Turning the Key to Trucker Health and Wellness

Change to trucker health and wellness

I remember the day clearly. I was looking at a picture of myself thinking “who is that?” and “when did I get so overweight?”  That’s the day I finally said enough is enough and started a journey to get fit. Combining the reality of how I now looked with a history of heart disease in my family – my mother died of a heart attack at 47 – an age at which I was quickly approaching, was all I needed to get motivated. It didn’t happen overnight — just like the weight gain, it happened slow and steady over time.

New Beginnings

Carolee MooreWhen I began this challenge, I weighed 250 lbs. and I’m only 5’3”, so I was around 115 pounds overweight.  To begin my journey to trucker health and wellness, I started a running program, which at first meant run 30 feet, then walk 30 feet, but I stuck with it and steadily increased my time and within about 6 months, I was 50 pounds lighter and ran my first 5K! Along with exercise I made changes to my diet by cutting out high fat foods and eating more lean protein and vegetables, but little did I know I still had a long way to go to fine tune my eating habits.

Hitting the Road

When my husband and I packed our belongings into a storage unit 3 years ago and started life on the road as over-the-road truckers, I was still 65 pounds overweight. Within the first three months of this new life I had gained an additional 15 pounds due to the fast food diet, lack of sleep and lack of exercise. I felt terrible and had little to no energy. Then I began having gallbladder problems brought on by the high fat, processed diet I was living on.

Time to get back on track and not just go on a diet. I had to change my lifestyle and the way I thought about food. I immediately cut out soda, processed and fast food and reluctantly, sweets. It wasn’t easy, but I noticed within a week that I was feeling so much better. I had more energy, less stomach issues and my gallbladder pain was gone. What I was eating were whole grains, lean protein, fruits and vegetables and drinking a lot of water. Again, this didn’t come naturally, I had to be conscious of what I was eating, determined to fight the unhealthy cravings and remain encouraged to stay on track. I try to look at food and eating as fueling my body not just to satisfy my taste buds! Yes, I did have (and still do have) my moments of weakness, but if I have something that’s not entirely healthy occasionally, I don’t beat myself up about it, I just refocus and get back on track.

fridge for truck driversGetting on the road to trucker health and wellness is hard enough as it is, but doing it living on the road 24/7 is even harder, but entirely possible. I am living proof of that. As I write this, I have 27 more pounds to go to hit my ideal weight. It is a challenge without the conveniences of everyday life and it takes some creativity. The one staple I would say is a must, is a refrigerator. Having a refrigerator eliminates the temptation to buy fast food and gives you the option for more variety. 

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I feel as truck drivers, it’s very easy to fall into unhealthy eating habits and a sedentary lifestyle. Let’s face it, most of the time we’re just exhausted and fast food is easy and convenient and working out is the last thing we feel like doing after a 15 hour day! As far as working out, you may have to get creative, but it is possible. The key is to just get moving! If you can incorporate at least 15-30 minutes a day of physical activity you are heading in the right direction. I will get into more detail about various ways to get a really good workout by utilizing the cab of your truck, which is a must in bad weather, as well as exercises you can do outside, if weather permits, in upcoming blogs.

I’m really excited to go on this journey together and looking forward to getting to know each one of you. So until then, keep the shiny side up, the rubber side down and make healthy choices!

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About CJ Moore

Three years ago my husband and I packed our belongings into a storage unit in Las Vegas, NV and traded our normal, predictable life for a life of unpredictability and long hours as over the road truck drivers. We have been working and living in our big truck 24/7, on the open road, ever since. After working in this industry for some time now, I realized health and fitness awareness were being placed on the back burner. I experienced this first hand in my own life within a few months of living on the road when my poor eating choices, lack of exercise, loss of sleep and sheer exhaustion began to affect my health. It was then that I decided to make some positive changes and now I’m excited to share my experiences, tips and passion for health and fitness with other truckers on a quest to live healthy lives out on the road.