One Person’s Wellness Journey

When did you start your wellness program?

April 2015

Why did you start your wellness program?

For a number of reasons: 1. Myself; 2. My kids; and, 3. Control. 

For me it started with a question my oldest asked for a paper she was doing in school on death and dying, “Are you afraid to die and what do you need to accomplish?” My answer was simple, “No, I am not afraid to die. God willing I want to be around long enough to ensure the three of you kids get through college so I know that I have given you the tools to succeed. Whether you do or not is up to you,  and I want to experience love besides the one I feel for the three of you and my family.” 

No long after this, I experienced a complex migraine. Migraines for me were common occurrences, usually associated with hormones or weather changes. At this point, within the last year, I had started to develop ocular migraines. (Easiest way for me to describe, dark spots in your vision, sometimes causing me to stop what I was doing and have someone come pick me up because I could not see.) Anyway, I was working and all of the sudden I thought I was getting the ocular migraine, but a very bad one because all of my vision was going and then my arm went numb and I was having trouble talking. I thought I was having a stroke. But it went away. My arm still felt off and I felt a little tired. I ended up at the hospital, it was determined that I did not have a stroke but a complex migraine which mirrors a stroke. It was at that point that I realized I had lost control and wasn’t going to live to see my kids through college if I didn’t make some changes.

How did you begin? Did you get help? If so, what kind of help?

After a lot of research and discussion with healthcare professionals, I found a local doctor who listened to me. Not only did she help me with the migraines she talked to me about my weight. I told her of my years of watching what I eat, walking daily, boot camps and that I had recently been working with a personal trainer for over 8 months, all to have absolutely nothing change.

We did a weigh-in and started talking about how I eat, when I eat, how I feel, how I sleep, etc. At this point, we did not focus on exercise.

We went over the concepts of eating breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day. Eating in between. Making sure I get fruits and vegetables in my diet. Cutting back on sugars and carbohydrates. Eating dinner earlier. How to make lunch and snacks for when I am at work.

Did you see results instantly? Was it easy from the beginning?

No! And absolutely not!!!

Did you ever want to give up?

Yes, all of the time. It’s not easy to think ahead for lunch, dinner, snacks. It ends up being about the family, not just about you. 

Did you have any setbacks?

This is a bit of a hard question to answer. For me, this was a whole person change. Not just lose weight. I had to change my attitude too. I had to go from being negative about myself and really, life in general, to being positive about myself and life in general. You cannot try to change yourself, without liking yourself and end up loving yourself and accepting yourself without being positive. So the setbacks weren’t about food. They were about being positive and liking me. They were about remembering why I was doing what I was doing and finding my faith in myself again as well as spiritually. So, yes, some setbacks here.

What was the biggest change you had to make?

I had two huge changes. One, I had to eat. I had to learn to eat breakfast and lunch and dinner and have snacks throughout the day. I thought it was about not eating, but that’s not the case. It’s about eating, eating the right things, eating throughout the day and not eating later in the evening. The other change was, as I said before, being positive about who I am and liking myself no matter what.

Is there anything you had to give up completely?

No. Everything in moderation, even the negativity. 🙂 At first, I did cut out the ice cream and bread. I don’t crave bread like I use to crave it, don’t need it at every dinner at all anymore. But if I want to have ice cream after dinner, I do and if I want a piece of bread with dinner, I have a piece of bread with dinner. 

So, now that you have lost the weight, you don’t have to do anything more, correct?

Not correct, I’ll always be self-correcting. Reminding myself to eat more vegetables and fruits. Reminding myself to eat breakfast and have a snack. Reminding myself to exercise. Reminding myself to be positive. Reminding myself to go to Church and thank God for this life and my kids. It’s a lifestyle change so, it’s forever not a 30-day or 90-day thing.

Finally, you are 2 years into your journey.  I’m sure you saw many changes besides weight loss, however, how much have you lost in 2 years?

82 pounds!!!