This pizza picture was taken in October 2016.  The caption I posted with it read “757 calories. 39 grams of protein, sodium through the roof – 1300 mg.  Took 20 minutes to eat, and an hour on the elliptical to burn 800.  It doesn’t seem fair does it.  Price of staying healthy.  It’s expensive”.

But is it more expensive to die an early death?  Now, I’m not saying Mod Pizza is going to get me into my grand old senior years, however knowing what I put in my body and working on my body is something I work at on a regular basis.  Les Brown said it best in one of his speeches, bear with me for the exact words, “you have got to take care of you, I have lost 20 lbs. several times!”.  And this is how it works for most of us.

As a youngster, I was athletic.  I played basketball, and I was a gymnast.  Yet, I wasn’t one who lived for it, I didn’t wear my tennis shoes like a badge of honor.  It was almost like “I should be doing this” kind of athlete. Now coupled with my addictive qualities and alcoholic signs starting at 12, well one could say it’s a miracle I did either sport.  I started stealing cigarettes from my dad’s carton of Marlboros when I was 12.  I didn’t inhale for a few years, but you get the idea.  I was raised in the mid-west by a mom and dad who ate a lot of meat and mashed potatoes.  I will say we didn’t have all the pesticides or additives in most of our food; my dad hunted a lot.  We usually had fresh walleye he caught that morning, or some sort of game – deer, turtle, squirrel, or rabbit. (I didn’t realize until about 10 years ago we were eating rodent!  Thank you to Howard Stern and his radio show).  It never dawned on me most folks don’t eat like that.  But, my mom and dad also bought a lot of Coke, peanut butter, and snickers bars. Ohhh, and cheerios, which I would put a ton of sugar on top of, so much that when I got to the bottom of the bowl, I would see it swimming around there, it would have turned a light gray.  The point is I didn’t grow up in a home where healthy eating was educated or exemplified.  Anything I do today is because I have taught myself, read about it, or followed someone else’s recipe or suggestions.  For me, I have learned taking care of oneself takes a concentrated effort, one that is painful most days.  It feels like going against the grain daily.  What is that saying “embrace the struggle, it’s real”.

My body wants the carbs, the sugars, the breads, the pizzas.  But my spirit wants the veggies and the lean protein.  Most days I do o.k.  I still have days I indulge to an extreme on sugar.  For example, I have no business baking.  I will eat at least a quarter of the stuff I bake while I’m baking it.  This doesn’t include after the baking has subsided and the food is in my house.  For me my recent health journey started right after I turned 40, I am now 43.  This is what I did:

  1. For a year prior to joining the gym I started to see myself at the gym working out. I don’t know why I started doing this, I just did.  I knew little about visioning and its impact it can have on the brain since the brain doesn’t know the difference between what you are imagining, and what you are literally doing.  I am now a believer.
  2. The 40-year mark for whatever reason sparked something in me, whether it was the almost 50 – half way to a 100, or the realization I want to live to be 120. It gave me a kick when I needed it.  So, I got my why.  I WANT TO LIVE TO BE OLD AND GRAY AND NOT BE CRIPPLED, BENT OVER, OR WEAK.  I WANT TO SHOW UP FOR FUTURE GRANDKIDS.
  3. I made the decision and joined the gym. This wasn’t something I planned or thought about.  I literally was coming home from Christmas shopping (I turned 40 in November) and I was about to pass our local gym – I had a conversation with myself “go do it, get your ass in there and sign up”.  So, I did.   I also recognized I hadn’t been in a gym for years.  I hired a trainer.
  4. I set my schedule for when I knew I could make it. 5 am.  It’s hard to say what was the most important thing with staying consistent in the workouts, however this one thing was a gamechanger for me. I cannot stress enough the scheduling of the time which you will actually do.  Yep, started out getting up at 4:30 am to get my butt there by 5 am.  Workout for an hour, go home get ready for work.   I have since bumped up that time to 4 am.  I now do prayer and some meditating prior to the gym.
  5. Last, I looked at the diet. How can you not?  I’m not about to bust my ass at the gym 4-6 times a week and then eat like shit all the time and not see the results.  So, I grabbed the example recipes from the gym the trainer gave me.  I think my husband and I lived on turkey meatballs, and pumpkin protein bars for 2 years!  This aspect continues to develop, and grow.  I stay open to all ideas around food.  Organic, protein only, grass fed butter, health fats, protein, protein mixes…..I’ll stop there.

Everything I have shared above involved action.  It is simple to say this, but it’s not simple to do.  The real trick is not giving into all the excuses, and self-talk.  To not talk yourself out of doing what your spirit it telling you to do.  This is the same for me in all areas of my life.  Hell, this blog I’m typing is being done @ 6:00 am.  I cut my gym time short by 15 minutes to do this, I need to get out the door by 7 am to work the day job.  You see, I can’t sit idle anymore and expect the content will get created by itself.  I must sacrifice certain routines I have established to now move and grow in another direction.  It scares me to step outside my gym routine because it is hard to stick to it.  BUT if I am going to live till I’m 120, I’d like to do it with my own business, and at some point, quit punching the clock for the man.

Enjoy your journey, you only have one!


Susan Denee

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