This was not something I was really wanting to write about. I don’t think I know that much about being healthy, or getting healthy. I’m no expert, and there is just SO MUCH for me still to learn. In fact I even hesitated sending this out several times because I thought “They are going to look at me and think I still have so far to go.” But one of the blessing about getting older is that you just don’t care as much about what people think. The people that love you are excited about the little victories in your life, and the people that needed the encouragement are the ones that this is all about.
My sweet hubby encouraged me a lot saying,”But what if there is someone who needs to hear this? What if there is ONE person who needs to hear it?” He and I talked for a long time and I said, “Why would anyone even want to read about it? There are lots of people writing about getting healthy. What makes me unique?” His response? “The fact that you don’t give up, the fact that you have had 4 car accidents, and you didn’t give up. The fact that you homeschooled, and didn’t give up. The fact that you had four abdominal surgeries and didn’t give up. The fact that you had two major illnesses and didn’t give up. That’s what’s unique about you.”
So without going into a huge long healthy history, it’s been a rough road……………. a really really rough road.
So over the years, and having my kids, I worked out from time to time. When I couldn’t work out, I plunked whichever baby was the youngest into the stroller and off we would go. I also got a treadmill. For someone who loves to walk, it was a great investment. I have been walking on it for 17 ½ years. I would just turn on some music and walk for about a half hour.
But after a bad cholesterol reading (something I inherited from my family) and a trip to the ER because of my heart, it was time to make a few changes. I certainly wasn’t badly overweight, but I weighed more than I wanted. And to be honest making changes wasn’t really a matter of weight as it was health, and specifically heart health.
I realized something, if you worried about eating for diabetes, blood pressure, or cholesterol, the one thing that covers all of those is a heart healthy diet. If you go heart healthy you are covering all your bases.
But I also don’t believe in diets. The reason for that is simple, in my opinion a diet means “temporary”. So it only works for a time. I do believe that if we are going to make changes they should be lifestyle changes, and that it’s OK to splurge sometimes if it keeps us from eating garbage most of the time. I also don’t believe that God put bacon on the earth to torture us. Sorry, but I think he loves us more than that. I have bacon when I am on vacation with my family, and occasionally in a quiche. I don’t eat tons of bacon through the year, but I get to have it a couple times a year. I’m OK with that. It’s enough for me.
Plus the word “diet” implies restrictions. So what’s the first thing we want to do??? Eat what we shouldn’t.
Now I don’t want anyone blasting me for my thoughts. They are just that, my thoughts. There are people that shouldn’t eat bacon, maybe their blood pressure is at stroke level. I’m talking about your average middle aged person who is pretty healthy and just wants to take it up a notch and think long term. One of my thoughts that keeps me going is I’d love to have energy to play with my grandkids when they come along. I would love to still be able to hike with my sweetie in my 60′s and 70′s, maybe even my 80′s.
OK so back to the bad cholesterol reading, it caught me very much by surprise. We eat pretty healthy about here, and I exercised some, evidently it can be hereditary. I did not know that. I knew I got my big laugh, my foot size, and my smile from my family. Cholesterol???? Yay…..cholesterol (please read that phrase with some sarcasm and a frozen smile pasted on your face). That was a gift I wasn’t excited about at all.
I decided that lots of little changes over time would be easier to do. I also didn’t want to fail. I knew that if I changed everything overnight it would be overwhelming, I would get frustrated, I might even forget some of the things I should do if I put too much on the list of changes.
They say that if you want to change a habit to do it for 30 days. So if I make a change every 30 days, that is 12 changes in a year.
So I’m going to chronicle the changes I made. Include a few tips, some exercise suggestions, and some healthy recipes. I’m also going to talk about some huge challenges that I faced while trying to make these changes, and some inspiration I found to keep going.
I still think I have a long way to go, but considering I have a real life, a hubby and three kids, and have had more than a few setbacks, I’m pleased with what I have accomplished. And with God’s continued help I will go even farther.
If your interested, you can subscribe to my blog so you get these in your email. That way you don’t miss the sequence of steps that I took.
So here’s step #1!! And you don’t even have to do anything! Just view your changes whatever they happen to be as lifestyle changes not a diet. And there is so much more than what we eat……it is exercise, and lowering our stress level, being kind to our bodies.
So lifestyle changes here we come! Step #1 is done! No diets, but changes for life!
FOR LIFE! Two very powerful words.
I choose LIFE!
Heart healthy! Heart happy!