In November of 2011, I made a big transition. I left my part time job at our local Symphony to accept a full time job at a regional Health System, working in the marketing department on the digital care team. I went from being ‘fat and happy’ so to speak, working with 5 women my own age who’s idea of a good time was meeting after work over wine and lavosh; to working in a group of 60 people, all younger than me, who’s main concerns in life seem to be working out and staying fit. I knew then that I could either continue my comfortable but unhealthy lifestyle – or get fit and fit in! I also knew I wouldn’t be able to do that on my own. For one, I’m 54 years old, and two, I just don’t have that much discipline. That’s when I saw the article on the employee intranet about a 13-month Healthy Living program.
Originally, it was scheduled to start on January 1st, so I figured that would make a dandy new year’s resolution. I told everyone what I was going to do, and of course, shared my plans here. Heck, I even volunteered to video my progress for the Women’s section of the company website to promote this service! I was motivated, and excited to start! And then I waited. And waited. And waited.
Finally, this week, two things happened. One – I started recovering from the month-long sinus, respiratory, ear infection plague that had been shrouding me. And two, appointments were set for the three initial meetings I’ll have with the Dietician, the Counselor, and the Physician that will direct me through this program. The actual program will start for real, this week This is where the rubber hits the road my friends, As Leonard from the Big Bang Theory says – “here we go.”
What has unintentionally transpired between November of last year and now, is that I’ve basically spent three months cultivating a wicked-good “Before” version of myself. My weight is higher than it has ever been, my BMI is 31.8, my blood pressure and cholesterol numbers are higher than they should be. I get winded climbing stairs, and every night when I come home from work I convince myself that I deserve to veg in front of the computer or TV with wine and whatever I feel like eating. Basically, I’m a mess, and I hope I don’t die before the program starts!
My aim though, is not just to lose weight, but to reinvent myself - body, mind and spirit - over the course of the next 13 months. I want to establish a mindset, like the people I work with, where after a stressful day I look forward to a vigorous workout or a calming yoga session, rather than two or three glasses of wine and non-nutritious noshing. I want to start believing that working out is not the prison sentence it currently looks like. I’m looking forward (at least initially) to putting together a clear concise plan of what to eat, how much, and when.
On this journey toward a healthier lifestyle, I hope to lose at least 50 pounds. It will not be easy. But, if weight loss was easy, obesity wouldn’t be the number one health problem in America. Which is why I want to share my journey, warts and all, here in print, and with occasional short videos. I’m tired of seeing celebrities apparently magically transformed, with the help of lighting, make up artists, and who knows what kind of architecture under their clothes, prance around touting this or that drug, diet or eating system. What about the REAL people? What about people who aren’t 25? What about people who don't have 3 or 4 hours to devote to exercise? Myself, I want to see and follow along with the hard work it takes to get from Before to After. So here’s where I start. This is me at 181 pounds …. Before.
I’m determined and confident that I WILL get to After. But I’m also afraid. Afraid that I’ll fail. Afraid that my After won’t be very dramatic after all. Afraid that there’s nothing entertaining or interesting about weight loss. But I’m also hopeful. Hopeful that I can achieve lasting success if I can take this huge mountain of an undertaking and break it down into several small molehills.
In these posts I’ll share what I learn, as I learn it. I’ll test out recipes and work outs and let you know what I think. I’ll talk about my experience both good and bad, and the experiences of others I encounter on this journey. I’ll share my progress on reprogramming my brain, breaking bad habits and changing my body image. But not just that, I’m hoping to improve peripheral problems like insomnia, anxiety, and joint pain.
Hopefully I will learn some things you might want to adopt for your own effort to achieve a healthier lifestyle. As I share my adventure, sweating like a pig to shed some unhealthy pounds and habits, I hope my posts inspire you to start or continue with your own healthy living journey.
Thanks for stopping by, and please tell your friends. I would love to hear from you about your own tips, insights, and struggles. You can connect with me here by leaving a comment, or on Facebook, or Twitter.
DISCLAIMER FOR READERS OF THIS SITE: The videos I record will be posted on YouTube and on the Sanford Health Women’s website, under the heading of the As Life Happens campaign. I, of course will also post them here on my personal blog. But, due to the nature of the Healthy Lifestyle program, in the video recordings I cannot mention the name of the program, my involvement with it, or credit any of the professionals or participants with what I learn or what I do (with the possible exception of a nameless, faceless personal trainer, and maybe advice from Sanford’s dietary professionals). It will appear in the videos, for all intents and purposes that I have come up with, or found these recipes, workouts and insights all on my own. The truth will have to be our secret my friends.