Better Choices, Better Results

Reflections

Today I reached the half-way point of my weight loss goal.  It inspired me to think back and appreciate where I started and where I stand today.

One year ago, I was not living up to my full potential.  I was tired all the time.  I had heart flutters.  If I wasn’t working or canning (or freezing or cooking) I was in a recliner in front of the TV.  I spent hours at the computer.  I didn’t have much pain when walking, but after a little while, I started getting back pain from standing.  My feet hurt a lot, too. Most of my weekends were spent sleeping.

There was too much sugar and caffeine in my diet; I ate at least 10 meals per week at restaurants; mostly fast-food establishments that really don’t serve “real food” at all.

The only physical activity I got centered around the food I prepared or canned for later use.

Ten months ago I gave up caffeine.  It wasn’t easy and I had severe headaches for 3 days.  But – I defeated the caffeine monster and noticed the benefits almost immediately.  My heart stopped fluttering and I slept better.  I also started drinking more water!

Eight months ago, I reduced my visits to restaurants.  I decided that I wanted to eat real food instead of pre-manufactured, low-quality by-products of food.  When I did eat out, I went to restaurants that had better, fresher, healthier choices.

Six months ago, I made a commitment to eat less, eat better, and move more.  It was the real beginning of my weight loss.  I wanted to ward off the health problems I knew were headed my way.  I have the blessing of my work to show me the damage that obesity can cause and I wanted to stop that damage and reverse it.

Five months ago, I started this blog.  I truly believe that opening myself up and sharing my struggles with my readers has helped me to maintain my motivation.

Four months ago, I added physical activity to my (almost) daily routine.  I started out walking 30-minutes per session.  Now I’m walking up to an hour each morning, Monday through Friday.  I have more goals, too.  I want to walk a 15-minute mile, and then move on to a 12-minute mile.  I bought a bicycle and I need to build stamina.  I want to jog or speed-walk a 5K by my birthday in November.  I want to add strength training into my routine.

Today, I am a different person than I was one year ago.  I’ve experienced the benefits that good eating and physical activity can bring.  Now I:

  • don’t crave sugar
  • appreciate the flavors and sweetness in fresh fruit
  • don’t need caffeine to jump-start my day
  • can stay very active from 6:30 am to 9:30 pm
  • don’t have crushing fatigue at the end of a workday
  • have decreased my television consumption by about 80%
  • have tried new activities and felt confident in my ability to achieve them
  • find and develop healthy recipes to enjoy
  • suffer no heart flutters
  • take the stairs at work
  • don’t get as hot when out in the heat

I could go on and on, but you get the idea. 

Some people have accused me of being obsessive.  That might be true, but I don’t think so.  I choose to make better choices most of the time.  I still have one or two meals per week where I’m not as concerned with what I eat; I focus on enjoying the company I’m with and I eat what I want, but don’t overeat.

Life will always have ups and downs.  Some situations I’ll have some control over and some I won’t.  My goal is now to change the things I can, and accept that there are some things that I can’t change.  I will try to always maintain a positive attitude, and on those days when life hands me lemons, I hope I’ll be able to make something with them.

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