Today I am here to share my struggles and to let you know that fighting genes, while one of the hardest things to do, is not impossible.
For the past 2 1/2 years I have been working on becoming healthy in mind, body and spirit. I have trained like a maniac with personal trainers, changed my diet, did some therapy (again) and made some huge strides; until it all fell apart again and I had to start over.
Hence, I stopped writing and got more quiet. I don’t like sharing my sad stories and prefer sharing the victory ones. But this weekend my trainer told me that sometimes the biggest help comes from honestly sharing the ups and downs and letting people know that there is hope and that things do get better, even after we fall off the wagon and have to start over again. And of course, there is a difference between sharing and dumping your baggage on others.
I started training with personal trainers on November 2nd, 2009. Within the next 1 1/2 years I lost over 10% of my body fat, quit smoking and changed my entire diet. I eliminated most sugars, processed foods and carbs and the results started showing. I started to become leaner, healthier, stronger and felt great. I worked out an average of 5 days a week and never felt tired or exhausted. Until June of last year.
Within 2 months I lost a family member to lung cancer, attended a funeral, packed up my house, moved to the West Side, sold my house, quit my job, started a new one and felt completely overwhelmed and exhausted. Hence, I defaulted into my old ways and did what I do when things get too much. I isolated, stopped working out and sought comfort in shitty foods, which resulted in promptly gaining 20 lbs! This made me even more depressed. I was a size 6/8 and now I was back at a 12. I was also diagnosed with fibromyalgia and adrenal fatigue. So on top of feeling fat and depressed, I was now in pain all the time, as well as chronically fatigued and exhausted.
But this is where I decided to get back up again and not give in to my genes. My default wiring really knows how to do unhealthy. I chose to overcome it. So, I enlisted my trainer again and started working out again. It’s hard and pretty much almost back to square one. The pain in my joints makes it even harder to get up the will to do it. Alas, if I don’t work out things will just get worse; and family history is not the most encouraging thing when it comes to being healthy.
My trainer told me about the documentary “Fat, sick and nearly dead.” I can highly recommend it to anyone. He kept telling me I needed to jump start my system again and detox from all the sugars and starches. So, 15 days ago I stared with my fruit and vegetable diet, relying heavily on veggie juices. I bought a juicer and soon found myself making juices with kale, apples, red char, carrots, oranges and red beets. I eliminated all bread, starches, grains and meat and replaced it all with nothing but fresh juices and raw veggies and fruits.
How did that go? The first 3 days were awful. I had horrible headaches, felt sick, nauseous and was highly irritable. After week one I had more energy, less pain and was in a better mood. I have also lost about 8 lbs.
I realize that being healthy does not come natural to me. It will always be a struggle. Just like an addict, I will have to be careful with what I eat and what kind of stuff I put into my system. Working out is still very hard and it’s been about 5 weeks now. I still only manage to work out 3 times a week and haven’t found the energy to up it to the recommended 5 days a week. I take it one day at a time and realize that whining about my crappy genes won’t help. The fact is, when I stop working out and eating “normal,” I gain weight, get sick, fat and feel like shit. It’s as simple as that. It also makes my fibromyalgia symptoms much worse and renders me almost useless. As usual, nothing is ever easy when it comes to my life.
On the bright side, things are looking up. Yes, the road is long and windy, but worth it. I am starting to slowly become my old strong and healthy self again. And I can’t quite help but think that all these positive changes that recently occurred in my life are connected. Because as soon as I changed my diet and started working out again, I felt stronger, more confident and in charge again; and promptly received an offer for a director role. My company literally knocked on my door. Everything I lost when Yahoo laid me off, I gained back; and then some!
I think there is a strong correlation between one’s attitude and outlook on life, and the results we therefore attract. A healthy body helps create a healthy mind. Some of us just have to work on it harder than others. But, such is life! As I move forward in taking full charge of my life and my health again, I realize that it is a life or death situation. And life is too precious and good for me to want to die.