My journey to a healthier me

Tales of my life

Realizations …

on February 18, 2012

My mind was wondering a bit last night and I stumbled upon a few realizations. I’ve been on my journey to a healthier me for a couple of years now, since my cancer diagnosis and surgery. In that time, I’ve done things, been able to do things, that I wasn’t able to do before or hadn’t done in a long time. For instance, until recently, I hadn’t been in a gym since the early 90’s. And I’m not sure I could have ever been on a treadmill for an hour! And I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have walked the mile to the gym like I did a little over a week ago. And of course, I’m sure that my adventure in Ottawa yesterday wouldn’t have happened either.

For those of you who don’t know, Dan had a meeting in Ottawa and I went with him. Normally I would hang out with a good friend who lives there, but she was busy this time. So I was on my own. I thought about using the workout room at the hotel but that seemed a little boring. There is a nice mall near the hotel so I decided to walk there, it’s about 4 blocks. The mall has 3 floors — I walked all around the top level and part of the other 2 levels. As I was walking, I saw a bookstore across the street, so I went over there. I walked around the bookstore for about an hour. After I made my purchase, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. I decided to walk back to the hotel and have lunch there. I figured it would much easier for Dan if I met him there after his meeting than for him to try to find parking at/near the mall. So I headed back to the hotel. I decided to take the long way, instead of cutting back through the mall. What I didn’t realize was that going the way I did would require me to walk up 3 steep flights of stairs! In addition to the stairs, I added about another block to the distance I had to walk. But I didn’t and felt pretty good about it too. And like I said before, I’m sure that adventure wouldn’t have happened before I started my journey.

My food choices have definitely changed too. And they keep changing. After my cancer diagnosis, we cut out processed foods almost entirely, I cut back on soda (I’ve since stopped drinking it altogether), I started eating more fruits and veggies, and we cut back on eating out. For those who don’t know, Dan is a vegetarian, but I am not. But I eat mostly vegetarian now. I generally only eat meat or fish when we go out. I don’t cook those things at home. I do keep cans of tuna in the house for added protein, which I sometimes have after I’ve been to the gym. I like to refer to myself as a flexitarian which is someone who eats mostly vegetarian but still occasionally eats meat and fish. I eat things like couscous and quinoa, neither of which I’d even heard of growing up. And tofu has become one of my favourite things to cook. I read labels to make sure the things we buy aren’t loaded with salt and other bad stuff. I’ve learned to make my own salad dressings. All of this (and more) may not seem that big of a deal, but considering I used to eat a lot of fast food and tv dinners and other processed foods, I think it’s a huge deal.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that fast food doesn’t really appeal to me anymore. I watch a fair bit of tv, and of course there are always commercials for fast food. But none of things I see look good to me. While I still occasionally want a cheeseburger, I don’t want one from say McDonald’s or Burger King or places like that. And the thought of some of the stuff offered at those places actually makes my stomach a little queasy. When Dan and I go out, I want good quality food because I look at it as more of treating myself. I’m loving reading cookbooks and searching for new recipes to try. I always loved to cook, but I’m loving it even more now.

A lot of the changes I’ve made, I credit my loving husband with helping me make and keep. Without his love and support, I’m not sure I could have made them or kept with them. I also credit my sister-in-law Trish. She is a fabulous cook. Just about every time we go to their house, she’s made something wonderful. She is always writing new recipes. I’ve even had the privilege of helping her. She’s taught me that good food is easy to make and sometimes it’s worth trying something new or something you previously didn’t like. Thanks to her, asparagus has become my favourite vegetable and I have a new love for peppers (except for green ones … I still hate those LOL). And of course, I have to give credit to my closest friends for supporting me and encouraging me every step of the way. So thank you Jeff, Stacey & Steven, and Sharlene & Paul. You mean a lot to me and your support is priceless. And last but not least, my family. Their love and support is immeasurable.

So my final realization (at least for now) is that it may have taken me quite awhile, but I’m finally on the right path to becoming a healthy person. And I’m looking forward to discovering even more about myself.

(okay I know this posting is rather wordy so thank you for listening to me rattle on and on)

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