Here we are in January 2015 and I am down to only two prescription meds and I have lost 100 pounds since my heaviest. 65 of those since moving to Nashville. It’s been a very, very slow, and not always steady, process. For me, the change only came through lifestyle shift. I had some tests at the Mayo Clinic recently and a doctor who hadn’t seen me before came into the exam room. The first thing he said was “I was looking at your chart and it seems you’ve lost a lot of weight, how did you do it?” “Well, I said, I got moving and started eating real food.” He kind of chuckled and said “Huh, imagine that.”
That sounds like over-simplifying. But, it’s not. Simple, however, doesn’t mean easy. Getting healthy isn’t rocket science, but you do have to put in the work, even when it’s hard. And you have to be willing to not only embrace change, but invite it, seek it out.
When I first moved to Nashville I had a friend who tried her hardest to convince me to drink green juice. I refused for well over two years. “I’ll eat green things, I said, but there is no way you are getting me to drink something that is green.” Today I love green juice and green smoothies. When I’m feeling a little sluggish, it’s the first thing I go for.
But it’s not just dietary change you have to accept or physical work you have to put in, you have to be willing to do work on your whole self. I honestly didn’t start really gaining traction in losing weight until I started seeing a counselor to get the emotional heart part of me healthy.
Even today, when I want to think that I can isolate one part of myself and just work on it, life reminds me otherwise. When I get stressed, my body feels it before my mind does. When something is off in my heart, when I’m not being honest with myself, I’m fatigued and my pain is worse. Every single piece of us is so intimately connected.
The other thing this journey has taught me is that any permanent change must begin deep within. I am convinced that had I set out to lose weight or look better, I wouldn’t have stuck with it. But, my motivation to feel better, to hopefully lessen the pain I lived in daily, that keeps you going in a different way.