For me creating and sticking to an exercise regimen is essential. If I stray from my appointed work-out days too many times I find myself looking at weeks or even months without taking the time to exercise. However, life happens. An eight hour at work day suddenly morphs into a 13 hour day. Getting your oil change takes over an hour rather than the 30 minutes promised. And the days I have a late shift followed by an early morning shift exercise at the gym seems impossible. All of these events seem to happen to me far too regularly requiring me to be more creative in how I get my workout in.
When I realize that too many days have gone by without me getting a workout I often resort to exercising in my house. No, this doesn’t mean I pop in a DVD and exercise in the living room like a rational person. I prefer to do my Couch 2 5K workout I normally do on an elliptical in the comfort of my own home
This means someone may see a crazy woman marching or pacing in her living room for no apparent reason. She then takes off at random intervals running from the living room to the kitchen and back for no apparent reason. This burst of activity is then followed by that crazy marching/pacing around the living room. This usually goes on for 30 minutes. And yes, that crazy person is me.
What is more important than confusing my neighbors and having them questioning my sanity is the fact that I keep up my activity level. I can’t keep having false starts with my exercise program-gaining strength and endurance only to lose them and have to start from scratch again. So until life calms down sometimes I’ll be the crazy woman marching in her living room.
Weight loss and lifestyle change can be an explosive issue. All you have to do is tell a group a people your weight loss and diet modification goals and you will see what I mean. It seems that individuals can feel extremely threatened by choices you make about how you want to take care of your body. They will tell you that your goals are driven by vanity. They will remind you that you are not as young as you used to be and that you cannot regain the tight and fit body you had in your teens and twenties. Why would you even consider aiming for a weight and BMI at the lower end of your recommended range? After all, a “woman’s” body has extra weight on it. Being that thin wouldn’t look right. Because filling out a pair of jeans in all the right places should be our number one concern-not that our bodies are being nourished correctly. Some will go so far to tell you that you will be hurting your health-how dare you commit to a plant based diet. Man cannot live without routinely consuming fast food you know.
The idea that a journey to health is much t deeper than its visual outcome is hard for some comprehend. Sure I hope to be on the slim side. My joints can only profit from having less stress on them. Both my rheumatologist and I agree that losing weight would be a drug free step I could take that would help me manage my disease. My diet must have an abundance of fruits and veggies because I poison my body twice a week with a chemotherapy drug. If you are going to inject poison it only stands to reason you should try the best you can to counter that with nutrients that will maximize the body’s ability to function well. And that may mean that french fries become a monthly indulgence rather than weekly-and I’m ok with that.
Sure, I hope to see visual rewards of my journey to health. I expect clearer skin, a smaller waist, and the possibility of fearless jean shopping. But my true goal is health. I want to give my body what it needs to work at its optimum level-whatever it may be. And that is not vanity.
I wish that the power of knowledge also lead to a change of heart and habit. I wish that knowing what I need to do to be healthy was enough to change my unhealthy habits for good and stop me from falling back into old eating habits and coping skills when life gets shaky. I wish that researching and understanding rheumatoid arthritis somehow lessened the pain and discomfort. I wish that knowing how the meds work somehow increased their ability to control the disease and the pain associated with it. I wish that I would remember that low days don’t have to overshadow the good days. I wish that I was stronger than I actually am.
But I know that tomorrow is another day. And I believe that some wishes do come true! This too will pass!
I really missed blogging and reading everyone’s blogs last week. I’m glad to report that the antibiotics did their job and my respiratory infection has finally cleared up. As of today I am back on my journey to health! Being sick really reinforced my commitment to living healthy. When you have a chronic illness any additional health problems can really throw you off your game. I am realizing that prevention of those pesky illnesses will also need to be incorporated into my journey to health. I’ve got some more research to do!