I don't know what happened, but last summer I really started to think about mortality, and my health, and how I am not the spring chicken I once was. Not really in a depressing way, but it did occur to me that I am not immortal, and one day I will die. It also occured to me that even though I can't exactly pick my ETD, and I can't stop a piano falling on my head, or another car from killing me, I can do other things to stave off the one thing I fear more than heights or big open spaces, if only for awhile.
I knew I had to change my ways, and the typical culprits of unhealthy living had to go. I had to quit smoking. I had to eat properly ( and by properly, I mean more than once a day, and before 9pm). I had to stop drinking so damn much. I had to sleep more, and exercise more, and take some time for myself once in a while.
I tried my best in September to quit smoking and drinking. After our last big party in our apartment, I felt so horrible that I decided I never wanted to drink or smoke again, a promise I had never made to myself before. Unfortunately, two weeks later I was back to drinking and smoking and hating it, but doing it nonetheless. I knew I couldn't stop, not there. I kept my mind open to the possibility of quitting these things once I was away.
Once we were settled out here in BC, and before I had a job, I knew that I had no choice but to quit smoking. We had already pretty much stopped drinking other than the occasional drink ( which we have stuck to for six months), so it had to be done. Quitting smoking was the hardest thing I have ever done, and the worst pain I have ever gone through. It was two weeks of pure emotional hell, but I got through it. In all honesty, I have had the occasional cigar and cigarette over the past few months, usually when out for drinks. I have realized that cigarettes taste bloody awful, and I know I will never be a "smoker" again. I will most likely still have the occasional fruit flavored cigarillo, because I want to, not because I have to. I decided right from the start that I would never say never....I keep my mind open to the fact that I might smoke, I might drink, I might eat an entire pizza by myself again one day. This way of thinking keeps away all those feelings of failure that always stopped me from being mentally and physically healthy before, and helps me to feel like I'm doing my best, no matter what.
Once the smoking and drinking were no longer a part of my daily life, everything else just kind of fell into place. Living in a mild climate has let me be the outdoorsy person I always wanted to be. I get to be outside every day, and I have even gotten used to the rain, and have learned that there isn't bad weather, there are just bad clothing choices. I have lost 30 pounds since December, which sounds like a lot, but really, I need to lose another 20 before anyone will really notice....however, it happened without me really trying. Just being active, did it all. Due to our limited budget, we don't always eat as healthy as we want to, and due to the fact that we don't drink anymore, our weekend treat a lot of the time is a bag of chips or dessert on a Friday night. But to me, that is still healthier than drinking 18 beer, and getting McDonald's afterwards.
Now, it's not like I am a big fitness/health guru now. I don't care if you smoke and drink and live off Burger King Whoppers, I just have to watch myself, because I have an addictive personality, and I like to do everything in excess. I am proud of myself. I have worked hard to change my way of thinking, and my view of myself. I am not an aging, alcoholic, chain-smoking obese person. I don't know who I am to be honest, but I know I am not that anymore. I'm liking the new, energetic and happy me, and even though it's not happening over night, when it does happen, I will know that I earned my weight loss, and my healthy body, and my positive way of thinking. With any luck, this stronger mental and physical health will keep me on this earthly plain for a few years longer than I had originally expected.