By: Katie Austin
Have you ever experienced that one moment that changes everything? I don’t mean in a bad way. It’s that “aha” moment when you suddenly realize something and it sets you in motion, changing your outlook completely?
My “aha” moment happened to me earlier this summer. We were together with family and friends at a local outdoor volleyball tournament. The weather was great, sunny and warm. Laughter was in the air and it was just a great weekend with everyone. No better way to kick off the summer!
On the last day while gathered in a group, one of the topics we talked about was health and fitness. I mentioned that I was going to start a workout routine, eat better and start taking my health seriously. Then it happened. That moment that changes everything! My 19-year old son, Brandon, leaned over to me and said “Momma, I don’t want to hurt your feelings, but you should to talk about what you ARE doing and not what you are going to do. You will feel better about it.”
WOW! What could I say to that? I couldn’t get mad. Well I could, but how do you argue with the truth? He was right! I thought back over the weekend and realized that my first response to a friend that I haven’t seen in years was to immediately made excuses for how I looked rather than enjoying the conversation. What was I thinking? Like they really wanted to hear about why I wasn’t where I wanted to be?
In my latest post, Life After Cancer Treatment, I opened up and shared my feelings/struggles post treatment. In short, I simply jumped headfirst back into the pool of life without thinking about how I was going to swim/stay afloat. Now, after this “aha” moment that I had with my son, I realized that I needed to focus on action and not words. I needed to stop talking about the things I was going to do and act on what it is I wanted out of life. It was time to make today my tomorrow!
So, first step – get back to a healthier version of myself. I didn’t want to do this alone, so I recruited my husband! We sat down that next weekend, decided on what our goals would be and how we could take baby steps to accomplish them.
Here is what we came up with:
- Walk 3 times a week for at least 30 minutes each time. This is a start. If we want to add more when time allows, we can do so. We have to start somewhere and this worked with our schedules.
- Try to lose 1 pound per week. Would I love to lose more? Yes! But I needed to be realistic. If I lose 1 pound per week AND it stays off, then that works just fine. I wanted to send those extra pounds packing for good! 🙂
- Monitor what we eat. There are several free apps that you can download to your phone or use from your computer. We love MyFitnessPal because it has made tracking our eating habits easy. For instance, you can use the barcode to scan in items that you purchase. How cool is that! I would caution you that you may instantly go into shock when you see what you have been actually eating…I did! That in itself can be an “aha” moment, especially when you find out how many calories you consume during a meal eaten at your favorite restaurant!
This has been the BEST decision and we love catching up on things as we walk! Typically, you will find us walking the Lake Murray Dam during the week because we have found that it forces us to start and finish. You can start on the Irmo side, walk to the Lexington side, walk back to the Irmo side, and you have walked approximately 3.6 miles. You can walk less or more, and star or stop where you want to. It is up to you. There are others out there walking so if you are walking alone, throw on your headset and listen to your favorite music. You will be met with smiles and a beautiful view of the lake, so you can’t go wrong 🙂
Ok, you are probably wondering if we are seeing results…. I saved the best for last! ☺ Drum roll please!
We are finishing our 9th week and to date, my husband has lost 25 pounds and I have lost 12.8 pounds! We still have a ways to go, but making small changes over 9 weeks has really helped us to stay committed. We find ourselves motivated, having more energy, and enjoying the outdoors more than ever!
“You don’t have to be great, but you have to start to be great.” – Zig Zagler
Remember to start small, set realistic goals and know that every step you take is moving you closer to where you want to be. It’s not how quick you get there but how much you enjoy the journey!