My health, laziness, and gluttony dictated my lifestyle through my twenties, my thirties, and most of my forties. Brownie bites and peanut M&M’s were staples on my Costco shopping list. My exercise routines were nonexistent. I chose dinner recipes based on ease of preparation and what the family liked instead of looking at the nutritional information. The number on the scale rose steadily over the years, but I blamed it on stress, my health, and having babies instead of my sedentary lifestyle and poor habits. The more I weighed, the more my health declined and the less I moved my expanding body. Three years ago, I was hospitalized for five days, too weak to breathe or walk on my own due to neuromuscular issues. I weighed well over two hundred pounds.
After my hospitalization, I made the decision to take control over my health. I began training for walking a half marathon. I purchased less junk food. I focused on getting the rest my body needed instead of waiting for illness to force me to rest. After walking my first half marathon in 2015, I decided to kick it up a notch and hired a trainer, a friend in her forties who had birthed ten children and then had made wise choices about her strength and health. She designed a strength routine for me. The first time we met, I was so weak that my whole workout was sitting down in a chair ten times and standing up again then ten bicep curls with five pound weights. Even that was a struggle with my debilitated muscles. She also had me log each piece of food I ate with an app called MyFitnessPal, trying to keep under 1200 calories a day.
Now, more than two years after starting with my trainer, I strength train for over 30 minutes three times a week with up to fifteen pound weights. I walk or run three other days a week. I still log my food each day. In fact, I have almost a 600 day streak on MyFitnessPal. I have dropped nearly 70 pounds. I have completed three more half marathons. I have more energy. I am off all prescription drugs and all their nasty side effects. I see a holistic chiropractor monthly who checks me not only for misalignment and weak muscles, but also hydration levels, vitamin deficiencies, food sensitivities, and thyroid and adrenal gland function. I try to average close to 8 hours of sleep a night.
All of these new activities in my life are not part of a “diet,” but have been integrated into my lifestyle for the rest of my life. It doesn’t mean that I can never have a piece of chocolate. I enjoy a piece of Dove dark chocolate 3 or 4 days a week. It also doesn’t mean that I never go out to eat. It doesn’t mean that I can never take more than one day a week off exercise. I’m flexible, and I’m giving my family the gift of a healthier, happier wife and mom who plans to thrive on earth for many more decades!
This post is part of a 31 Day Blogging Challenge entitled Embracing Fifty. Please click here to find all the posts in this series. You can find the work of more bloggers participating in this series here. You’ll be glad you did!