I spent this past weekend with family huddled around my uncle’s hospital bed, alternating between silent contemplation of the reality at hand and laughter over the memories we’ve shared. He was always up for a good laugh, a good beer, and a good genealogical conversation. Four weeks ago, my uncle was swimming 45 minutes a day and attending yoga class 4 times a week. Last week, he was placed on hospice care with a devastatingly grim prognosis. As a former ski instructor, it struck me how fit and healthy his body still looked and it was hard to fit together his appearance with the reality of his situation.
Have you been on the weight-loss bandwagon for a while but are finding that your scale isn’t budging? That's frustrating! Typically, weight loss comes in waves. You may have a week where you lose several pounds followed by several weeks where you see nothing happen. It’s in those lulls where most people throw in the towel. You see no progress to show for all the hard work you’re putting in, so what’s the point? When you reach these times, here are some suggestions to keep you going:
My husband has recently been on a mission to get healthier and lose some weight that he had gained after his kidney transplant almost 10 years ago; he’s doing an amazing job and is already down nearly 20 pounds in 2 months through changing his diet and adding in exercise. He’s a man who loves his food bursting with flavor and oozing with condiments and not much thought was previously put into what makes a healthy diet as long as it tasted amazing. It was not atypical for him to decline a meal I’d make for the family and then run out to grab something “better tasting” from a restaurant in town. The scale progressively crept upwards, and before long, he was over 50 pounds heavier than when we first met and didn’t realize how crummy he felt.
There has been a big upswing in research over the past decade showing the significant links between our gut health and overall health and most likely you’ve seen or heard something about it. Although in somewhat of it’s infancy research-wise, we are seeing that gut health is impacting us in huge ways we have yet to fully understand that go far beyond our digestive health and range from determining our weight, how we sleep and respond to stress, our immunity against illnesses and disease, and even our memory and mental clarity.
We’ve all been there. We make a resolution to get healthy and fit back into our old jeans again with images of us looking like Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman floating through our head (yeah, we could rock that outfit if we really wanted to, but it looks awfully drafty…). This is followed by purchasing a gym membership or making a plan for an at-home exercise regimen. We re-stock our fridge and pantry with healthy food and our resolution to stick with “the plan” is high.