The Choices We Make: Losing Weight and Adopting a Healthy Lifestyle -Will 2017 be the Year?

WeightDiet and Fitness 2017

Day 1: Taking Stock of My Situation

Monday, March 6, 2017

I have debated with myself whether or not to share this very personal confession with my readers. I am overweight. I am, in fact, extremely overweight.

I am very embarrassed by the condition that I find myself in, but, I figure that I am not alone and perhaps some of my readers, like me, struggle with their weight and have difficulty living a healthy lifestyle. According to data collected and reported by the National Institutes of Health, nearly 69% of Americans are either overweight or obese, and, if these statistics are true, it’s likely that many of my readers are like me and struggle to lose weight, and even feel the same embarrassment that I do.

Today, as I was reflecting on my situation, I made a decision to take charge of my health and to try to make changes to lose weight and live a healthier lifestyle. I’ve also decided to share my journey with you, my readers in the hope that we can help one another to eat nutritious foods, increase our activity levels, and overall live a healthier lifestyle.

So, I guess this post is a bit of a warning to my readers to get ready to start seeing a lot of posts about health and wellness, weight loss, nutritious whole food recipes and perhaps some posts where I whine and complain about how hard living a healthy lifestyle can be, because, let’s be honest here, if achieving and maintaining a healthy weight was easy, there wouldn’t be so many of us that struggle with our weight and body image and self-esteem.

Today is Day One of the Rest of My Life. 

In just 10 days I will be 49 years old, and will have been alive for almost a half of a century. I am 5’2″ and weigh nearly 300 pounds. My actual weight is closer to 270 pounds, but, STILL, that’s nearly 300 pounds on my short, small frame.

I Wasn’t Always this Big

I wasn’t always this heavy. In fact, when I was younger, I was quite tiny, and barely weighed 100 pounds when I graduated from high school at the age of 18. When I think back on it, if I am honest with myself, I have to admit that I’ve never been happy with my weight or my general appearance.

I guess I am what you would call a stress eater. Some people drink, do drugs, or some other self-destructive behavior to cope with the stresses of Life; I eat, nearly constantly.

I’ve Lost Some of the Weight Before

I’ve lost some of the weight before, most recently in 2009, when I weighed 286 pounds on my birthday that year. I went from 286 pounds down to 195 pounds in 3 and one-half months. I did it by walking each day and eating mainly salads and grilled chicken every single day.

A Blast from the Past – Healthy Lifestyle Choices

I remember when I first started walking, I started out slow, and could barely make it around the track at my local park one single time. Three times around is one mile. My calves were sore as I walked around the track, my lower back hurt, and I wheezed and was out of breath, but I didn’t let the pain stop me. It took me about 20 minutes to make that one single circuit when I first started, and I hurt worse the next day.

By the end of the first week I was up to walking around the track twice, and within two weeks I could walk one mile. In a relatively short span of time I was up to walking two hours each night, for a total of 6 miles a day. I walked every single day, whether or not the sun was out. Some days I walked in the rain, others, when it happened to snow! The pounds seemed to literally melt away.

As I lost the weight I began to feel better. My knees and lower back no longer hurt and food was no longer the center of my existence. I began to reward myself with purchases of new clothing. I went from a size 26 to a size 16, and could even fit into some 14s. I will never forget the first time I went to my doctor’s office and stepped onto the scale and they didn’t have to start with the weight bar on 250, it was a feeling of pure, unadulterated joy. For the first time in a long time, I was proud of myself.

Oh, the Promises We Make to Ourselves and Later Break

I swore I would not regain the weight, that I would never allow myself to get this big again. Then, I got sick and had a flare of ulcerative colitis. I had to go back on steroids to keep from bleeding to death and in a few short months I regained most of the weight. I haven’t been under 250 pounds again in over 7 years.

Living a Healthy Lifestyle Begins with Making a Choice

Eight years ago, I was in my doctor’s office on my 41st birthday, and, when I saw that my weight was up to 286 pounds I became motivated to take steps to lose weight and improve my overall health. I know if I did this once before that I can lose the weight again. I simply need to make the decision to increase my activity level and begin to make healthier food choices. It really is as simple as making the decision to get started, but, sticking with it, day in and day out, being consistent, that is the hard part.

I am giving myself today as my last “freebie” day or “cheat day” to eat junk food and other unhealthy food options. Tomorrow, March 7th, I am beginning my new diet and exercise program to lose this weight and reclaim my life.

Along the way, I will be documenting my progress, and writing about my challenges, success stories, setbacks and utter failures and sharing these updates with you, my readers.

Today is Day 1 of the rest of my Life!

 

 

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