Saturday, January 4, 2014

New Year, fresh start! Again. But I really mean it this time!

It's the first week of January, and like millions of others, I have vowed to make changes in 2014. Blah, blah, blah. Whatevs.

I almost hate to put it out here because Lord (and a dozen friends) know I've been vowing the past several years to make changes, and while I've succeeded at a few (I have a fabulous job doing what I really love doing, to name one), the one that keeps eluding me is to eat less and move more. Consistently. You know, like, until I've achieved a healthier weight and better level of fitness.

Each year for the past two years, I've even said to myself, "Oh, but this time, it feels different." Blah, blah, blah. What. Evs.

The only things that feel different right now are the way my clothes fit and the way I feel after climbing the 13 stairs in my two-story house. Neither of which are good!

In mid-2012, I started noticing that while I was exercising, my left arm would ache, my chest would hurt, and my heart would pound. If I slowed down or rested, it went away. I chalked it up to being too heavy and very out of shape. But it persisted.

It's a long story, but ultimately, I saw a wonderful local cardiologist (it takes a special kind of physician to earn that description from me), who diagnosed me with "epithelial dysfunction." I was relieved to know I didn't have any coronary artery blockages, but the coronary spasms I do have landed me on two heart medications.

I'm super-excited that this is a completely reversible condition. I could just wait and see if the medications make it happen within the next six months. Orrrrrrr, I could help things along by improving my nutrition and activity level.

So, while I can't say that my desire or commitment to doing this "feels different" this year, I can say that I have started out this commitment differently in at least five ways:

  1. I watched three documentaries designed to educate me about America's food and pharmacy systems (Food Inc., Forks Over Knives and American Addict). I think it's important to note that I also watched The Conjuring, about a family plagued by a super-demonic spirit, and the food and pharmacy documentaries scared me more than the scary movie!
  2. I joined a gym for the first time in six years.
  3. I've committed to a whole-foods/plant-focused diet. I've also committed to being more particular about where our food comes from -- namely, it must come from within about a 300-mile radius. What meat we do eat must be organic, grass-fed and/or raised and slaughtered in the most humane way possible. (Food Inc. left me horrified by the conditions in which major food distributors raise, kill and process chickens, cows and pigs.) HORR.IFF.IED.
  4. I've actually put my goals, tactics and overall plan on paper! Woohoo!
  5. I'm writing about it. My blog has been mostly idle for a couple of years now. I've decided to use it to chronicle this new journey I'm on. 
So. That's it. I'm really looking forward to seeing ... not what 2014 brings to me, but what I bring to 2014.