“Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.”– John Wooden
I have been weight conscience for as long as I can remember.
My awareness began in junior high when my body began to develop curves and shape before many of my friend’s bodies did. Over the course of several months I began to transform from tomboy to girly, girl with a touch of grit. I was active, as I played softball, was a cheerleader, and I had two younger brothers and a neighborhood full of boys; which I frequently found myself playing hotbox , tackle football, HORSE, and many other activities with.
I remained active throughout high school, but always seemed to have to work hard to keep my muscles taunt and my shapes and curves in all the right places. It probably stemmed from heredity and skipping meals and starving myself to stay thin.
After high school, I got married, and remained active, as I continued to play softball and began taking some Aerobics classes at our county YMCA. My husband worked a lot of hours, so I found myself taking more and more fitness classes to pass the time he was away. It was then that I discovered my passion for Aerobics and working out. There was something about hearing those first driving beats of music and feeling those first beads of sweat began to form that truly set my adrenaline soaring. I probably found myself in the best physical shape of my life during this time. And then came my daughter.
Even though I continued to exercise, my family came first, and I wasn’t able or no longer had the desire to spend the same amount of time devoted to keeping in shape. This is when my weight began to yo-yo up and down. I would gain weight, realize what was happening, and try to squeeze in what time I had to lose a few pounds; but gradually, the weight began to slowly creep upward. It was then compounded by the pregnancy of my second child, my son.
It was a difficult pregnancy and I took every precaution because I did think that I could become pregnant in the first place, as we adopted my daughter.. I stopped exercising all together, out of fear of bouncing him out. I developed toxemia around my sixth month; which required bed rest, and 6weeks premature, Derek was born at 3lbs and 10 oz.
I failed to mention that I have always been a stress eater, and having a preemie came with a boat-load of stress. He grew and developed into a healthy little guy, but that worry, doubt and stress was soon replaced with a whole new kind of stress, as my daughter, Larissa was diagnosed with cancer, Medulloblastoma, a malignant brain tumor.
I went back and forth from losing weight with worry, to gaining weight from the comfort of food. Up and down, back and forth, the numbers on the scales would drop and climb, drop, and climb some more. It was a roller coaster ride full of emotion and weight change over the next six year until her ultimate death in 2000. (You can read more about it in a blog that I wrote several years ago entitled “More about my Butterflysongs" www.sparkpeople.com/mypa
Anyway, needless to say, my life was drastically changed. I found myself lost, as my life had revolved around Larissa’s care for so long, that I no longer felt like I had purpose. Derek was in school, as he was now eight years old, my marriage was falling apart because of the grief we had experienced, and I decided it was time to go back to work. My husband and I eventually divorced ; which brought another stress, and In order to keep my mind busy so I didn’t have to think about what I had lost, I immersed myself in my job and began exercising again. I even began teaching Aerobics classes again.
Well past the mourning period of losing my daughter and my marriage, I met a new man, and I began finding a new purpose in life. I found myself happy again and at the age of 35, in the best shape that I had been in a long, long time. I remarried, gained a step-son, and received one promotion, which lead to another, and then another at work.
Unfortunately, life is never without stress, and the promotions at work lead to more pressure and longer and longer hours, to the point that I once again had no time to exercise and more stress eating. This was compounded by the baggage that came with second marriages, teenagers, and the anxiety of gaining weight and being out of shape…..again.
Jump forward 13 more years to today. I am soon approaching 50, which arrives in October. I am 50 plus pounds overweight, have high blood pressure, still with the same stressful job, some of the same second marriage baggage and my teenagers have moved into young adulthood, not always so gracefully. And several weeks ago, I realized that it was time for a major change. I was tired of feeling horrible, tired of looking horrible, and feed up with having a horrible attitude. I decided it was time for “Operation 50 and Fabulous”…. And so here I begin.
It’s time for me, time for eating right, time for exercise, time for losing weight and learning to keep it off. I know that I will never be able to teach 12 high impact aerobics classes a week again. I know that I will never have the tight and taunt body that I did when I was 22, or even 35; but I know that I can have the best 50 year old body that I have ever had. I know I can make taking caring of me and my health a number one priority, along with my family. I know that I can learn how to lose this weight and keep it off, once and for all.
I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do!! I can do this!