Thursday, July 15, 2010

The night I knew I had to get healthy

Happy Thursday! This week is FLYING by! I have been busy with work and a few side projects, so I haven't posted as much as I usually do--forgive me!  :) Since I stepped out on my own into personal training business  I have been thinking lately about what made me stop the lifestyle I was living and make a change. It could be because summer means potlucks, BBQ and getting to see everyone in "small" clothes. 

Everyone has moments where we realize that there needs to be a change. Whether it's a healthy lifestyle change, a job change, a relationship change, whatever it may be. For me, the moment, I knew I had to make a change in my life and start toward being healthier was about 6 years ago! 

I was the heaviest I have ever been. I was a smoker, I drank too much, too often and to fill a void. Food? Same thing. I ate whole bags of chips, I ate sweets, I snuck food, I ate when I was sad, blue, anxious, happy etc... I ate because I was unhappy and I was unhappy, in part, because I ate. I was in a stressful business partnership, I was in an unhealthy relationship and I was about to get a wake up call. 

I decided I was going to donate plasma for extra money (ugh! what a horrible desperate thing to do, had I known then what I know now, I wouldn't have done it!) and had to weigh myself in as part of all their flaming hoops. Well, I didn't own a scale at home and in all honesty, I didn't much pay attention to how my clothes fit, I just bought bigger and bigger clothes. Even the bigger clothes would get tight. It kind of "snuck up on me."

I had the most BEAUTIFUL vintage dresses that are now 8 sizes too big! 

When I stepped on the scale I realized that I was 10 pounds heavier than the last number I had seen, the last time I had weighed myself the year previous. My heart sunk. The year before I was the heaviest I had ever been. THIS was now 10 pounds over that. I came home that night and called my mom, I remember lighting up, pacing around my apartment waving my smoke around and told my Mom how much I weighed. 

I was really distressed and Mom was straight with me: Unhealthy. It's not about being slim or wearing skinny jeans or being hot. My HEALTH was at risk. It was unsafe, unhealthy for me to be at that weight.  I ate like junk, sugar, fat and TOO much. I smoked almost a pack of cigarettes a day. I knew I had to change and it was heavy on my heart when soon after, I had a customer of mine ask me THAT question.  

WE ALL hear horror stories about THAT question: Are you pregnant? I was mortified and whether or not it was inappropriate, having tipped the scale when I did and having that woman ask me "that" question, I was at my breaking point. 

I tossed out the sweets, the snacks, on my post about my weight loss journey, I talk about having to change everything I ate and the way I thought about food and health. Eventually I had to deal, honestly, with the root issues of my eating and that was a journey that was MUCH longer than the weight loss. It's funny how our body WILL DO what we want to do, even if sometimes our mind needs a little more coaxing. 

The golden WW weekly weigh in chart!

I cleaned up my diet, I bought a cheap stair stepper off craigslist, starting losing and then joined up with Weight Watchers. There I realized that my portions were HUGE even though the food was healthy and I came out of a plateau to lose my weight and start on my new life. 

There were a few months in the January after my loss, that I gained about 8 pounds back and neglected my weight training, but I caught that, took those 8 pounds off again and have sustained it ever since! That was six years ago. But despite the fact that little by little, every day and every week there could have been something I noticed and took action on (Huh, my pants are too tight. Huh, I can't breath when I run to the bus.  Huh, I lay awake at night worrying about throat cancer. Huh. HUH.) 

But it took a big hard slap in my face, it took a woman I love and trust telling me yeah, you need to change. I knew that NIGHT on the phone with Mom that my lifestyle had to change and that meant my life had to change. 

That's a scary thing, changing your life, getting OUT of your comfort zone, eating new foods,  kicking old habits, being honest, being good to yourself. It's not easy, but I will say that if I can make a change, achieve and STICK with my goals, then anyone can. 

6 ways to step toward a healthy lifestyle

1) Identify your goal- always start with a specific goal. Weight Watchers made me pick a goal weight. You don't always have to have an end weight set in stone, but you should have some sort of goal: 10% of my current weight, this pair of pants, being able to climb X number of stairs while still breathing. A specific goal is one that will be attained, you can always add on to that with additional specific goals later. But if you have no goal, you won't even know what kind of result you want to see! 

2) Get a partner- A walking partner to meet up at the park, a girl friend to meet you at the gym for yoga, someone to join Jenny Craig or WW with you, a co-worker that wants to quit smoking and walk instead! A personal trainer to help you through and work you and motivate! We all know that doing anything alone is much harder than when we have someone with us, find a partner! 

3) Do one thing a week to make a change- You don't have to go ALL out at one time! Don't set yourself up to fail, focus on success of one thing a week. Drink your water, eat more salad, walk on your lunch break, look into a gym membership, skip that smoke break, cut the calories at happy hour, park in the farthest spot! Focus on your one lifestyle change and hit that one thing with fervor and build on that! 

4) Write it down- It is PROVEN that when we write down every bite we take, we will shed more excess.  You will 1) be surprised by how much we nibble and snack and 2) you will really get a picture of what your diet consists of. Take one day and write down what you eat, even that handful of M&M's, even that Ranch dressing. Track your activity too and see how the two collide and the results! 
5) Think of food as fuel- Food and water at their most basic are fuel for us whether we are marathon runners or stay at home Mom's, food helps us get through our day and fuel us along! Check out sites like Spark people to plug in your food for the day and see where you are lacking in nutrients or where you are indulging! Water too is vital for energy, weight loss and flushing toxins! Our bodies are amazing machines, created to use food as fuel as well as enjoyment.

6) Process- Don't avoid the hard stuff. This journey of healthiness is a lifelong process and being in that mind set will help! There will be ups and downs, there will be days you would like to hit Control- Alt-Delete. We all have them, but don't let them add up to feelings of defeat! Just lift your head high and move on making your NEXT choice, no matter how small, a good one. 

What is your one FAVE tip that helps you stay on your healthy journey?? 

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Although Mary from Fit this girl is a CPT, always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.