It’s that time of year when many people start to do a self-evaluation of their current state, how they have progressed and where they want to be. It’s no different for me as I turn 58 years old in a few days. Also around this time of year I usually set up a doctor’s appointment and get a very comprehensive lab workup so that I know how I’m doing from a medical standpoint. I do this because I’ve been diabetic for a long time and have also had problems with cholesterol and other issues related to heart disease so this is a true measurement of how healthy I really am or not. Part of this medical workup of course also consists of my weight and my blood pressure. The weight thing is more psychological than anything else because what really matters is body composition.
I feel so happy with the progress that I have made this year and all the previous years since I started on this fitness journey. But none of those 6 years have been perfect. They have been full of ups and downs continuously. Yes I can definitely say that it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done; both in starting the journey and in trying to stay on the journey. 2016 did not start well; I had gained some of the weight back from a previous loss. My diabetes had gotten somewhat worse from a previous improvement and my bad cholesterol had started to climb up from a previous decrease. I knew why these things had started to happen and I knew that I needed to get myself under control and back on track or it would be a downward spiral. I had gotten a little too lax with my eating; a few too many cheats here and there. I was playing a little too loose with my nutrition for several months leading up to the beginning of 2016.
Here’s the thing, this is normal. This is life. I have never been perfect and I never will be. The only thing I can do is do the best I can. That’s all anybody can do. Throughout the 6 years I’ve done strict Paleo, Whole30, modified paleoish. I’ve attempted the ketogenic diet that my husband has so much success with but I failed miserably at. I’ve tried the If It Fits Your Macros diet that shot my blood sugar sky high so much so that I had to abandon it altogether. Over the years I’ve tweaked and experimented with all of the above. Now this sounds really hard so why would anybody go through all this? Well I’m going through all this and will continue to go through this and more because I’m trying as best I can to pull myself back from the edge of the cliff. When you get into your fifties and sixties you start to notice the people who didn’t make it. It’s usually due to chronic diseases associated with obesity such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and etc. I don’t want to fall off that cliff just yet. So along with fighting the cliff using nutrition as a weapon I also continue to do CrossFit and weight training consistently. But the nutrition has been the foundation. Exercise will never cure bad nutrition.
Although it’s been such a tough road all and all I have made tremendous progress since I began this journey. Even with the ups and downs I lost a total of 45 pounds with 10 in the past year. I have drastically improved my diabetes from being in the danger zone to being in the normal zone with my A1c. My Cholesterol is almost perfect; my resting heart rate is of an athlete and my blood pressure is perfect. One of the best bit of news that my doctor informed me about my lab results was that one of the lipid panel test that indicates risk levels for heart attacks greatly improved. I went from being high risk to very low risk. These are the things that money cannot buy. These are the results that make everything I do and go through absolutely worth it. There are no guarantees in life and we never know what can happen to any of us at any time. But I’ll be damned if I’m going to let the things that I CAN control do me in.
So my plea to anybody who’s reading this, please don’t think you have to be perfect. Please don’t think you don’t have what it takes to change your life because you do. Certainly you will fail and fail again. It doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that you START. Just put one foot in front of the other. Then when you fail put another foot in front of another. It’s a process and a journey without an end. And as you go along stop and enjoy some things once in a while that are not really part of the plan. Have that birthday cake; have that second margarita. Because Life. And then love yourself enough to get back on the road to where you want to go.