I have been so tremendously blessed. Each day is so full of possibilities and am in a position where I am happy and healthy enough to fully enjoy each moment of it!!!!! I do believe that where I have been (overweight, unhealthy and depressed) was very necessary so that I could fully appreciate the sweet value of how amazing good healthy and happiness feel. It also keeps me from being lazy! I vary actively pursue the lifestyle I would like to continue to enjoy for a looooong time!
Every day I give myself the gift of exercise and active moment. My body needs it! Our bodies were created for movement. I have had people remark about my good posture. I am blessed to have a very healthy strong back. My mother was not so lucky, neither was my grandmother. My mother had back surgery when I was in elementary school. I remember that during her healing process we would 'play a game' of walking with a book on top of our heads. As we progressed we would be able to sit down into a chair without dropping the book off our heads. Then we could bend down to pick something up off the floor without dropping the book. Eventually we could go from a standing position to sitting on the floor and getting back up without dropping the book. I have always been very flexible in my spine as well and could do things like back bends. I lost some of that flexibility in my 20's and 30's because I stopped working on it during those years. Now I am working to regain as much spinal flexibility as possible . . . I have lost some in my lower spine due to arthritis. This is what I know, the condition of our spines is pivotal to our overall quality of health and life. The nature of how the spine is to compressed and degenerate over time. I believe it is my job to actively reclaim and maintain as much spinal flexibility and strength as possible. If I do not take responsibility for this, someone I love will have to responsible for caring for me when I can no longer bend to tie my shoes or straighten up completely.
I have also learned to own every inch of my height. I am just a little taller than average for women. However, my husband and sons are shorter than me by a couple inches. At 5'8"+ I find that a lot of my women friends are more than a couple inches shorter than me. When I was obese I felt like a lumbering giant and felt that I needed to apologize for how much space I took up in the universe. After I lost the weight I noticed that in pictures I would lean down to the side to try to match my eye level to others. This was not attractive at all and was very uncomfortable on my upper back. Now I stand up tall, own every inch and enjoy the feeling of having a strong healthy spine and beautiful friends to be active with!
The health that I am enjoying a gift to me. I workout hard, I eat clean and nutritious foods, I enjoy a little sunshine and a little rest every day. One of my major motivators is, I'm not getting younger. I want to look back on these years as my best years . . . not when I was in high school, not in my 20's or 30's. From here forward. So far my 40's are fabulous! I want to be an active and healthy 50 year old and 60 year old. I can't be, if I don't invest now. At 45, the clock starts moving in a not so good direction if I am not actively working to regain and maintain as much mobility and strength as possible. These are not the years to be self indulgent and to feel like you can just lay back and coast into your 'golden years'. This is the time to realize WE are NO LONGER kids! We can't get away with eating like a teenager. Our metabolisms are not as forgiving. Obesity and lethargy are reeking havoc on the bodies of people who are my age and just a little older than me. This healthy strong body is mine and I will work for the quality of life I desire to enjoy.
Oh, let's look at a few pictures so I can wrap up this blog and let you get on with your active busy life!!!
My hubby flew in from a business trip in California to spend a couple days with me in Virginia! This is our favorite restaurant and the day was just gorgeous!!!!
The gal on the left (Lisa) has lost 120 lbs! She had gastric bypass and said she would do it again, even knowing all she knows now about how sick she got and that she has trouble regulating her blood pressure, lost her hair and feels weak and tired most days. The gal on the right is my bestest girlfriend! We have been buddies since the sixth grade!
On July 4th, hubby and I got up early to run a 5k together! It was a hot, humid morning and this course if tough!!!! The last mile is up hill, to an up hill, to another up hill towards the finish. My pace was amazing in the first mile. I purposely scaled it back by 30 seconds in the second mile because I knew I would need all the power I could muster in the last mile. I came in at a personal best!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After brunch and a change of clothes, I headed out on my bike for an 18 mile training ride. I have a new seat (saddle) and new pedals with toe clips. I wanted to have a chance to try them out and get used to them. Since my hubby would be leaving later that day, it was the perfect time to do this ride. He dropped me off at the start and looped around twice to check in on me. Then he was waiting at the top of the last series of the hardest hills (again on the back stretch!). Once I gave him the thumbs up we went to the finish line to wait for me. I don't mind riding alone. But I was trying out new equipment and the area I was in was secluded enough that I didn't have to worry about traffic, which means I was also isolated enough that if someone wanted to be a problem the opportunity was there.
It's time for me to hit the gym! This is the gift I give myself! This is the gift I give to my loved ones! I do this not only because I love the results, but I love the active lifestyle I am living and I want the pleasure of enjoy many more years of pictures like these! I want to have fun with my friends and my family.
Be brave, be bold, be fierce and be fabulous!!!!
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