Health is Wealth
From the looks of it, I have it all together, I'm centered and focused, my zen zone is at an all time high, my elbows are perfectly even and I have mastered my at home workouts. If you glance over to the right you will see my strategically placed five pound dumbbells with the mood lighting glowing ever so softly in the background. You are probably thinking I am listening to a Mongolian chant while brewing a fresh pot of ginger tea. While some of that is spot on, let's just say my workout music is overflowing with words I cannot say around my mother accompanied by copious levels of bass.
Any workout session worth your time is going to be painful, sweaty, and it will have you running to the mirror to see if you acquired a six-pack after twenty abdominal crunches or taking a picture something like this. Gotta start somewhere so set the timer and post up!
Just like every other aspect of life, my workout history has gone in phases that have proven to be successful at times and if I'm being honest, at times, not so much. Although I have finally come up with what works for me it's also worth noting that there are pros and cons to this grueling, painful, yet rewarding process. I've summed it up to my top three. ⬇️
1. Saving every online workout program I come across
2. Trying the latest diet trends
3. Purchasing the best workout gear
I've never really been up and down with my weight, for the most part I have consistently maintained whatever weight the calorie fairies have decided to bless me with. Of course as I got older things started to fit a little tighter, exercising became much harder and my body didn't react as fast to a HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) workout the way it did when I was in my 20's. Back in the day if I wanted a flat stomach I just needed to eat a salad, drink lots of water and magically there she was. Well, I ate a salad yesterday and I'm still waiting...
Genetics play a huge part in your physical characteristics so you might find that you have to work a little harder for whatever fitness goals you desire to achieve. If it comes to you easily then you my friend have genes made of gold and almost everyone despises you.
Realizing the true meaning and saying behind 'health is wealth' didn't hit me until my doctor told me I was pre-diabetic. I was a bit shocked because while I didn't feel overweight, as I began to review my eating habits and workout regimen I realized for my body type, height and overall physical makeup I weighed entirely too much. To give you an idea, I stand at an astonishing 5'2 with a personality somewhere around 6'5. Prior to my weight loss most would describe me as small. After dropping twenty pounds some would say I was rather skinny. Well damn, where is the happy medium? Luckily for my emotional well-being by this time my mental state was in a permanent phase of 'I couldn't care less what anyone thinks'. Except for my doctor! I had something to prove when I returned for my six month check-up.
In walks my doc, and the look of amazement on her face meant she could tell I had three cookies yesterday or there was a large hairy spider behind me. Either way I'm out and I'll just come back in another six months when your facial expression is back to normal. She was beyond amazed at my progress and said she wished all of her patients would listen the way I did and proceeded to tell me I was her poster-child for taking the advice and doing something with it. Now comes the moment where I find out how much my hard work paid off. A1C test is a blood test for type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes that measures your average blood glucose or blood sugar level for the past three months. I was still pre-diabetic however my numbers dropped five points and I would need to drop four more points to get back to normal. The hard work, the dedication, the grind and the blood, sweat and tears I put into the past few months seemed to be a waste but I truly realized that was the furthest thing from the truth.
I have gone back to what has worked for me with as much commitment as a cat grooming itself after supper. If you have ever seen this then you know those felines go all in and it's going to be a while! The meal prepping, the workouts, the challenges, the weigh-ins and extreme focus. Sounds good right? It is never an easy task but proper planning has proven to yield great performance results. My body is like an ex boyfriend, it remembers everything! The great part about that is my body has gotten used to my new eating and workout habits. I do not have the flattest stomach, the most toned body however I believe in the one day at a time approach and it has served me quite well. I have maintained my twenty pound weight loss however my fitness journey is never-ending. I have come to the conclusion that I must do what is needed for my optimal health. I can't eat everything in sight if I want my doctor to pat me on the back and say job well done. Although great to hear, the important factor which carries the most weight is how I feel.
It's the weekend and I feel amazing! As I am typing this I am thinking of what I will eat today and what I will get involved in that will have some form of physical activity. I haven't come close to figuring that out just yet, however, I have learned to stop overthinking the process, just kinda go with the flow, set realistic goals and get to it.
"It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver." -Mahatma Gandhi
I agree totally about the effect activity has on our personal well being mentally and emotionally. 15 years ago I made a decision that changed the entire course of my life. I lost 70 pounds...then 33% of my body weight. I stopped dealing with stress by binge eating, replacing it with the much healthier alternative of exercising. And, most importantly I decided I was not going to be a person who never reached the person they wanted to be...quite the opposite, actually. I decided to spend my adulthood---as much of it as I could--being exactly who I wanted to be. While I knew this would help my health...and my ability to play the sports I love more capably...and I even suspected girls might find me more appealing---I had not expacted how much of a transformation this would have on how I felt about myself. How confident I would become. How my activity would make me feel limitless. I remember the exact moment I could do my first pull-up. The first moment I could style any outfit I wore and feel like a model. The moment I walked onto the basketball court and drew an immediate double team because the other team was scared of my boundless athleticism and energy. The exact moment I felt like Bond, James Bond or Ethan Hunt and climbed up to the top of my parents' garage by the roof frame to get to a malfunctioning exhaust fan. The exact moment my coworkers and friends started calling me Superman. The exact moment my aunt saw me after my transformation and called her sister and said
Wow, what a testimony! And yes that is exactly true, being happy with you are is the ultimate goal and prize. You can't expect to get to the next phase without truly knowing what it is that drives you in the first place. Thanks so much for sharing your story ☺️
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AJ is a creative writer and storyteller writing from her home in Indiana.
"This is how you do it; you sit down at the keyboard and you put one word after another until it's done. It's that easy, and that hard." -Neil Gaiman