Sunday, September 27, 2009
When I was little my mother used to constantly admonish me to "Sit still"! My father lovingly asked me in German if I had ants in my pants. I was the child that always got pinched in church for squirming in the pew. My school conferences always amounted to "She's a bright girl, but a little too social..." Which meant I couldn't keep my mouth shut in school. Now a days I probably would have been labeled ADD and stuck on medication, but back in the day your parents just chased you outdoors to run it off with the neighborhood kids or gave you some agonizingly awful chore like polishing silver that made you long to be outdoors running with the neighborhood kids! I certainly chased my kids out of the house when they were young.
So how did I find myself as an adult parked in front of the television night after night watching Lisa Laporta design another house to sell or Emirel BAM! another dish of something rich and calorie laden? I worked hard all day. I convinced myself I was relaxing. Unwinding. I deserved it.
But I think what I was really doing is escaping. You can tune out a lot of crap in your life by surrounding yourself with canned laughter. You can bury grief, you can bury a flailing marriage and you can eat while you do it too and pack on the pounds. It catches up with you.
When I turned 49, I decided I'd had enough of it. Maybe it started the year before when I found myself picking out a niche for the cremated remains of my 25 year old son who had died suddenly, and I was faced with deciding if I wanted to purchase a niche for myself next to his so we would be close together in the cemetary. I opted to do that and seeing your name and birthdate engraved on a nameplate with a blank spot for your date of death was pretty sobering.
I knew I wanted to lose the weight and get healthy but was discouraged because I'd lost weight and gained it right back so many times before. What was the key? The key for me turned out to be getting rid of that tape of my mother's voice in my head saying "Sit still" and getting off my butt and away from the TV. I got back out in the neighborhood. I walked, then I ran. I joined a gym so I could exercise and be social again. I started eating at the dining room table and not in front of the TV. I started facing the crap in my life and weeding out the negatives right along with my bad eating habits and fat clothes.
Oh I still grieve for my son. Does that ever completely go away? No, but I've spent many a good run thinking about the happy times we had together when he was alive. He had ADHD and I chased him out of the house on plenty occasions to run and play. He loved to walk and preferred it to driving by far.
I can't tell you the last time I watched TV unless the president was speaking. I stand in the line at the grocery store and see all the magazines with celebrity gossip and wonder who all those stars are.
I found that I really look forward to physical activity and when stuck inside doing an agonizing chore like housework or bill paying I long to be back out in the neighborhood running or biking!
Granted, I find myself parked in front of my computer at SparkPeople.com night after night, but only AFTER I've done my physical activity for the day.
And then I feel like I really am relaxing...