Sometimes we need a catalyst to make change

It was nearly 5 years after my breast cancer diagnosis that I decided to focus full-time on my health. Trying to get healthy after cancer felt like a full-time job over the past 5 years already so it only made sense at this point to really dive in. When else in my life will I ever be able to focus on my needs in this way? 

Quite honestly, I was the heaviest I’d ever been since I was working long hours from home and much of my life at this point was sedentary. Sure, I’d have weeks at a time where I’d workout at home but all it took was an injury or illness to completely derail me. And while I generally ate healthy foods, I never focused on quantity and definitely grazed more than I should have. It was too easy working at home! The kitchen is.. right.. there! Plus, I’m a sweets fiend and chocolate is my kryptonite. 

A year and a half of that combination added up and it started to really impact me. Because of the sedentary lifestyle and weight gain, I generally felt more fatigue than normal. When I did go do something active, it felt harder than it ever had before. I even had some chest pain and an ER scare when my doctor thought I may have a deep vein thrombosis (blood clot) based on a test result. Luckily, I did not.

Enough was enough though. I felt like garbage physically and it was also impacting my mental health. I was in the middle of my second round of IVF, in June 2021, when I left my Covid-related job to take an extended break. I had Covid-burnout, I gained the Covid 15, and I felt physical, mental and emotional fatigue. My biggest motivator was to be as healthy as I can for IVF and a potential pregnancy, which I certainly was not. IVF and trying to get pregnant was my catalyst for change and it’s a true privilege that I was able to take the time off that I needed.

I started with two commitments to myself: improve my diet and exercise. I hoped to do something every day to improve my health. Now, I wasn’t quite sure how I wanted to do this so I started researching options. I’m vegetarian so I knew that anything I did involving my diet would need to be applicable in that way. I considered a program called Stronger U that my friends recommended but ultimately decided it was too strict and too expensive for what I was ready for. 

I didn’t have any other personal recommendations but I had seen many Noom advertisements in the past so I decided to look into that. Turns out, I really like what they stand for and their approach being both sustainable and psychology-based. There was a free 7-day trial so I gave it a try. I’ll be honest though, I didn’t fully commit to the trial so I decided to cancel before it turned into a subscription. Their marketing and sales strategy is effective though and they offered a significant discount that I felt was the right price for me to commit. Plus, if I started a monthly subscription then I was more likely to really put the effort in.

After signing up for Noom, I decided that I’d come up with an exercise plan utilizing the equipment we have at home. I had no formal training, but I could find ways to be active using our equipment that would surely still benefit me. However, my husband wanted to try personal training and I happened to see a new personal training gym was opening up very close to where we live. I decided to look into it and sure enough, I found myself signing us both up for small group personal training at this new gym. It wasn’t opening until August but the founding member rates sold me. I’m a sucker for a good discount. 

So, I had my game plan. A psychology-based program that would help me change my mindset while also gaining healthier eating habits and a small group personal training gym membership. Now, all I had to do was commit to both while continuing on with IVF and pumping my body full of hormones. I’ve got this!

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