19 August 2015

Taking Care of Myself


Not something I hear a lot of these days.

But this morning I rise at 5:18 (after hitting the snooze once) and head downstairs to my new toy.


Thank you Mom and Dad for my birthday/anniversary present. My parents are The Bomb.

For 50 glorious minutes I walk. By myself. No child grabbing my legs demanding attention/milk/snack/playtime. No guilt over not paying attention to my poor husband. No television. No iphone. No solitaire. No landline ringing. No computer. No noise except the clomp clomp clomp of my feet and the whir of the treadmill motor.

50 minutes of solitude and exercise.

In short...50 minutes of taking care of myself.

Something I haven't done much of during my four year stint as a mom. When Esme was an infant, it was easy to throw her in the stroller to take long walks on the bike path or drop her at the day care at the gym. Once she got much more mobile it became much less convenient to get her and me to the gym. And once she refused to sit in the stroller it was no longer possible for me to take long walks outside.

So I stopped.

I focused all of my energy on taking care of my daughter and put absolutely zero energy into taking care of myself. I fed her well. Kept her healthy. But didn't bother doing the same for me and relied on convenience foods because I was often just too darn tired to take the time to make healthy meals.

Consequently...I am fat.

Now, now I hear some of you saying, "No you're not. Don't talk about yourself like that. You're beautiful."

And I thank you for trying to make me feel better, but the truth is that I am fat. According to the scale and the standard Body Mass Index (BMI) numbers I am fat. Not just fat, but obese.


Now, mind you, I'm not the heaviest that I've ever been. Still have quite a ways to go to get to that number. Thank goodness. However, I also have a long way to go to get to what is considered a healthy BMI.

Hence...the new treadmill and getting up pre-dawn to walk.

You might be about to congratulate me for taking this great step forward toward better health, but don't just yet. You see, I've been putting it off this year even after I had a huge health scare in January.

Yep. I was hospitalized. Thought I was having a heart attack. So I had an overnight stay in a luxurious cardiac room at the Naples Community Hospital in FL (did I mention that I was on vacation?) complete with a stress test and nuclear scan of my heart. Thankfully, no heart attack. Instead turns out that I have pretty severe reflux (GERD) and some new medication is taking care of that nicely.

Whew! What a relief.

So, you'd think after that scare that I would have gone right out and bought that treadmill to get going on avoiding a real heart attack, right?


Here's the thing...my life, aside from the fact that I'm fat, is pretty awesome most days. I get to hang out with an amazing kid. We play. We go out to lunch. A lot. And we go out to dinner. We get ice cream or frozen yogurt a few times a week. I'm not much of a one for cooking. At all. I really really really like chocolate. A lot.

Basically I kinda like my life the way it is.

So for the last seven months I had been resisting the changes I need to make. Going merrily along ignoring and denying what I know I needed to do.

But the reality is that I can't just hop on a treadmill and expect fantastic results if I don't do the other work of making myself and my family healthy food. And that takes work. Lots and lots of work.

So I didn't do any of it.

Until I had another health scare. Two actually - a pretty serious case of pneumonia and then a cancer scare. Thankfully, the pneumonia resolved and I don't have cancer.

But I do have a great appreciation for the fact that I want to be around for my kid's high school graduation, first big job, wedding, birth of her first kid, etc. I want to be there for her. And I can only do that by giving up my old unhealthy ways and adopting a new lifestyle.

So I have my new treadmill. That's the easy part.

The hard part will be learning a whole new way of eating and really taking care of myself.

But I'm making a start.

So, if you see me chowing down on pizza somewhere feel free to give me the stinkeye because you know that I'm not supposed to be eating that sh*t anymore.

Time to go shower and make myself a healthy breakfast.

Wish me luck.

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