Our last guest post during Guest Post Week at Season It Already! is by my friend Stacy. I sometimes refer to her as “the same person as me” because we relate on so many levels. I am so glad she will be moving back and can’t wait to catch up!
When Carrie asked if I would be interested in doing a guest blog post for her, I will admit I panicked a bit. Even though I write nearly every day, this is different and I worried I wouldn’t have anything hip and cool to say that would fit in with Carrie’s blog. I don’t really get out to cool restaurants, and I haven’t been successful at getting myself on-track with losing weight. I realized that perhaps that is exactly what I should write about, and perhaps a bit about how Carrie is motivating me to get going again.
I’ve never been a tiny person, and I know it’s not realistic for me to aspire to achieve that. However, once upon a time I was in good shape – for me. I was exercising regularly, and while I didn’t think too much about my eating, it was certainly better than it was now. I was running (I was never fast though – so I always feel as if I need to apologize for calling what I did running, which is pretty silly) five to six days a week, and I’ll admit I was pretty addicted to it. I even got up before work on the weekdays to get in my run. After running some short and even mid-distance races, I was even training for my first marathon.
Then, my dad got sick. Lung cancer.
Now I have to admit that this goes back nearly 13 years now. I kept running for a while, but then as my dad got more sick, I stopped running. My emotional eating increased, and due to family obligations I had less control over my eating and my schedule. The weight began to creep back on. Over the next few years, I went through a number of personal crises that further contributed to my backslide and weight gain. I can kick myself now all I want for letting it get out of control, but it is what it is.
At this point, I will admit I have an overwhelming amount of weight to lose. I don’t think I’ll ever get back to that shape I was in before my dad got sick – my schedule and my age will work against me there. But certainly there is some happy medium there somewhere, right? I have tried a few times to get myself going again – better eating, walking/jogging again, and then something pushes me back down. I get sick, we have to go out of town on a family emergency, money gets tight so I don’t feel I can spare the time to exercise, and so on. Lately it’s been the fact that I am about to move cross-country, and I realized I simply couldn’t do it all right now. Someday I’ll get my act together. Someday. The thing is, it’s so easy to watch “someday” turn into 13 years and many, many pounds.
Well, Carrie is inspiring me. As she prepared to run her first race, I thought back to my first race. I miss it. I never enjoyed the act of running itself. But I always enjoyed having done it. I know that it would be oh-so-good for me right now. I’m a single mom to a beautiful 4-year-old daughter I adopted as a newborn, and I work from home. I love what I do, and I love the flexibility I have in being able to do things with my daughter, but it leads me to put my need to focus on my health on the back burner. At the same time, I miss what weighing less and exercising regularly did for me – being in better health/shape, of course, but also having more energy, feeling better about myself and so on.
I can keep kicking myself for letting myself get to where I am now, or I can take the bull by the horns and do something about it. Once the move is over, there are no more excuses. I have to set aside my regret over letting things get to the point they are, and just start taking baby steps forward. I’m hoping being back amongst family and friends, especially those like Carrie who are already making great strides on the journey I face, will help me get on the right track.
Last week as I was driving my daughter to preschool she saw someone jogging. She said, “Mommy, look at that man running! You should do that!” Now my daughter has no idea I used to run, but it sure was the message I needed. I just told her “Yes, honey, I should start doing that. Soon, very soon.” I’ve told Carrie I’d love to do a 5k with her sometime later this year, and I’m going to hold her to it. I figure I can either let my current situation/shape continue to overwhelm me and lead me to accomplish nothing, or I can start making one small change at a time and work on moving forward. It’s certainly not going to be easy, but it sure is time.
Stacy writes about pop culture and television over at the Examiner. Once she moves back, we are signing up for and putting a race date on the schedule! Thank you, Stacy, for sharing your story!