I never considered myself to be overweight. Yet, when my daughter got married in 2015, and I saw myself in the wedding photos, I was appalled. Who was this person? How did this happen? I knew the answers even as I was asking the questions. Life happened. I let the day-to-day hustle stand in the way of the one thing that mattered the most, me! You know how it goes. We tend to put everyone and everything in front of our own needs. If we’re lucky, we get a wakeup call in the form of an unflattering photo rather than a full-blown medical emergency.
I did spend years on the usual journey of diet and exercise to lose a couple of pounds and it never worked. I lost the commitment or sabotaged my small successes. In reality, I just didn’t make it a priority, so the end result was no result. As the years went by, and I got older, those pounds became even harder to lose. After my bad photo wake-up call, I decided to do something that would require more than a diet. I underwent bypass surgery. After years of saying, “It’s not for me,” I realized that if this is what it would take to make a life changing commitment, I was ready to go down that path.
The result of my surgery and my newfound commitment to health was a loss of more than 100 pounds. But that’s just the result on the scale. Other returns on my investment run much deeper than the pounds that I lost. Here’s what I learned, and continue to fall back on.
It’s okay to put yourself first. This can be a hard lesson to learn as a daughter, a wife, and a mom. I can come up with a million excuses to overlook myself. At the end of the day, by putting myself first, I’m a better person for those that I love and care about. I started to listen to my body. Do I need more water? Is my blood sugar off? Are my legs telling me to get up and move? I started reading and understanding more about a low glycemic diet, which taught me how to eat healthier. Most importantly, by putting myself first, I began scheduling and making time for myself without feeling like I was being selfish.
Workout with a partner. Being in motion is so important to your overall mental and physical health. For me, I found that it was much easier to keep moving if I had a workout buddy. By teaming up with a co-worker for yoga, a workout, or a walk, it helped me with accountability. We schedule our activities together and help each other stick to it! Plus, it’s much more fun when you can share that time with someone who gets you. It has been challenging during Covid, and we’ve had some setbacks, but that’s okay. We’ll be back at it soon.
Find your voice. Taking control of your health is very empowering. Social gatherings, and even date night can be hard when those around you are enjoying dessert or having another glass of wine. By nature, I’m the type of person that wants to participate. Yet, because of my surgery, I know that it’s important to speak up and use my voice and say “no” to another helping or another round. Finding that voice also means asking for what I need. Usually, I simply need time to go for a walk, but it’s communicating with others that I need the me time.
Life is still happening, and the weight loss struggle is still real. The disruption in my daily routine hasn’t been easy with the pandemic, but sticking to the lessons that I’ve learned over this journey definitely helps!
This month’s Live Well Work Well and Insights provide fitness tips just in time for you to get outdoors and enjoy Spring. I hope you find this information helpful on your wellness journey. Be well, my friends! 😊