Saturday, November 22, 2008

Reaching for Goals

My, how times have changed.

Last night I had a sort of flashback. I was driving home from the doctor's office (sick daughter) and had that feeling of relief wash over me because it was Friday afternoon. That means NO getting up extra early because of kids' school for 2 days, and NO running all over creation for appointments every morning and after school for 2 whole days. The weekend brings a welcome break from the everyday rat race of kids' lessons, classes, therapies, doctors, and tutoring. On the weekends, I don't *have* to go out for anything if I don't want to.

It reminded me of the time not so long ago when I was a divorced mother of four small kids, working part-time and going to school full-time. For awhile there I was actually attending 2 different colleges... one a half hour away from home... in order to get in all the classes I needed to graduate. Every day was chaos. Get up, get kids to school or daycare, race to class, spend hours in lectures and labs. Then time for work, of course, anytime I was not in class. By the time I got home, I was wiped out and just wanted to sit and veg. But I had kids to raise, laundry to wash, dinner to make, floors to mop. I had homework, too, which I generally worked on after the kids got in bed. I would finally collapse into MY bed around 2 am. It all got done, but when Friday afternoon rolled around and I was done with classes and work for 2 days, I was elated. I remember driving home on Friday afternoons with this HUGE sense of relief... of freedom. No place I *had* to be for 2 days. I could just play with my kids, take them to the park, rake leaves together. So almost every Friday night, I celebrated my freedom with pizza. We would drive over to Papa Murphy's Take and Bake and order a couple of specials. With coupons, those pizzas are as cheap as grocery store frozen ones. It was a special treat. Sometimes we'd get the bread sticks for $2 more, or the tub of cookie dough. I'd always get some root beer for the kids, and Coke for me. And all weekend was a free-for-all of pizza, Coke, cookies, and bread sticks.

I would bake on weekends, too. Cake, brownies, banana bread, pies. I love to bake. So I would enjoy my Saturday morning baking away, eating a muffin here, a slice of hot buttered bread there. Dinners were the comforting kind that simmer on the stove and make you warm and relaxed inside: potato/bacon/cheese soup with warm bread sticks, or maybe a huge plate of fettuccine Alfredo and garlic bread. It all helped me relax from a grueling week. It helped me forget the struggle for a bit.

Now it's different. I am still running all week, but nothing like the chaotic schedule of work and school. Still, yesterday on the way home, I got the "relief" feeling of the weekend coming, and I had the sudden thought/urge to go get a couple of pizzas from Papa Murphy's to bring home and celebrate. Time to relax.

I didn't go get the pizza. Things are different now.

Actually Papa Murphy's is a generally good choice if you're going to have pizza. They have an ultra-thin crust pizza and you can even get Mediterranean vegetables on it. But I have weak brakes when it comes to *any* pizza, and that "stopping problem" is not something I feel like battling today. So I went on home and let the kids made sandwiches and burritos for their dinner, while I had an Egg Beater omelet with cheese and a side of Double Fiber English muffin.

And what did I do with my relaxing evening? I rode my exercise bike for 30 minutes, after the toddler was in bed. Riding a bike at 8:30-9pm is not my idea of relaxation, even now. I did not want to do it. I really had no motivation nor energy, and just wanted to sit and watch TV or go to bed. Instead, I talked myself into it. "You wanna lose weight, don't you? You don't wanna stay fat, right? Your knees need to exercise. Look, self, no, you cannot just sit and eat a bowl of pasta, you've had enough for today. But I tell you what, self. You go ride that bike for 30 minutes, and then you can have any treat you want, as long as it's under 100 calories."

It worked; I got on the bike and I rode. Afterwards, for my treat I chose a cup of milk tea with a bit of sugar in it. It was a nice reward at the end of the day.

Things are different now. And my body shows it. I am getting stronger, and I am fighting for every pound. It isn't easy, but not much of my life has been. Anything worth having is worth fighting for... worth the effort. So I keep going.

We have to fight for our dreams. Whether it's a college degree, a happy family life, a clean house, or a healthy body, it takes work and effort and pushing ourselves outside out comfort zone to get what we want. I have that Bachelor's degree I wanted. And I am going to have the healthy body I want, too. If you want something bad enough, you'll make it happen. If not, you'll make excuses.

