Find your motivation.
That’s the message from Jaylin Myles, RN, ER/trauma nurse at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center. Finding her motivation changed her life for the better.
At first, her motivation was knowledge that came from her nursing education. She knew that weight and diet are responsible for many of the chronic conditions that plagued her family members. And she knew that those chronic conditions, like high blood pressure, can be prevented through healthy nutrition and exercise.
Exercise was her first major change. She joined a gym and started working out three days a week for two hours at a time. When her grandfather got ill and passed away, her motivation grew stronger. You could find her at the gym six days a week because she used exercise like therapy.
She began doing cardio for an hour to release the stress and tension from the previous day. Then she would lift weights for recovery to build strength for the day ahead. Working out became her thing. It was her stress-relief. It was her fire. It kept her going.
Next, she incorporated healthy diet changes. She shifted from eating out to preparing her own meals. Chicken breasts made all sorts of ways — baked, panned, seared — and salads made with spinach and light dressings became staples. Once she grew more comfortable with cooking, she incorporated foods like black beans, cauliflower, and more leafy green vegetables.
Long-Term, Positive Effects
It didn’t take long for Jaylin to feel better — both physically and mentally. She would work out early in the morning, which would keep her from staying in bed too late. Her energy grew, plus she found she was less irritable day-to-day.
While losing a significant amount of weight was never her goal, over the course of a year, she lost 80 pounds.
Her friends and family were in disbelief. They could clearly see the difference in her. That’s when the questions started.
“What are you doing to lose weight?”
“Can you give me some tips?”
Jaylin offered advice to her friends and family by sharing her strategy. Now she wants other nurses to know what worked for her. And while everyone is different, here’s what Jaylin recommends:
- Sit down and evaluate: Reflect on your current health. Write down things you’ve noticed that have changed over the past few years. Jot down some goals for the coming year to keep you structured. You can’t wake up one day and make your goals happen without a plan.
- Find your motivation: Jaylin’s motivation helped her to exercise often and change her diet. She noticed everyone in her family had some type of chronic condition that was preventable with a healthy lifestyle. To keep herself from going down the same path, she zoned in on what she could control — her own nutrition and physical activity.
Now it’s time to ask yourself: What’s your motivation?
Jaylin Myles, RN, is an ER/trauma nurse in the emergency department at Our Lake of the Lake Regional Medical Center.
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