthier person (always a work in progress), I have fallen off the wagon for short amounts of time, mostly food-related. I find it the most challenging to wean myself off of having so much sugar because it is seriously addictive, like a drug. But I find it easier and easier every time to get myself back to where I need to be because I know I will feel so much better when I do. That motivation makes me do it every time.

    Reply
  • Leah April 22, 2014, 9:28 pm

    One of the things i love about your blog, Caitlyn is that you are so REAL! Its refreshing.
    I hear you about life being so different after becoming a mom. My little boy is only 3 weeks old and I understand already.

    Reply
    • Caitlin April 23, 2014, 8:49 am

      Congrats on your baby!! :)

      Reply
  • Meagan April 25, 2014, 12:49 am

    I needed this too!! My problem is not eating unhealthy food – it’s eating too much of the good stuff, or not in the right proportions!

    Reply