Tuesday, August 4, 2015

My WHY to being strong, healthy, and fit.

When someone decides that they need a change in their life, whether it be their job, the people they associate with, their daily activities, their health, fitness, and nutrition, or anything that keeps them from reaching their ultimate goal, they MUST search out their WHY? Why is this change needed? So today I will share my Why. Why I need to make a change in my health and fitness. Let me first give you my background.
I had never in my life been someone active in sports, physical fitness, or really even nutrition. No, I didn't eat out at fast food restaurants daily; I didn't eat all processed foods when at home. I cooked meals...even meals from scratch; however, they were not always the most nutritious choices. We grilled year round, so our meats were for the most part healthy, however, we did use pasta and rice mixes from the box 2-3 times a week. Other nights were typically mashed potatoes. We also always had boiled or steamed veggies with our meals. 

When I was growing up as a child and even into my teen years, I could eat whatever I wanted and I didn't gain weight. My grandma always said to me "It will catch up to you" but I ate what I wanted when I wanted. When I got married, I was 5'7" and weighed 129 lbs. Well within a healthy weight for my height and frame size. Then it happened... two weeks after getting married, I became pregnant with my first and only child. Because I was being treated for hypertension (first discovered my Senior year in HS, when I attempted to donate blood, but my blood pressure was borderline, though it was not treated until a  year later) I was put on bed rest right away when I became pregnant. My mother in law moved in with us 5 months after we were married. She was in control of cooking our meals at that point. She used LOTS of processed foods in her cooking. Being unable to do any sort of exercise, slowly I began gaining weight and losing muscle tone. I believe I only gained 26-30 lbs. during my pregnancy; however, I didn't lose it after my daughter was born in March. In May I went shopping for summer shorts. I was almost in tears as I had gone from a size 9/10 pre-pregnancy to a size 14 post pregnancy!

I would start dieting off and on for years. I'd lose a bit, and then I'd gain it back plus some. This went on until my daughter was in 7th grade. At that time, my husband had deployed to Korea for a year. I finally decided enough was enough. I had reached 168 lbs. I was tired all the time, I had digestion issues; I was not sleeping well, felt bloated, and just down right awful. By this time, my hypertension had already regulated itself and I was taken off meds. Strange huh, I was put on medication when I was a healthy weight, and taken off when I was overweight. I was embarrassed of how I looked. We lived in Lynn Haven, FL at this time, and I would not take off my t-shirt whenever we went to the ocean or lakes. If I did, I quickly laid on the beach towel to "hide" as everything looks better laying down right or I would quickly slip into the water so to not been viewed.

It became my new year’s resolution that I was going to lose weight. I was going to make the changes I needed to for myself. So, I joined Curves and began working out fist 3-4 times a week...then I picked up walking in between my workouts, I was lifting weights at home. I was losing the weight I had put on and in about 4 months, I dropped to 138 lbs. I was a size 9 again! I was ecstatic. I was sleeping through the night, I was confident about my outward appearance, I had compliments from people (something I NEVER got prior...even in school, I felt as I was the ugly duckling) all the time. 

Then, it happened all over again. My husband came home from his yearlong deployment to Korea, we moved to North Dakota, and I went back to my old routines and I gained weight again. I would still periodically go with friends to the gym to work out, but I wasn't consistent and I wasn't eating healthy, though it did get somewhat better after my husband was diagnosed with Diabetes. Our marriage started to decline again as it had over the years and I decided that I wanted a divorce and I moved back home 2-1/2 years after we had moved to ND. 

I lived with my Grandfather for the first year then he bought me and my daughter a house.  I was stressed due to the divorce and becoming a single mom, physically tired all the time and ended up taking on a second job just to make ends meet. I would work, 8 in the morning until 12 midnight at times. I would go a month or two at time without a day off from both jobs. I was eating from the deli, and fast food. I was never home long enough to cook healthy meals. Eventually, I reached my highest weight ever... 170 lbs.

My boyfriend made a comment last summer about how he had never seen me in a dress. We grew up in an era where women and girls wore dresses and he liked that. So, I decided one day to surprise him and went to Kohl’s to buy a dress. I was excited to take a handful of cute dresses in to try them on only I HATED how each and every one of them looked on me. My arms, legs, stomach, everything just looked bloated and fat. I was so discouraged that I left the store on the verge of tears. I went straight to Walgreen and bought a bottle of Hydroxicut. I took it for 2 months and NOTHING. I didn't lose a pound. I was so disappointed. 

