Last month, I turned 55 years old. I like 55 better than 54. You see, a year ago I was the heaviest I have ever been. Okay, maybe I was that heavy right before I gave birth to my ten and a half pound baby. Maybe.
If you’ve known me the past 30 or 40 years, you know I’ve tried every diet and workout craze. Some of you have joined me on the journey. To the friend who did the Cabbage Diet with me (and you know who you are), I still wonder if our neighbors thought we were nuts grilling steaks in my back yard at noon the day the diet plan finally allowed us to eat protein.
Some of you have seen me get thin, congratulate me and then watch me gain the weight back – graciously without saying anything to me about it. Thank you, I think. No, really, thank you for allowing us to continue to be friends. Just kidding. I think.
Confession. Every time I gain or lose weight, my emotions take me back to high school. I feel like the young girl who longed to be loved and accepted but had to stand on a scale twice a week in front of the skinny girls.
In high school, I was on our school’s dance team. I dreamed of being on the dance team from the time I was a young girl. I made it – in spite of never taking one dance class! But then I was told I had three months to lose 12 pounds in order to be able to perform with the team. I was 5 foot 7 inches and my maximum weight for the team was 121. If the number on the scale displayed 122, I was considered overweight and couldn’t perform.
So, I spent the summer starving myself. I put myself on a 400 calorie a day diet. I ran and exercised daily – often nearly fainting from lack of nutrition to fuel my body. I existed on cantaloupe, green peas and diet root beer. Hmmm, not the best diet but it was effective. Starvation usually is.
I made my goal weight by August but every Monday and Friday, I stood in my bra and panties and was weighed. Others around me were eating whatever they wanted. I would join them for the burger and fries after a game and then stick my finger down my throat so the calories wouldn’t make me gain weight. Others were leaving school when the day was over but I was donning sweats and running around the gym with the wrestlers who were also trying to make weight every week.
So every time I attempt to lose weight, I feel like the high school girl who is fearful of what the number on the scale will be.
Until January 2019.
Last January I started a new journey. It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution. It was more of a November resolution I knew would be futile to embark on during the holidays. I found a way of eating and exercising that works for me and the changes have slowly happened.
This journey hasn’t been about the number on the scale. This journey is about getting stronger and healthier. (Don’t’ stop reading! I’m not selling a potion or a plan!)
The first day of my workout, I could barely complete it with three-pound weights – and I could barely walk or lift my arms the next few days. Now I do those same workouts and harder ones with 15 or 20 pound weights. Progress not perfection is my motto – thanks to my friend and “coach.”
I have reversed my osteoporosis. Reversed. The scale can’t measure that.
I have a long way to go to achieve my health goals but I’m on the path and will continue the journey.
Do you have a change you want to make in your life? Do you have a goal you want to achieve? I’m not talking about just a health goal. What are you yearning to do? Write a book? Go back to school? Meet your special someone? Grow your faith – or find it? Get a new job? Move?
Start with small steps and find someone to support you. I started with three-pound weights and a few gals who were also on a health quest.
If you want to write a book, join a writer’s group either online or in person. (Here’s a tip about writing a book – start writing!)
If you want to go back to school, go online and apply. Now!
If you want to meet someone, talk to people or sign up for a dating site.
If you want to grow – or find – your faith, find a church or join a Bible study. If that seems overwhelming, contact me and I’ll help you find something that will work for you. In this day and age of technology overload, you won’t have to walk into a church alone. You can grow – or find – your faith at the tip of your finger.
Do you want to get a new job? Apply for one.
Bottom line? Make the change. Give yourself time and grace. Pray about the change and ask the Lord to guide you and strengthen you.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13
Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm. – Winston Churchill
Tell me what change you want to make. Let me cheer you on – as I continue my health journey.