My first reaction to the Real Woman Change for Good challenge was excitement. It had been too long since I allowed myself to take time to exercise, to eat healthier, and look at my entire health. I lost track of how I wasn’t trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the medical marathon I lived through the last five years with my recently deceased husband’s chronic diseases and my own breast cancer diagnosis almost five years ago. I saw how heart disease and diabetes complicated my husband’s health and then his incurable blood disease made it even more difficult. I have many inches and pounds to lose, but my main goal is to be healthy.

I was a bit nervous about the snow stopping our first training session as I was counting on the first session to begin my life change. I was ready and didn’t want the snow to be an excuse. It was humbling to see what I couldn’t do and need to work on, but I didn’t let that stop me from trying.

I do have limitations with my arm due to a rotator cuff tear and lymphedema, but for me I am determined to the do the best I can, maybe using a higher table, or a lower weight with my trainer’s guidance. I wasn’t intimated but decided to choose a positive outlook on what I can do and what I will be able to do with time and perseverance. I was a bit sore the day after my first training session, used a little ice on my arm and had to deal with shoveling out from the 8+” of snow, but I did it. Now I am now scheduling my days so that I have time available to go to the New Jersey Athletic Center and pushing myself to do a little more each day, giving myself attainable goals like adding just one or two or five more minutes the next time I work out.

Tonight was the second training session and Dave gave us new things to do and I found that I couldn’t get both of my arms to complete the Superman exercise I did last week so I did it with one arm.

Next week, I will try again. One exercise I didn’t think would be too hard was quite a challenge and I will be practicing this week. Completed two training sessions and looking forward to the next one, well my muscles might want to limp away, but I am not running away.

I am looking forward to my nutrition counseling session on Monday to see what guidance and recipes they can help me with for healthy balanced food choices. For quite some time I wasn’t making healthy choices and since my husband died I didn’t feel like preparing meals for just myself. For this week I decided to try something different by writing a simple list of meals for the week instead of looking in the fridge to see what I can make at the last minute. This simple change worked for me for one week!

For just this first week, I have noticed I have more energy; it is helping me live through the grieving process and giving me an opportunity to reach small goals, day by day by day.




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