It’s been a while since I shared about my quest towards a healthier lifestyle. Well, there is good reason for it, I really wasn’t doing much to ensure my healthy habits became my new normal. After having a come to Jesus with myself, I decided I needed to get serious about my health both in mind and body. I started with my mind. I’d been toying with the idea of coming off of my antidepressant for a while. I feel much better than I once did and rarely have those valley days. Even when I have those valley days, they don’t last for long, so I no longer need the medication, right? Note to self and others, don’t ever try to wean yourself off of antidepressants. It WILL NOT end well. Needless to say, I tried it and the end result was me sitting almost comatose in the cafeteria at work after dreaming about throwing my computer across the floor. I won’t be trying that again and in fact my doctor and I are working on a plan to reduce my meds. I’m learning that some ailments don’t have a magic fix it button, sometimes they just have to be managed. It doesn’t make me weak because it is what it is.
Now on to the hardest part which does have a magic fix it button called diet and exercise. I’ve struggled with my weight for a long time, but had not truly committed to making changes. I would do well for a few weeks and then fall off the wagon. In an act of desperation, I attended a seminar on weight loss surgeries. Now, I am by no means condemning anyone who decided to go that route, it just wasn’t the best option for me. I had to be really honest with myself and say that I’d never truly given 100% effort to be healthy. I’ll be 40 next year and I did not want to be in this unhealthy state in 2018. I have too much living and too many unseen countries to let something that I can control stand in my way. I knew I needed help to get me on track so I scheduled an appointment with a nutritionist. She made me feel so comfortable. We talked about my current eating habits, my allergies, and devised a new plan of action. I even got to play with fake food and create meals. Oh, the memories of me and my toy kitchen as a child. Due to my numerous allergies, she modified some of her meal suggestions for me. I really wish someone made a granola bar that didn’t contain nuts, maybe I should work on a recipe. Being conscious of my portions and what I’m putting in my body is my new normal. I’m amazed at how I’ve adapted to this new way of living. I don’t call this dieting, I call it making better food decisions. Dieting never worked for me because I don’t like being restricted and I get bored easily. No way could I eat cabbage soup for 7 days in a row. With this new way of living, I can have everything, I just can’t have it all at once. I track my calories and exercise on the My Fitness Pal app. If you’ve never used it, I highly recommend it. Because I’m a visual person, seeing what I consume every day helps me to stay focused. I’ve found that group events and having guests in my home are my biggest obstacles, but I think I’ve done fairly well this summer.
The second part, exercise has become my gift and curse. The gym and I have a love/hate relationship that is currently moving towards the love side. Even though we have a 24-hour gym at work I opted to join Planet Fitness. It’s something about seeing people that you sit in meetings with half naked in a locker room that I will never get past. I tried evening workouts in the beginning, but found that they were not convenient for me. I work and live in a large metropolitan area so spending an hour and a half in traffic and then going to the gym is not my idea of fun. If there was an especially hectic day of traffic I would say I’ll go tomorrow, well we always have bad traffic so my 3 day a week commitment quickly became once a week if that. While talking to a friend she mentioned that she woke up early and went to the gym before work. Originally that sounded absolutely crazy. Why in the world would I get up earlier than 5:30AM? I decided to try it, but that would mean getting up at 4:30AM to work out, shower, and be at work by 7:30. Was I in a good mood by the time I arrived at work? Absolutely not, but it’s now my new normal. I’ve doing this for 4 days a week since March and I miss the gym when I don’t go. I’m a creature of habit, so when I don’t go it feels like something is missing from my day. I take Wednesday as a rest day, other than that I’m up at 4:30 heading to the gym. I only have about 45-50 minutes before I have to shower, but I try to fit as much in as I can during that timeframe. Cardio is always first on my agenda because you have to keep your heart strong. At first, I was just walking for 30 minutes and then using the rest of time for weights. I’ve stepped up my game in recent weeks and I started jogging. I had not jogged in years until about a month ago. I alternate between walking for two minutes and then jogging for two minutes. The other day I realized that in total I jogged for almost half of my 30 minutes, 12 minutes to be exact. Today I finished a mile walking and jogging in under 20 minutes. Oh, happy day!! I’m planning to increase my walk/jog time to three minutes each in August. While I don’t see the changes in my body, I see it in my clothes. I’ve gone down a few dress sizes and the pants I have on right now, I can take off without unbuttoning them. Needless to say, I will need a new wardrobe come Fall if I continue on this path. I cried yesterday when I walked into a store looking for a jean jacket and was able to take one off the rack and walk out of the door with it. No more having to order everything online or only having a handful of stores to shop in. I have had people comment that they have noticed the difference and I find that so encouraging. I’m down 19 pounds so far and I’m shooting for 50 in total by the end of December. Even if I don’t reach the 50, my life is forever changed by this new normal. Now if only I had a money tree to purchase new clothes.