Now that both of my parents are gone I’ve taken stock of my own physical situation. My father lost his brief battle with cancer at 51 years of age and, after battling high blood pressure for a number of years, my mother passed away from a massive stroke. Admittedly Mom was 83 when she was stricken but following her death it occurred to me that I now have 2 of the 3 major killers in my family history. While I am thirty pounds over weight and could stand to firm up. I am in good health but to keep it that way, I knew I had to make some changes.
The first step I took was to start using the gym membership I had for almost six months but had been doing nothing with. I started off slow, spending thirty minutes on the treadmill at a leisurely pace and gradually increasing my time, speed and incline. I also began exploring other cardio machines and discovered the elliptical. Difficult and awkward at first, it soon became my machine of choice. I also incorporated strength training into the routine. The frustrating part was that even after all the time I spent working out, the weight was not coming off. I lost a few inches but I was raised as a slave to the scale and those numbers do not lie. To top it off, I wasn’t feeling better about the way I looked in the mirror or photos. A friend of mine suggested that it might be what I was eating.
The second step I took was to join a free on-line calorie counting site that allowed me to not only keep a food log but a weight log as well. I answered a few questions about my habits and was given a daily caloric total as a guide. I’m not faithful to it every day but I now have a better idea of what a portion looks like and the volume of food is right for me.
Step three – Dietary Changes. I’m eating less meat and incorporating more fruits into my daily routine. Years ago my favorite breakfast was coffee, a slice of toast and a banana. I got out of that habit usually skipping everything but the coffee then pigging out later in the morning. This summer I started hanging out at the pool with a friend of mine her children and was surprised by the amount of fresh fruit she carried with her. That influence rubbed off no only on me but my daughter as well.
Fourth, I’m taking care of my soul needs. With an active lifestyle it has been easy to let the house go and be “lived in”. However, the clutter and toys are a constant distraction and the environment is a source of stress – especially as I work from home. I’ve begun to organize, minimize and clear the air – opening the blinds and windows whenever possible, adding music and keeping my personal files in a separate location from my business items. Last week I attended a Yoga class for the first time in three years with satisfying results. The next day my husband noticed my posture had improved and while I was sore, the fact that I still have flexibility is comforting.
Time will tell if the changes I’m making will result in the weight loss I’m looking for but I already feel a change in outlook. As in any endeavor – that is half the battle.