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Curating a Lifestyle

This photo came up in my memories today on social media. I started on the smoothie train in December of 2017 and CHOO CHOO! Still going. It was part of fundamental changes I began to make for myself back in 2017.

Good nutrition, complete nutrition was a real problem. I wasn't getting enough of what my body needed in general and certainly not enough for my very specific health challenges (like leafy greens).

Another challenge I faced was water. I didn't drink any. Like ANY - any. I didn't like the taste of water and I rarely felt thirsty. (Though I did always feel hungry)

Now almost 2 1/2 years later I'm in a very different place.

In the last year I drank over 200 gallons of water. I would bet I didn't drink 5 gallons total in all of 2017! I have a morning cup of coffee and then all day everyday, all I drink is water.

This is what I needed to do. The change to my way of thinking about this has been dramatic. If you don't know me in real life it might be hard to appreciate what a departure this was from my normal habits. I often joked in my 20's and 30's that they would only get my Pepsi when they pulled it from cold dead hand. Turned out there was more truth in that than I ever realized.

I resisted a clean break because the journey from being very sick, always tired and battling chronic illness to a place of health and feeling well each day seemed too far. Each time I tried to implement a change I soon retreated to the comfort of my old habits. I was certain moderation was key. It wasn't. What I realized was that for me, half measures were always going to lead me to full failures.

That truth was hard to accept.

I set my life up to fail in this area. Which was the bad news and the good news. If I could set up a lifestyle destined to make me unhealthy, I could set up a healthy one too.

I wanted to have different eating habits but I stocked my home with foods that didn't support that life. Sure I added in healthier options but will power only takes you so far and in times of stress or when I was tired I sought out comfort food and drinks. Sometimes without even realizing it. Many habits were unconscious and when I didn't have a death grip on the wheel I would drift right back to old habits. I often used the kids as an excuse, "They shouldn't have to suffer because I am." Do you see that thinking? That paradigm?

My lifestyle changed when I changed my life style.

My lifestyle changed when I changed my thinking and when I began to set myself up for more success. The truth is, I always wanted to be one of those healthy water-drinking girls in cute leggings but I had a soda and sweatpants lifestyle. And y'all it was not serving me well.

I needed to set up my home, my pantry, my day up to support the life I wanted - 100% no half measures.

You know how you break a really bad soda habit? You don't buy soda. Ever. Not here and there, not for company or the kids. Not ever. At least for a good while. Long enough for new habits to truly take root. For me at this point, having soda in the house no longer tempts or bothers me. There is no way I would trade how I feel and this life for the results that came with the old habits. I just can't do it. Snacks, convenience foods, processed foods all of it supported the lifestyle that made me sick. For a time, I couldn't have any of it in the house. I needed a clean break. Now, I can have a few things (still healthier) for the grandkids without issue but it took some time.

Continuing to move toward Essentialism (similar to minimalism) so that my life isn't consumed with cleaning and reorganizing all the time and not filling up my hours with so much busyness provided the window to make the changes. Even with good and useful endeavors, too much is not healthy. Less is more. Less stuff, more time. Less stuff in my home, on my schedule and in my mind = more breathable space.

And lastly continuing to improve and work on my own mental health. Scratching the surfaces of why? Why these choices? How do I manage stress, hormones, moods, difficulties differently? Working hard to question those thought patterns and redirect them was another critical component for me.

I realize now that tending my health is my most important lifelong habit. It isn't just about a number on a scale. It's about my health. My organs, my skin, my digestion, good sleep, mental acuity, and temperament.

It started with this second hand Nutri-Bullet ($25) and these smoothies. No more breakfast carbs. No more microwaved sausage, egg and cheese biscuits. No more cereal. It started with one morning habit I could change.

I began to curate the lifestyle I wanted for myself and there is no going back.

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