On March 16th 2006, at 8:30am, " my switch was flipped " into the ON position. Almost six years later, I have not flipped it back. That Friday morning, I gave birth to my beautiful girl, Sydney. The moment I saw her I knew I had to make some changes. It was not fair to her to have been born to me. Who did I think I was bringing a life into the world when I couldn't even take care of myself ? I was not worthy to be her mom. I did not feel I deserved her. I never wanted her to know who I had become. I wanted to be her hero, someone she could be proud of. I became 38 years old just five days later. Could I be forty, fit , and fabulous? I had about 2 years to whip myself into shape. If I timed things right and worked very hard, she would not ever know that person existed. If someone told you it would take you 2 years to get your life and your body back, would you go for it? I did.
Not one person came knocking on my door to help me. No one came and whisked me away, in a limo, to a ranch where I would have unlimited access to trainers, nutritionists, and a gym. No personal chef to cook me healthy meals. No one was going to do this for me. I had done this to myself and I was determined to fix it myself. With the help of the internet, I began googling and researching diet after diet. Then it dawned on me..... Diets DON'T work. I decided to approach my situation differently than most people do. After all, I was not trying to fit in a dress or lose a few pounds to sport a bikini. I needed to lose a lot of weight and be healthy so I could take care of my family. I needed a lifestyle intervention. I became my own help, my own cheerleader. I began creating my lifestyle. A lifestyle I could live with. And a lifestyle I could be proud of.
My doctor gave me the green light to start walking about 4 weeks after giving birth. My starting point was 200 lbs. My husband had purchased a jogging stroller for me to use. I began walking around my neighborhood, starting with 30 minutes at a time. It was ridiculously hard being 50 pounds overweight and pushing a stroller up and down the street, especially with my lack of fitness. ( If you don't see the challenge, strap on 50 lbs and try it yourself.) My legs, hips and arms hurt terribly those first couple weeks. The emotional pain, from sitting on the couch and stuffing my face, was far worse than any physical pain I have ever felt from moving my body. I embraced the pain, and made friends with it. As I hurt physically, my emotional pain lessened. Really, it did.
Walking and pushing a stroller is where I began. I walked everyday, sometimes twice a day. Fall came, then winter, and I was still walking. As long as it was at least 40 degrees, we bundled up and put in the miles. I felt a huge sense of accomplishment to finish a walk everyday. During the summer months, I referred to it as " earning my shower ". I had established a routine, something I could live with. The first piece of my lifestyle puzzle had been found.
Walking does not require a lot of gear. Invest in a descent pair of walking shoes. Expect to spend about $75 to $100. You deserve to be comfortable, you will log a lot of miles in them. Remember, good gear will keep you moving therefore, keeping your excuses to a minimum. Cheap gear ends up in the back of the closet or in the trash, while expensive gear will make you feel guilty for not using it.
Take one last look in the mirror. You will NEVER be here again. This is your starting point. Take a picture, you will NEVER look like this again. Hop on the scale. You will NEVER be this number again. Throw the scale out, or have someone hide it. You will not be judging yourself daily by what the scale says. Trust me on this. ( My feelings about the scale will appear in another post )
Every journey starts with one footstep. Take the step forward to a better life and everything else will fall into place. Stop worrying about what it looks like or how scary change is. You can do this.