Those of you who know me know that for most of my adult life, I have waged a battle with my weight, carrying far too much of it for my frame. My career choice so far hadn’t helped matters with baking on a regular basis even if just to feed an addiction to sugar that I really didn’t realize I had. Yes really! I just felt whenever I was emotional whether happy or sad I had a compulsion to bake, an excuse to fill a void within me that sadly never got filled through chocolate intake or cake consumption.
I’m totally baring my soul here when I admit that I just couldn’t get enough sugar into myself. Years went by, my weight escalated and I went to the doctor so many times. Every joint in my body ached from Fibromyalgia. Sometimes I would crawl up the stairs from how my joints ached, but still I never addressed my over indulgence in sweet things and my weight.
Even recently, I was prescribed pills by my GP and I felt like I was tripping or something wierd. I knew that actually the root issue was not actually the weight but in reality the REAL issue was how I felt about myself deep down. I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that in essence, I was deceived.
Why didn’t I actually ask myself the real question – why do I overeat? My ‘weight’ and yes I’m taking ownership here and accountability for my wrong choices and actions – was simply the by product of a deeper issue.
I could make all the excuses I wanted and blame circumstances, the death of my first husband, the life changing car crash I was involved in, people who had hurt me, bereavement, loneliness or unhappiness. Any number of issues and emotional upsets could have caused me to turn to food as a comfort, in the same way an addict turns to drugs as an escape. And yes, I used every one of them to shield even my own heart from the real issues.
But facing the next season of my life and having a long hard look at my body ( when most of my life I have avoided looking at it) gave me the gradual wake up call I needed to hear. Certainly my mum’s passing was also a game changer for me. There was no magic pill I could take, no super formula I could drink, no fairy godmother – no corrective surgery – just plain old persistance in being careful to eat sensibly and take regular exercise. I also realized how addicted I had become to sugar and began to gradually break it’s hold over me through regular juicing and eating fresh fruit instead of devouring chocolate.
I took the goggles of deception off. I looked at my body and apologised to it for all the abuse it had suffered because of what I had eaten. I looked at my puffy arms, my swollen ankles, my aching joints and my poor shoulders for what they had carried all those years. I decided to change. No amount of persuasion of my loved ones all those years could have reached until now. Finally I had seen the light. I prayed and asked God to help me overcome and change.
In my lifestyle change, I had moved back to our home and before we moved, my husband and I decided we would join a gym. It needed to have a swimming pool. Years before, I had joked with my husband that getting into a swimming costume in a public place was like the humiliation of walking naked into a stadium of people – I felt like everyone’s eyes would be upon me in disgust. However in this paradigm shift of mine, I decided to remove my contact lenses so that if I couldn’t see their embarrassed glances, then it wouldn’t bother me.
Together Paul and I joined a gym two months ago. I decided I could only face the swimming pool because there I was weightless. I didn’t have to look in a mirror just get myself into and out of the pool. I knew I wasn’t the strongest of swimmers and that it would just be a matter of continually willing myself to move even if it was two or three times a week. I’m more like a stealth swimmer rather than a speed swimmer.
It was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. I told no one except my family what I was doing. Each time I visit the pool I go early in the morning and am now going three times a week at 6.30 am. This weekend I went twice. At first my joints ached and sometimes took two to three days to recover from the pain.
I didn’t give up – instead I developed the power of persistance within myself. I pushed myself even when I didn’t feel like it and told my mind that I actually enjoyed swimming. I get a buzz now once I’ve had a swim and feel more able to cope with my day. My joints don’t ache as much, I feel alive!
My clothes are getting looser and I respect what I put into my body. I’m on my way to where I want to be and life is good! I want to encourage anyone who is wrestling with their weight to get moving! I can truly say it has worked for me. Find an exercise you enjoy and just do it!! Obviously if it’s cycling I wouldn’t recommend taking your lenses out! And never mind those negative people who frown upon your frame – just enjoy your moment and know that your loved ones are cheering you on xx