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I struggle and emerge

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I've made a few significant changes in my life the past several months.

My first change was to quit smoking.
I used to smoke 2.5 packs of cigarettes per day. I tried so many times to quit, over the past 5 years. (Yes, you read that right, 5 YEARS) Probably more times than some people change their underwear! It was quite a struggle, but one I insisted I would eventually accomplish! There were so many times I felt like giving up. So many times I felt I just couldn't accomplish this feat that others had! So many times I felt like there must be something wrong with me. Feeling aggravated, frustrated, depressed and defeated. But something deep inside me must have really wanted this, because despite all those negative feelings, I kept at it until finally I did accomplish it!

My second change was to lose the weight I've gained from accomplishing task #1.
This task, I found, was just as ingrained in my life as the first. I've been a junk food junkie most of my life. Eating whatever I felt like and not suffering the consequences, because of my age, lifestyle and metabolism. Well, funny thing, I'm not as young as I used to be, and I was having real issues losing the weight this time. I started off eating too little, and exercising my B-hind off, and wondering WHY can't I lose the weight??? More frustration, aggravation and depression. I finally decided that if I couldn't lose the weight, at least I could be a healthier overweight person. So instead of focusing on the scales, I decided to focus on healthier eating instead. Now I used to only eat one vegetable per day, and VERY seldom fruit. Potato chips, soda and sweets were my friends. And I NEVER ate breakfast. I decided I need to make changes in baby steps. There was no way I'd be able to change everything at once and keep it going!! So I started taking steps:

1) Start eating breakfast ("UGH! I don't have time for this!" I thought)
2) Stop the soda and start drinking tea instead
3) Stop eating chips and such, and keep a bowl of raw carrots and celery handy
4) Cut down on sugar in tea, coffee and snacks
5) Start tracking nutrients on Spark
6) A biggie was working 5 fruits and vegetables into each day. Took awhile :)

Number 5 was a real eye opener for me. When I started doing that, I was shocked at how low my daily nutrients were. I've been a very poor warden to this body of mine, for many years. While I can't undo the past, I can change now and the future, for the better. It's been a real learning experience (with a lot of google search time), learning what foods have what nutrients in them. And I'm still learning, but I'm getting better and it's getting easier each day. While it went against my grain of thought, that I needed to get MORE calories per day to lose weight, I did have to increase my daily calories to get the numbers on my nutrients up. Guess what. My weight is now down to my goal. :)

All this reminds me of a story I once heard about a butterfly. There was this butterfly struggling to emerge from it's cocoon. A man came along and seeing the struggling butterfly, decided to help it. But when it did emerge, it was weak and didn't last long. You see, it came out before it was ready. The moral of the story is that struggles make us stronger to endure life.

So whether you are struggling with weight loss, or some other issue in your life; remember that while struggles are difficult, they are also necessary. And you'll be a stronger, more knowledgable individual for going through it!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • FT4EVR
    Congrats on quitting smoking! I quit 14 years ago at the age of 41. I understand the journey involved in quitting. It kept me from smoking again because I never want to go through quitting again!
    I also ate just like you did....whenever and whatever. You did GREAT changing your way of eating. It is something I am still dealing with. Your blog is very helpful to me.

    Congrats on your healthy journey! Keep it up!
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2128 days ago
  • no profile photo CD301320
    emoticon emoticon like your motivation! keep going like this and you will accomplish a lot!
    2204 days ago
  • no profile photo CD13590869
    Congrats! Quitting smoking is hard! Great job on quitting and losing the weight!
    2206 days ago
    Great attitude, congrats on your accomplishments.

    2206 days ago
  • no profile photo CD12521021
    Congrats - great job!
    2206 days ago
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