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.
Peg Hipple says
I absolutely love reading your blog Shelley. You motivate me and since you are like a younger sister to me….let me say I am proud of you. I admire the grit you put into all that you truly believe in. You inspire me. I recently launched into another skin care business (Mary Kay) after selling Beauticontrol for 15 years. I am having a blast now teaching women how to take care of their skin and it is a great platform for sharing Gods word since MKs motto is God first, family second and business third. I struggle with being confident and bold….BUT God has confirmed many times that this is the company HE wants for me to be selling for. I have been in cosmetics since I was 18 and started selling Jafra. So with all that said please pray God that I can gain the confidence I need to go forward. I love people…so it shouldn’t be that hard…right?
You are in my prayers Shelley. Loved your Christmas card/picture. You have a beautiful family for sure.
Shelly D Templin says
Peg, I remember you “practicing” on me when you were selling Jafra. You love people so you will be successful! I will be praying for God to guide you, lead you and grow your business.
goodness as your father I did not know your high school struggle–just saw an achiever! That determation is still in your actions—
What i see in this blog is not so much find some “to do”, but the determation to challenge and not let circumances be be your direction.
The wilingness to reach out to others is so much a great step.
Shelly D Templin says
Dad, you always believed in me! Thank you!
Marilyn Gray says
Love it! Encouragement and grace! Thank you and best wishes for the year(s) ahead!
Shelly D Templin says
Best wishes to you too!
Shelly thank you for sharing this. Body image and weight struggles hit all of us at some point I would think. When my parents moved to a new town the summer between 3rd and 4th grade, I didn’t know anyone so I sat inside and watched TV and ate junk food. I started 4th grade with a a changing body and added weight that made me feel boxy and yuk. I had always been outside playing and this was foreign to me. It became my “identity” quickly as my mom would shop and ask where the “chubby” department was. This persisted until my freshman year when I signed up for a bunch of clubs and activities and the busy schedule helped my metabolism to return to its productive state. I found the pounds drop off as I was active and I had less time to sit around and snack. As I have passed through pregnancies and now menopause and beyond, I once again have found I relied on metabolism that allowed me to eat what I wanted and lose the pounds or struggle with weight when it slowed on me. It is frustrating and really does affect moods and attitudes. And yes, inside I am that girl in a new town with no friends and missing my old neighborhood. Great insight in many ways to the root of the struggle…thank you for your transparency so we can face the deeper issues inside each of us. I tend to self-defeat instead of committing to the steps that will bring about change. Great insight and encouragement and the picture of you and your friend grilling a steak made me laugh <3
Shelly D Templin says
Thank you for sharing your struggles. Cheering you on!
Absolutely LOVE this! So encouraging and inspiring and from such an honest place!