#healthyrgv: Continue health journey despite hiccups

When I started writing this series in July, I described myself as a “31-year-old overweight, out-of-shape reporter” who doesn’t exercise enough, doesn’t prioritize hydration and drinks more than enough alcohol.

Well, the biggest change is that I’m now 32 years old. I’m half-joking.

Since the summer, I’ve kept my weight under 200 pounds after starting at 211, which proves I have the work ethic and commitment of someone who wants to maintain my weight, evident by the fact I’m still here.

I’ve been eating healthier since the summer — more raw veggies and nuts as snacks, less fast food and reduced boredom eating — but my exercising is inconsistent. I still allow myself to indulge in unhealthy treats sometimes, which is to help keep my weak-willed mind sane.

So, I’ve learned how to maintain my weight without really compromising my lifestyle, which would undoubtedly be a net positive. But that’s not good enough.

While I’d honestly be content with losing the weight I’ve lost, the goal of this series is to figure out for myself how to maintain patterns of behavior for a healthy life when I’m done with the series. And hitting this plateau requires new sacrifices.

And so after talking to a range of medical professionals, knowing information isn’t enough. I know alcohol isn’t good for me. I know fried food isn’t healthy, and I know roughly how many calories I can consume. I know the risks involved with unhealthy habits, and I know that my poor health outcomes don’t just affect me.

What am I willing to do with that information? So far, it’s kept off more than 10 pounds. But I’ve been stagnant because I’m wired to like short-term satisfaction.

In the past, when I had a few consecutive days of unhealthy eating, I would essentially just give up. I would have mentally used the opportunity as an out — a justification to take the dopamine hit eating whatever I want.

Now, through talking to professionals, I realize that failing is a part of the process because we’re human (which is something I’ve written about).

It’s encouraging to be in the position I am, having actually lost weight but still feel like I’m nowhere to be. Before starting this series, I would be disappointed after checking my weight on the scale.

So, I’ll continue to fight my lazy, lizard brain and I’ll keep you posted.

Email me, or share your questions via #healthyrgv. Posts could end up in publication, or as the basis of future stories. I encourage you to start your own personal health journey, and tell me about it using #healthyrgv.

Join Monitor staff writer Daniel A. Flores for candid thoughts and no-bull access on the path to a healthier lifestyle.