A lot of times, you hear success stories of people losing 200 pounds or going from homeless to millionaires. How could someone make such drastic changes? What was the difference between them and you?
The people behind these success stories had experienced their line in the sand moment.
It is in that moment when they woke up and realized they had let their life pass them by. The moment they realized that they were going to die if they did not make a change.
For years I wondered how someone could find it in themselves to make such monumental changes in their lifestyle. How people become a 5 A.M. riser and drink green juice every morning? It didn’t seem possible to do this until it happened to me.
At the age of 21, my blood pressure was high and I was pre-diabetic. I was miserable and I couldn’t figure out how things had gotten this bad. My parents had pretty good genes and I thought I worked out enough.
Many prescribed medications are for a good reason and people shouldn’t be ashamed of taking medicine. The doctors ended up prescribing me some medicine for a condition I knew I could avoid completely.
I was angry. How could this be happening to me? Why me? I decided to look back at my daily actions which enabled me to have my line in the sand moment.
Every morning as I would get ready for the day, I would scroll through Instagram for about 45 minutes giving me just enough time to throw on my sweats from yesterday and get to class.
I sat in the back of the class and ate cold pizza wrapped in tin foil and drank a large coffee with enough sugar to make a whole cake. I went on with my day, not exercising, and drinking two more coffees.
As I observed my day I realized what I had thought was the standard 2000 calorie days filled with nutrients were actually 3500 calorie days with very little to no nutritional value.
I’d work out maybe once a week and I did not push myself enough to be soaked in sweat. I drank about 4 glasses of water a day, which was canceled out by the fact that I had 3 coffees on top of cookies and chips.
While looking at myself in the mirror, I wondered how I had been so oblivious.
I wanted to live a long healthy life and I wanted to live past 50 and do a lot of things in life. I did not plan on being sick my whole life and I definitely did not envision myself being one of those yogis either.
It was my mission to find some sort of balance between the two.
As usual, my mind went straight to finding the next fad diet. How could I lose the weight fast and be healthy?
I found myself frustrated and confused for a long time until I finally decided to look inward. What was stopping me from being this healthy person? Why couldn’t I break out of this cycle of diet and binge? What was stopping me from feeling good about myself?
I had no sense of progression or discipline. If I did not see results overnight I wanted to quit. Giving up crossed my mind a lot. If that one killer workout did not give me abs, I would get upset. I obsessed over deadlifting Instagram models, but my lack of self-discipline prevented me from doing the same.
After years of unnecessary medication and poor health management, I finally received a desperately needed wake-up call.
I started looking for small ways to take my health back. Could I drink just 2 coffees a day and only put 2 spoons of sugar in each one? Did I really need a giant sugar cookie with every cup of coffee? With each action, I suddenly questioned every automatic choice I made.
One day I found myself working out at 5 A.M. every day for 3 months straight. I could not believe how I had gotten to this point. The girl who binge ate and couldn’t go 4 hours without sugar finally transformed into the girl who woke up at 5:00 in the morning to hit the gym.
I looked back and realized I had rid myself of all my prescriptions, lost 60 pounds and had more energy. I was starting to feel proud of myself. For the first time in a long time, I actually cared about myself.
It took that one scare to get me to care about my health. I think about how each of my actions affected my health ever since. Also, I learned to balance how to be able to let go and have fun every once in a while.
That wake-up call really saved my life and I am so glad I took it with full-stride.
Making drastic changes do not necessarily mean they are made overnight. What may seem like a big change could have been gradual changes over a year. I did not quit coffee cold turkey. It took me 6 months to be able to wean myself off from that addiction. While I have been a morning person for a long time, I did not magically start enjoying 5 A.M. workout sessions.