Getting my Joyful Socks Healthy: 7 Ways I Am Taking Charge Of My Health

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My own struggle with asthma, allergies, depression and weight were born around the same season in my life, the tender age of fifteen.  That means that I have struggled with this issues for a tiny bit over two decades ... Yikes!  Yes, I said decades.

There comes a time for many of us, speaking clearly here as "us" actually being "me", when the struggle for health becomes a more real and a prevalent issue.  I am much like my husband in this arena, I just don't go to the doctor or take health seriously until something literally pops.  The "popping" moment for me came when I realized, yet again, I had allowed my weight to dominate my health and mental well-being enough that my doctor demanded that I go back on blood-pressure medication, and he also made a gentle suggestion for depression medication.

Hello?!?!?  I am only 38 years old here.  My internal monologue began screaming, "Wake up stupid!  He's talking to you!"  

Reality check received.
Now what do I do?

I prayerfully came up with a game-plan of changes to take charge of my own health and wellness.  Changes that would not adversely affect my family, nor our meager budget.  Changes that were realistic and simple to implement, because let's face it folks, if it is not simple (or on a post-it note) it's just not going to get done!

  • Eating "real food" and stopping before I am full.  Not a truly novel idea, I know, but how many of us actually do this daily for our health.  I, for one, have been subject to our society's expectation that we should, at all times, feel full. Wrong!  We should eat to fuel our body, not in order to derive an overwhelming sense of satisfaction from being "full".  That, my friends, is the root of gluttony.  This, is what has been part of my problem in the past.  Food for reward, to relieve stress, or for enjoyment or entertainment.  
  • Change the mindset.  Food is fuel.  I eat to live, I no longer live to eat.  Food can be damaging, but to the opposite, it can also be healing.  Being intentionally healthy about what we eat is a great first step to change our mindset, permanently.  I focus now on incorporating real, whole, non-processed foods.  I eat organic (whenever possible), nutrient-dense foods, grass-fed meats, sugar-free, gluten-free and wheat-free.  I have gleaned research and resources from many places, so I will share a Healthy & Healing Food book-list soon.
  • I'm getting friendly with H2O.  Water is good, your body is made from it, it is for everyone.  Repeat after me, "Water is good".  I have spent the last 4 weeks experimenting with naturally flavoring my own water at home.  I will share those recipes and combinations soon.
  • Redefine how I reward myself.  I have put a halt to rewarding myself with food.  I have also decided that rewards, in general, are not a daily necessity.  Yes, you heard me right!  Our society pleads with us as housewives to reward ourselves . . . you deserve it.  Um, don't even get me started on talking about what I really "deserve"... I am a sinner saved by the grace of Jesus Christ only.  Praise the LORD that I do not get what I deserve.  There is a fine line between overindulgence and good stewardship of yourself.
I read a book.  I rub my feet with essential oils.  I soak my feet in Epsom salt.  I play with my kids.  I work in my organic herb garden.  I take a walk and enjoy nature.  I paint and draw.  I create and write.

  • Accountability, it is not a bad thing.  Find someone who is willing to stand beside you and help you stay focused on your goals.  A mentor.  A friend.  An online friend.  Anyone.  
  • Small changes can equal big results.  I have begun my fitness regiment slowly.  Small steps in this department are better than great changes for me personally.  I just do not understand the enjoyment of a 30 minute lift-weight regiment . . . but I want to.  Since I lack much motivation, then I am making small attainable goals for exercising.  I began with walking a mile a day.  Then I bumped to two miles.  Then an extra mile in the evening.  Next, I plan on adding some small weights and perhaps some cross-fit.  All starting small & building as I go.
  • All good things come to those who weight wait!  Eating for health and healing, and choosing intentionally NOT to eat for weight-loss has helped me to stay the course.  When health, NOT weight-loss, is the goal, then our mindset changes from the "diet" mentality to the lifestyle mentality.  A lifestyle is one to be maintained, daily, without excuses.  Yes please, no more excuses here.
One simple way to avoid to temptation is to be prepared with lunches ready made.

Now I am on my fifth solid week of healthy lifestyle living.  I feel great, not full, but healthy. Even better than that I think I am more pleasant.  I feel more optimistic.  More in-tune with God, my husband and children.  I feel like a better person.  

Truthfully, the first 3 weeks were difficult.  I was tired. I was a bit moody.  I felt like a nap everyday.  It was simple to make some changes, it just wasn't easy to stick with them.  Simple does not equate to easy.  Slow and steady, as usual, does typically win the race.  Praying for endurance and help from above, each day became less of a struggle.

I no longer crave sugar or crazy salty foods that I cannot have.  I have NOT lost a lot of weight and I am okay with that.  My blood-pressure is creeping down, and I have little to no depression to conquer.  The results speak for themselves, and the longer I go in this mindset and health pattern, the greater the outcome.

Listen.  If I have come this far, anyone can.  My personal will power is zero.  You know, nada!  I hope you will be encouraged that if old Joyful Socks, the silliest woman on the planet, can get straight-up seriously healthy, then you know you can too.

What is your greatest obstacle to overcome in taking charge of your health?

Joyfully Learning with You,

The Joyful Socks Mom 

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