Sure, today I work to live all in. It wasn't always that way.
Oddly enough, I begin to learn more about putting on my own oxygen mask or making myself a priority in the swirl of family, job, and friends as I fought for my life. Let me stop for a moment. I'm getting ahead of myself. My weight management story goes back many years. When I turned forty, I had just returned from Europe fit and feisty. At first, it was only 10 pounds. By the end of 2000, I was out of my size 8 Levis and barely squeezing into size 10 mom jeans. Then I encountered an interesting form of exercise called T-Tapp in a Woman’s World feature.
I took Teresa's information and expanding social network and ran with it. I worked my way from the rehab to the Mini and Maxi-Maxi series. I was back to my fit and feisty self and off the refined carbs in six months. I felt so much better. However, there was more going on than a quick fix of this or that exercise program whether it be effective or not. I gradually stopped doing T-Tapp.
By 2002, things began to spiral out of control like never before. My cholesterol levels sky rocketed. My energy plummeted. I was back in mom jeans. Yet, I negotiated with myself repeatedly saying next week, next week, next week. The bigger that I became the more that I put off doing the one thing that I knew would help.
During 2006, I bought size-14 stretchy jeans and an even more deadly cycle started. Instead of doing moderate exercise and monitoring my intake, I pushed my body up and down the scale with yo-yo exercise and fad diets and flushes.
The cycle came to an abrupt halt in January 2010. I was wearing XL stretchy warm ups and size 18 slacks with stacks of unworn size 8-14 clothes in my closet. I had a terrifying cardiac event. I was rushed to the emergency room and hooked up to wires upon wires and given test upon test. After the dust settled a few weeks later, my doctor gave me the live-or-die talk. My cardiac health appeared within a healthy range. Yet, I had edema, high cholesterol, gout, depression, anxiety, a torn rotor cuff from falling due to my weight, and an emotionally and mentally-abusive employer that thrived on stress.
That was the turning point for me. I quit my high-stress job. I focused on practicing what I coached as an academically-sound behavioral-modification coach specializing in tobacco cessation and, gulp, weight management. I finally just did two-to-one-God-and-man-made-carb days, fresh fruits and veggies, walking, protein-based meals, 2 tablespoons of healthy fats per day, more walking, goals, and rewards. Portion management, pre-planning meals, apples, non-fat Greek yogurt, and fresh air became my best friends. While the first 25 pounds came off, I climbed hills, did yoga and T-Tapp, and slowly began running again with Kangoo Jumps. Everything else in my life took second place to this. Nothing was more important than saving my life. I was worth living.
By August 2010, I was training for a 5K and decided that it was time to develop my coaching practice: www.clearactionnow.com. By January 2011, I felt ready to amp up my core strength and reduce body fat. I entered the 2011-T-Tapp-January-Jumpstart challenge and did the Mini-Max series for lower body and arms. No excuses. When I wasn't up for anything else, I sure could walk. By then end of week four, I released 22.75” and 7 pounds overall. However, I measure my progress differently.
All in all, my mental focus changed. Yes, I measure my progress by no edema or gout flares for over one year, my cholesterol level lowering 100 points, a pain-free shoulder, and significantly reduced depression and anxiety. Yet, I also measure my progress by finally admitting to myself and you that I have underlying self-worth, body-image, and resulting wellness challenges. I measure my progress by admitting what I know and what I am in such an open forum or social network. Doing so is terrifying; yet, necessary if I want to develop. For the rest of my life, I must first help myself if I want to effectively help anyone. As Mother Teresa said, "To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it."
"Be clear on who you are and then be it" (Be True Be Happy, Hanns-Oskar Porr).