I am sitting here thinking about how fast the first 24 days of 2020 have gone by and the old saying, “The older you get, the faster time flies”, is so very true. Time is a priceless commodity that once it is gone, you will never get it back. I try to make each moment count, living my life in a happy and positive way every day. 2019 was a hard year for not only me but, my entire family. We lost my mother in March, my father developed and infection in his leg, subsequently having it amputated and in December we lost my cousin to a heart attack. Somehow, I also injured my lower back that kept me from going to the gym like I had been, That along, with some poor food choices on my part put back almost 40 lbs of the 60 I had lost in 2018. It is not something I planned, it wasn’t as though I just said, “TO HELL WITH IT” and gave up. It was more of a falling back into old habits, thinking this time, I had it under control and would not let myself go again. Your mind is an incredible tool that you can use to make yourself better or convince yourself that you are, even when you’re not.
I wrote in one of my blogs back in 2018 that you see what you are accustomed to seeing when you look in the mirror. It took my a very long time to see myself for what I had become after I had lost the 60 lbs. I always saw the heavier version of myself until, I didn’t. I think after seeing photograph after photograph, my mind finally saw the healthier me. Remember, your mind is a powerful too so, it can be to your advantage but also detriment if you don’t watch it. After Mom passed in March of last year, I got back in to my routine of going to the gym every morning, 5 days a week about a week later. I wanted to get back to normal as that is what Mom would have wanted. I don’t think my heart was in it but, I pushed thru most days. I still ate the right way for the most part but, snuck in more popcorn at night, few more pieces of cake or scoops of ice cream than before. Hey, I was working out, I could handle the extra calories, right? Towards the end of May, we took a trip out to Texas to visit Anna’s grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins. We flew out on a Sunday and that day was like any other day, in my estimation anyway. Somehow, on the flight between Memphis and Texas, something happened to my back. I have had lower back issues before but, this was different. It went from a dull pain to one that was affecting the way I was walking and the way I had to sit. Thinking it would pass, I loaded up in the rented minivan and off we drove to meet that family. The pain never went away. This was different and was about to make my life change for the worse.
When we returned home, my back was still bothering me but, being the stubborn ass that I am, I was going to loosen it up by going back to the gym. First day back wasn’t bad at all. Little did I know, that would be the last day I would go to the gym in 2019. I tried to get up as normal the next morning but my back was having none of it, Still determined I was going, I attempted to get up again but the back said nope! My wife said, you need to give it a rest, reluctantly, I agreed. My back had become such a bother to me that it made me sit and walk a certain way to manage the pain. Now, back when insurance was affordable and deductibles were reasonable, I would have gone to the doctor and had it looked at. Today however, a $5000 deductible make you reconsider what you think is necessary. I just decided to live with the pain, it had to go away right?
When you stop working out, you have to make a conscious choice to adjust what your calorie intake will be. You are not burning calories like you body is used to so, if you keep eating like you were but, not burning like you were…. you see where this is going. I knew I was not doing right but, my mind still saw the healthy me. Even when I had to go up a few notches on my belt, my mind still saw the healthy me. Noticing my stomach was getting flabby again but hey, mirror says I am still looking good. Slowly but surely, I turned back to my old ways and bad habits. In what seemed like overnight in my my mind but had been happening over several months, the reflection I saw in the mirror was not the healthier me any longer, I was the heavier version I had worked so had to dispose of in 2018. I had no one to blame but myself for this, I made the choice to ignore the signs, knew my mind could play tricks on me but let it happen anyway. The person I see in the mirror now, I am ashamed of. I let all that hard work just go up in a puff of smoke.
So, here we are 2020, starting all over again. The battle will be tough, actually tougher that before, due to my age. The older you get, the harder is is to get off, this I know from 2018. It will be tough, not impossible but, tough. The first step is owning your failure, making the choice to make what is wrong right and fight like hell to get back what is yours. In this case, the fight is for my health. I have started back going to the gym but, the back is still an issue. I can’t do what I once did and I have to be smart enough to stop when my body tells me too. I have to do more cardio and less weights most days. It is just the way it is now. I have gotten rid of the popcorn, the sweets, and ice cream. We are making better choices with our food again. My wife and I are determined to get back to 2018 us, and we will. The weight did not return over night, so it won’t go away overnight either. It will take time and persistence. How you choose to spend your time is what makes the difference. Don’t waste a minute.
The fight continues and it is up to each of us to take on these fights with courage and conviction. Right down your goals and attack them. The past is the past, can’t go forward looking back can you? Whatever it is that you are fighting, believe in yourself, ask for help when needed, pray for God’s guidance and strength to help you along. Remember, your mind in an incredible tool, use it wisely.