Here in the Great Lakes State, it is CCCCOOOOLLLLLDDDDD and getting more so. Yet, tonight I noticed the sun was still lighting up the sky when I got home from work. I already had my coat, gloves and boots on so I dropped my purse inside, grabbed my earbuds and my nano, put on a warm hat and….
Went for a walk around my apartment complex. As I was walking, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed this lady, who was parked in her spot, shaking her head, like I was crazy to be out in this weather. I looked right at her, still bopping away to my music. She was still shaking her head, but her face had burst into a big huge grin!
Ok, I know it’s cold. The high today was about 14 degrees. Tonight it is getting down to -1 and that is Fahrenheit! Currently we have wind chill warnings till tomorrow at 4 p.m. Tomorrow night, 1-3 inches of snow is expected. Yea, so winter is definitely HERE! Even some schools are closed for tomorrow!
Yet, I went for a walk. Why? Well, two and half years ago, I exercised outside in everything, even rain, rarely missing a day. I was a runner. I completed two 5K’s, in one of which I came in third in my age group!!! However, when I separated and got divorced, I not only quit life, I quit taking care of me. I started coming home from work, getting in my pajamas and laying around the house. I began eating junk food. When I shopped, I no longer lingered in the veggie and fruit department, but flew right on through to the bakery. I became fat, AGAIN! Ever since then I have often pondered why I quit.
I know why I quit life. I was temporarily depressed, although not enough to seek help. I also felt sick to my stomach, then angry every time I thought about my ex and his behavior. Then when I thought about mine, well it just made my stomach ache worse. I definitely became mentally ‘sick’ for a while due to being betrayed, lied to and cheated on.
I still have haven’t totally figured out why I quit exercising. It would have relieved a lot of stress during the time my divorce was being worked on. It would have relieved a lot of frustration as a result of my previous job. It would have made my mind free of doubt and worry. It would have been great! But I made a conscious decision to quit. I think part of it was no one was in my home I needed to impress. No one was here who would have cared what I looked like. No one was judging me, even myself. Till the other day when I looked at myself in the mirror, butt naked!
It was such a sight, at first I averted my eyes. Then, I forced myself to really look long and hard at what I had done to my body. My stomach used to be lean, now it is flabby with a pouch of fat coming off the bottom. My legs used to be lean as well, now there are dimples of cellulite. My butt was cute in jeans and tight as a pin cushion. Now, it looks like two puffy pillows on each side surrounded by cushions of fat flapping from side to side. Okay, I won’t give any more detail. As my kids say sometimes, ‘Mom, TMI!’ Let me just say even though I have grown into my sassyfras self, my body has suffered, BIG TIME!!! Sad to admit, but I even choose to forgo the health test at work, which would have saved me money on my insurance, because I knew I wouldn’t have passed.
So, one would imagine I would have started exercising last summer, when the weather was warm, the breezes were balmy and the days had much more daylight. Why didn’t I? I always thought getting a divorce would make me happy and it did. However, I never realized the toll it took on my spirit, my mental outlook and my belief in living a healthy lifestyle. I think the reason I quit exercising was because it was easier to throw in the towel and instead of keeping on moving, I choose to feed my sadness and depression with food. No surprise there, as in my early journey of getting healthy, I discovered I was an emotional eater.
As I lose myself in writing these words, I realize that is exactly why I quit…on life and exercise. I didn’t feel like being strong. I didn’t feel like facing all the emotional upheaval I was experiencing. Most importantly, I didn’t feel like me. I felt like a failure. I wasn’t able to keep my husband sexually interested in me. I wasn’t able to keep my marriage from falling apart. I wasn’t able to keep screaming at my kids for nothing at all. I wasn’t able to stop the madness. I wasn’t able to see the light. I wasn’t able to be brave.
After two years, I am…more alive than ever, more ready than ever, more me than ever and more courageous than ever. That is why I decided on one of the coldest days this winter to renovate my body. For you see, my mind and my spirit have been slowly rebuild one day at a time into a home where the lights never dim or go out. Now it’s time for my body to join the party. And, this time it won’t be one of pity.