Finding Your Path to Good Health
Sometimes you find your own path to good health by following someone else’s example. In this case, following the inspiring example below might be just such an example. This was recently posted on the HMR Diet website:
During college, I wasn’t healthy. My eating habits were deplorable, I didn’t exercise, and drinking water was foreign to me. I actually thought people just drank water to be trendy. I would routinely stay up late studying and it wouldn’t be uncommon to eat an entire bag of Twix® mini candy bar s to keep me going. (I’ve always had a terrible sweet tooth, and still do!)
I gained the “Freshman 15” (plus 10), and really didn’t feel great about myself. The problem was that I had no idea how to lose weight. One day at the dining hall, my neighbor Kyle said, “I can tell when people are going to be overweight as adults.” My roommate Michelle (who was fit) looked at him (over her salad) and said, “Do you think I’ll be heavy?” Kyle responded, “No.” Because I already knew I was heavy, I looked down into my bowl of cold sugar-laden cereal and said, “I’ll probably be heavy.” Kyle was silent.
I wish I could say that Kyle’s silence and the way it made me feel was enough to get me to change, but it wasn’t. I continued to struggle with my weight on and off. I would try crazy diets, I would do double sessions at the gym, I would skip the gym, I would lose, I would regain. I ate whatever I wanted because I was always delaying the start of my diet. “Monday is the best day to start.” “After the holiday is the best time to start.” “The first day of the month is the ideal day to start.” It was a never-ending cycle.
I always thought I would eventually get a handle on it, but I had no sustainable plan, until I started working at HMR. I started the Healthy Solutions® Diet, learning about different fruits and vegetables along the way. I eventually went on to Phase 2 (maintenance). I have continued to cycle in and out of the structured Phase 2/maintenance classes over the past 9 years.
I am a different person today than I was 10 years ago – I am healthy. I am an exerciser, I eat large amounts of fruits and vegetables, and I’m not afraid to take new classes at the gym or run outside. I may gain some weight, but I now know how to lose that weight. And it’s not the drastic swings and the deprivation/overeat cycle that it used to be. This wasn’t an overnight change for me, but had I not discovered a solution that was sustainable and adaptable for me, I would still be struggling with my weight today.
Since losing weight I’ve become a triathlon and road race competitor, a vegetable eater, and a person who is proud of who she is today. I still have days when I eat too much. I know that I’m still the person who will eat a box of cookies if I buy a box of cookies. But I’ve learned about balancing calories and the importance of regular physical activity to stay healthy and manage my weight.
Lifestyle change might take time and feel daunting, but as I learned, we all have the power to make it happen.
Several things grabbed me from reading her post. First of all, she always found a reason (excuse) not to start her ‘diet’; she now realizes the self-defeating mindset that created. Second of all, though she now considers herself a healthy individual by virtue of regular physical activity and consistently balancing calories, the fact remains that additional accountability and support is still helpful to her after nine years. What a humble testimony to the reality that there is no finish line, you never reach the end. In the midst of a food culture which is essentially toxic, you can’t let your guard down. Though there is no finish line to cross, the need to just keep going and put one healthy foot in front of the other each and every day has never been greater. And, as the above blogger reminds us, anyone can make this happen!
These blogs were written by the CHI Health Weight Management Team.