The Health Responsibility Jar – UPDATE!

As promised, I am here to blog an update to an article under my “Health & Wellness” category. I am SO excited and thrilled that the Health Accountability Jar I created a month ago remains EMPTY. Yes, dear readers, it is EMPTY! No money has accumulated in there from Day 1. I have been reaching my 10,000 steps or more daily and it has been a blast feeling better, being more active, more mobile and feeling younger than my soon-to-be 52 years on this planet.

Now, can I jump as high as this young lady in the picture? Well, if I were built like a gymnast, perhaps. But I’m built more like a “healthier” version of a hobbit at 5’2″ – and I’m proud of my body image regardless! I still am making decisions each day to be accountable to my health because I am still hitting my daily goal of 10,000 steps daily or more and it’s a big deal to me because I wasn’t always making healthy decisions. This resulted in lack of stamina, being stressed out, acquiring high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, muscle aches and becoming an emotional eater throughout the years.

Now this did not happen overnight. It took YEARS. As I have gotten older, I decided to make changes to my health and read books, watched experts on TV shows, talked to my doctors, got advice from those who improved their lives who lost weight whether it was through bariatric surgery or thru a special diet regimen. There are so many solutions and I have tried many weight-loss plans, tried switching up my menu planning. I tried keto, vegan, vegetarian, combination, no-carb, low-carb, low-fat and even all dairy.  Temporary results with no lasting effects.

So I had to go further than just the surface. I knew I had a problem but understanding why I stuffed my face was more than because I loved food too much. I still love food, but I didn’t respect it enough to realize it is simply fuel for my body.  I alsowas not good at sharing my feelings because I internalized my emotions alot – especially anger, frustration, boredom and loneliness.

It wasn’t enough to acknowledge those emotions. I had to figure out the WHY and then follow through on the HOW to resolve this unhealthy pattern in my lifestyle.  Reading books by Tony Robbins and watching YT videos by Lisa Robbins and Dan Lok taught me a lot about my inner self, uncovering ugly truths about myself that I tried to deny through poor eating habits and inept nutrition.  Even living a sedentary lifestyle with very little activity expect pressing the remote button was not going to resolve my love-hate relationship with food and myself.

If some of you have read my previous articles here, you may have read about subjects I wrote regarding removing tolerations, what titles describe you (or what is your identity), and also about having a vision for your life. All of these topics have come my way closer and more frequently the older I got. When I turned 50 a couple years ago, it dawned on me that I slowed down rather then accelerated. Comfort was more a priority and many times, complacency became my BFF.  The spark or passion that ignited my dreams of becoming a best-selling writer decades ago had been stifled for years under piles of unfinished short stories, rejection letters I never tossed out and rewrites of outdated fictional drafts. My decision to pursue that passion was replaced with focusing on just surviving, making a living, paying the bills, trying to keep romance alive in an affectionate but lukewarm relationship and just merely existing was how I was beginning to feel at 50.

It also dawned on me that this was supposed to be the best time of my life – 50 was supposed to be fab, fearless, fruitful (not necessarily child-bearing) and fantastic.  I was past worrying about the kind of job I’d get, past the anxiety whether people liked me or not.  I was beyond dealing with silly office dramas and if I liked being alone at lunch, I was ok with that because I always had my bestie foods with me.  When I began to question what the hell was wrong with me, I figured out it was because I forgot how to seek fulfillment.  I just kept using the excuse, “Oh, just go with the flow. No need to work hard. No need to make the effort. You deserve to go easy now. You’re 50.”

Part of my nature though, is that I get bored easily. While I may enjoy the ease and comfort of relaxation, there was still a tendency for me to pay attention if something was interesting on TV or through a conversation or even on YouTube. My boredom never lasted because I hate it when my mind is merely surfing with random thoughts and going in no direction. It became very apparent during my 2-month medical leave while my rotator cuff needed healing by keeping the shoulder immobile in a sling.

Little did I know that in the area where my orthopedic surgeon worked, tissue, cellular growth, muscle and bone needed to re-connect thru sutures and tiny little screws. It needed healing because eventually it would face its worst nightmare: physical therapy. Of course, after going thru the pain and challenges of all those exercises, at six months post-op, I am thrilled that my shoulder is way better than where it was back in November.  I even attribute physical therapy to success: it takes time. Any goal worthwhile takes time. Be it strengthening and flexing the shoulder again or losing weight or paying off debt.  Any goal worthwhile takes time and walking 10,000 steps a day is achievable but takes time.

It takes little steps each day to reach a goal. It was the same way with my health accountability jar. Walking was something I enjoyed but I wasn’t sure if I could achieve 10,000 steps daily. I could do it maybe 2-3x/week…but DAILY? However, I held myself accountable by telling others when I blogged about it last month here at my website. I also sent pics of my pedometer steps at the end of each day to my Instagram account so my friends could see that I needed their help to hold me accountable. One night I was so tired, I didn’t post my steps until the next day and my co-worker asked me about it. She said she was used to seeing my Instagram post and when she didn’t see it, wondered what happened.  I immediately went to posting it.

It is kind of scary to be held accountable, but it also made me feel good that I could accomplish something like that and STILL continue to do those same steps day in and day out. Another big supporter was my husband. He wasn’t one to nag or preach to me about my health but he has always been concerned and was happy to see that I was taking actions to get active again and start making better decisions towards my health.

Learning about this tool in the 28 Days to Results program by motivational speaker & best-selling author, Lisa Nichols, was a huge contributor to my taking action. The program helped me break goals down in areas which I could take ONE action step towards it. Goals are achievable if they are realistic, doable and small enough you can take action consistently.

Walking 10,000 steps daily was achieved because my full-time job required me to move and walk to take care of tasks. My daily steps were achieved because I chose to park farther away from my office so I could walk to and from the location daily. My daily steps were achieved because I have a supporting co-worker who walks with me on our 15-minute breaks and it helps her feel better as well. My daily steps were achieved because I have a loving husband who cares about me and walks with me in the evenings in and around our neighborhood.

I made a decision to be accountable to my health. My goal to that accountability was to walk 10,000 steps every day. I still walk those steps plus more each day. My health accountability jar remains empty, but my heart is full with gratitude. I have learned over this last month that true wealth is better health and it is so true the older I get!

 

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