A couple of years ago I was involved in a very scary car accident. I was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer with a full load. Miraculously, I was unharmed except for the whiplash.
Neck and shoulder pain took me right out of the exercise game.
Until my accident, I was consistently doing Pilates class twice a week, weight class twice a week, and cardio at least 4 times a week. I also ate a very clean diet – no processed foods, organic whenever possible, home cooked from scratch most of the time, very little sugar. Even when it was supposedly “safe” to go back to the gym, I was so nervous that I might re-injure myself, I panicked at every little twinge. Needless to say, I had been less than consistent in my exercise regimen.
Fast-forward to January, 2017. It wasn’t “happy” New Year for me! I was sick and tired of feeling like I was living in someone else’s body – someone suffering from anxiety, digestive issues and weight gain. My primary care physician was begging me to take three blood pressure meds. I insisted that my elevated blood pressure was from the weight gain. She disagreed; I refused to take the meds.
At the same time, I received a couple of “Save the Date” cards for upcoming family weddings where I would see lots of extended family members – who I love and was excited to see. Except that I refused to attend these weddings in this other person’s unfit, unhealthy body!
A Return to Fitness
Thanks to one of my favorite friends, I began to work with a personal trainer twice a week. I also began to attend my Yoga class CONSISTENTLY twice a week. The exercise actually made feel fatter at first – it accentuated how terribly out of shape I had become. (Not to mention all those mirrors at the gym!) But I promised my friend we would do it together. Not only was it really fun to work out with her, I could tell it was helping. By the end of February, I decided to omit wine, sugar, starchy carbs, and dairy from my diet as a Lenten fast.
I was sure I would be miserable but I was willing to be miserable for 6 weeks if I could lose weight and feel like myself again. It was waaayyyy easier than I thought it would be. As of today, (mid-April) I have lost 17 pounds, and I am no longer living in that other person’s body! The anxiety was eliminated within a couple of days of my fast. And the quality of my sleep improved almost immediately as well. My digestion has improved dramatically but that took a few weeks. I am generally more energetic. And lo and behold…my blood pressure is perfect!
Yes, Diet and Exercise Can Improve Your Complexion!
The real surprise is that my already good, well-cared-for skin has improved. I have used Mary Kay skin care products for decades, and the benefits have been excellent. Yet recently I have been receiving compliments about how great my skin looks – people are saying I look healthier, more peaceful, and radiant! So while consistent use of an excellent, high-quality skin care system is essential to having fabulous skin, the benefits increase exponentially when used in conjunction with a healthy lifestyle!