“Let the driving force in your life be love.” Dr. Mehmet Oz
Film is a great motivator. There’s nothing quite like seeing yourself in photos (or on television) for you to realize that your appearance does mean something. I don’t mean appearance is more important than inner beauty or that you should cultivate your appearance over your intellect or compassion. Appearance reveals a lot about your health. This past January, I was unhealthy —and not just because I was overweight.
In January, I was the heaviest weight I have ever been in my life (outside of pregnancy), 145 pounds at 4’11”. I was overworked, overwhelmed, and yet unmotivated to change. I had begun the school year at about 137, heavier than my usual 131. On the other hand, I ran two half-marathons which allowed me to justify the heavy weight since I could still manage to complete these physical challenges. My crazy-busy schedule led to a lot of nights eating at places like Applebee’s and Chili’s. The holidays included a lot of indulging and very little exercise. But I also believe what was happening to me mentally, emotionally, and spiritually had a lot to do with the weight gain.
When I don’t read for pleasure, write creatively, and otherwise occupy my mind outside of work, trouble begins. When I engage in unhealthy behavior or spend too much time with negative or depressed people, my own negative behaviors and attitudes resurface. When I don’t take time to pray or foster my spirituality, I am in pain. In January, I was spending too much time on Facebook, focusing too much on my Dance Party socializing (which unfortunately involved drama), and more often than not, stuffing my face with chips while sitting at the computer. But the photos did not lie.
I know who I am and it wasn’t that smiling woman in the pictures. So I decided enough was enough. I began with Dr. Oz’s 48 Hour Weekend cleanse in which I lost a whopping five pounds in two days. I began to cook more healthy meals, reconnecting with two of my passions, cooking and farmer’s markets. I resumed exercising. I began to keep a food diary and limited myself to the suggested daily intake of 1600 calories. I still overindulge at parties but I am conscious of what I eat and how physically active I am daily. I have done the 48 hour Weekend Cleanse two other times and know now it is a great way to bring balance to my body. Rather than spend time online, I now play Sudoku or read a novel when I need down time. While May was another intensely busy month, I managed to stay between 130 and 131. In four months, I lost fourteen pounds.
While film may have motivated me, it was love that drove me to change. My partner was my coach. Though he struggles with his weight, he did the first cleanse with me and he has encouraged me with the changes I’ve made in my physical and social habits. My other cheerleader was my new running partner, my beautiful daughter, who despite being three, completes the mile par course with me. My family’s love makes all the difference. I know I will continue to work towards better health with their support.