Why Did You Decide to Become a Healthier Person and Why Do You Keep At it?
Friday, July 20, 2012
I think we all need to be reminded sometimes why we decided to become a healthier person and why do we not want to give that up.
1. I did have a few health reasons, as I had gestational diabetes when I was pregnant and wanted to hold diabetes off as long as I can. I love food and would hate to have to avoid sugar, etc. And I have seen what the complications of diabetes can be in my Great Aunt who was going blind before she died and had issues with her feet and legs. I also have IBS and have a trigger of high fat foods, it seems. Being more cautious about what I eat has greatly reduced the 3 to 4 times a month of painful gas and diarrhea. Also I do have asthma and am somewhat exercise induced and well that sort of annoyed me. Wasn't really my reason for getting healthier, more of an excuse to not exercise in a more strenuous way perhaps. But seeing myself get stronger and be able to bike up a hill without using an inhaler, was nice and encouraging. I think it means I have less odds that I will wind up having a bad asthma attack.
2. I also wanted to do it for me, to help maybe with self esteem and getting outside more and doing something I enjoy, walking. Someone I know had told me that they took up running partly as a self-esteem booster. They believed they could never run a mile, so given time they went and did it. Then two miles, then three miles, etc. In a way, I could always walk and it didn't set off my asthma, and I enjoyed being outside. I got to spend more time outside doing something I enjoyed and call it exercise. In time though, there had to be a challenge on occasion, or I would loose interest. Can I walk further, can I walk faster, etc. And yes, that can be morale boosting. I walked a half marathon, I can walk almost a 13 minute mile. (IE I think my last 10K averaged a 13.2 minute mile.) I think that is pretty darned good. (Do I feel like I have more self-confidence though... uhhh... no, and that is what confuses me. I have heard too many people seem to imply that you do something you didn't think you could do and you will develop self confidence. My hubby is writing a story of someone who is insecure and she develops more confidence by learning to play a music instrument. Don't think learning piano or any athletic/exercise thing I do will ever help with my self confidence. I wonder what will?)
3. I did want to be healthier to be a good role model for my son and my husband and to live a long time to watch my son grow up, to be with my husband as long as I can, but also to do all those things that I want to do someday. I hope to be able to travel someday and be able to walk and get out and do what I want to do. I don't want limitations of asthma or a decrepit body when I get older. We have enough limitations put upon us by our jobs, incomes, the world, that I would like my body to not be a limitation for a long time to come. Out biking the other day I saw a man who bikes with his dog and he has been doing this for a number of years and he has some ungodly number of miles on his bike and he obtained this bike in his 60s. I see bikers who are from Minnesota, or Virginia and they are biking across the state of Wisconsin. (They had to tell me how wonderful a state I live in.)
4. I have also come to realize recently that my biking longer distances is also a way for me to explore areas I have never been and to show some independence from my husband, who does most of the bread winning, makes most of the decisions, etc. I love exploring. I love seeing an area I have never seen before. I am still nervous about it. IE I love the bike trail, as I can go one way and just keep going. But now I have to go over 17 miles out for there to be something new, so I have been going different directions. Biked the New Berlin trail that meets the Oak Leaf trail in West Allis, but haven't done much of the Oak Leaf trail as I want a good map, so I can somewhat know where I am going, as it goes all over Milwaukee, it sounds like. Someday though I want to bike to Madison, stay overnight in a hotel and maybe bike home the next day, or ride home in my family's minivan the next day. IE I want them there too to enjoy the Farmer's Market and State Street.
5. I just have so many things that I want to do before I die, that I want to live a long time to try and do them. I want to do mission trips, even if that is my only form of travel, as my hubby is not much of a traveler. I want to try new foods, yes, I am a bit afraid of that too. I tend not to order new foods in restaurants, because they cost so much, what if I dislike it? But then I also don't try a completely new food at home because again, if I don't like it, I wasted a bunch of food, and what will we eat and well, do I know if I don't like it because I messed up the recipe or because I just don't like it? I want new experiences, in controlled environments. Hence why I want to travel, but not alone overall, I want to travel with my family or with a mission group, or a church group. (Now if I could just feel like a church was my church, I would be making progress on that one. But at this point, I have no church to call my own, no real friends other than my husband, no real ministry. AT my old job, as a church secretary, and trying to support the people of the church, I felt I had a ministry, even if no one else saw that, now I don't have a ministry anymore and don't know what my ministry should be.) And yes, as stated earlier, biking is kind of my way of getting new experiences, new places in somewhat controlled manners. Venturing out beyond what I am used to. So was completing a half marathon. A new experience, that I intend to do again sometime. (Maybe this fall? But haven't found a "race" near here to sign up for yet.)
I have just seen so many people who have so many health problems that I don't want to end up like that. I had gained weight after I got married, after always being a bit heavy, and gained more weight after I was pregnant with my son. I got up to almost 200 pounds and at some point decided I wanted to be healthier. Can't really say completely why, but I decided to do something about it and lost some weight, then kinda went off the calorie counting but kept up a fair amount of exercise, but then started back up again later and took the rest of the weight off, but now exercise is more about the enjoyment and the challenge. (Yes, I must have some challenge with it, but not every day. If I had to challenge myself everyday with exercise, I would give it up. I sometimes get that dreading to exercise feeling and often times it means I need to shake it up again and try something a little different.)
The food part is harder for me, as I love food and today was a meal that often times causes me trouble and yes, I was a little over calorie today. But that happens on occasion. For me getting healthier is more about being healthier than the weight exactly. I am trying not to obsess about the calories, but I tend to obsess a bit. What I am trying to say is that if one wants to get healthier and not track calories, then go for it. Don't kid yourself on portion sizes though, you still have to cut them some. And you have to try and make good choices as often as you can. I like tracking though, because then I can know if I can have that ice cream today, or should I wait until maybe tomorrow. (yes, I set my calories fairly high when loosing and now in maintenance. I decided I would rather loose slowly, so I can eat more calories, as I thought for me, a lover of food, that would be more sustainable. And I do enjoy my exercise most of the time.)
Now if I can just get myself to enjoy strength training, I bet I would be even healthier. (Strength training I find so boring, doing the same thing all the time.)
I think I have jabbered long enough, and maybe this can help someone, or at least share how I am feeling tonight and lately.