“You’re not leaving here until your blood pressure comes down,” said the nurse practitioner to me at my annual check-up on July 24, 2011.
“I’m sorry…what?” said I. Then, “You have my attention.”
On that day I knew that it was time for me to make some changes. I had a job that I loved, but which was extremely stressful and involved crazy long hours. My idea of exercise was to squat down to get the dip off the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. I rarely ate breakfast, often missed lunch, then ate like someone was going to steal my food at dinner. If it didn’t fall off my lap while I was driving or watching TV, then it was a balanced meal. Family sized bags of chips and pints of Haagen Dazs qualify. Before a hockey game, it was a Wendy’s Baconator, medium fries, diet coke and maybe a small Frosty. Any idea how many calories are in that meal? I certainly didn’t.
I noticed that my Facebook friend Tom was losing weight using the LoseIt! After my check-up, I investigated the food diary app and decided to see if it would help keep me on track. What I learned both astonished and embarrassed me. I started looking up the nutritional value of what I had been eating and was just horrified. My thoughtless food consumption ranged upwards of 3000 calories on a weekend day. That one Wendy’s meal alone totes up a big 1390 calories all by itself. And I’m not even talking about the sodium, trans-fat and cholesterol counts. I knew that I had to make a massive change.
Now, I need to interject something here: I am not a doctor. I am not a dietician. I am not a personal trainer. I am not formally educated in any way in the fields of diet and exercise. Before embarking on any diet or exercise program, you should seek the advice of your doctor. Seriously.
Friends, coworkers, and family have asked me how I did it. This blog is a way for me to share my experiences, my frustrations, my successes and failures with you. It is in no way intended to take the place of professional advice; however, I would love for this to become a community to support healthier choices. Share your own experiences in the comments. Let’s use this as a forum to talk about what works, what doesn’t, how we struggle, how we overcome, how we take our lives back one choice at a time.
This isn’t about losing 10 pounds in a week. It’s about eating a banana rather than a muffin. It’s about eating one cookie rather than ten. Mostly, it’s about forgiving yourself when you slip and making your next choice a better one. July 24th isn’t the birthday I came with; but, it’s the one I’ve chosen. On that day I committed to myself to eat more nutritious foods and to be more active. It’s a commitment I have to consciously make every single day.
Join me. Make the commitment to yourself today. Let’s help each other live healthier lives.