It’s hard to believe I have finished ten weeks of the 80 pounds in 80 weeks challenge. The exciting news is that I am ten pounds lighter than when I started. In all honesty, I was hoping to be a little further along, but I feel good about what I have accomplished so far, and I am already noticing the benefits of being healthier.
1. I am stronger and more confident.
After exercising regularly for ten weeks, I have rediscovered many muscles my body had totally forgotten about. In fact, I can feel sore muscles almost every day. While some might find that annoying, I actually find it exciting.
And as my stomach and shoulder muscles are becoming stronger, I find myself standing straighter and sitting taller. It feels good. I am stronger and more confident. I feel better about myself and believe I can accomplish nearly anything.
2. I am taking less medication.
Before beginning the 80 pound challenge, I was suffering from a lot of acid reflux. I was trying to manage it daily with medicine. After losing a little weight, my clothes are not quite so tight, lessening the acid reflux. It has also benefitted from a large decrease in caffeine (only an occasional Diet Coke or coffee instead of consuming both daily). This has allowed me to cut my medicine in half.
3. My complexion is better than ever.
With increased water consumption, I have also noticed a smoother complexion. Even though I am well out of my teenage years, I have continued to struggle with acne as an adult. I feared that the increased amount of sweating from working out would further increase my breakouts. However, my complexion has only improved. My skin is smoother and softer than it was before.
4. I have improved digestion.
As a result of eating more fruits and vegetables (along with fewer fried foods and sweets), I have also benefited from improved digestion. I will spare you the details here, but I will say there has been a noticeable difference, and I feel much better.
5. My immune system is stronger.
Developing a more active lifestyle has also improved my immune system. This one is a little harder to justify but I believe I am healthier this summer than last summer. The weather has been significantly warmer this summer, and I have spent a lot of time in air conditioning and transitioning between the outdoor heat and the cool indoors. Normally, I would have developed an “air conditioning cold”, and I have not even had a sniffle. Additionally, my husband has had the flu twice in the last six weeks, and my body has been able to resist it somehow. Maybe it is unrelated, but I choose to believe it is a result of better food choices and increased exercise.
6. I simply feel better.
Lastly, I just plain feel better both mentally and physically. When I drive by a fast food restaurant, rather than bemoan not being able to stop and splurge, I simply drive by…sometimes with a little sigh and sometimes with indifference. I have also been able to indulge in a couple small treats without overeating or falling off the wagon. My clothes fit a little looser, I have more energy, and I am proud of what I have accomplished. Every day I am more comfortable and more satisfied with my new lifestyle.
Hopefully, if you are on this journey with me, you are also experiencing the benefits of being healthier. Or maybe you’re still contemplating making some changes in your lifestyle. Either way, I tell you it is worth it.
If you are not experiencing results yet, hang in there. It might not be a quick process, but every single step in the right direction makes a difference. Each time you make a decision based on improving your health, you benefit. It will pay off. Keep up the good work. You are worth it!
What benefits, big or small, are you noticing along your journey? They are all worth celebrating, so share them here.