Thursday, April 16, 2009

Healthy Progress

For several weeks I have been thinking about giving an update on my health management program that I started back in December with my husband. I wrote about it in early January in Revisiting Resolutions. Since then, I have decided to call it a health management program for a good reason. Regardless of why I started this new program (to lose weight), there are some people who would only measure my progress only by the pounds I have lost. On the contrary, I know I have made some incredible progress over the past few months in terms of my health and my attitude towards my body.

My health management program involves a new lifestyle of working out at least three times a week – one hour each time, two of them with a personal trainer who challenges and motivates me to do a varied routine of weight lifting and exercise that has changed the way my body moves and looks. In terms of weight, I have only lost 15 pounds, but, I can tell I have lost inches from each part of my body- the most noticeable being my face, my waistline, my back and my legs. I have also gained muscle while pushing myself to do different things with my body that I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise.

In terms of my diet, I am eating less processed foods, more protein, fruits , and vegetables I have in the past. My lunch bag for work is generally filled to the brim each day with fruits, yogurt, nuts, and vegetables, so if I get the urge to eat at my rather sedentary job I will grab something healthy , rather than walking around the corner to the cubicle with a bowl full of chocolates. I still splurge on at least one day a week on my favorites (according to plan) and occasionally, give in to moments of weakness, but, they are more calculated than before. I must admit, at this point, my diet depends on routine. Like most people, my challenge is making it through the weekend when I do not eat as regularly or as healthy as I do during the rest of the week.

In spite of the slow progress, I am encouraged by other changes including my relationship with my husband as we both continue to work on our goals. Ben has lost more weight of course, but, I know my challenges are different and it’s not simply because I am a woman. He continues to encourage me telling me how much better I look and how proud he is of my efforts. I am also encouraged by my coworkers who assure me that I do look better as well. I can tell that a number of the changes I have made are going to stick and I am determined to keep at it, because I know it has been good for me.

Lately, I have been putting off an important phone call to my doctor though. Both my trainer and I are surprised not to see more pounds coming off. Part of me wonders if there is something wrong, such as my blood sugar levels which I have never had tested. Another part of me doesn’t want to call because I know there is a chance nothing wrong is wrong with my ability to lose weight at all. And that would mean that I am going to have to work even harder to lose the thirty + pounds that I yet to lose.

I also have other motivation. My family- each person in my immediate family is obese. My mom has had two bypass surgeries and today is the thinnest in my family. I am very proud of her, but, I am discouraged that some of her attitudes towards food haven’t changed. I am very proud of her, but, continue to be concerned about her health. My sister is seriously considering bypass as well. I am afraid for her as well. Some days, one of the thoughts that keeps me going is acknowledging that this could easily be me if I don’t continue to move forward. I don’t want to find myself someday feeling so overwhelmed that I feel bypass surgery is my only solution. I know I need to make these changes now, while it is still manageable and achievable.

I don’t have a more recent picture to share, but, promise I will do another comparison photo soon. In the mean time, I will keep you posted on my progress towards better health. Feel free to share whatever you have learned.

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