In October 2016, I was at the heaviest weight I’ve ever been in my life. I’ve mentioned the medications I was on for high blood pressure, depression and anxiety, and the steroid injections I was getting in my back for arthritis and a herniated disc. I’ve talked about how hard everything was because I never had the energy or drive I needed to do the things I wanted and wished to do. When I decided to work on my health and wellness, things didn’t just happen overnight. I wanted them to and it was discouraging not to see instant results, but I prepared myself for the journey. I reminded myself that this was about the rest of my life, not just the next 30 minutes.
I incorporated things into my daily routine that would keep me accountable. The first thing was Weight Watchers. I just used the online platform, but it was fantastic. I got on their Connect page and shared ups and downs, progress pictures, recipes and other things. I logged every single thing I put in my mouth, even on the days I didn’t make such great choices. I talked about the changes I was making with friends and family to garner support and because it was helpful for me to share. When I was ready, I added exercise and started meeting friends at the gym.
Another thing I did super early on in my journey was to put skin in the game. I heard about Healthy Wage, researched the program, and signed on to drop 30 pounds in six months. At the same time, I joined a Game On! challenge at work that focused on healthy eating, getting enough water, sleep, and moving your body. My team didn’t win that challenge, but it was fun, there was lots of support, and it reinforced many aspects of what a healthy lifestyle is. I did, however, more than double my money through the Healthy Wage program!
I can’t count the number of times I felt discouraged because I couldn’t physically see results from the all the work I was putting in. But I felt good enough about the choices I was making that I kept plugging along. I have mistreated my body most of my life. The least I could do was be patient with it while it made the adjustments I was asking it to.
My patience, discipline, and dedication are paying off. The practices of healthy eating, weight lifting, and cardio that I’ve put in place serve so many purposes for me. They keep me strong and focused. They calm my nerves and strengthen my confidence. They’ve made me stronger physically, mentally, and emotionally. I am more resilient than I’ve ever been. And I’m brave.
So, here I am today. I navigate pot holes, twists, turns, and road bumps in my life on a daily basis, just like everyone else. Most of the time, I make a way bigger deal out of things than I need to. I know this about myself. My most recent stress is an out of town conference next week.
I’m traveling 1,365.2 miles away. I’m 10 weeks out from the NPC Southern Idaho Showdown. I’m on a very strict meal plan and workout regimen. I’ll need to prepare and cook all of my own meals while I’m there. And to top it off, I’m a pretty extreme introvert with a semi-paralyzing fear of crowds. Goes without saying that I have quite a bit of anxiety around this trip and I freak myself out several times a day thinking about it. My husband, who puts things into perspective for me on a regular basis, tells me this trip will come and go, I’ll do great and stay on plan like I do every day, I’ll have fun and I’ll move on. He’s so right. Why do I even worry?
At some point in my life, I should probably stop asking why the hell I do things like this to myself all the time, because frankly, I’ve always put myself right in the fucking middle of situations that scare the living shit out of me. Situations I never imagined myself in, never had the desire to be in, and wondered why anyone else would even be interested in. It’s like one day I wake up and say, “this makes me super uncomfortable and I don’t really think I can do it, but I’m signing up for it anyway,” and off I go. It’s my life and I like it that way. I never get bored. If I do, it’s on to the next challenge. Unless, of course, the challenge is to stay put and work through my issues. That’s a story for another time though.
Being uncomfortable, somehow, is a comfortable spot for me to be in. I need to be challenged. As long as I have a terrific support system, which I do, then I’m good to go. Bring it on!
This trip is perfect. It’s a great distraction. I’m going with amazing people that understand the position I’m in. It’s an incredible conference filled with so much information that will help me succeed in my job. It’s an opportunity for me to figure out how to live the lifestyle I’ve chosen to live even when I’m in unfamiliar surroundings with completely different resources available. It’s perfect. Right up my alley. I just need to stop complaining, stop being afraid, and figure it the fuck out. Right?
Other than this trip, prep life is good. Never a dull moment. Wake up, drink water, eat, work out, eat, drink water, eat, work, work, work, drink water, eat, drink more water, eat, meal prep for next day, drink water, eat, sleep, repeat. It’ll change. It’ll get tougher and then so will I.