It’s hard to believe a year has passed since I shared my story in One Woman Shares Her Weight Loss Journey. I feel like it’s a blur except that this program has kept me motivated and engaged with the human race. In June of 2020, I decided to take control of my health as I was diagnosed with high cholesterol, pre-diabetes and was severely overweight. For years I neglected my health and at the young age of 61, I made a decision that changed my life forever.
Each week I followed a strategic program designed for my lifestyle which didn’t require any exercise during the weight loss process. I was in awe how great I started to feel and the community of people that supported me along the way.
Weight loss leads to significant health benefits
Fast forward to April 2021, I reached my weight loss goal of 75 pounds gone forever! My doctors were in disbelief how I was able to reverse previous bloodwork results. My A1C was reduced from 6.3 to 5.3 and I no longer needed cholesterol medication. I am amazed how the quality of my life changed in so many aspects. I can climb stairs without being short of breath, able to cross my legs again, bend over to put my socks on and tie my sneakers, incredible energy, renewed self-confidence, improved sleep and so much more.
Shopping is now fun
I remember going shopping for the first time and literally purchasing an entire new spring wardrobe. I shopped in two of my close friend’s boutiques to support small business which were feeling the effects of the global pandemic. What an amazing feeling when everything I tried on looked good on me! What’s so interesting about this is, I never felt comfortable shopping in boutiques because I didn’t want to feel guilty about purchasing more expensive clothing to hide my then unhealthy body. My appearance is so important to me, but I failed to see that it was more than just looking good. It is about how I feel inside every day!
Turing 63 and feeling great
On my next birthday, I will be turning 63 and I have never felt better about myself. My appearance has changed drastically, and I am no longer ashamed of what I look like in pictures. As a matter of fact, I love to be in them instead of always behind the camera or sadly hiding behind someone.
What really is important, is what I learned about myself. By making better choices, I would not let food rule my life. I learned portion control and how to bypass trigger foods. I can literally walk down the chip, ice cream and cookie aisle and nothing miraculously finds its way into my shopping cart. That is a new habit I am so proud of.
Not reverting to bad habits
As a matter of fact, as write this, I recall a very recent occurrence. The Northeast was bracing for a Nor’easter, and like most people our first concern is, do we have enough bread, milk, eggs and snack food in the house. Who knows? We could lose power, or not be able to get to a market in the next day or two. My point is, I am guilty as charged, but to a lesser degree. I went to Trader Joe’s at 8:00 a.m., the day of the predicted storm, to ensure I had enough VEGETABLES as I cook for myself daily due to the pandemic. I resisted the temptation of buying, chips, salsa, ice cream and who knows what else. I remember making a mental note of the HUGE accomplishment, and giving myself a high five, because the old me wouldn’t have been able to do that.
Feeling good about yourself
When I originally joined this lifestyle journey, it was mainly to lose weight and get healthy. I soon found that the side effects far outweigh the number on the scale. I never believed that personal development was part of the program. Even in my sixties, there was still time to become a better ME. I never realized how unhappy I was until I see how happy I am now. The emotional growth happens spontaneously when you begin to love yourself again. It’s far easier to love yourself when you feel great about yourself and your accomplishments.
Approaching year anniversary
So here I am, just 2 months shy of the year anniversary of reaching that unimaginable lofty goal of 75 pounds gone. Has it been an easy ride, HECK NO! What I learned over these last 20 months is, I now have the tools in my toolbox to get back on track when I deviate from my healthy choices. One thing, I am now incorporating to my routine is exercise. I live in New Jersey so walking outdoors is not an option for me during these frigid days, but I am so devoted I am actually walking the hallways. I have a beautiful fitness room where I live. And when Omicron variant subsides, I will be using and abusing the beautiful gym in my building right at my fingertips. For me, it’s a start.
Helping others achieve their weight loss goals
Another gift this lifestyle change awarded me, is paying it forward. Shortly after I began my journey, I was asked if I would be interested to support and help others. Even though I still work full time, I eagerly accepted the challenge. I was so elated with my own progress and results so far, I couldn’t say NO. I believe this is such a gift that someone had selflessly shared with me. I was ready to fill in the white spaces of my days, evenings, and weekends. This was not work, this was meeting new people and guiding them to Optimal Health, One Healthy Habit At A Time!