This post is the January edition of my “Minus 38 by my 38th” series. Each month I’m writing one post about lifestyle changes I’m making so that I can lose weight and improve my health by my next birthday.
After posting my December update, my good friend commented that she would join me in my quest for a healthier lifestyle. We talked for a while about how we could support each other, especially since we are separated by five hundred miles.
I thought back to my previous job that offered free telephone coaching with a health expert. I mainly participated in the program to earn points for a free crock pot. However, I did find that knowing I would be talking to my coach each month kept me motivated to work on my goals. My friend and I each set a few goals related to nutrition and exercise. We’ve been trying to call each other at least every other week to check in.
As fate would have it, all of this was in place prior to my diagnosis of Meniere’s disease. In order to reduce the symptoms of dizziness, a feeling of fullness and ringing in my ears, the doctor prescribed a diuretic and advised me to follow a reduced sodium diet. My good friend has been living with a chronic illness for many years. As a result, she, too, has learned to cut back on sodium in to order to avoid exacerbating her symptoms. It has been so helpful to have someone offer suggestions of foods that won’t pack a salty punch.
In addition to our phone calls, we created a private Facebook group just for the two of us. We share pictures, links and documents related to our goals. We even schedule our phone calls using the events.
The past two months have been challenging. All of my bravado and vow not to make excuses last month didn’t hold up. The weather thwarted my usual efforts to walk, my main source of exercise. I’ve used some fitness DVDs at home, but then I seemed to have an endless head cold. Did I mention that I managed to strain my back this week and it hurts to stand?
It hasn’t all been bad. The foods highest in sodium often are the ones highest in calories and with little other redeeming nutritional value. I’ve been motivated enough to get out that crock pot I earned to make my own broccoli soup and pasta e fagioli. I also discovered the joy of baked pumpkin oatmeal. Mmmm.
As the first month of a new year comes to an end, I have to admit that I didn’t get the fresh start I had envisioned back in December. But having a friend to turn to for advice is a habit I know that I can keep up. I’ll be phoning it in for a while.