Lifestyle Changes

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Before I went to my high school reunion, I made a decision not to try and shed a bunch of weight or drastically change myself in the short amount of time between registering and going to the reunion. I read on some wedding articles and blogs once that you shouldn’t make drastic changes too close to your wedding day, like chopping your hair off or getting a chemical peel or facial for the first time, because something could go wrong. At certain times, it’s just better to stick with a routine. I felt like going to my reunion, I wanted to go as I was: I didn’t want to pretend that my job was more exciting than it was or that I looked better than I did; I wanted to be my normal, bubbly self.

But I haven’t been satisfied with some things in my life and I wanted to change them. I waited until after the reunion to begin to look into making some of these changes, but some seeds were sown at the reunion. One in particular was from a conversation with my friend John.

John and I at the reunion
John and I at the reunion

I hadn’t seen John since graduation, but I knew what he’d been doing from Facebook. I knew he had just completed the Insanity workout program. When we saw each other and hugged it out, I had to take a step back to take in how much fitter and happy he looked. This wasn’t the John from high school! Even as I felt my best looking days might be behind me, his were right now. I had to ask him about doing Insanity and recent lifestyle changes. “Starting out, I thought I was going to throw up and I did horribly,” he told me, rolling his eyes. “But you just have to keep doing it. It gets better; you just have to stick with it.”

I haven’t stuck with much of anything for long enough to see results, health-wise. As I’ve read over entries in the making of this site and for other projects, I have noticed how often I’ve started going to the gym only to fall off. I see where I picked up running a few times and fell off. Registering for a 5K didn’t keep me from falling out of the habit of going running. I remember seeing my co-workers face as she completed the 10K less than ten minutes after I completed the 5K, and seeing how proud she was of her accomplishment. I tried to remember the last time I felt that in regards to my life, especially in the area of heath/beauty/fitness, and I couldn’t come up with anything, not one thing that I’d finished and basked in the results.

Leaving the finish line in my dust
Leaving the finish line in my dust

Throughout the beginning of this year, I focused on going after a few dreams I’ve had for years. One of those dreams was to have a self-hosted site where I could place most, if not all, of my blogs. I buckled down on getting this accomplished. I put a lot more effort into finishing my book, focusing on just one project. I accepted a speaking engagement to promote the site.  I started to feel a bit accomplished, even though I wasn’t posting as regularly as I would like. But I knew the rest of my life wasn’t going as well. I needed to bring a bit of balance to my life.

Mr. Perfect (aka MensHealth aka Tech Support) has been trying to get me to take my health and fitness more seriously for years, but I couldn’t do it for him. Honestly, ever since college, I couldn’t do it for God, either. In college, I would tell myself my body was a temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell in, and I needed to make sure it was a fit temple. Somewhere along the way, “my body is a temple” began to mean that I wasn’t to have sex before marriage or drink or smoke, but eating poorly and not exercising were perfectly fine, as well as not doing my hair or keeping my skin looking nice. I didn’t have any accountability in this area at all. I would get offended when people would tell me I had put on so much weight or ask me if I was pregnant. I wasn’t happy with how I looked, but I wasn’t ready to address it.

Then the mild health issues came up. I started to have a need for tums. I had such heartburn and gas in my stomach. My stomach was irritable. I was feeling so tired all the time, but not able to sleep well. My ankle, IT band, and hip hurt frequently. My apartment started to get messier and messier. I was just trying to get through the day. I am way too young for these types of aches and pains and health problems. So I began to get back into the Word and read blogs and books where people address appearance in a godly way.

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David, Steve, and I at the reunion.

I am slowly making changes, using the philosophy of just one thing at a time. It’s like juggling; you start out with a few, then add a ball. Then you get into a rhythm and make sure you can keep things going before you add another. I have started out with a couple of balls: drink more water, cook more at home, and do something physical every day. I order some vitamins off of Amazon after a little investigating that I hope will provide me with some nutrients that I don’t get enough of in my diet. I’m still researching different things I may want to incorporate, but this is a good start. As far as beauty is concerned, I am writing down a schedule for doing my hair and I hope to stick to it. Since I do it myself at present, including protein treatments and deep conditioning, I need to know when I did what so I don’t end up damaging it. I have a lot of hair and it gets overwhelming to keep it done, but I just have to get used to it. I bought some Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV), which has a million uses, and plan to experiment with it in a few different areas.

I’m slowly starting to realize that my health and fitness is just as important in my walk with God as my willingness to serve. I can’t serve if my body isn’t working properly. I will make an effort to update on these goals often for accountability. I am still looking for an accountability partner in this area of my life, and let’s hope I find one quickly.

Just one thing at a time,

Erica

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