Saturday, March 16, 2013
It's hard to look back at this time last year and realize how far I've come. A year ago I turned 65 in March and so went on Medicare. I'd been unable to walk or drive my car for over 5 months at that point and was ready to get a motorized wheelchair just so I could get around and not be isolated any more. The handicap was hard enough, but the depression of being so alone was absolutely devastating. I'd even considered having weight loss surgery, as I'd been struggling for half a year, trying to lose weight--only able to lose 30 lb. and then hit a plateau for months. Somehow I was blessed with an insight one afternoon. I'd lost my mom early in 2011 and still miss her very much. I was reminiscing about times we spent together, and it struck me that she had many physical challenges throughout her life but NEVER gave up. She maintained an upbeat attitude and kept pushing to do as much as she was able every day of her life. It struck me that I have her blood running in my veins and to honor her memory, I could do no less. So I determined to cancel the order for the wheelchair and struggle to keep the ability that I had and build on that. I refocused my efforts on losing weight and shortly afterward, I found SparkPeople. Thank God for that!!! I've been so lifted up by the blogs and comments posted by other SP friends, that I was inspired to begin exercising. At first, I could only do 5 minutes a day--even that was a real struggle, but I kept it up nearly every day. Soon I had a streak going and didn't ever skip again--in fact, I gradually increased to 10 minutes a day, then 15 and now 20 minutes every day!! For me, who couldn't do ANYTHING, that's fantastic. I also was able to take some physical therapy to help me move better and get more options with my exercise. That opened new worlds for me too. And through it all, I've continued to lose. By Valentine's Day, it was 100 lbs. gone, and another pound the following week. Since then, I've been on a plateau that doesn't want to budge. It's frustrating, but I only need to look back to where I started and realize that each day is a success just being here--just keeping at it, even when I don't see the numbers on the scales continue to go down. I am continuing to keep that weight off!!! That in itself is a success. I'm nowhere near my ideal weight and I know I have a long way to go. But I don't have to do it all this week--or this year. So long as I keep making healthy choices and doing healthy exercise each and every day, so long as I keep tracking my food and movement daily on SP, so long as I keep reading articles, blogs and comments, interacting with my SP friends and team members, so long as I keep watching videos and listening to Spark Radio EVERY DAY, I know the scales will eventually start to move downward again.
Tomorrow is my birthday. I will turn 66. But I'm more than a year away from the person I was a year ago at 65. I'm worlds away from that sad, dependent, crippled woman. I'm living in a way that will help me reach 100 and I'm only 2/3 of the way there! I'm happy and surrounded by many happy friends--both on SP and in person. I'm able to walk without my walker or cane for short distances and can drive again, which gives me the independence to come and go as I wish. The future looks bright ahead for me now. Tomorrow I will have a happy birthday--and a Happy St. Patrick's Day. And I wish the same to each one who reads this blog. Hang in there--we CAN do this. We ARE doing this. Together.