Sunday, May 3, 2015

Working up the courage to change

I knew I needed to lose weight.  Of course I knew it...and thought about it a lot.  But it took me a long time to finally work up the courage to do it.  It's so much easier to just stay in that rut of unhealthy eating and no activity.  Just give in to those habits I was so familiar with.  Change is hard.
After all, my family still loved me no matter what size I was.  No one was telling me to lose weight. 

There were several things that got me thinking more about my weight.  My parents are both gone, so now I'm part of the older generation of the family.  I thought more about the health problems my parents dealt with.  And, I was already taking prescription meds for a few health issues.  Hypertension and an underactive thyroid were the ones that really caused me some concern.  I thought "what if I could improve my health by changing my lifestyle?"  Do I really have any control over those issues?  If I made changes, could I avoid some of those other medical problems my parents developed?

The thing that scared me the most was the thought of developing type 2 diabetes.  It scared the hell out of me.  My Mom was diabetic and for many years she did not control her blood sugar levels.  In her later years, I saw what damage that did to her body.  Kidney failure, which led to hemodialysis 3 times a week.  Damage to her eyesight.  Decreased circulation in her legs, which led to even scarier problems.  Mom and Dad both had heart problems, too.  Everyone knows the many issues related to heart disease.

Anyway, you get the picture.  The older I got, the more real it got...I could be on my way to developing those same, scary diseases.  It was a very real possibility.  Gulp.  Lump in my throat, right now.  It scared me.

Ok, let's lighten the mood a little here.

There are a few things that moved me closer to making changes.

My friend Kris M.  Besides being friends and crafting buddies, we're co-workers.  The window of my office looks out to an aisle that runs along several offices and a printer/copier room.  Kris makes a LOT of trips to the printer, so she walked past my office often.  Every time I noticed her walking by, I also noticed the lift and bounce in her step.  And she walks fast.  I hadn't had a bounce to my step, or been able to walk fast, in many years.  I really, really wanted that bounce back.

Kris had begun running, so that was something we talked about.  I admired (and still admire) her commitment to being as healthy as she can be.  I was also learning about the foods she was eating.  Those conversations really struck a chord deep inside me and the conversations stayed in my mind.

Soon after those conversations began, one of my sisters-in-law asked me to walk a 5k in Chicago with her.  This particular race was a huge fundraiser for CureSearch, which is a foundation that is near and dear to my heart.  CureSearch is a leader in childhood cancer research.  So, of course, I said yes.
I was so excited to participate in this walk!

Then it dawned on me.  Am I physically able to walk 5k?  That's 3.1 miles.  In the heat of summer.
Oh crap.  What have I gotten myself into?

I have to make some changes.  Like.....now.  No putting it off,

Thank you M.W. for the nudge that finally told me "now is the time".  August 2013.

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