Ready or Not, here I come.  I’ve made my decision.  Today I start living again.  I was trying to think of a good title for today’s post.  Something that reflects how I feel and what I need to do.  Couldn’t quite decide between Nike’s “Just Do It” or “Ready or Not, Here I Come”.  They both describe what’s going on.  I just have to get back on track.

I’ve decided to begin today and this post is going to be a litany of reasons why I have to start taking care of myself.  Something I can come back to when I feel my determination slipping.

I still don’t feel a strong motivation to start eating better and exercising but I absolutely have to do it.  I’ve had this discussion many times on this blog.  About what makes us motivated and what keeps us going and I know that sometimes there isn’t any motivation or drive to do what we have to do.  That’s when you Just Do It.  Just do it anyway. 

I just woke up and my back is screaming.  My back hurts a lot.  My ankles hurt, too.  I’m sitting here at the kitchen table smoking a cigarette.  I quit for almost a year and then started back about four months ago.  The scales are showing 207.5 pounds.  I think that’s the most I’ve ever weighed.  Maybe not but I think so.  The truth is that I’ve avoided weighing myself for months.  Just let one day run into another without thinking about it.

I wear Walmart clothes.  Won’t buy decent clothes these days because I look like crap anyway so why waste the time or money to go shopping for nice clothes? 

Yesterday was Steven’s graduation.  I had to dress up.  Wore a nice pair of pants but I had to use a safety pin to fasten the waist because I couldn’t get them buttoned.  I also wore a sleeveless top and had to struggle all day to either keep it pulled down over my safety pin or keep it pulled up over my cleavage.  Of course, I had to wear a jacket as well.  There’s no way I’d be out in public in a sleeveless top because my underarms are flapping in the breeze and I have a uni-boob roll of fat under my arms and across by back.  One big intertube of flab.  One thing about dressing in regalia for graduation….I was able to take off my jacket under my robe and cool off for a while.  I was actually quite comfortable in a full flowing tent of acetate.  Too bad it’s not in fashion to teach in a graduation gown.

I have no energy and even less strength.  Even a short walk makes me winded.  The most exercise I get all day is walking to the car carrying my laptop computer case, my book bag of papers I’ve graded, my coffee cup and my purse.  I lug it out the front door, across the front yard and into my car and then pause for a second to catch my breath.  It’s even worse when I get home.  Carrying all that junk back in the house after a full day’s work.  Hanging on to the railing to pull myself up four front steps to get in the house before collapsing in the nearest chair.

I mean, really, I’m killing myself.  I’ve been out of my blood pressure meds, cholesterol meds and anti-depressant for more than three weeks.  I keep forgetting to pick up my prescriptions but it’s also because I’ve thought of it a few times and couldn’t muster enough energy to drive to the store and get it done.

The good/bad news is that I found out yesterday that there weren’t enough kids signed up for summer school and they had to eliminate one teacher.  I volunteered.  The money would be nice but it’s only for a couple of days and I was just ready to call an end to the year.  It feels so good to be off for the summer.

So many bad things going on.  The house is a wreck, the yard is a mess, things are broken and need maintenance.  I could go on and on but you get the picture.  Instead of dwelling on them, I want to talk about Ling.  I had invited him and his brother to join us for Steven’s graduation party yesterday.  His brother had been invited to a pool party so he didnt’ come but Ling joined us and I finally got to talk to him for more than a minute or two.  His situation is so inspiring.  I thought he’d come from Vietnam but I was wrong.  He’s actually from China.  His father came to the U.S. when he was one.  It took him years and years to get a green card.  Ling didn’t see him for 15 years.  He and his mother remained in China with his little brother.  He’s used to being the man of the house and taking care of his brother.  His father was finally able to send for them two years ago.  Ling told me they arrived in New York and stayed there for 6 months.  After New York, they went to New Jersey.  From New Jersey, they moved to Chicago and then they came to Louisville and Ling enrolled in our school in October.  His parents left for Mississippi in January and left him in a paid apartment with his brother, $300 and a car. 

Ling and his brother both have perfect attendance and he graduated 9th in a class of 146.  I watched him yesterday.  Some of the other kids came to Golden Corral for lunch after graduation.  It was just down the street from the auditorium where graduation took place.  Everyone had to stop and give Ling a hug.  I had invited him to join my family for Steven’s graduation party and didn’t really think he would but he was very grateful to be included in our little celebration.  He smiled at my sister and I and knelt down to talk to my mother at the table.  Every attempt to include him in the conversation was successful even though he still struggles a little bit with the language.  He ate five overloaded plates and didn’t leave a scrap of food.  I kept wondering where the food was going.  He’s tall but he’s very slender.  He’d never been to a buffet before and couldn’t believe that you could just keep going back as many times as you wanted.  He charmed my entire family.  Almost stole Steven’s limelight.  I felt uncomfortable when Steven started opening cards and hauling in the loot.  I thought I should have given Ling some money for graduation but then I thought that might be insulting.  I just didn’t know…  Maybe I should have.  It’s hard to say but, in retrospect, I wish I had given him a gift.  At any rate, he was at one end of the room and Steven was at the other end so I don’t know if he even noticed Steven’s sudden wealth.  He was busy talking to my mother and my sister and DH.

If Ling can do what he does, why can’t I be more grateful for the bounty that surrounds me?  If this boy can take care of himself and his brother, never miss a day of school and graduate 9th in his class in spite of his many challenges, why can’t I just take care of myself?  He truly is inspiring.

And so, it begins.  The long road back to a healthy weight and a healthy body.  It starts now.  Today.

Ready or Not, Here I Come.


susan says 4th June @ 19:19

Just Do It, indeed!
Sometimes that’s the only phrase I mutter under my breath as I tie my gym shoes on. Today was a horrid eating day for me: I “Did It”, alright! Now I have to Just (un)Do It on Monday.
So glad it’s Patty Time!
Ling is the perfect start for your refocus.


brseay says 7th June @ 21:57

You WILL do this. For a while you have to fake it until it’s genuine but you know how good it feels to be active and eat healthy foods and you want to feel that way again.

One thing that may help get you started is to set goals every night for the next day. Plan your exercise, decide to eat a certain number of fruits/veggies each day, glasses of water, etc. Then you can check them off as you accomplish them. Plus, even if you miss one goal you’ll be successful at others.

Just remember that you get to exericse, you don’t have to exercise. Think how you felt in the wheelchair when you had your foot surgery. I bet you would have given anything to be able to get up out of that chair and hit the treadmill. You don’t have to run a mile on your first day but you need to do something. And then pretty soon you’ll want to do something.

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