And here’s where I stand today. I’ve now returned to a much healthier weight, feel better than I have in a long time, and truly enjoy my life! Now that the weight is off; however, maintenance will be my next battle. I’ve fallen short here before, but I think I’ve not only built strong tools to help me get there, but I’ve also got a strong support system with my friends and family! Continue reading “How I got here: Part 7”
It was time to take my life back – and – I embraced it head on. In early April, I bought a new pair of running shoes, mapped out an exercise plan that had me doing cardio two days a week and weights three days a week through the ChaLEAN Extreme DVDs. I also stepped on the scale and faced the fact that I’d gained about 20 lb. Not good – but I knew I could could get it off (again). After a few weeks of this new plan, I was already feeling better – and – bringing my hours at work back to the low 60’s helped my stress levels significantly. Continue reading “How I got here: Part 6”
Since I couldn’t exercise, I knew I could and should do something to improve my health. By this time I’d also had two sinus infections on top of my mono and strep, so I was done being sick! Fortunately, some good friends at work (who also recently got engaged and make an adorable couple) who also happened to be my smoking buddies had recently quit smoking. One of them actually smoked a lot more than I ever did, and so I figured if they could do it – I could!
I’d tried quitting with the patch, the gum, and the electronic cigarette a few times before, and I was never successful. But I stuck with my conscience and made a quick, brash decision to try and quit again. I wasn’t sure if this spur of the moment decision would be a good idea, but I figured it was as good a time as any. Following their lead, I bought an inexpensive electronic cigarette as my main crutch – and – I also bought the lowest level of the nicotine patches. Just to be clear, I do not recommend trying this on your own – I probably could have done some serious damage trying both, so you should talk to your doctor first. In addition to the crutches, I also gave myself a clear reward if I met my goal: a dog!
My family always had a dog when I was growing up. But my old roommate was allergic to most pets and didn’t really want a dog, so I went without when I moved to Ohio. Having this clear reward (that wasn’t tied to food, mind you) was a great incentive. Quitting smoking wasn’t an easy task and I’m sure I bit a few people’s heads off at work (although – I also had a warning sign on my cube), but after two weeks I was ready to give up the patch and just use the electronic cigarette. Another two weeks later, I was crutch free! The cravings still came, especially when I got stressed, so I used strong mints like Altoids and simply chewed them (yes – it’s intense) to get through the craving. It was simply amazing that I’d finally given up this habit, so I was absolutely thrilled with myself – but – I was much more excited about the dog.
After searching for a few weeks, I stumbled upon the picture in this post, and I knew he’d be the one for me – at least I hoped so! I went to the shelter that had him and took him for a quick walk and some play time. Yup! He was the one! After the adoption paperwork was completed, the calls to my references made, and the supplies bought – he was mine! He’s simply been one of the best things I’ve given myself – and – he’s kept me accountable for not smoking. I know I can’t afford to smoke and keep the dog, so if I ever start smoking again, I’d have to give up the dog – and that’s not happening anytime soon!
In April, all of my project work was finally over – so I started to process of taking my life back.
To be continued…
We all have had times where we took a few steps forward, just to take a step back (or quite a few). My first round of weight loss was a good example of taking almost as many steps backwards as I did forward, so I was no stranger to this. Continue reading “How I got here: Part 4”
In late 2011, my employer encouraged all employees to go through a free wellness screening in order to get some extra money. So, I figured why the heck not – I may be big, but I should be somewhat healthy, right? I learned that my numbers were nowhere near “healthy.” Here’s some snippets: Continue reading “How I got here: Part 2”
My family is great – they really are. I’ve got a great and supportive bunch of crazy – and not so crazy folks – and I love them all. However, beyond being great, most of us share another common trait: being big. Although this means we get to eat a lot of great tasting food, it also brought a lot of other ailments, such as diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and more. I’ve lost a lot of my family way too early – including my own mother when I was 11 from colon cancer.
Continue reading “How I got here: Part 1”