Updated: Aug 28
Do you know those moments that shatter your idea of what something is?
That day, I was looking cute, having a good hair day, and treating myself to a rare break to join my sister for a scrumptious distraction from a hectic day of office chaos and tight deadlines at one of our favorite lunch spots, known for their artisan bread, ice cream and fried chicken.
Things were busy at work that I got used to squeezing in as much in a day as humanly possible, including a pre-luncheon swing into my annual doctor’s appointment.
I was surprised when the doctor said, “you are overweight, your blood pressure is high, you are borderline diabetic, and your kidney levels are way off.” “Say, what? Heck, I thought I was cute and relatively healthy!” I wasn’t healthy at all—my next question was, “What is my next step?”
Her response was, “Change your lifestyle: exercise, eat healthily and drink plenty of water or take a lot of medicine.” I loathe taking medicine so I knew I had to lose weight and get healthy. I had been no stranger to exercise and eating well in the past, but it had been a tough year. I’d moved to a new city, a demanding job, a long commute, and I was devastated by the death of my cousin/friend.
My sister agreed to help with my weight loss. Day one was funny! Within minutes I was winded. My sister offered to get the car; I declined and pushed on until I was gasping. She asked once more if I was ok. This time I said “get the car and some oxygen” we laughed and realized that I had work to do. Eventually, five minutes became five miles a day, and I was able to safely ditch most of the medicine because my numbers were headed in the right direction. I made a bold move by jumping into a 30-day raw food challenge! No meat, no dairy, no processed sugar, no eggs, no alcohol; basically, I ate fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, sprouts, and smoothies. This sounds drastic, but it worked for me, and my health improved immensely.
The first few days were awful. On day five, I felt sick, had headaches, upset tummy, but I kept going knowing that it was my body detoxing from all the junk food. On the seventh day, I felt better. In 30 days, I went from 225 to 190, dropping about a pound a day. My energy skyrocketed and I got fitter and stronger.
I’m happy to say that I’m now 175 and holding, looking good, feeling good, and most importantly, a lot healthier. I’m mostly a vegetarian, eating fruits and vegetables. I limit my ice cream consumption and fried chicken to “special occasions” and no more than two slices of bread a day. Now my treats are meditative long walks and self-care. Good health is truly a byproduct of self-care.