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.