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Hitting the Wall

Whoaaaaaaa THUMP!!!…

Image of a heart drawn with crayon
February is National Heart Healthy Month

…this is the sound of me falling off the exercise ball and right into the mirrored wall at Gold’s Gym. It happened 2 years ago when in an effort to get in shape, and against my better judgment, I allowed my brother and my best friend to talk me into getting on an exercise ball.

I tried to tell them this was not a good idea. Sure enough, even though I thought I had the hang of it, that’s when I shrieked (rather loudly I might add) and then crashed into the wall with a resounding thud. Ladylike was not a term that could be used to describe the scene that unfolded as my legs went heels overhead and I landed in an undignified heap.

Assorted Fruit
Assorted Fruit

For about 10 seconds there was that awkward silence (crickets maybe??) while my cohorts waited to see if I was okay before letting the laughter let loose. I actually hurt more from laughing than from the fall, that is, once my injured pride was soothed.

Kale Bundle
Kale Bundle

3 in 36.3

This morning I had a splendid treadmill workout. Though I missed my goal by 3 seconds, managing 3 miles in a sliver over 36 minutes is not bad. Considering where I started from in early February I’ve come pretty far.

One little tweak that’s helped tremendously are the fitness gloves that I bought not too long ago. Since I sweat pretty hard while walking a fast pace on an incline I noticed that my grip on the bar would tend to slip and I started getting calluses at the base of my fingers. The padding in these little gloves helps to protect my hands from the calluses and I no longer have issues holding onto the bar.

b-grl Fitness Gloves
Fitness Gloves

Once I reach the comfortable point I move it up a notch. For example, when I started using the treadmill again the highest speed I could comfortably walk was 3.8 mph. Over the past several weeks I gradually increased the speed to 5.0 with 1 minute bursts of jogging at 6.0 mph.

With each increased increment of speed it feels uncomfortable and when my mind wonders “what will it be like at the next increment?” I remind myself to “Persevere Under Significant Hardship” (PUSH) and to focus only on this moment because right now it’s all that matters. The past is but a memory and the future is not within my grasp, I only have this moment.

For you to fully understand just how difficult this new lifestyle is for me, I want to give you a glimpse into my unhealthy habits.

Sugar & Salt

With the exception of people with the most self-restraint, the rest of us struggle with one thing or another. For me it’s a sugar addiction that goes so deep I couldn’t even talk to my doctor about it because I felt ashamed. For over 15 years my four food groups were Jolly Rancher candy, Chewy Lemonheads, Snyder of Berlin Super Thin Pretzels and Microwave Butter Popcorn.

Pretzels, Chewy Lemonheads, Jolly Rancher Hard Candy and Butter Popcorn
4 Food Groups

When I say that this junk food was my four food groups I really mean that I could go literally for days without eating “real” food by substituting it for my favorite candy and salted products. At the height of this ridiculousness I was eating anywhere from 2 to three boxes of Lemonheads a day and I would go to different stores to buy them because I knew what I was doing was not normal.

Minute Rice Instant Whole Grain Brown Rice

Today, I know that I’ve been given many, many chances to get it right and I can say, while it’s not perfect, I’m eating considerably better. I stopped consuming candy and pop cold turkey. I eat no less than 5 servings of fruit a day (oranges, bananas, white or red seedless grapes, etc.) I’m drinking at least three 16 ounces of bottled water and for the first time in ages I’m taking a vitamin (Centrum Silver).

Bonless, Skinless, Baked Chicken Breast
Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breast

The journey to a healthy lifestyle in my mind doesn’t really lead to a given destination because it’s a continual process. Will there be lapses? Based on my history I would say “probably so” but as long as I keep focused on what I want need to achieve it will be okay.

“Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

6 thoughts on “Hitting the Wall

  1. Gosh , glad you are ok. Yes, don’t you love the people that use those exercise balls as chairs! Supposed to be good for your posture, back, stability. But that takes time. Just be careful. Before my disease, I was into all kinds of sports and grew up a tomboy! I think it is a matter of finding what you like that is fun and doing it. I am swimming, but since my muscles get cold it is in a warm water pool with neoprene jacket, looking into a trike, and walking .The food part is tough, I am a cookie girl, but have a good whey protein shake recipie I can give you. Send me an email. You will get there!

    1. Hi Jess, I was always a clutz and never any good at sports except for tennis. My hobbies ‘back in the day’ were geared more to art, reading, singing and bike riding. I’ve heard that the exercise ball is good for posture, etc. and it did help me when I needed it for physical therapy for back issues but I sincerely doubt that I would use it as a regular part of my exercise. I don’t think I have your email address. If you can send me an email at that’d be great!

  2. I have to say your diet wasn’t very healthy. Now that you’re on a roll; you really don’t want to eat those Jolly Ranchers, lemon drops and especially buttered popcorn. Just think of all those calories.

    As for the exercise ball; iI was never on one.So I really don’t know what you went through. I’m just glad you’re ok.

    1. I hear you Sherri. I was aware, and at times thought about the calories, but honestly I really didn’t care because my thought processes were off. It could have partially been due to consuming so much sugar and not enough vitamins. Even when I heard that many doctors are considering sugar poison it was not enough for me to make substantial change. The difference now is that I’m making a concious choice to be healthy.

  3. Good luck on your journey! I too have a sweet tooth and it’s a daily struggle.

    1. Thank you!! Yeah, fruit helps a little but I know if I start up again it won’t be pretty.

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