I have been on this healthier me journey for 3 years but I became serious about it on December 23, 2015. That was the day that I became sick and tired of being sick and tired. I always said by my 40th birthday I wanted to be fit and fabulous, but I procrastinated. By the time I hit 40 I weighed in the 180’s and by 41 I weighed 190 lbs. Getting out of bed in the morning took 20-30 minutes because my knees ached. I had to take a pain reliever to go to bed and rub muscle cream on my joints in the morning to get up. My stomach hurt all the time and I was always tired. Sometimes I would drive with the car windows down just to keep from falling asleep on the way home from work in the afternoons. My other morning chore was getting ready for work. Going up and down the stairs in my home would cause severe shortness of breath. It would take 5 minutes to catch my breath after walking up 10 stairs. Walking down the stairs was hard on my knees. After showering, I would take another 5-10 minute break to catch my breath. I often had chest pains associated with stress and high level activity and my cholesterol levels were through the roof. As you can tell I was far from being fit and I did not feel fabulous. My turning point however was 12-23-2015. My coworker had bought us all calorie counting books for Christmas. I had been going to the gym since April of 2015 and was very faithful about going. I even got a few other coworkers to join the gym as well. But my eating habits were horrible and I was burnt out–spiritually, mentally and physically. I knew how to smile and put on a front like I was ok, but I wasn’t. My coworkers and I were all eager to get started with diets at the beginning of the year and we knew these books would help. I got the smart idea to start using the book right away to count up how many calories I was currently ingesting. Of course I shared the idea with everyone else in the office and we decided to do it together. This book had calories broken down into fats, sugar, sodium and fiber from chain restaurants. At the time my favorite restaurant was Dairy Queen and I went every day. The day before I had a flame thrower 1/2 pound burger, onion rings, large sweet tea and a medium strawberry quake blizzard. All of that came to a whopping 3000 calories. I ate more than anyone else in that office combined! My coworkers laughed at me hysterically and laughed along with them, but inside I was angry. Not at them for laughing but at myself for being so out of control. I made a determination that day my life would change. I began to do the things that I knew were right to do. Instead of going through a drive thru I went to the nearest grocery store and bought a salad and water for lunch. I also bought fruit and unsalted nuts for a snack and I was never going to feel that shame and embarrassment again.
When you are serious about change you start that second. That’s what I did. It took dedication and discipline I didn’t even knew I had to continue my healthy eating habits through the holiday season. I even baked cakes for my family and didn’t touch any of it. I stuck to eating vegetables, fruit and lean meat and increased water intake. I began getting up at 6 am everyday to pray and study scripture. I now get up at 5:15 am and my goal is to wake up at 5 every morning. I found a lady on Facebook by the name of JJ Smith who is the author of the 10 Day Green Smoothie Cleanse. She looked the way I wanted to look and she is a few years older than me so I bought her book. I had already bought smoothies from the Juice Bar and was familiar with making smoothies and juicing, but her book took me to another level. It was hard and it wasn’t always pleasant, but I started to notice a difference in the way I felt by day 6. My energy level improved, my chest pain was gone and my mood elevated. I had started doing a special weak knees exercise my husband sent me and my knee pain was improving. By day 10 I had lost 5 pounds, the most weight I had lost in a long time. I also fluctuated a lot in my weight but I was determined to keep going because I felt so good. By February 2016 I lost another 7 pounds. I kept doing the green smoothie cleanse once a month for 10 days. I struggled with moving the scale during those first six months but I learned to look for other victories to motivate me. I looked thinner and I felt great. Between prayer, renewing my mind, and healthy clean eating with movement, my life became healthier and happier. To date I have lost 40 lbs. and I am in a size 6 dress. I still want to lose another 5-10 lbs and have a completely sugar free diet. Sometimes I mess up and I don’t feel like exercising, but my goal is to get it right more than I get it wrong. Like JJ says it’s not about perfection, but progress!