Healthy Lifestyle, Wellness Wedbesday

Wellness Wednesday: A Better Relationship with my Health

For many years my relationship with being healthy has been quite skewed. I understood that I had a bad relationship with it, but it never registered and I punished myself again and again for the behaviors/relationship without understanding that I needed to improve it.

It is not like I have not known what I needed to do to better my health. Most of my adult life I have been a member of a local weight loss support group that met in my church basement. Over the course of the past decade and a half I weighed nearly once every week and over the years had watched the weight increase little by little. It would ebb and flow having its losses and gains but never steadily in a downward direction.

Then three years ago this month came the COVID-19 Pandemic. Meetings were nil as part of an organization directive as much as the world shut down. Being unwell personally and having no activity other than leaving my living environment made tasks like going to the grocery store difficult. I would be in severe pain near the end of the store’s journey. By that fall I would get out and do some walking, and although by fall’s end I would be in my own living situation, I continued to disregard my need to make better choices for me even though I had several resources at my disposal.

This time two years ago, I got back to my weight loss support group and over the course of almost a year I had gained 40 pounds. This brought me to my highest weight since walking through the door there over 15 years prior to nearly 90 pounds. I knew I had to make a change, but continued to have a skewed relationship with my health. I would sometimes do things that were indeed good but correlate them with fueling myself with unhealthy food that only undid the good things that only balanced out what I did .

I did that year complete two 5K races, but barely. I was still having a skewed relationship with all parts of not only my health, but all aspects of my wellness. This had been another issue that had went on until now for four and a half years and never was completely rectified until recently. Sometimes we have to see the hard truth of what we are doing to understand that we need to be serious with what we are doing to ourselves, eventually although I did make more improvements over the past two years, it would be until recently that I understood completely that I had to improve my relationship with my health.

My brain is wired uniquely. I have known what to do for some time now and that hasn’t changed any differently over the years. Sometimes for some people, there are those moments where you finally “get” what you need to understand all along, and this year was one of those times. For one, to connect to other parts of my community from my neighborhood, I passed the gym that I now joined. I had toured it several years ago, but that was during a COVID resurgence and I was reluctant to join until it just sort of clicked. It was kind of ironic because prior to the pandemic, I had joined another gym and as part of my medicaid insurance, money was already coming out of my account every month. I learned that I had literally thrown away $900 over the course of the past three years without doing anything.

When looking online to get the information necessary to see if the plan was accepted, I had to accept that as with everything in the world, the rate would be increased by a few dollars every month. This and the fact that the massive amount of money that was wasted over the past few years was eye opening itself.

So, I did it and eventually I started going to the gym, just doing the treadmill. What helps me in this regard is the fact that it is something that I am doing on my own and while there are times for outdoor exercise, as I started a few weeks ago, this kickstarted my journey to better health. It made me see that I need to be serious with my health once and for all and start to make a move in the right direction. By doing so, I am feeling much better and when I started walking on the rail trail a few years ago, I was able to do so without having to sit down the entire 1.5 miles. The first walk was quite easy and was equivalent to the treadmill that I had been doing for the past week or so prior.

I have also developed a better relationship with food as well. There have been some victories on this side of the wellness spectrum as well. I do not seek food as a comfort level to entertain my boredom or my emotions nearly as much as I did in the past. I can put food away in the kitchen and not think about it until it is time to eat because my brain is being rewired in a sense of understanding of the physical work that I have done over the past few weeks and not wanting to ruin the efforts that I have put forth to work on improving my health and having a better relationship with it.

It takes putting in the hard work that I need to do to make things for me physically AND mentally. There will be moments where we fall back, but we learn from them and make improvements for the better so we do get back to where we once were anywhere in the wellness spectrum. I know that I did not get this way overnight and it will take time to improve myself to the ultimate person that I want to be. I have goals and they are not radical in nature, but they take effort and I have to do the work to get there.

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