In my initial post – “Couch Potato To Spartan Racer” – I talked rather candidly about where I was in my current health journey and my plan to move myself from Coach Potato to Spartan Racer.
Now, I’ll be straight up honest that I’m still not sure if I will make the Spartan Race in August that my brother initially challenged me too. I know how important it is to be adequately prepared for such a race and as much as I would like to be ready, this body is not quite there yet. But if not this one, then I’ll keep working away until I do get there, even if that means next year or the next. Maybe it will be a whole different race. For me it’s not so much about the race, but about the journey on the way there.
As I shared in my initial post, I was a high school athlete. I loved running and being a part of a team. But then high school ended.
Soon came marriage and four children – all incredible blessings in my life. Age started creeping in on me, along with some health struggles and an strong addiction to Mt. Dew.
Why it took me so long to start getting healthy it’s hard to say, but I always had a reason to not get started. I’ve spun all the excuses – Not enough time, not enough resources, it’s raining, it’s too hot, it’s windy, I’m too tired, so-n-so needs me, I can’t, frankly I just don’t want to…..the list can go on for a million miles.
It’s difficult to break the cycle of negative thinking, the tentacles of addiction and the self limiting beliefs. It didn’t matter that I used to be an athlete – those years were long gone and I knew that I would never be able to run that fast again. So I made a choice to stay stuck for years.
Often that’s the case with most people. We can talk to folks all day long about the need for them to be health, to eat right and exercise – but until they make up their own mind and exert their own will power, it can be a struggle to see things change. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t challenge or encourage but ultimately we each have to own our own journeys.
For me, I knew I was going to need people who would encourage me, ask the hard questions and cheer me on through the challenges and victories.
I initially started with getting up each day and walking for 30 minutes. Instead of looking at the whole thing, I focused on each day, asking myself what healthy decision I could make for that day. Often it centered around my food and choices, drinking lots of water and getting to bed at a decent hour.
In late June I embarked on the Advocare 24 Day Challenge. For me I knew it was important to jump start my health and I felt this was the best way to do it. During the challenge I had a coach that helped keep me on track and cheered me on.
Fast forward 24 days….
Yesterday was my last day of the challenge and I couldn’t be more excited. During the 24 days I dropped 8 pounds, lost 7 inches overall, my energy has increased and for the first time in years, I feel great. I also kicked my Mt. Dew habit with the help of SPARK. Now, on this side of the challenge, I have a plan for moving forward and capitalizing on the progress I have made.
Everyday I work to exercise, make good food choices, a time of prayer and devotions to strengthen my faith and spirit, time in relationship with family and friends and a good nights rest. Going forward I also continue to drink lots of water (at least 70 oz a day) and incorporating key supplements into my diet that help with focus, energy and a proper balance of vitamins and minerals.
I would be lying if I said it was easy, because it’s not. It is easier than it was, but some mornings I still have to battle to get out of bed. So many times I think how lovely it would be to sleep in that extra half an hour or skip my morning run. However, I am choosing to make the decision to better my health every day no matter what.
Along the way I’ve had some setbacks. Early on knee problems limited how much I could exercise and I had to remain at the walking stage longer than I hoped.
But I keep pushing forward, because as I do I know that this journey not only impacts my life but the life of my friends, family and the world around me, for the good.
What about you?
Have you been thinking about jump starting your health? What do you think holds you back the most? What is one thing you can do to better your health today?