Over the past four years or so, I have struggled with my physical health, my weight, my energy level, and my emotional health. Before that time I was typically happy with my weight and overall health. This month I am renewing a commitment to living a healthy lifestyle and thought I would start a weekly post with my thoughts and progress.
I want to share a little of my story as I begin this weekly healthy living post. Four years ago I began to gain weight and started feeling tired all the time. Since I was teaching 8th grade, completing the final classes for my master's degree, and presenting my research at a couple of professional conferences, I just assumed I was exhausted as a result of my crazy schedule. As it turns out, my thyroid was the culprit!
By the time we moved back to the Dallas area in the spring of 2007, my thyroid was being regulated with medication and I decided it was time to lose weight and get healthy. I visited a dietitian and started monitoring what I ate, drank only one Coca-Cola a day, and exercised regularly. Over the course of several months, I lost weight and felt great. Robbie and I had decided to start a family, however that did not seem to be God's plan for us. After a year and a half we had not gotten pregnant and went through the process to adopt a child. The process of getting licensed to adopt, being matched with a child, and all the ensuing paperwork and stress took a toll on me. We actually had a disrupted adoption - which basically means that the adoption did not happen. The decision not to adopt was one of the most difficult decisions we have ever made. Throughout that year-long process I felt a lot of stress in my life and I gained all my weight back (for the first time in my life I truly understood the term yo-yo weight loss!). At the end of last year, right after the disrupted adoption, I was emotionally spent.
In January, I enrolled in a two-month long BPS class called Wellness Journey, taught by Lisa Cohen. During those two months I did fairly well with regular exercise and tried to add more fruits and vegetables (and less sweets) to my diet. The daily check-in with other classmates helped keep me somewhat on track, but I was still dealing with a lot of emotional hurt and have not kept up with the exercise and healthy eating over the past six months. I have to say that the class was excellent and Lisa focused on living an overall healthy lifestyle. In fact, this week I've started re-reading the material from the class as motivation and am planning to take the class when it is offered again at the end of the year.
I have felt God's healing in my spiritual and emotional life and the past few months I have been at peace, relaxed, and enjoying life.
And then there was my last physical check-up - when the doctor's office called to say he wanted me to start taking medicine because my cholesterol was high, I decided it was time to get it together. I have no desire to take medicine to control something that I can control myself with diet and exercise. (I understand that sometimes cholesterol is a genetic thing, but for me it's a matter of an unhealthy lifestyle.)
I set September 1 as my start date, and I go back in for a check up the week before Thanksgiving. My goal is to have my cholesterol down to an acceptable level by that time. I am going to be focusing on an overall healthy lifestyle including physical, emotional, mental and spiritual health. I'll check in here each Friday to give myself some accountability.
I actually started working on my exercise goal this past Monday. So far this week I have ridden the stationary bike for 30 minutes four days and completed a 30 minute strength training routine using 10-pound weights two days.
Next week I'll update you on my progress and share with you some of the excuses I use to avoid exercise on any given day.