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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus



Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Pros & Cons of a Healthy Lifestyle

Side Note:  I'm reading an interesting novel called The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D by Nichole Bernier.  Very thought provoking.  Women's fiction.  For anyone who has ever felt insecure, or scared, or just never knew what to make of the people closest to you; if you spend a lot of time inside your own head, this book is for you.

Well I'm just over three months into my pursuit of transforming myself to a healthier way of living, and thus far these are the pros and cons:

PROS:

*  Feeling energetic (for the first time in years)

*  Feeling good inside your own skin.

*  The joy of suddenly baggie clothes

*  Watching how your own weight loss/fitness journey inspires others to improve their own health.  Since I began this journey, several others in my office have been inspired to begin the path to improving their own health.

*  Having lost 36 pounds and realizing it IS possible to lose those remaining 13.

*  The joy of knowing I'm getting in the kind of physical shape to allow me to enjoy this beautiful state I've been so blessed to live in.

*  Being able to do push ups for the first time EVER!

*  Feeling like I'll soon be able to make up for my scrawny, weakling childhood. As a kid, I couldn't do those monkey bars where you walked yourself hand over hand across the bars.  As soon as I latched hold as a kid, I would instantly drop off.  Couldn't do it.  In a few months, I'm going to be brave and go try again.  I might even have to capture it on video. 8-)

*  Eating foods that are actually filling and kill any urge to snack randomly.  It's been quite the revelation how non-filling all my former fat food favorites were.

CONS:

*  Changing to a healthy lifestyle is right up there with moving as one of the most stressful events of your life.  The good news is, in both cases, the stress subsides.

*  Eating healthy is more expensive than eating garbage.  

*  Living healthy requires a huge chunk of your time every week.  I don't care what anyone says with their "just 30 minutes a day" nonsense.  To live a healthy lifestyle, between food prep, extra trips to the grocery store, more dishes and laundry to wash, exercise and eating right, it's a major time investment.  I'm convinced this is one of the greatest reasons people don't stick with it.  This is my number one fear for myself--over the long haul, am I going to be willing to sacrifice all the time that's needed to be healthy? I hope so, but it will be like the battle of armageddon every step of the way.

*  It takes a LONG time to eat healthy meals.  Chewing all those vegetables can't be done quickly.  It takes me nearly an hour to eat a meal.

* Eating healthy requires a major change in your mindset--at least for me.  I had to switch my brain from thinking about "eating food for enjoyment" to "I eat food because it serves a purpose--to nourish my body."  There is no way I could do this without that change of mindset.

*  I miss writing.

*  I'm scared to death to drink even an ounce of Dr. Pepper.  The headaches I endured when I gave it up a few months ago showed me how addicted I'd become to caffeine.

*  Having to go shopping for new clothes.  I despise shopping.  I really do.  But I've reached the point now where I'm going to have to force myself out into the crowds in search of better fitting clothes.

The benefits of healthy living far outweight the cons, but I know the constant battle over time is going to be a war I'll be waging every day.  That will be the single greatest determining factor of whether or not I can make these changes stick for a lifetime.

5 comments:

Linden Barrick said...

You can do it! And you aren't just inspiring people in your office. There are others of us out here who are waiting for your posts and cheering you on as we battle our own food demons. God bless and keep it up!
Linden

B.K. Jackson said...

Thanks, Linden. That is reassuring for me. I debated whether or not to share my health journey. Technically, it's not writing related, though it certainly relates to the health of the writer.

But it's very encouraging to me to know that my posts can help others.

Paula Mowery said...

Two years ago I embarked on this journey. I lost 30 pounds and have kept it off. One pro for me is now many of my healthy habits have become just that - a habit. When I reached my goal, I eased up. I allow myself a weight range I want to stay within. If something comes up like a holiday or something and I shoot up, I get strict for a few days and get back in control. After the initial strict training, I now find that I select healthier foods even when eating out. Periodically, I order a new exercise video so I stay motivated.
Hang in there! It is possible at 40-something to win this battle. Pray for God's help - our bodies are His temple. He wants you to succeed too.

BK said...

Paula,

Thanks for your post. That is very encouraging to me to hear that you've been able to remain consistent for two years.

So many folks struggle with yo-yoing back and forth and I don't want to go there.

And I am clinging to the hope that it will become ingrained habit. Right now, having to think about the mix of foods, when, where and what to eat consumes my brain, in addition to the exercise and other things. That's why I had to set aside my writing for a few months because I simply can't concentrate on my novels right now.

But I'm looking forward to this lifestyle becoming ingrained. That will make it easier for me to build other things, like my writing, back into my schedule for a nice, balanced lifestyle.

Thank you so much for stopping by!

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