Small Changes for a New Life

I’m Old. Not like dinosaur old, but I’m far from a spring chicken. The fact that I use the term ‘spring chicken’ just goes to show how old I am.

Ugh.

They say you’re as old as you feel, and for me, I do feel dinosaur old. Well, I did until recently.  As a freelance writer and social media consultant, I spend a lot of time on my ever-growing backside. Sometimes, in life, you get to a point where just have to look at yourself and wonder what the hell went wrong.dinosaur-1430240_1920

For me, that point came when I realized that I was over 250 pounds of all fat, and I’m pretty sure the only thing holding my body together was the tub of ice cream I downed every week. Yeah, things were bad. That was the first small change I made in my life. Actually, it’s a pretty big change and the one that really kick-starts everything else. I had decided enough was enough. I was sick of being fat and the only way to fix it is to work for it. So I did. With kids, family, dog, and life, finding time to sit down and work PLUS do something to stop becoming the Blob was becoming difficult. At least, that was my excuse.

I just don’t have the time.’ Like everyone else had a crap load of time except me.

So, the next thing I did was find a schedule that worked for all (albeit a bit wonky). Unfortunately, this new schedule has me up around midnight, so ouch there. I tend to get up between 12:00 am and 3:00 am to start my day, so it’s still a work in progress to get up and get going.

The biggest part about my change is the addition of a 3 mile walk first thing in the morning. Doing this before I eat help raise and maintain higher metabolism rates in my body, allowing my body to burn off food more efficiently throughout the day. More than that, this early morning walk helps my mind focus and when I unplug during the walk, my mind actually clears and seems to just see things more clearly.

For this walk, I’m not out there trying to run and kill myself, but I am walking brisk enough to sweat and be out of breath at times. That’s very important. If you simply take a leisurely stroll in the morning, your body won’t improve. You need to get your blood flowing and your muscles working to get the true effects of a workout, even if it is only walking. It’s hard. It will be hard. This is where the want comes in to say ‘Get up and get out there, fatty!’ And so I do.pexels-photo-221210 

Do not get down if things seem to slow or be tough. That’s my final little change. I am constantly getting down on myself about everything. To me, it’s as if the entire world rest on my every decision and action – of course, we all know it doesn’t. So, I would tell anyone trying to improve themselves, stop beating yourself up all the time.

Slips happen. Get over it and keep on going. Nobody is perfect. Remember that.

It’s about a month later. I’m getting used to the screwy early schedule and walking first thing in the morning, even before I eat anything, is helping my metabolism stay up and actually increasing my focus throughout the day. When I can, I try to throw a second walk in, but as long as I get my good walk in, I’m a happy camper. My weight has even dropped about fifteen pounds, which makes me want to continue to work.

If you think it’s time for a change in your life, chances are it is. Nobody knows you and your life better than you, and nobody can change your life but you. In the end, it comes down to how much do you really want to change? If you truly want it, anything is possible… Even change.

This is a guest post by Joshua Cook. Please feel free to visit his site below.

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Joshua Cook is a father, blogger, and social media consultant enjoying the beautiful weather in the Pacific Northwest. Recently starting the Cook Consulting and Content Creation firm, Josh is happy to be able to bring his life changing experiences and ideas out to help others.

Earthquake

Last year was full of new experiences, one included earthquakes. It wasn’t a real one, it was more like a passing tremor but I loved all five seconds of it. I was at home on my bed when it started. I sincerely thought someone was working with heavy machinery outside, till I heard someone yell “Earthquake is passing!” and then I tried to absorb every moment of it. What intrigued me however was my calm the entire time, I just sat still on my bed, I didn’t move, neither was I terrified. I just sat there smiling to myself with the widest, sheepish grin my face could carry till it was over. I was happy.

This was my first experience and I should have been terrified or at least panicky. I wasn’t. Why? I’d watched videos and heard crazy earthquake stories and I’d thought I’d just sprint off into a frenzy but I didn’t. I also experienced my first hurricane/storm/flooding this year. It was a normal school day and it had been raining non stop for the past three days, which was somewhat normal, but this particular rain had come with violent winds. At about 1pm the school secretary announced that we should all go home as the country was now on storm watch and we should buy supplies and stay indoors.

The only thing I heard out of all her sentences was “There will be no school tomorrow” and being the stressed out student I was, I was elated and rushed to the nearby supermarket on my way home even though I had no money. Gathering what was left of the coins I’d swiped off the table earlier in the day for my transport fare, I bought a loaf of bread and a tin of tomatoes, I was going to make sauce to eat the rice I had at home till the storm passed. but little did I know what awaited me. I got home and met the shock of my life, they had cut off the water supply due to the flooding which had destroyed some pipes and I hadn’t stored any water the previous day or earlier that morning as I was also in a haste to get to my 8am class. I had no water to drink, cook, bathe or flush the toilet in that matter.

I analyzed the entire situation carefully and concluded that whatever would happen should happen. I got into my room, changed my clothes and thanked God for the inventor of Wi-Fi which by the way was never seized throughout the storm but for some reason the water was. I occupied myself with watching videos and reading articles as the wind was howling and swaying the trees outside my window. I  eventually got bored with spending time on my laptop, then my curiosity dragged me outside, to my balcony where I was sent running back with full force by the largest sheet of lightning I’d ever seen. Wrapped under my blanket I confessed all my sins as I thought I was definitely dead. Then, I noticed the silence for the first time, despite the thundering sounds  of rain droplets hitting my roof and the loud booming of thunder . I remembered I was alone at home. I eventually drifted into thought and ended up listening to many voices in my head till I slept off.

The storm lasted four whole days, and at some point I had to go outside to fetch water for house use. Needless to say, I was heavily beaten by the rain, literally, as the wind had modified the rain droplets into whips that lashed on my back. After the storm had passed, it was good to see the scorching sun again and never had I ever enjoyed sweating more.

One thing was consistent about this experience, just like  during the earthquake, I was calm because I knew it would pass. I realized that despite the chaos outside and the overwhelming loneliness of my apartment, I managed to find calm within myself. It’s a lesson I never want to forget.