Have a great, relaxing, productive weekend, and may Monday find you closer to reaching your goals.

22 comments:

Scale Junkie said...

You are right, everything takes work. Its easy to look at someone and be jealous of what they have or what they look like but we need to stop and consider the work that it took for them to get there...and keep themselves there. Great post Lyn

Pubsgal said...

Lyn, I am in awe. Sometimes I feel like I'm scratching and clawing my way up a cliff...then I read about you, scaling the figurative K-2. To get where you've gotten so far takes such strength. You will definitely get to where you want to be.

Paula said...

Very inspiring!

moonduster said...

I had to fight for my degree after a divorce left me a single mom too. But I did it, and I am slowly getting the healthy body I want too.

As for the clean house...

Vickie said...

"We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act, but a habit." - Aristotle


a friend left this on my blog today and I thought you might like it too.

Lady In A Net said...

great post! I needed that today. I am in a real struggle and working hard to get back on track! Your post reminded me of the things I needed to tell myself!

Chantelle said...

Well said. Thank you. x

Last Journey Down said...

How amazing you ARE!!! Your life before and now are so different - you've made such big changes! I'm particularly impressed by the determination you displayed by riding that bike (late FRIDAY evening)for half an hour! YOU are indeed strong! Stay with it - you inspire me so much, Lyn.

Kimberly said...

I love, love, love this line:

And I am going to have the healthy body I want, too. If you want something bad enough, you'll make it happen. If not, you'll make excuses.

There is no excuse in doing this, we have to do the work that it requires. If we truly want it enough, we will be willing to do that work. Great post!

Hanan said...

you rock :)

Katschi said...

I'm learning to treat weekends like the rest of the week with my eating choices. I deserve to eat well every day. And as per yesterday's post: I was very upset a couple of days ago and didn't stuff down the feelings with food. I let myself feel them. And you know what? Today I feel more empowered that I didn't stuff my face with food to fight the uncomfortable feelings. That would've made me feel even worse and then the snowball would've started rolling down the hill again.
This shows WE ARE LEARNING, LYN! It's very exciting to know that our goals WILL be realized!

Jolene said...

Cheers to making good, but not always easy decisions in the name of long term results!

~TMcGee~ said...

I am very impressed, Lyn. :-) A bike ride...on Friday night....after a long, hard day?? Girl, you're my hero. :-)

Keep it up!

julie said...

I hear you on the convincing yourself to exercise. I don't always want to either, especially Saturday mornings, but if I don't have a GOOD excuse not to, I go anyway.

BTW, I was reading an old post of yours. It took me 3 months to even lose a pound, now I'm dropping about 3 pounds a month, kinda slow. But this is how I'll live the rest of my life, so there's nothing to quit

--cara said...

The right decisions are the hardest ones to make. So proud you could do that. And biking like that. Way to go! You're an inspiration to us all!

sonia said...

Hi Lyn - thanks for another amazing post.

You are right, each pound is a struggle to lose. It's funny how easy it is to gain one though!

Pizza is my weakness too. I haven't had a slice since mid August because I know I won't be satisfied with just one or two slices. I could eat an entire pie.

Anyway, thanks for the inspiration.

oxo

Hanlie said...

I like that. "Things are different now". They have to be. For always and ever.

As always, you're an inspiration!

WannaBe Healthy said...

Wow, great post Lyn. I'm so inspired. I am going to get on my bike now (I've been procrastinating the whole day today). Thanks for being such an inspiration.

Twix said...

Great insight! :D Hope you had a fantastic weekend too!

MizFit said...

as always great post and one which I feel privileged to read with extra clarity since Ive met you in person.

all things worth having take work.

I have always loathed that line since it was a parental favorite when I was growing up.

but it is true huh?

take care,

Miz.

Lela said...

It's interesting that your post coincides with my own thoughts for the evening (www.lytlelu.blogspot.com). Thanks for the encouragement about dreams.

Natasha said...

I sometimes miss that "free" for all feeling