Greater than 350,000 SparkPoints 593,615

What's in YOUR past??

Monday, May 28, 2012

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 ( emoticon), 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!)
Share This Post With Others
Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Whew I spent most of the day reading your blogs! Of course the chance to look at Spot is a big part of my motivation... I find it very interesting what you said about energy here.
    1096 days ago
  • SHARON10002
    Fantastic blog, Barb!!!! emoticon emoticon
    What an amazing story!
    2156 days ago
  • CANNIE50
    As you know, I love your story. I needed to be reminded of it. I am struggling with thyroid related stuff and I am glad to have the reminder not to use it as an excuse, though it is certainly frustrating.
    2157 days ago
    Congrats on your success! You had the courage to change, and you have the courage to keep on going.
    One of the worst parts of being overweight is not being able to have the energy to fully enjoy our children. I was there, too, so I know about that.

    Keep on Sparking.

    2157 days ago
    2158 days ago
  • NANCY-
    What a wonderful Present and future you have given yourself. Your story helps me to keep moving forward. Thanks for sharing it.
    2158 days ago
    Yes, it does take courage to pull ourselves out of our denial and into a healthy lifestyle. Being healthy isn't an easy thing. We could so easily be bad and every day it's a struggle to keep ourselves on the right path. I've heard your story in bits before but every time I hear, I'm still inspired!
    2158 days ago
    Congratulations on how far you've come on your journey! We all have those moments like the one with your son. But we're changing our lives! We don't have to stay the way we were. Great blog!
    2158 days ago
    Not easy but simple. I find being open to simple is a better road to take instead of finding the convoluted, complicated way with all it's excuses. Thanks for reminding me. I do forget every so often!
    2158 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing! You seem to have gone quite a transformation. I am so happy to read that, now that I know you a little bit, you are so worth it! Plenty of emoticon

    By the way, that "denial is not just a river in Egypt" was a first timer for me. A good one! emoticon
    2159 days ago
    Look in the dictionary you are Success!!!

    I hope a lot of folks get to read this - there's a lot to be learned, it isn't long winded if you are opening doors for someone.
    2159 days ago
    You are such a wonderful inspiration!!! Thank you!!!
    2159 days ago
    Dear virtual one!--(LOL)---You have done SO WELL!!!!! --And YOU did it!!!--You must be proud!--- You have probably addede years onto your life-Lynda-
    2159 days ago
    Great blog! Determination has a lot to do with it. I'm 65 and have gone from 255 to 125 with a goal of 120. I was amazed when I was told, ""You're so small"!! Now my doctor tells me I should gain, but it took me too long to get where I am!! It would seem lots of us have similar stories. Thanks for posting yours.
    2159 days ago
    Awesome backstory, Barb! My own moment was my mother in law, on the phone, asking "Have you been running dear?" when I had walked five steps to pick up the telephone. Yeah. Wake up calls. So unhealthy, so in denial. That was 23 years ago or so. And for some of us, it takes more than one trip.

    So glad to be healthy NOW. Don't want to go back there. Let's stay here in the land of fit and healthy... together! emoticon emoticon
    2159 days ago
    Every time I read one of your BLOGS, I get so much out of them! Similar situations, sort of silly comparisons, that hit home for me! So thanks so much for sharing....

    For the record, some similarities...I am 61 (a bit older, but near the same generation, like an older sister could be), I am just 5' tall, even though I used to say, 5' 1 1/2" ( and our DD would say "WITH TWO INCH HEELS, MOM!") and faith... I have a very strong faith! Demons are out there, and even though I have much to go, I feel better now (at 61+) then in my 20's, 30's, 40's, or even my teens!
    So I trust my "HIGHER POWER" to get me through the day, to help with each step along the way. It's so nice to feel you are not alone!!!
    2159 days ago
    You are emoticon ! And such a great inspiration!
    2159 days ago
    YOU are emoticon and I am so glad that I met you here on Spark.
    2159 days ago
    emoticon emoticon
    2159 days ago
    emoticon What a great SUCCESS story! So Inspirational!!
    2159 days ago
    FANTASTIC!!!!!! Loved this blog, love your attitude, love your success, and your willingness to share your moments with us.
    2159 days ago
  • AUNTB63
    I am so glad YOU made the decision you did. Without joining SP we would never have had the opportunity to get to know you and what you are made of....you are an awesome person with too many good qualities to list, but I will say YOU ARE the BEST! Oh by the way...."kids say the darnedest things" emoticon
    2159 days ago
    Great blog!!!
    2159 days ago
    What a great blog! Thank you for sharing. I still struggle with the idea of "putting my mask on first". emoticon
    2159 days ago
    2159 days ago
    emoticon blog - would love to see a pic of you in your svelte body : )
    2159 days ago
  • Add Your Comment to the Blog Post

    Log in to post a comment

    Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.