Trying Healthier… Again
I know that I periodically post about me trying to be healthier. I know that I need to lose weight in part to do that. It is so much more though. This being healthy thing is not just about the number on the scale, but it is what most people think of when you talk about being healthy, eating healthy, living healthy. Your weight does not strictly define your health.
Today, Facebook reminded me of a picture I posted two years ago. I was astounded when I saw it. Over the past two years, people who know me from work, family, or in general, would tell me how good I look. On my good days, how happy I look. So, I had to take that picture and do a side by side comparison. It is not the perfect angle to compare, but you can see definite changes.
The side by side got me thinking. What have I actually done over the past two years? How did I make that progress, small though it may seem? The simple truth is that I am always learning my body, and even though advice comes in from all over, I pick and choose what my body and mind can handle.
I am not sure that I will ever reach giving up refined sugars, bad carbohydrates, or processed foods. I find that I can never fully replace comfort foods for times of severe stress with healthy foods. I have noticed that when I am paying attention, I greatly limit the amount of not so good for you food that I eat. I track my daily intake, good or bad. I try to keep my protein up and carbohydrates under a certain threshold. Some days are better than others. Some days I eat very few calories, other days I’m over my goal by up to 500 calories. I do not follow a diet plan. Part of what works for me is that I do not let my body become complacent with a routine. I will sometimes try new things or eat the same thing for a few days and switch it up.
Typically, pitiful. I am not ashamed to admit this. I am still a big person, and it takes time to get moving. Once moving, I’m usually good for a while, even though I consistently would prefer to stop moving. Once I stop, it is harder to start again. Most recently, I have started to walk. I aim to get up in the morning and go walk for 20-30 minutes minimum. Boy did that hurt my joints, hips in particular, the first couple of times. Now, it is getting better, and I hope to expand the area I cover and increase the time I walk for soon. I have also started looking into exercises I can do at home. Mostly things that are more low impact as I have limited flexibility right now. I know that as I start working at it, my joints will not be so painful and flexibility will improve. But I know I have to WORK.
I firmly believe that most of a healthy journey starts and exists in your head. You have to psyche yourself up. You have to encourage yourself. You have to remind yourself of your goals. The biggest reason I have started walking again is that I tell myself it is important. I remind myself how good it feels to be limber and moving. I remind myself how proud I feel afterward. In the past, I have made big announcements on social media or even just to my husband. Average time I last after doing that is three days before “forgetting” to keep going. This time, I sort of casually mentioned it to him. I talked about it once online. I still feel good to go. I don’t talk about it. I just do it. That Nike slogan is on to something. Just do it. I let the apps I use to track myself make posts for me so it is a mindless announcement that I am not stressing over.
Oh, and stress! Anxiety and stress – my biggest enemies. When these lovely little friends visit it is so, so difficult to stay focused. That is when the mental aspect really comes in to play. I have to talk myself out of eating bad food, not always successful. I have to talk myself in to moving, because it makes me feel better, but it is hard to believe myself. Support groups do help. I am thankful for them on Facebook. Private groups I can vent in without judgement.
I have met so many people selling things or being coaches. I know that right now, none of it is for me. In case you are one reading this, know I am always watching your products, whether that be actual items or just your own results. There may come a time when I do reach out to you for help. I am just not there, yet. I do however condone the advertisement of beneficial things on my social media pages, mainly my personal Facebook. I might also agree to advertise for you here on my blog, if that is something you would be interested in. Let me know, and we’ll see.
There are too many unhappy people in the world. I am constantly striving to impress upon others positive thinking. Positive thoughts, ideas, spurts of happiness. That is my contribution to others. I will do whatever I can to make you feel at least a moment of happiness or being valued or positivity even on my darkest days. Seeing others smile and actually be happy brings me happiness and a lightness within even if it is fleeting sometimes. Over the past two years, more than ever before, I have learned that this is my goal in life.
I love being a nurse. I love being able to teach others whether part of my job or in general when it is appropriate. But more than anything, I love to be that one thing that can brighten up the darkest moment. My journey to being healthier is so that I can be that ray of hope and light to make you smile. If I am comfortable with who I am, comfortable in my own skin, I can exude the good stuff to help others.
Until Next Time
I wish everyone the best health they can have with the understanding that everyone has good days and bad days. May your journey be kind even amidst the worst life can throw at you. To those with chronic conditions or scary acute ones or even simple colds or allergies, may you find in your mind the strength to endure. And may you think of me in some fashion, and smile.