Thursday, July 7, 2011

First Post on the New Blog

I like to write. Keep that in mind as my posts might be long. Hopefully you don't mind.

How did I get here?
That is a great question. I have never been overweight, never had any major health issues so how did I come to be interested in health?

At some point in my life, maybe high school, maybe during undergrad, I decided that I wanted to live to be 100. I thought, and still do, that seeing the changes in the world over the course of 100 yrs would be fascinating and it was something I wanted to do. I guess at the time my thought was that I'd make it to 100 on sheer will power. Now that I'm a bit older I know that is unrealistic, and further I have upgraded my goal from living to be 100, to living to be a good 100.

Partially I'm interested in health to help me reach that goal. But there were two other events that drew me in.

Life Changers
The first kick was that I had gained some weight since high school. Who hasn't, I guess. However I have this fear of gaining weight. Sometimes I hear stories about the people who can't leave their house because they are so big. I have always thought to myself, how could they let themselves go that much? They didn't come out of the womb weighing that much so it seems that at some point they had to look in a mirror or step on a scale and say enough is enough! I had put on 19lbs since I graduated high school. 19lbs, might not seem like a lot but it made me say enough is enough!

I decided that I had to start running. I hated running. Which is why I never did track or cross in high school, but knew anyone who did run was skinny. I decided to suck it up and run. Two miles was what I figured I could run. Mind you, I haven't ran one mile since high might have even been middle school. My youngest little brother, (I have two little brothers) Eric ran cross, track and did swimming in high school so since I had to run at night, due to my schedule, I made him come with me for safety but also to motivate me.

Thank goodness I did. After a few blocks I already wanted to stop. We took a break after the first mile, but it made it harder to run the second. The entire second mile I begged my brother to stop. "I can't do it," I said. "Yes, you can," He'd reply, "Keep going." It was horrible, that first day of running, but Eric kept me going and once you get that first two miles in, each time after that you know you can do it, because you already did it once before.

I made myself run two miles three times a week. Even when my car died that following winter and I had an hour and a half bus commute to work/class and an hour and a half bus commute back, I still made time to get to the gym on campus to run my two miles. I lost the weight too. When I graduated high school I was 140lbs. The scale said 159lbs the day I decided enough was enough. Currently, I'm down to 135lbs, but unfortunately my workout/running is virtually non-existent. More on that in a bit.

The biggest kicker is my job. I work for a great Midwestern University that has a fabulous health and wellness program. I think they may be on the fore-front of preventive care rather than curative care. Each January they have a program offers blood testing. For a small blood draw, the participants' blood can be tested for many different aspects. I participated in this during my first year of employment and found out that my LDL Cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) was slightly high. I was 24.

I remember logging in to see my test results at work and see that my cholesterol was high. I was confused and worried. I had always been in good health and in pretty good shape. My job is to work in a library, so in form a good library worker (not yet a librarian, but I'm almost there), I researched. I found out that my family has a history of high cholesterol, I read articles, checked out books and somewhere along the way I learned.

Between running, losing weight, and researching about cholesterol, I became interested in health. Now I like to read up on different health topics, look for new healthy recipes, new ways to work-out or catch a story on Dr. Oz. I read food labels and try to get healthy options when eating out.

Unfortunately, I lead a very busy life and the health aspect often gets left behind. At the time of this post, I'm working full-time and finishing up my masters. I'm interning this summer as well as working, so altogether I'm working 55 hrs a week. This is making healthy living take a back seat.

My journey to 100, is just that a journey with ups and downs. I'm hoping this blog will help me to organize what I find and keep me on my healthy living track. Perhaps it'll also help a few others on the way.

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