Imagine my surprise when I went in for my annual physical and the doc said, “You need to lose about ten pounds.” What???
I admit that even though I had pretty much ignored the scales sitting in my closet, I had definitely noticed that some of my jeans felt a wee bit tighter. Okay. More than a wee bit. When I wore them, I felt as if I was gasping for breath. Not good.
But, I’m exercising almost daily, I thought. In the summer, I ride my bike a lot. I’ve been walking, too, and if we ever get enough snow this winter, I’ll be out doing some cross-country skiing.
You know what she said? It’s your eating. I almost had to laugh because one of the things I started doing after moving to Vermont in June 2014 was to experiment with cooking. And, let me tell you … I have cooked. Everything. Some really healthy stuff and some really decadent stuff. And, I’ve eating it all. I’ve even gone back for seconds.
Maybe it’s because my husband can eat whatever he wants and have dessert every night and not gain an ounce. He works out everyday, too. And even though I’ve been working out, I’ve been gaining weight for both of us. Having the metabolism of a snail hasn’t helped.
Now, if you saw me, chances are you wouldn’t think I was that overweight. In fact you might just pooh pooh me for saying it. But what got my attention – it wasn’t about the excess poundage and how it looked, it’s what it has done to my vitals. My blood pressure which has always been normal and very good is now high. Trust me, it’s not because of stress. My cholesterol has gone up and this has never ever been an issue for me.
So, I’m exercising and getting plenty of sleep. Obviously, the good eating has gotten out of control and I must pay attention now before it’s gets even more out of control.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot since my appointment last week and the one thing I was happy about is that I realized it isn’t about vanity as much as it is wanting to be in good health. I don’t want high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or achy joints. I don’t want to get to the point that I’m not mobile – that I need help getting off the toilet. NO!!!
Growing older gracefully is what I want – no injections, no fillers. Okay – most likely some hair color, but that’s it. The rest will be me taking care of me – plenty of sleep, daily exercise, healthy eating, and being with people I love.
Much of that takes a lot of self-compassion – something that my friend Kat Tansey, founder of Choosing to be Fit: The Art of Taking Small Steps to Transform Your Life and the upcoming Unshakable Self-Compassion online course, has helped me understand. It’s about loving yourself enough so that taking care of you – including doing what you can to live your healthiest life – is at the top of your list.
Recently Kat shared trainer Mike Vacanti’s video with me and it says it all: This is what matters – being on your own from age 77 to 87 instead of living in an assisted living facility OR nursing home because you HAVE to. And, what you do today has the biggest influence over that.
It sure put the icing on the proverbial cake (that I’m not eating) for me. I’ll let you know how the healthy eating plan (no diet!) and even healthier living are working out.
Hope you will join me in loving yourself enough to take care of you.
And, if you want to share, would love to hear about your commitment to yourself. We can support each other – which makes it so much easier.