Thursday, July 26, 2012

Memories of Me

Me before the diet

Me Today - See the difference?
Today I got up from a chair in my office and walked across the galleries without limping!  The knee was stiff but the pain that usually accompanies my getting up after a long sit wasn't there.  The idea that I will soon be walking with a normal gait instead of hobbling around like an 85 year old keeps me motivated.

As a matter of fact, there are a lot of 80-90 year olds that I've met through my job who get around a lot better than I do!  I will never forget the time I had to unplug a lamp from under a table in the center's entryway and a 95 year old man (YES, I said 95) offered to help me.  Before I could even get down on the floor (which usually takes some major manuvers on my part - and getting up is pretty labor intensive, too) he had squatted under the table and jumped back up with the plug.  You could have picked my jaw up off the floor.

When I think of how much of my life I've spent in an overweight body and how much better I feel after losing the first 35 lbs.  I realize how much of life I've missed out on. 

  • The times I told friends I couldn't go out and have fun because I "didn't feel well"
  • The hundreds of days and weekends I wasted vegging out in front of the TV or sleeping in instead of doing something fun or creative
  • The times I told a niece, nephew or another child in my life that I couldn't play with them because I was too tired (or hurting)
  • The chores and projects that were left undone
  • The friendships I let slip away because they were just too much work to maintain
All that and more because I was too tired, in too much pain, too self conscious about my weight or whatever to LIVE LIFE.  I've been in hibernation, operating through a sugar and weight induced fog. 

I got to thinking about what kind of memories the young ones in my family will have of me in later years.  Will they remember me as someone who left a mark on their life and influenced them in a positive way, or will I be that embarrassing, fat aunt who always overindulged at the family gatherings who would eventually pass out and start snoring loudly in an easy chair?  

A photo my sister in law, Jenni, took of me and my nephew
at the family campout.  I spent a lot of time sitting and
resting the knees.  By the way, all the clothes I was wearing
that day are too big for me now.
Back in April I organized a campout for my family.  My mom, brothers, sisters-in-law, their children and my husband were all part of the gathering.  I had grand plans to play with the nieces and nephews, hike and bike with the family, and just play hard with the ones I love.  While I was able to do a few things and had fun, my aching knees and worn out body held me back . 

I remember standing at the top of a flight of stone steps, trying to work up enough gumption to bend my knees, just to get down the hill.  I was so embarrassed at how out of shape and handicapped I was. 

I think that moment was the final straw that got me to thinking about changing my life and what eventually led me to this diet. 

Losing this weight is doing more than changing my body.  The improved health is transforming my life as well. I am looking forward to my next 44 years on this planet as a productive, vital woman who has energy to spare!

This morning I got up at 4, like I normally do.  Up until yesterday, I would spend the early hours lounging in the recliner, watching TV, cup of coffee in hand, snoozing, until it was time to get ready for work.  Today and yesterday I got up, drank my coffee and then cleaned a couple of rooms in the house. 

Anyone who knows me knows that behavior is totally out of the norm.  Even I'm surprised that I got up and got working before the sun was up!  

The world is opening up for me.  I feel great and get better with each passing day.  I am loving life again and am planning to lead a well-lived life from here on out. 

The lyrics of a Dolly Parton tune, Better Get to Livin', are running through my head, and I think they're appropriate to end this post:

Your life's a wreck, your house is mess
And your wardrobe way outdated
All your plans just keep on falling through
Overweight and under paid, under appreciated
I'm no guru, but I'll tell you This I know is true.
You better get to livin', givin'
A little more thought about bein'
A little more willin' to make a better way
Don't sweat the small stuff
Keep your chin up Just hang tough
And if it gets too rough
Fall on your knees and pray And do that everyday
Then you'll get to livin'.
The day we're born we start to die
Don't waste one minute of this life
Get to livin'
Share your dreams and share your laughter
Make some points for the great hereafter.

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