I am amazed at how much better I handle everything when I have a regular workout routine. I am a much nicer person. I am much calmer. I am a better wife, mother and friend. I have had a great journey this year figuring this out. Six months ago, I was at my heaviest point in my life. I mean, I was heavier than I was nine months pregnant with either of my children. I was grumpy and my marriage was not at its best point. Marital relations were not near as frequent as they have always been because I was so unhappy with myself, how could I give anything away. I hated looking in the mirror, but it was more than that. I just felt blah for lack of a better word. Anybody who knows me, knows blah is not a term that can be used when discussing me.
I have strangers coming up to me on a fairly regular basis and tell me I look like I know how to have a really great time. I think they mean it as a compliment. This wasn’t happening anymore and I don’t think it had anything to do with my size, but more with the aura I was putting out there. I don’t know if people can really see auras like some claim, though my daughter always assigned people colors when she was smaller, so maybe they can. I do believe that people put an attitude out that can be read without even hearing a word. I think I am approached quite often because I have an openness about me. I know others who people just don’t come up and talk to, but you can sense that they don’t want you to. For a while, I was not in a great place and I think it was noticeable. I knew something had to change.
I thought very hard for several days about what was different about me that caused me to feel the way I did. Sure, there was my weight, but I have never really been small and I was wearing the same size as I had at my previous large size, though they were a little tighter. I thought very hard about what was different in my life when a few years ago, I was at my happiest. My marriage was at its best, and even my husband agreed with this. So after a lot of soul-searching and talking things over with my husband, I discovered the answer was simple. I was at my absolute best when I was taking some time, if not every day, at least three days a week, for myself. I was going to the gym and working out hard. I was earning a soreness that I loved. I saw big differences, not in my size, but in the tightness of my body. I had energy that felt great. It made me a much better person, mother and wife.
So after all this soul-searching, I decided that changes had to be made. Drastic changes. I spoke with my doctor and discussed the weight issue. He told me how many calories I needed to eat because of being vertically challenged and the medical issues that I have. It’s not that I was sitting around doing nothing. I was always on the go. I just wasn’t doing a set workout. I started that. I found The Biggest Loser for Wii and thought I’d give that a try. It was the best thing I have ever done. I work out, pretty hard, 6 days a week. I wake up before everyone else does so that I can get that workout in. The day we left for vacation, I had to get up at 4AM to get that done, but it was a great way to start the day. I don’t have to leave me home and I can go at the pace I want. Now, here I am 5 months later. I am back to the person that I want to be. I have lost about 60 pounds. I am now smaller than I remember being as an adult. That’s nice, and I have to say that I do enjoy admiring my body now.
I’m still at a size where my friends feel fat, but I feel skinny. I am not meant to be skinny. Even looking at pictures of me at a size 3, I wasn’t skinny. (I’m not there now, but I am happy to say that I can fit into many 8’s and slim fitting 10’s) I have curves and dense muscles. I am happy with how I look and it radiates from me. I have strangers coming up to me to compliment me and tell me I look great, which is always nice, but again, it comes from within. I want my daughters to know that what I did was not about being skinny. It was about being healthy, and I mean both physically and mentally.
I started running a couple of months ago. I have never been a runner, even in track, I was a sprinter. A mile killed me for conditioning. That was when I was in great shape in high school. I am very happy to report that I have run 3.6 miles at one time. I will be running my first 5k this fall and am really looking forward to that accomplishment. I am also thinking about running a 185 mile 12 person relay in January through the Florida Keys. I will be doing the MS 150, which is 150 mile bike ride, through The Keys over 2 days, in the spring to benefit, you guessed it, MS. I did this a few years ago and had a great time. Plus, it is an accomplishment that I am very proud of.
I want my daughters to know that taking time for themselves is important as they grow up. I want them to learn that pushing yourself beyond what you think they can do is the only way to truly know what your limits are. I want them to be proud of who they are, regardless of the size that they are. I want them to live active lives, because I have learned the hard way, that there is such a correlation between all aspects of health and wellness and the lifestyle that you lead. I think that I am letting them know these things. At least, I hope I am. I tell them all the time. I want them to know that the time that I take to do this for myself makes me a much better, more patient Mom. I don’t want them to have body issues like I did, and I think about it a lot when they do see me watching what I eat. I don’t deny myself anything for that reason, just everything in moderation.
I know this is a little departure from Thinking Thursday, but I spent a lot of time over the past 6 months thinking about all of these things and I hope that I can inspire someone else to think about these things as well. Please be happy with who you are, but if you’re not, make the changes that need to be made. For me, it was changing my lifestyle to be much more active and become physically fit.