In our last post, I shared goals that I had set for myself for 2014. When it came time to review them… well, let’s just say that there is a lot of room for improvement on my part, that’s for sure! Today I’m excited to share with you the second part of this little mini-series that I’ve titled “Taking Back My Health.”
For the past year or so, I have shared here and there about a few health issues that I have experienced. My health started to decline after we moved from south Florida in 2011 (significantly less exposure to the sun for Vitamin D can really do that), but, honestly, I haven’t really taken care of my body since I was in high school, if ever. If you know me, you’re probably wondering how that can be. At 5’9″, 145 lbs (at the start of my health journey), and a thin to medium body frame, it would seem that I should be fairly healthy, right? But I wasn’t. In today’s society, “health” is often defined as how thin a person appears. How naive can we, as a society, be?! So what if I was 145 pounds and thin?! I promise you, there was not an inkling of true health in that body! There are many factors that influence our overall health and every person’s body is created uniquely. This is my journey.
My body was extremely worn down. I spent years neglecting and abusing my body- not giving my body the proper nutrition, not exercising, rarely drinking water, only getting about 4-5 hours of sleep a night, and a host of other harmful behaviors. Years of doing this damage to my body were finally starting to surface as I dealt with side effects such as extreme exhaustion and thyroid issues (I strongly suspect this may have led to a miscarriage I had back in 2012).
“Extreme exhaustion” may not sound like much, but let me describe to you how this type of exhaustion affected me. I had very little sleep (anywhere between 2-5 hours a night). I would wake up in the morning and “need”… wait for it… 2-4 cups of strong coffee (not counting the additional 2 cups of coffee I would have in the afternoon!) to even feel remotely awake and able to function. For the next couple of hours, I would be in a fog. Physically- I was sluggish, mentally- I was incoherent. Within just two hours of being awake, I was already exhausted and had to take a nap. This continued throughout the day and was a daily struggle of mine. I barely had enough strength to lift objects. I had a husband, toddler, dogs and a home to care for. Something was about to give.
I’m sharing all of this with you not to congratulate myself on my efforts to pull myself out of this mess. Nope. Not even close because I’m still in the very beginning of getting out of this pit. That’s right. It’s been a tough and ugly battle to take back my health and I’m still in the beginning of it all. But this is something that I have to do.
MY MINDSET IS: IT’S DO OR DIE.
I’m not trying to be theatrical, but honestly, if my health continued to decline any further, something would suffer, something would die. In my life, it would have been quality time with my husband and son. There was no possible way that I could enjoy every precious moment with my family when I could barely keep my eyes open for two hours. There was no way that I could keep up with my active son when I could barely lift and carry him without getting exhausted.
This is my journey towards health. And not just health. My goal is to be in better shape and healthier than I have ever been. I’ve set some pretty extreme short term and long term goals for myself. Someone recently shared something that’s impacted my way of thinking: WE CAN’T GO BIG IF WE PLAY IT SAFE!
I’m going public with my story and my journey to share with others out there because there is someone who is struggling through something very similar. I’m a solid month into my journey towards better health now. I took the first step– to get up and start my journey. You can, too! Stick with me through the next few posts and I will share with you the very specific goals that I set for myself and also the exercises and specific changes that I made to get started and make sure that my efforts were successful.
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