I've avoided writing any, "End of 2006, Beginning of 2007" posts because I've been too busy trying to figure out why Zac is screaming at the top of his lungs for hours at a time. I've also just never been much of a New Year's Resolution type of person. It might be a lack of optimism on my part or maybe just the knowledge that I'm not very good at following through on things.
That isn't actually true, though. It's just that I have a hard time admitting, out loud, that I want to change something in myself. It feels intensely private and I wrestled with acknowledging my desired changes on this blog. Then I realized that it would be ridiculous for me to write everyday and try to pretend that I wasn't making major changes in my life. It would almost invalidate what I was hoping to accomplish.
So, my New Year's Resolution for 2007 involves taking better care of myself. While Zac was at my parents' house in between Christmas and New Year's, I realized how much time and energy I spend taking care of him, cleaning our apartment, trying to keep the cat from running out the front door, managing our finances, doing the dishes, watering the plants, and basically keeping everything from molding or dying. Taking care of myself, mentally, physically, spiritually, was always the last on the list, if I even managed to make it on the list.
I realized that I couldn't keep living my life the way I had been. When I looked in the mirror, I saw a woman that was prematurely aging, who looked unhappy and, more importantly, unhealthy. The fear and shame of having to admit that I need more support to reach my health goals kept me from even discussing my desire to move beyond Weight Watchers or casual dieting. Add in the significant cost of the program and the prepackaged foods and you can quickly see why the edict of: I will take better care of myself, feels so huge. I've made a financial and emotional commitment to use my actions to mirror my belief in my own self-worth.
On January 1st, I joined Jenny Craig. On January 2nd, I went to the dermatologist to get the weird bumps on my arms looked at and to get my elbows to stop itching (keratosis and ecsema, respectfully) and walked to the daycare with a stroller to pick up Zac instead of driving. I have an appointment to get new contact lenses next week and need to schedule a follow-up appointment with a dentist to get the permanent crowns put on my three post-root canal teeth. I've stopped dating at the moment and plan to use this time to focus on loving myself and being the best parent that I can be.
I've decided that I'm going to use this blog to track my progress in keeping my resolution. It involves a lot more than just weight loss, but right now (since I'm hungry and I'm not scheduled to eat again for another 30 minutes), the weight loss program is weighing most heavily on my mind (pun intended).
Here are my assumptions about Jenny Craig and my weight loss:
Assumption #1: I will have more time to exercise and be with Zac if I don't have to prepare my own meals every day. (This was the number 1 motivator for me to join).
Assumption #2: It will be easy for me to lose weight on this program, which automatically sets my daily caloric intake to 1500 calories with a combination of prepackaged, frozen and dry, foods and fresh fruits, vegetables, and dairy.
Assumption #3: I will have more energy and more desire to exercise once I lose weight.
Assumption #4: The cost of the program will only be slightly higher than the cost of me shopping and preparing for all my own food.
Assumption #5: I have a history of issues with food that I might be able to resolve with one-on-one counseling and personalized support.
I'll leave it at those five assumptions for now. My decision to join a hugely successful marketing campaign (hi Kirstie Alley! Don't listen to the haters. I loved you on Oprah), is only part of my resolution. I'm focusing on it because it felt the hardest to do and the hardest to admit to my friends and family. I cried on the way home in the car after my counselor gave me the "Before" profile shot of myself. Hopefully, over the coming months, I will be able to finally affirm my final assumption:
My self-worth is not tied to my weight loss. I am not my body, although I need to cherish and respect the body that supports me.