Monday, November 07, 2011

Healthy Jaded Week: Preparing Your Mind And Body

This week we're focusing on health and fitness. Why in November? Why not? Everybody likes to wait for the New Year or a Monday or the 1st of the month to finally join a gym or get on some random diet. But will your heart attack wait until New Year's? Will that diabetes hold off until Monday? Is your blood pressure going to chill because it knows on the 1st you're going to start eating low-salt foods? No. Everyday you don't do something about what you put in your mouth (HEAD OUT OF THE GUTTER, BITCHES!) or how often you get up off the couch, you're doing yourself a disservice. I know this because it's what I did for 36 years. Don't be like old me.

It's hard, yes, to go from a life of comfort food and inactivity to getting up early to work out and passing on the fried foods for greens & the like, but it's not impossible. It's all mental.

I bought my first fitness voucher via Groupon in January, but I didn't take the actual class until the end of April. Why? My brain wasn't ready to leave behind my unhealthy life. That way of living served its purpose: the food made me feel better AND kept me too fat to want to be out socializing, hence I wouldn't have to deal with people and rejection. I could just stay home with my jiggly belly watching movies and missing out on everything. That was no kind of life. I had to make a change for my own sanity if not for my physical health.

Besides all that, there were a bunch of strange aches and pains all over my body and the fear that there was irreparable damage in me was the right amount of push I needed to finally get serious. That was my rock bottom- fear of having to take medications for illnesses I'd brought on myself, knowing damn well it's what killed my grandmother.

And while sometimes it's a rock bottom that is needed for most people to make a decision, you don't have to wait for that tear & alcohol soaked day to make changes. Stand in front of a mirror and be honest with yourself. No one needs to know the contents of that conversation; it's just you, in a room, with some truth.

1. Are you really happy this way?
2. What are you willing to do to make positive changes?
3. Do you realize that this needs to be a lifelong commitment and not something you do for a month?
4. Can you accept that your fitness approach must be one that fixes things from the inside out? Mentally and physically?
5. Are you prepared for the "loved ones" who will unintentionally try to derail you?

These are just some questions that should come up in your mirror talk. Personalize it. Realize that this isn't a vanity quest, this is a quality of life project. You want the remaining days of your life to be amazing. You don't anything to hold you back from experiencing whatever comes your way. Being unfit and unhealthy, for me, was a way to avoid the real world and just live in my head. And we all know what a dangerous place that is!

So what are you waiting for? Go have your mirror talk. Go get a physical to make sure all systems are go. Treat yourself to an outdoor solo date and breakup with that person you used to be, the one who can eat an 8-piece bucket of chicken, and some sides, in under an hour. Let them down gently but be clear: the relationship is over. They are a toxic friend and you deserve better. You deserve good health.

*smooches...hoping something hit home for you*
you can do it! take it from your friendly neighborhood recovering couch potato!