How to stop putting your life on hold

Self Care, wellbeing

How to stop putting your life on hold

Self Care, wellbeing

Life is too short just do it

There’s a couple of phrases I’ve been using far too often recently:

‘once the baby comes I’ll…’ 

‘when I’ve lost the baby weight I’ll…’

‘in the New Year I’ll…’

Now it is a little different when it’s pregnancy related. I think it’s fairly normal to put somethings in life on hold, whether thats a new outfit or hair cut when your body is going to change so dramatically. However this way of thinking can often crop up for me and I know it does for others too. How many times have you thought to yourself, ‘once I’ve lost some weight I’ll…’. Maybe it’s once you’ve got that job, bought that house etc that is your cause for pause. 

As much as some things are practical considerations with pregnancy, I have noticed myself using that excuse far too often and I’m fed up of it. Life is too god damn short to put things on hold, especially when it’s linked to weight loss.

Back when I was bigger, I used to promise myself a spending spree once I’d reached a certain dress size or number on the scale. For me then it was quite motivating, but the difference was that I did not stop myself from doing or buying other things during the process. You can still buy a few budgeted things or even more expensive things while losing weight – don’t forget there’s always eBay! Some people lose weight for their wedding and although I have some mixed feelings when I look at my wedding photographs, I feel very happy that I didn’t try and hold off on that until I was thinner. Putting things like that off subconsciously reinforces that you don’t deserve something or aren’t good enough and that isn’t going to support whatever goal you are working towards.

If you ever find yourself putting your life on hold, it’s really worth looking at why you are doing that and what impact it is having on you. Like for me, it may not feel like a big deal until you realise that you are living in the future and not in the now which is precisely how I have started to feel. Practical considerations aside, I’d started to get a bit fixated on what I would do after the baby comes. For me this taps into the ‘all or nothing’ part of my personality and when I found myself not wanting to wear my new Nike frees I got for my birthday until I had a new workout outfit to go with them, which of course would need to wait until after the baby is born, I knew I needed to check in on myself. These are some of the things I’ve done and thought about:

Treat yourself now

As much as I am looking forward to a new wardrobe when I’m closer to what will be my normal size I’m making a conscious effort to get bits and pieces that make me feel good now. How I feel is very closely linked to how I dress and present myself and I’ve had to watch that I don’t let myself go and live in leggings and yoga pants. Treating yourself well now, regardless of what you are working towards will only help you reach your goal or achievement quicker.

Look at any goals you have and examine why you have to wait to work on them

Want to run a half marathon but find yourself waiting until next year? Why is that? Will leaving that until next year mean it never ends up happening? What’s stopping you? Again this is about realistically thinking about the reasons you are holding back. At the start of the year I wanted to run 5K and go to a yoga retreat. Fair enough the 5K went out the window, but the yoga retreat? I would have loved to do that and I didn’t. I could have done that earlier in pregnancy but I put it off with no real good reason. It is going on next years wish list though!

Don’t let waiting to lose weight stop you from doing anything

When you start living life by the scales things can get depressing pretty bloody quick. As said for treating yourself now, making sure you don’t let weight become a barrier to living your life as doing what you want will only make losing weight easier. Get a cheap transitional wardrobe if needs be, but remember accessories, make up and skin care isn’t size dependent!

Push outside your comfort zone

Sometimes we put things off because they would cause us to step outside of our comfort zones. If there’s one thing Ive learned in the past 5 years it’s that you have to start expanding that comfort zone to grow and achieve. It might need some confidence building and a bit of a fuck it attitude, which is what has helped me in the past! I always tell myself that life is just too short, that it’s time to put my big girl pants on and just do it! 

Never be a ‘start again on Monday’ person

I am so guilty of this but I have turned it around! This is diet mentality at it’s worst. Now I love a fresh start I really do, Mondays, the 1st of the month, beginning of the seasons and of course the New Year, are all good times to refocus. However, if you find yourself not doing something you know you should and waiting for that fresh start, you are putting life on hold! There is undoubtedly power in fresh starts, but remember you have the power to draw your own lines and make fresh starts for yourself any time you want. If you want to eat healthy do it now. Don’t wait until Monday. Use the fresh start for a boost rather than a starting line.

Some examples of the little things I have been doing include getting new Blooming Marvellous bras instead of sitting in my ill fitting Primark cheapos, getting new make up and using it now and buying accessories for the flat (rather than waiting in vain for our home to sell). Yes those are all material things, but material things that greatly impact on my sense of wellbeing. There is of course a budgetary factor to this, but having the means and putting it off is different to not having the means right now. There’s also something to be said for investing in and on yourself, something I’ll be talking about more in a future post. I’m also recommitting to mindfulness and meditation when the temptation had been to put that on hold as well. It makes me feel good and I have no valid reason for not doing it now, even if once the baby comes it will go out the window for a while.

Do you put things on hold? Where have you done this in your life and how do you feel you can tackle it?

