I am Healthier than I Have Been in Years

By Jason M Carlton

As the My Heart Challenge: Play at Home Edition continues, many of the contestants have shared some of their successes as well as their challenges. Kelly offers a brief glimpse into the challenges she has faced, including the infamous plateau that many people hit at some point... and how she keeps going and stays motivated.

Kelly_I-am-healthier-than-have-been-in-years

She writes,

We all know that exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep will help us on our quest to a better 'you.'  So, why don't we do it?  I have been on this journey for over a year.  I have lost 75 pounds since February 2013.  The problem is that I have hit a huge plateau.  I have been within 5 pounds since about Valentine's Day of this year.  I aim for as close to 10,000 steps a day as I can.  I teach school, so I am on my feet all day.  I go to Zumba or walk the dog in the evenings.  I am careful about my food intake and record it faithfully every single day.  Sleep is the area where I need to improve.  I am hoping that with summer coming, I can focus more on getting to bed at a decent time and recharge my batteries!

As for getting discouraged, there have been days.  It is on those days that I crave pasta or sticky baked goods.  Most days I can resist, but not always.  Yes, I do feel better than I have in several years.  Yes, I LOVE wearing clothes that are a size that I haven't seen for over a decade.  Yes, people still notice that I have lost weight.    However, my goal, which seemed so close a few short months ago, has not come to fruition.  I have given away bags and bags of clothes to charity, so I know I can't give up.  I am NOT buying clothes in those other sizes ever again.

Last Saturday, as I was leaving Zumba class, a classmate came up to me.  She has been gone for 6 months as a snowbird in Arizona.  We have been in class together before, but have never really visited about anything.  She caught me as I was leaving and said, "Excuse me, but your body composition has completely changed!  You must feel terrific."  She didn't say, "You're so skinny," or "You've lost so much weight!"  She simply noticed that I was healthy.  Her words of encouragement were just what I needed to keep me on track for a few more days.

I read an article Woman's Day magazine called 'Walk Your Way Slim' in the June 2014 issue.  One thing that Alison Sweeney states in that article is that she had to change her thinking from, "I wish I were thin," to "I want to be healthy."  She says that once she stopped judging herself against an arbitrary rule about being skinny, she was so much happier.  That statement really hit home to me.  I have been so grateful to feel healthy through this weight loss journey.  I have been fighting other health issues, and know that the weight loss, eating right, and better sleep patterns have made a difference in how the other health issue is affecting my body.

I joined this My Heart Challenge: Play at Home Edition in hopes of jump starting the weight loss again.  I have realized , now in week 7, that I am healthier than I have been in years.  I feel joy at my success and I finally love exercising as part of my day; not as something I do so that I can check it off.  Exercising gives me a time to just focus on me, the music, the quiet as I walk my dog, the counting in exercise class... whatever it is, it helps alleviate the stress I feel at the end of each school day.  I know that this new lifestyle is a change for the better.

Yes, I sincerely hope that I can lose another 30 pounds, but if I don't, I know that I am not that heavy, ill, sedentary woman that I knew a little over a year ago.  I have tried spin classes, started Zumba-love it, hiked near the ocean, sea kayaked, walked all over on my last vacation, and am able to bend over, tie my shoes, and run up and down stairs without being winded.  Life is good!  I have made lasting changes and find joy in every single day.