I missed how I felt when I had lost the weight years before. I missed the confidence I had in myself, I missed the healthy feeling. I missed the muscle tone, the strength I had gained. I missed everything I had worked so hard for in the past. I decided again, it was time for me to do something about it. Nobody could do it but me. I had been hearing about 21 Day Fix and wanted to try it. I wanted to lose the weight once and for all. AND I wanted to learn to eat properly. No more processed foods, no more additives, no chemicals, nothing but REAL, HEALTHY, FUEL MY BODY foods!

My boyfriend and I decided that we would purchase 21 Day Fix. It was the BEST thing I had ever done for myself. Even better than Curves! This program taught me healthy eating, the proper macros, the proper portions, and it gave me a 30 minute workout to do daily. We stuck to if faithfully for 2 rounds. I lost 15 pounds in 42 days! I continued to lose weight over the next few months following mainly just the food. Total I had lost 25 lbs, taking me to 145 lbs.  I was the size I wanted to be, however, I still had toning to do as my weight was not where I wanted it to be. I was so excited with my or OUR accomplishments as my boyfriend had lost 35 lbs. total over the 2+ weeks we were following the program. 

BUT... life happens. The holidays came around. Work picked up (I'm still working two jobs), I didn't have total control of all the meals being prepared for holiday parties. My daughter came home from school and we had to do our traditional Christmas cookie baking. I forgot about my meal preps, I forgot about my meal plans, I forgot about working out. I again, lost all motivation. 

After the New Year, it was going to be on again. I was going to lose the weight again and get back on track...but I didn't. Then come March, my Grandfather passed away. The man who was my rock. The man that was always there for me. The man who had walked me down the aisle so many years ago. Stress, sadness, and the family drama that soon followed had me eating whatever I wanted and whenever I wanted. On top of all that, my full time job has become extremely stressful so again, I gained weight. I am currently about 157 lbs. again.

So now you have the history of my health and fitness... Now to the WHY I want and need to get back into my routines. 

I've had a history of Hypertension myself, my family has so  many different medical issues that run rampant throughout...diabetes, heart disease, leukemia, hypertension, kidney stones, migraines, seizures, ADD, ADHD, bi-polar, you name it, it's there. I rather enjoy not having to depend on medications to control my blood pressure, so I really do NOT want to go back on them. 15 years was long enough to depend on them. I don't want to be another statistic in the cancers, diabetes, etc. that run through my family bloodline. 

I want to lose the weight once and for all. I want to learn to maintain my weight once I reach my goal weight again. That has been my biggest struggle. I learn to eat a set amount of food to lose, but then feel like I am starting over when I reach goal weight and have to learn again how to eat and how much to eat. I want to continue my journey and not give up on myself because I feel as if I'm starting over yet again. It's NOT starting over! It IS learning the next step of the process.

I want to have strong, healthy bones. I have scoliosis a curvature of the spine. Mine is a double curve in the shape of a backward S. I need healthy bones to support my back. Due to my scoliosis, I have one hip higher than the other which creates back pain, hip pain, and even pain in my feet as the scoliosis throws everything out of alignment. The more flexible and the stronger the muscles, the less pain I feel.

I want to have a strong core, strong arms, and strong legs. I want my muscles to be flexible. Not only does it give my body strength, it gives me confidence in myself. When I look good and feel good, I tend to feel good in many areas of my life. I have pep in my step, I feel more confident in the way I carry myself and how I do things. 

I want to have good night’s rest. I don't want to continue with my being tired all day and not being able to sleep at night. I want to have so much energy during the day, that I am more motivated to get off the couch and clean my house, go outside and work in the yard, go for an evening stroll around the neighborhood, or even shovel snow when winter hits us hard. I want to feel like I am accomplishing things in my life and not just living day to day.

I want to feel beautiful. I want to believe my boyfriend when he tells me I'm beautiful instead of responding with "if you say so" or "yeah, right". I want to feel sexy. I want to be his "Goddess" as he sometimes refers to me. I really want to feel what he sees in me!

This is my WHY. This is WHY I want to be a better version of me. This is WHY I need to get up off my duff and work towards my goals. I need to focus on my WHY and not let it out of my sight. Nobody can make it happen for me except myself!