Enthusiastic Me

This week has been somewhat of a fog for me. There have been a lot of changes in my life, and while I am so grateful for each one, it is still causing a bit of anxiety. Obvious changes are that I am eating better and exercising regularly. My husband (he’s such a trooper!) has joined me in making better food choices. We have traded in our red meat for turkey and chicken. We are eating vegetables with every meal. We have cleaned out all of the comfort snacks from every cabinet in the house and the freezer (good bye Ben, best wishes Jerry!). However, I believe that the most important switch we have made is giving up fast food. There aren’t drive thru menus on our weekly meal plan any longer. Initially, it was difficult. One of the conveniences of life that we have learned to rely on heavily is no more. As “life altering” as this small change seemed to be, I am fairly certain heart disease would be a much bigger life altering event!

Another adjustment happened for me on Sunday night. After much prodding from my mom and my husband, I reluctantly decided to seek help for my trouble sleeping. On average, I get about 5 hours of sleep a night. I am always exhausted. Getting up for work can be taxing enough, now I have to dig really deep to find the energy to get to the gym. The sleep study had proven what I feared all along. I do have sleep apnea. I am not at all excited about having to wear a C-PAP mask to sleep at night, but I am thrilled to know that I am going to be getting sleep! I didn’t realize how important sleep is to a healthy lifestyle. I seem to catch myself thinking that I should always do more. Sleeping was laziness and I should be proud that I can function on five hours or less. The truth is I was barely functioning. Through this process, I learned that lack of sleep is a huge contributor to an unhealthy lifestyle. Sleep deprivation actually makes people eat more. Basically, I get to sleep more AND lose weight!! Now tell me being healthy isn’t easy!

I do get asked a lot about my exercise routine. Our mantra for this challenge is very simple, “show up and move”. All I have to do is show up at the gym and move around. It’s seriously THAT easy!! My wonderful trainer, Lisa, is always reminding me to make sure I am pushing myself. No slacking on the workouts!! At the beginning of last week, I could handle being on the elliptical machine for about seven minutes. During those seven minutes I saw brief glimpses of my past flashing before my eyes. My heart rate was as high as it had ever been. I was pushing myself as hard as I thought I could. I had to stop. To be honest, in my head the words were actually “STOP or you WILL die”! However, I had forgotten the most important instruction Lisa had repeatedly given me… “BREATHE!!” By the end of the week, remembering to breathe, I was able to work out for 20 minutes on the elliptical machine!! And, I am sure I could have gone longer if not for the arrival of a migraine. So, what is my workout routine? I show up. I move. I push myself. And I breathe. That’s it.

Finally, the last change this week is also happening with a lot of help from Lisa the Great! She could very easily give me the workout routine and check in with me once a week to make sure I am doing it. She doesn’t just do that. She is so genuinely excited for my success! She encourages me with her “Lisa-ism’s” about emotional strength and self acceptance. Every time I run into her at the gym (side note: I try to make sure she doesn’t see me until I am caked in sweat…ssshhh) she is so happy and excited about all of the changes in my life. If someone who was a complete stranger three weeks ago can be genuinely excited about me, then why can’t I be excited about me? I’ve known me for 32 years. I should have that kind of enthusiasm. I know me and I know how great I can be. Thanks for the reminder Lisa!!

Next week on the agenda is Yoga and Zumba. Given my grace and superior dance skills, I trust one, if not both will be comical. Meet me at the FAC…we can show up and move together!!



  1. Lisa Kirchner Said:

    I’m so proud of you, Jen – you really are inspiring! Keep up the good work and keep on MOVIN’ in the right direction!

  2. Rick Carrell Said:


    Keep it up… three weeks in can be really tough. And the decisions you are making are enormous life changes. As odd as it seems these decisions will cause you to have a grief response. I’ll pray that you will not resurrct the old life-style… it’s hard to bury ol Ben and Jer.

    I’m enjoying and being inspired by your journey.


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