Ugh. Can't avoid it anymore. It's the first Monday of 2020. Time for a clean slate in tackling weight loss and getting healthy after eating like crap and not making any time to work out for the last few months of 2019. Are you also in that place of having to start fresh for the new year? If so, follow along or do it with me!

2019 started off great for me. I was in pretty good shape through the spring and summer, spending time at the gym, and eating right. Maybe not perfect, but more good than bad.

Then September hit and I couldn't find an ounce of time to work out or eat right. I was overwhelmed with what I had to do as a mom and I put myself on the back burner. I don't mind putting my child first, but if I want to stay healthy enough to be around for my boys, then I know that being healthy can't be put off any longer.

By last November and December, I was insane with stress, lack of sleep, and eating whatever I could get my hands on. I had no time to grocery shop and cook, no time to exercise, and had zero discipline from that lack of sleep. Also, I tend to eat for comfort when I am stressed. And am I the only person who gains 5 pounds just by looking at a Yodel?

Of course the more I ate (badly), the more I just wanted to curl up on the couch in a blanket, hide from the world and give up on myself. And the more I strayed from any sort of healthy eating plan, the more I realized that since I was in 'cheat mode', I should use that opportunity to eat the things I never allow myself: Entenmann's, Wendy's, pizza, Chinese, etc.

Do I feel like crap? Yes, of course. The minute I finish stuffing my face. Can I stop? I sure hope so. I know what to do. But t's making the time, finding the motivation to remain disciplined and getting back on a routine that is challenging. So now I have to make the time to grocery shop, prep meals, clean/chop veggies, cook, and get to the gym. Plus I have to work up the discipline to get off of sugar, gluten, and dairy. Ugh.

Today I will start by making sure I down half of my body weight in (filtered) water (I use a Brita filter), and go grocery shopping for lemons for said water, along with lots of fresh salad material from the produce aisle and some frozen veggies that I can make and serve steamed or sautéed. Baby steps. Today if I can get to the water with lemon, it will be the first small victory.

I have set up an appointment for tomorrow to start a medical fitness program called PREP at The Atlantic Club in Manasquan and Red Bank that your doctor (or gyno, chiropractor, orthopedist, nurse practitioner) can refer you to the way mine did. You don't need to be a member of The Atlantic Club to start this program. It's 60 days for 60 dollars!

You will hear more about that as I work on strength training and cardio while being monitored for safety. This particular physician-referred exercise program requires a minimum commitment of 3 days a week at the fitness center (two of those days include meeting with a trainer.) This program will make me accountable and will give me the tools I need. I already know that I can't do it on my own because I have tried. Being accountable is very helpful.

This program also requires getting on a scale and the gathering of some health stats before beginning. Translation: measurements of body fat, muscle mass, blood pressure, and resting heart rate.

So tomorrow I will suck it up, squeeze my eyes shut, and get on the scale to face the music. I will try to be philosophical and kind to myself, but in all honesty I am beating the crap out of myself mentally for the bad choices I have made to put me in the position of having to re-do all the good I once did, all because I ended up sabotaging myself. I've been on a rollercoaster of ups and downs.

At least I know I'm in good company -- I'm sure every gym parking lot will be packed today. And I'll bet every grocery store was a madhouse yesterday.

Let the fun begin.

How was the fall of 2019 for you? Are you setting goals for 2020? Are you also starting today or did you begin on the 1st or 2nd of January?

If it's any help to you, Karen Megles, TAC trainer, says, "Everyone has highs and lows when it comes to health and wellness. We can't focus on the past, we can only move forward and take one day at a time." Words of wisdom, indeed.