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5k Done but oh so much more......

Friday, August 03, 2012

Today i completed the 5k walk challenge. One more hurdle jumped. One more challenge kicked to the side.

I am feeling pumped and ready for the next challenge.

How did I get here?

In Sept. 2011, I dropped at work with heart related illness. I didn't know it then but that would be my last day of stressed, rushed, pushed work environment. For me it was a wake up call.
At 58 years of age I was facing my own mortality - something I didn't even want to think about until I was at least 90 or so. : )

If I wanted to see my grandchildren grow up, enjoy bowling with my children or spend time gardening with my husband I would have to change some things in my life. At this point in my life I was "obese" - a word I noticed on the doctor's chart in the heart clinic. What a jolt that was. I never considered myself obese - I was heavy set, big boned, or anything else but obese?
I realized it was time to be serious about my own personal health. Having been a caregiver for most of my life, I neglected to give care to myself. How did I miss the signals?

So after taking time off for medical purposes I officially retired and was dreading the long days and workless weeks. Well now I think it was a great thing for me.

Looking for some way to shape up to enjoy retirement days with hubby, kids and grandkids I followed a tiny link that my daughter sent me and found SPARK PEOPLE.

Was it the challenges? Was it the structured meal plans? Was it the caring, supportive folks who so quickly welcomed me to this group? All of the above.

(I especially appreciate the positve reinforcement and encouragement of others who are dealing with similar hurdles, similar feelings. I feel like I am on a winning team with people rooting for us all along the race track.)

March 23, 2012 I joined SP.

From March 23, 2012 to July 26, 2012 I tracked food, walked, exercised and kept repeating day after day. Read posts, read success stories, followed other peoples hurrah moments and down in the dump moments too. All this time I noticed the scale moving ever so slowly downward. So discouraged at times, I wanted to cry because the numbers were so slow moving.
But then I stopped focusing so much on numbers and started noticing other AHA things.

I noticed my clothes were getting looser, I had more energy, I could garden, bowl, walk and bike all in the same weekend. WOW!

Then the real big AHA moment came.

On July 26, 2012 I walked into a Sears store in Dartmouth and headed to the Plus size section looking for some new pants. I needed safety pins to keep my old ones up. What a sight :)
Anyway at the time I was wearing size 22 pants so I figured I had dropped down to size 20. I tried 6 pairs of pants on in size 20 trying to find ones to fit. They were all too big.
I actually cried tears of joy when I realized I wasn't going to find my size in the plus section.
For the first time in 20 years I walked over to the regular sized section of womens wear and picked pants off the rack.
In the change room I looked in the mirror and laughed and cried as I realized that I was now a size 18.
What a confidence booster that was. I felt I was getting somewhere. I felt I had accomplished something major. Was I ever happy.

You folks who have already experienced this know that feeling of euphoria. For you folks who are working toward it believe that every moment you work for it is well worth it.

So today I blasted down another challenge. The 5k walking challenge.

I have other challenges on the go now. The biggest one in my life right now is to keep on Sparking, to keep on exercising, to keep on eating healthy so I can soon go to the doctor and say, "Doc, I think it is now time to get rid of all these pills I'm taking."

That's my goal, that's my dream - to become the healthy individual I was meant to be without taking blood pressure meds, cholosterol lowering pills or those dreaded diabetic medications. That's what I am working toward.

While I'm working toward that goal I am really going to enjoy going through all those clothes racks in the regular size section of Sears. I am going to revel in the fact that I can outgarden my husband, outbowl my children and maybe halfway keep up with my grandkids in biking. : )

You know, I'm really looking forward to the next 30 years or so. I wonder how many challenges I can knock off in 30 years?

Thanks Spark People!
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