The weather here in Nashville is as wacky as ever. Last week it was eight degrees, and today it’s 72 and rainy. As a matter of fact, it has rained for several days in a row. I’ll admit, the gloom and rain of January has contributed to part of what has been a challenging week for me physically and emotionally. As always in life, there will be difficult weeks. But this has been a little extra challenging for me.
I started the week strong. For my exercise, I’m using four video sessions per week as part of Matt and Laura’s 30-day fitness challenge. I did the workouts on Monday and Tuesday, and then started into my three 12-hr work days beginning on Wednesday. Exercise is tough on those days. After working with mental health patients all day who are in the emergency psychiatric unit where I work, I myself am emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted by the time I get home. Typically, I will eat a very small meal, talk with Danielle for about an hour, and then fall into bed. Exercise is probably not something that’s going to happen on those days. Plus I totally forgot that I had picked up an extra shift on Sunday. So that put me at work 48 hours in four days. It’s brutal.
I knew my exercise week was doomed.
And then more stress got piled on. My Dad, who lives in North Carolina, had to be rushed to the hospital on Saturday with suspicions of a stroke. Thankfully, as I write this, he is doing much better and will likely be discharged today. Lots of people have been praying, so I’m not surprised about his amazing turnaround.
The point is that life happens not just every week but every day! However, in the middle of a crazy week I knew I couldn’t completely ditch eating more healthily and getting in some exercise just because I was stressed. Did I have at least four bags of chips this week? Yes. Hey – at least they were individual-size! But where I could have just said, “Forget it. I’m stressed. I’m just going to eat what I want,” I didn’t. I stuck with the plan (well, except for the aforementioned chip-feeding frenzy!) and felt better for it.
So, my results for Week 2? I lost 1.6 lbs.! Of all the research I’ve done, weight loss that is sustainable is one to two pounds per week, so I’m right on track. And I’m grateful!
Another thing that has helped me immensely is the support I’ve gotten from friends, family, and readers! You all have helped me so much. And speaking of help, please see the my first guest post below by my friend and co-worker Megan. She’s been a top cheerleader for me, and I for her, as we both continue our journeys to fitness:
“Try something new,” he said…
“It will be fun,” he said…
Fun, no, but definitely rewarding. I am not one to try many new things, especially when it comes to food. I grew up eating a certain way my entire life, so to even think about changing that habit was never a great idea to me.
I have tried “diets and exercise” over the years, but never fully stuck to it. I would continue to go back into my same routine. So what is so different this time? The accountability and knowing that I am doing this to support a friend.
So for this month I decided to go the entire time without meat to show support to my buddy Dennis in his health journey. He makes it look so easy, but he has also done this no-meat thing before. I, on other hand, have not. I have had meat at least once a day since my body allowed me to chew it. So to tell people right now that I have gone 16 days without meat boggles my mind.
If you were to meet my family, you would see that we rely on meat almost like a religion. What is funny is that I have caught myself staring at people eating meat and imagining that it’s me chowing down on some delicious meat. At first people would rub it in my face that they could eat meat and I couldn’t. It made it very hard and frustrating. But as the days went on, they began supporting me. My roommate has also joined me on this no-meat journey for the month (although she did cheat once and had some chicken nuggets).
As far as accountability goes, I made it Facebook public that I was going no-meat for this month. Since I did, that I have really felt like I couldn’t stop until the month was over. The first week was the toughest because I did smoothies for three days all while thinking about meat. Then I also had the awful obligation to start thinking about what I was going to eat this entire month.
Going into week three now, I don’t think about it as much. Yes, it is tough going to a kid’s birthday and all the adults are eating BBQ and chicken wings. Yes, it is hard going out to eat and watching others eat cheeseburgers and steaks. But, all in all, I have been at peace with my decision to do this. I know in the end it will feel nice to follow through with something.
Something like this isn’t for everyone. It definitely takes some will-power, especially to quit something cold turkey (pun intended). If you truly want to start living toward a better, healthier you, then there is no better person to follow and join in on the journey with than Dennis. He will support and encourage you every step of the way. Believe in yourself; push yourself even when it feels hard. You won’t want to give up, because believe me, you will feel amazing when you come out on top!
“Try something new,” he will tell you…at least pretend it is fun!