Joy Bauer and I (Pinch me, I still don't believe this happened!)
I have no idea where to start. I returned tonight from what literally has been the trip and the experience of my entire lifetime! Where do I begin the story? I had not even imagined such a trip to be a possibility, sixteen days ago I was unaware that I would ever be going to New York City to be on a national TV show and see and do so many things I had not seen or done since 1966 (when I was there last), if then.
WOW! On this Thanksgiving Day, when I did no cooking for the first time in my married life (42 years), other than a quick supper tonight for hubby & son, I have so much to be grateful for. I took over 500 pictures in New York, and rest assured I will be sharing many of them in future blogs, but for this night, I want to concentrate on how blessed I have been this year. How blessed am I? Let me count the ways. (These are in no particular order--I just wrote them down as they occurred to me.)
1. I got a chance to substitute teach this year. I had this dream that I could be a teacher when I went to college over 40 years ago, and this year that dream finally came true.
2. I have the world's greatest husband. He has loved me through thick and thin and it was mostly THICK. But he never made me feel fat or undesirable. He is my rock, my protector, my love. I could not have had such a wonderful life without him by my side. And on this NYC trip....he was SO WONDERFUL! He let this trip be for me. Our vacations in the past were about the kids: amusement parks, ballgames (well the ballgames were for hubby too), doing things that everyone else enjoyed and that I found fun, even if maybe they were not exactly the things I would have chosen to do if I were going on vacation by myself. I wanted to be with my family and doing what they wanted WAS FUN. But this trip, hubby made sure, was all about ME! He spoiled me rotten, let me sit by the window in the airplane every time, even though he really loves flying and seeing the view, he took care of getting us all over the city (I am map-challenged), he went to a Broadway play (Annie) and the Christmas Show at Radio City Music Hall with me. These kinds of things are not exactly his cup of tea, but he told me he loved them. He window shopped on Fifth Avenue with me, even going into the American Girl Store with me twice! And he hates to shop! He let me buy silly souvenirs in Times Square, and even appeared on national TV with me, and he hated that. But wasn't he cute??? I love that guy! I thank God every day of my life that He made me smart enough to latch on to this guy and hold on tight for the last 42 years!
3. My weight loss. The whole trip was made possible by the weight loss. But the trip would not have been possible without the weight loss. What I mean by that is losing the weight allowed the Today Show to choose me for the Joy Fit Club. But I could not have made the trip at 328 lbs. I wouldn't have wanted to fly, and would have been incapable of all the walking. Just in the Today Studio, you go up and down the stairs: up to hair and make up, down to the Green Room, and back up to the stage where you do the segment. Up and down, up and down. And NYC is all up and down. So many restaurants are small, but have an upstairs, so UP the stairs you go. We walked miles and miles. We only took a cab twice, once to the pier to take a boat ride to see the Statue of Liberty and we walked up to the 9/11 memorial from Battery Park, then took the second cab back to our hotel. Even that day, we walked miles. I will be interested to see the scale in the morning. I ate quite well on vacation. I choose salads with grilled chicken several times, once I had a grilled chicken breast entree, and only splurged at one meal. After Annie, we had a late dinner (like you always read about the Broadway people doing!), and I had a shrimp scampi dinner. It was delicious and rich and much too late to eat that much. I didn't finish it, even though I could have. But I knew I would have been uncomfortably stuffed. That was my one splurge meal. I didn't buy any of the junk food from the many street vendors, other than two bananas and a bag of grapes. We did no snacking, we were too busy. So I'm hoping the scale will be good to me tomorrow morning. We shall see. I have been at goal for 19 months now, and the weight loss just continues to bring me so much JOY!
4. My children and grandchildren are simply wonderful. I have three of the greatest sons in the world. My daughters-in-law are very sweet and my grandchildren....well you know how I feel about them. Someone mentioned how many of my before pictures were with my grandchildren. I never wanted my picture taken when I was fat, and the few pictures I can find are almost always with those beloved grandchildren. One of the pictures they used for the Joy Fit Club segment was from the day Amber was born. We are on a bench (I didn't fit in the chairs that were available in the hospital room), and big brother Duncan is standing over me, looking down at Amber, who I am holding in my arms. I love that picture and I hate that picture. Duncan is so cute, looking down at his new little sister. It is a picture of true discovery and wonderment on his part and utter love on my part. I hate the picture at the same time, because I am simply huge.
Just a few months after Amber was born, I seriously started my journey to get and stay healthy. I think she may have been a main motivator. I want to be able to dance at her wedding!
5. My regained health. I feel SO GOOD! I can walk for miles as I proved in NYC. I take one diarrhetic pill for my blood pressure and honestly feel I could go off that one little pill now. I'm going to approach the doctor about that at my next check-up. Everything on me is normal now: my BP, my blood sugar, my weight. Life is so happy when you are just normal. Even my EKG's are normal now!
6. This chance I have to retire from my mundane job, where I have been under-employed and underpaid for 35 years. Retirement will give me time to pursue teaching, spending more time with grandkids and simply doing things that I want to do.
7. A local reporter wrote a wonderful story about me that appeared in our newspaper last Sunday, the day I flew to NYC. She interviewed me on the phone Friday, and a photographer came to my house on Saturday. I love this particular reporter, she writes a human interest column a couple times a week and she can make me cry and she can make me laugh with her wonderful writing style. Her Thanksgiving column in today's paper was also wonderful. In her story about me on Sunday, she got every single fact right, and pretty much said everything I had told her in our phone conversation. Only she said it in such an eloquent way. Everytime I read the article, it makes me cry. here's a link to the lovely article. I even got to mention Sparkpeople.com in the newspaper, unlike on TV!
I'm going to fix Thanksgiving dinner for my family on Sunday. I thought about simply not having a celebration this year, but then I thought about all the wonderful things that have happened to me this last year and realized I needed to take time to truly give thanks for the blessings I have. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to God and my Spark friends, and my family and to myself for giving me the willpower to make the changes I needed to make so that I could once again enjoy living.