Steps Towards a Healthy Lifestyle: Making the Decision

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Cyndi Bio

Steps Towards a Healthy Lifestyle

The first step to beginning a healthy lifestyle is to make the decision to do it.  Sometimes that’s the hardest part.  And sometimes we have to make the decision more than once.  Have you ever yo-yo dieted? Or set a New Year’s resolution (or the same one every year)?  We are an instant gratification society and spend a good portion of our time focusing on the short-term.  The big picture outlook can be overwhelming and downright depressing, but if you can change your mindset to have a long-term outlook on your health, the day-to-day choices become part of your lifestyle.  Instead of saying, “I can’t eat that” or “I have to go walk 4 miles”.  You start saying “I don’t eat that because it makes me feel like crap” or “I know I will feel better after I go take a walk.”

Since this is my first post, let me share my story with you.  I’m a 32-year-old Registered Yoga Teacher and stay-at-home mom. I’ve been married to my best friend for 11 years and we have two fun and energetic boys Cole 6 and Cruz 18-months.  In my pre-yoga and stay-at-home-mom days, I worked as a Promotions Director for a TV station.  We moved to Austin in 2009 and absolutely love how active and healthy this city is.  I have always struggled with weight.  As a kid I played softball and was involved in dance classes, but wouldn’t say I was super active.  I loved food!  And unfortunately I don’t have the genes or metabolism to eat whatever I want.  In middle school and high school I became a lot more conscious about my weight.  My sophomore year of high school I began what would become a 10-year battle with bulimia.  It was an easy way to eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight, or so I thought.  Once I was able to finally overcome it, my body was really messed up.  Mentally I had no clue of how to actually be healthy.  I tried every diet under the sun.  I would lose weight and then fall off the wagon and gain back everything I lost and more.

Steps to a Healthy LifestyleIt wasn’t until I found out I was pregnant with my first son that I decided it was time for me to start taking care of my health.  I started by making time for exercise.  Even if I could only get in 20 minutes on the treadmill, I made it a priority.  When we moved to Austin I stopped working full-time and was able to find an amazing personal trainer who helped me realize that I actually loved working out.  I loved the challenge, the feeling after, and the change I started to see in my body.  He also taught me about clean eating.  What foods my body needed and what foods slowed me down.  At the time, I was also taking the weight loss drug phentermine.  It was like a magic pill.  I had amazing energy, wasn’t hungry, it was like a miracle drug.  Unfortunately, a drug is exactly what it was.  I saw myself starting to become dependent on it and if I tried to come off of it I went through serious withdrawals, which was scary for a mom of a toddler whose husband was gone ALL the time.   With the help of my brother-in-law (a chiropractor and kinesiologist) and my trainer, I came to the realization that no magic pill or shake or diet or anything was going to make me lose weight and feel healthy.  There were two things I needed to do: move more and eat less.  In 2011 my sister-in-laws and I decided to start Weight Watchers.  The reason I liked the Weight Watchers program was because it didn’t feel like a diet.  I could eat whatever I wanted as long as I stayed within a certain amount of points per day.  Obviously higher fat, sugar and calorie food was more points whereas fruit and veggies were zero!  To help keep us accountable, my sister-in-laws and I created a blog.  We shared healthy ideas, recipes, disappointments, and inspiration, and basically were each other’s cheerleaders.  My Weight Watchers journey was like the last piece of the puzzle.  Through exercise, eating the right foods, learning proper portion sizes, and feeling the difference that all those made in how I felt physically and mentally I was able to lose 60 pounds and keep it off for about a year.

Make the decision.  Life is too short to be unhappy.  You may have a long road ahead of you, but I promise you no one ever looks back from changing their health for the good and says, “I’m so mad I did that.”  Please feel free to leave comments and questions.  Even though the decision is made individually, you are not alone on this journey.  We are here to help you!

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Cyndi Before and After Photo

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