One of the more painful fitness moments in my life happened when my then 2 yr. old son looked @ me right in the eyes and said to me, "Mommy, your tummy is huge! You're fluffy!" Talk about a sting! He was, in fact, stating the obvious . . . well obvious to everyone except ME! That was in 1994, 2 days after his 2nd birthday . . . wanna know the exact time? I can tell you . . . it was 11 a.m. and we were going for a walk to the park (at least I did THAT part right!)
This should have been a defining moment in this formerly obese, unhealthy person's life. Sadly denial isn't just a river in Egypt. It is amazing to me look back and see the absolute bottomless depth of my denial!! I look back now and really realize how emotionally, physically and spiritually bankrupt I was! Each day was a struggle to find the energy and where-with-all to "do" for my family. Each day was mired in self-loathing and frustration. NOW I know why it was so difficult (alright, aside from the elephant size baggage I carried around my abdomen!) You always hear the words, "In case of an emergency, put your oxygen mask on first." It never really sunk into my frazzled brain how this could be! You take care of your FAMILY first.
Fatal flaw in that thinking. If you don't take care of YOURSELF, HOW can you hope to have anything left to take care of someone else who needs you?? The answer: you can't!
Shamefully the health declines that brought me to my knees along the way just weren't enough of a wake up call. I just didn't want to hear it.
I remember when we first moved here in 2007 I walked with the kids to our downtown area. Now that's approximately 1 mile in distance. I have to take breaks it seems every 5 minutes -- out of breath, knees ached (well, no wonder! Carrying 192 lbs. on my 4 ft. 10-1/2 in. frame -- my body was UNHAPPY! ) That STILL wasn't enough.
So, how did I get from that dark place I was in (and YES, I was very unhappy . . . just not motivated enough to change it!)
Flash forward to Jan. 21, 2009. Blood sugar 330 (
), blood pressure 180-110 (OMG OMG OMG!!! We're talking major stroke waiting to happen here) and just feeling plain lousy. Our bodies have a remarkable capacity to adapt and be "forgiving" but it has it's limits. My body had reached it's limit. I was emotionally frustrated with myself. For heaven's sake, I didn't even KNOW what my weight was (192 lbs.) because I would not get on a scale. I was so frustrated with myself because I didn't have any energy to keep up with my children.
Being told I had type 2 diabetes and hypertension (in addition to my already diagnosed thyroid disease, which I ALWAYS used as an excuse for being overweight. What a cop out!) So I had a decision to make. Am I going to die from complications of diabetes and hypertension OR chose the difficult path of getting my health back? It was embarassing as a nurse to be able to help others reach their health potential but what about my own? UGH
Flash even further forward to TODAY. I made the choice to get my health back. NOT an easy task. But those of you who know me know I am a stubborn lady and once I make up my mind to accomplish something, I don't give up. I joined Spark People and that was the beginning of an epic journey (adventure, caravan, whatever you want to call it!) for me.
I made it my business to learn how to eat nutritionally to take care of my body. I learned that there are about a billion and one excuses NOT to exercise but NONE of them are good. I learned that I have to love myself first, then I have it to pass on. I learned that He is always there for me, but I have to listen with my heart and mind to His answers.
I consider those years I spent in horrible physical, mental and spiritual health to be like a long toddler tantrum. "I don't wanna. I don't feel like it. Why should I? What's in it for ME?" You know the drill.
TODAY . . . I am eating nutritionally sound and very proud to say that, despite all protestations from my kids initially, I can SEE that they've listened (would they admit it? Ummm...no. Not in a teenagers repetoire!) Exercising . . . well, have to say DS is all over that one having just completed Army basic training. (Proud proud Mom moment!!!!) He said to me so many time since he left that he is glad I stressed nutrition and exercise because it helped him survive basics. GO SON!! DD . . . well, she's a little slower to jump on the bandwagon, but I do see her making many wiser food choices.
I feel like the Energizer Bunny most days. For SURE I feel better @ age 58 then I EVER did in my 40's.
Do I wish I'd "woken up" sooner? Well, of course, but that isn't going to change that I DIDN'T. What IS important is that I DID "wake up" and love myself enough to care for ME, my body, my emotional and spiritual health. I am very proud of that.
It takes a lot of courage for all of us to face our demons, but once you do, you develop the courage to say "Don't tell me how big the storm is. Let ME tell you how big my Higher Power is!"
So, that's my long winded blog about where I started out ("Mom, your stomach is HUGE. You're fluffy") to svelte (YIKES! DID I JUST SAY THAT! LOL), active, happy and fit. I would never go back, because NOW I know better. Oh, by the way, that walk to our downtown? Literally NO sweat now. I walk 15 miles/day with no complaints from the knees (or any other body part for that matter!)