Greener on the Other Side

By , SparkPeople Blogger
''Yikes! It is hard to believe, huh?! We lived through it and didn't realize how bad it was until we were on this side of it.''

That is an exact quote from my wife about the pictures you see.

I’m not sure if it’s funny or sad that sometimes we are so busy with life that we fail to pay attention to ourselves. Isn’t that how it works most of the time? I know the women would agree with me, but what about the men out there? How many men out there are so caught up in their career or caught up in other activities that they don’t’ even realize what has happened to their bodies?

Maybe it’s not even our schedules that allow us to let ourselves go. Sometimes it’s nothing more than the fact that we get comfortable with ourselves and don’t even realize what’s happening to our shapes--and, more importantly, what’s happening to our health.

For me, it was really a combination of factors. Before moving to Texas, I was very active due to the fact that I worked with middle school and high school kids a lot.  That alone kept me moving and helped maintained my health and weight. When my wife and I moved to Texas, I changed careers totally, taking more of a desk job.  This is when I became less active and the slow weight gain started. A few years later, the loss of my mother triggered a very dark time of depression and emotional eating. Slowly, my weight climbed, and I was in denial about it all the while. I didn’t go to the doctor for anything other than pain, which ironically was related to my weight. I had problems with my hips being sore and neck problems from the way I was sleeping, all due to my weight.

Sometimes, health declines so slowly that we honestly just don’t notice it or pay attention to it. There is also a misconception among some folks that this is natural as we get older.  I’m here to tell you that this is a lie.  It’s not natural for our bodies to carry an extra 20, 40, 80 pounds around all day.  I know this now that I’m on 'the other side'.

Fortunately, I have lived through it and I can tell you that it really is greener on the other side.  There is a way to lead a busy life in a healthy way. I’m not going to accept excuses anymore. Sure, some days are harder than others; I totally understand that. LIFE, as they say, happens from time to time. I still have days where life takes over and crashes in like a wave, trying to pull me under. I don’t give in though; I don’t let those days beat me down.

I would like to share a few things I’ve learned about this now that I am on the other side, so to speak.

One of the most important things I’ve learned, or that I am continuously learning, is to live with intention.  I’ve learned that everything I do matters; therefore, I must do it with intention. This includes everything I do, whether it involves time with my family, work, meals, or training.
I’ve also learned that in order to keep up with my wife, two daughters and myself, I must have a schedule or a family calendar. This has become the lifeline of the family. Knowing the who, what, where and when of the Merlau Four helps manage the time we have so much more efficiently.

How about that menu plan that I’ve talked about? Do you think this has had a major impact on my new lifestyle?  Yes, it absolutely has!  How can I live by intention if I’m not taking control of what I’m putting in my body?

What about an intentional exercise schedule? Yep, I have that covered too.

You see Spark Friends, it really is greener on this side of the mountain. Greener because I actually have more time since we keep the family calendar current. I have more energy since we now plan a menu for a week at a time. My family knows what we are eating now, we know how it will fuel our bodies, not just fill them. There were numerous years when I was living without a purpose. Now that I live by intention, everything matters. I’m attempting to build a great legacy of health and wellness for my family.

Yes, it really is greener on the other side and I can’t WAIT to hear other stories of how life is greener for you now that you’re making the changes.

What side of the mountain are YOU on– denial, just getting started or the 'greener' side?  What steps will you take today to get to the healthy side?  Share your story; you may change a person’s life today.