Thursday, February 16, 2012

Where Have I Been Lately?

Have you been worried about me?  I started this blog back in October, quite enthusiastically!  For the last three months, I've been missing in action...

Well, I'm back...and better than ever.  I hope you haven't given up on me, because I'm here to stay!

Back in the Fall, I realized that I wasn't taking care of myself.  It's true that you can't love anyone else if you can't love yourself first.  I was overweight, not eating properly, not exercising, sleeping a lot, and not happy with the relection in the mirror. 

I decided to take some time to take care of me.  I asked myself, "What is important to you?"  The answer was clear!  Living a long, happy, healthy life...surrounded by family, friends and love!  But, where to start?

To begin, begin!

I got a small group of colleagues together at work, who I think may have been feeling the same way I was feeling, and banded together with them to secure a supportive network of sharing.  We began a routine of communion...sharing recipes, positive quotes, wellness articles, weight management strategies, goals, successes and even failures.  There was strength and accountability in numbers!

I wasn't looking to fall into a diet trap.  I love eating and never wanted to go without.  A good friend of mine introduced me to Clean Eating.  This approach fit with what I was looking for...consuming whole foods in the most natural state..."improving my life one meal at a time".  I am still living the Clean Eating lifestyle.  The Clean Eating recipes are delicious!  Flavours burst!!  Some of my favourites are:  Shepherd's Pie with Buttermilk-Chive Mashed Potato Crust; Mac 'n' Cheese; Purple Sweet Potato Latkes; Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chops & Grilled Peaches; Chocolate-Spiked Oatmeal Cookies; Individual Chicken "Pot Pies"; Maple-Glazed Sweet Potatoes.  This was not so bad!  This was GOOD!  My husband, the amazing chef in our home, was supportive.  He was supportive of me making this change, he was excited by the interest I was taking in food, he was enthusiastic about tasting new dishes and he never once complained about me taking over "his" kitchen.  I shared these recipes with my support network, and guess what?  They started sharing back with me.  It was contagious!!

I also set a fitness goal for myself.  Thirty-minutes of exercise a day!  They say you make time for the things you want, so I scheduled fitness into my calendar as a priority.  It worked!  I started jogging, which was easy to do this mild Fall/Winter of 2011/12!  If the weather was bad, I would hit the gym instead.  For variety, my husband and I would go on hikes through the beautiful golf course in our neighbourhood.  It felt peaceful here...communing with nature.  On some of these strolls together, we saw deer, beavers, herons, hawks and even coyotes!  Nature is wonderful indeed!

I also began using My Fitness Pal.  My Fitness Pal is a free online tracker for food, exercise and water.  It allowed me to set goals and track progress.  I have over 20 friends on My Fitness Pal now, and together we face challenges and successes. 

So, now, here we are!  I still have my focus, determination, inspiration and focus.  I choose to live well!  I still have my supportive network at the office, and those I rely on with My Fitness Pal.  I'm eating clean and exercising daily.  I have lost "almost" 20 pounds!  I feel alive, awake and full of energy.  There's a phrase..."a bounce in your step"...I found it!  I look in the mirror and I smile.  My skin appears younger.  I no longer see bags under my eyes.  My body has changed so much.  I have lost 10.5% body weight (24.6% from my highest-highest)!  I feel like a new woman!  On the eve of my birthday, I look forward to a celebration in grand style!  Like I said, I'm back and better than ever!!!

So, what now?  Well, I will definitely strive to maintain this healthy lifestyle forever.  I will encourage and support others, whatever their goals may be.  I make a promise to!  With time, you might not even remember that I was ever missing in the first place!  I now belong to a Social Media Working Group.  In this group I have met wonderful professionals and parents; from them I have lots to learn!  I'm hoping these mentors will guide me along as I work to promote my blog and master the Twitterverse.  I hope you'll come along for the ride, and I will take any help I can get!