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15 Comments

  1. Helen

    This is so true and something I’ve learnt over the last few years! We put off buying our house for a year due to uncertainty over jobs. In the end, when we bought we still didn’t have any more job security but that was 3 years ago and we muddled through. This year we were faced with the same dilemma over going on holiday. Can we afford it? What if we’re out of work and need those savings? In the end we booked a week away,in Thailand and I can’t wait! I’m definitely more of the ‘you only live once’ mindset now. The holiday will enrich me and will probably be a great way to de-stress from other worries.

    I was the same with the marathon. I knew I wanted to do one before I was 30, but thought I should just stop putting it off and do it NOW! So I did and loved it. Next on my list is a triathlon which I hope to do next year! As well as another marathon :-)

    Reply
  2. Kezia

    I can totally put things on hold – especially more material treats as I think I have the mindset of ‘when i earn_ amount I will get it’ but that always gets pushed back! I think we can often use money as an excuse and let it hold us back but really all things are possible with some creative thinking:)

    Reply
  3. Adrienne

    Great article! I definitely agree with getting new postpartum clothes to fit just after the baby! I was so sick of wearing leggings by that point but my regular jeans weren’t even close to fitting, so I went out and bought 2 new pairs. It was very difficult mentally buying 2 sizes up from my normal size, but I just need to be comfortable and confident right now. I am really looking forward to being able to exercise like I used to. Sure, I’m anxious about losing the baby weight, but I think I’m more excited about the actual process of exercising – I miss it a lot! I miss the muscle tone I used to have too haha

    Reply
  4. Claire Hayhurst

    Great post Laura, I can definitely relate to a lot of this – something it can be motivating to have a ‘when x/y happens I’ll…’ but a lot of the time it holds me back.

    Reply
  5. Lauren

    I can definitely relate to this with pushing myself out of my comfort zone. I too have to have a “fuck it” attitude, otherwise we would never grow, right?

    Reply
  6. Emma

    this is a great post and I’m constantly saying to myself, ‘once I’m a teacher then i’ll…’ its so easy to get stuck in that mindset. I’m finding that being mindful of now really helpful in making decisions and thinking what is necessary now or yes it can wait until such and such. thank you. was a great piece to read xx

    Reply
  7. Anna @AnnaTheApple

    So so true. I’ve done that thing where you’ve eaten a bit of chocolate when you’re trying to be good and think “oh well sod it I might as well eat the whole damn thing and start healthy again tomorrow” and it’s ridiculous. One bit of chocolate is hardly going to change things, the entire bar though is not a good move!
    On a different note, when Ben and me were saving up to move out and buy our own house we were living between our parents’ houses. We’d always say to each other “when we move out we’ll….” and it would literally be like that all the time. We lived in a silly limbo where we thought we couldn’t buy or do anything as there was no point. It drove us mad and eventually we realised yes we needed to still save money but this was our life we were essentially wishing away to get the months to pass quicker and we should be savoring every day.

    Reply
  8. Karina

    Yep , so true(Guilty) !

    Great post, Laura – I can see via awesome posts like this that how your hubs had to make the gorgeous you his wife! X

    Reply
  9. Karina

    Yep , so true(Guilty) !

    Great post, Laura – I can see via awesome posts like this that how your hubs had to make the gorgeous you his wife! X

    Reply
  10. Millie | Add A Little

    Totally agree with the quote Laura – starting a blog was one of those moments where i was like I’M GONNA DO THIS! Why not, you only live once!

    Reply
  11. Amanda @ .running with spoons.

    Such a wonderful reminder, Laura! I’m definitely guilty of the “I’ll start on Monday” mentality (side note: next Monday also happens to be the start of a new month — you better believe I noticed this ;) ). I feel like we spend way too much of our lives living in the past or future instead of taking charge and making the most of RIGHT NOW. I’ve gotten better at it over the years, but it’s still a work in progress

    Reply
  12. Maria @ runningcupcake

    I think you can easily get stuck in always thinking ahead and not enjoying the moment any more. I like to save up for a holiday, but equally I also like little days out or whatever to enjoy my weekends.

    Reply
  13. Mary

    Great post Laura. It is so difficult not to think “When that happens we’ll do this”…
    Last year Dan and I talked about being able to ‘live in the moment’ more and do things that we wanted to do while we still could. I’ve always saved my money away for a ‘rainy day’, but if that rainy day never comes, then what’s the use in missing experiences just ‘in case’?! My Mum has always said that Dan and I compliment each other very well. I’m a hoarder and a saver, Dan’s a spender and a waster. I’ve taught him how to save a little and he’s taught me how to live a little!

    Reply
  14. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy

    I used to be SO guilty of this. It was always “next year” or “when I lost weight”. But then I went backpacking by myself and that all changed. I just started doing things and living life and felt much better for it.

    Reply
  15. Tamzin

    The only reason I put things on hold is due to not having much money! My weight never really stops me from buying stuff….

    Reply

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