My Baby Steps
My name is Kelly, I am 40 years old and I am learning how to count, cook, eat, fall down, get back up and WALK, One Baby Step at a time.
I have begun a new journey. A journey that is not easy, but it is and will be worth the work.
I have been overweight and unhealthy for over half of my life and just accepted what was looking at me in the mirror. I lived my life never looking further ahead than today, and for today I was ok. Never seeing what today was doing to my tomorrow.
Now I did not just wake up one day and decide to “Get Skinny” This life changing decision took Baby steps, over almost 1 year just to get started, just to make the choice that I am not going to live like this anymore.
Looking back at the last year I can see the steps that got me here, even though I could not see them at the time.
STEP 1. Back Surgery
I have always been strong and capable, so I thought. I had spent years beating my body with very physical work. Lifting, pulling, climbing, and my strong capable back just couldn’t do it anymore. The time off work before my surgery knocked me down a few pegs and the pain reminded me that I was human and breakable.
My recovery after was slow. Everyone told me that walking would make it better but I just couldn’t find the desire to get up. 6 long weeks later I went back to work, not because I felt that I could but out of necessity. When I went back I was a very different person. No longer care free and indestructible. Now I am watching every step, conscious of every move, almost afraid.
Step 2. Check up
It had been 5 years since my last physical. I had made it threw back surgery I may as well get anything else fixed. I got the full “ladies” work up. Everything came out ok, sort of…. My cholesterol was a little high, nothing to really worry about, unless I do nothing and it gets worse. And let’s not forget that 223.6 on the scale or the pre-cancerous cysts in my uterus. Ok, back to surgery again. Sure I am getting these things taken care of now, but what have I done to prevent them? Nothing!
Step 3. Mammogram
That tiny cluster of bright white spots about knocked me over and scared me stiff. They did a second mammogram a few days later just to make sure. And yes, they are there, but now the wait. I have to wait 6 months and do it again to check for changes. All I can do in the mean time is wait and pray. If it turns out to be nothing, AWESOME, if it turns out to be something my body and my health are not in a great position to fight.
Step 4. Engagement
It took me until almost 40 years old to find the greatest love in the world. We are getting married next June. I am sure some will call me vain but I want to be beautiful on my wedding day. I have looked at hundreds of dresses then I tried on just 1. I did not like what I seen or how I felt. And then there’s the honeymoon. We would love to go on a cruise, but I don’t want to wear a bathing suit.
Step 5. A.J.
My beautiful Grandson, the holder of my heart, my greatest gift. I want to run, play, climb and just have fun with him. Being as big as I am has stopped me. I want to watch him grow up, graduate, get married and have a family of his own some day. I need to be there for him when he needs me. Like this I don’t know that I can.
Step 6. Children
4 years ago I was the mother of 2, now I have 6. My 4 wonderful step-children have not always had the smoothest road. I want life to be better for them. As a parent I need to show them that even with lifes ups and downs we can always find a way to a better place with a little work and determination. Life can be as good or as bad as we make it. Showing them that I want to be healthy and willing to put in the work to get there is a good example.
Step 7. Looking in the mirror
I look in the mirror and what I see is an overweight, tired, old woman. This is not who I am, this is not me, I am better than this. I have a lot of life left and I still want to play and have fun. I am always smiling, upbeat and enjoying my life. Now I want my inside and outside to match.
Step 8. Sorting thru the mental and emotional crap that got me here
This is a long process, a process that will continue through my weight loss. I started looking back at the last 20 years of my life and found rejection, loss, and self doubt, among others. These thing all helped me get here by leading to depression, which triggered binging that fueled the weight gain and in turn the self doubt, leading to more depression and cycle that is very hard to break. Looking at my life today I can see that loss is part of living. Everyone will lose someone or something. It’s about knowing how to grieve a loss and continue living that makes us strong. Rejection is painful but that is what lead me to where I am today. I am so thankful for hindsight because now I know that those who rejected me were never worthy of me.
Step 9. Asking for support
This was tough! I had to ask for help. I had to say it,…. “I am fat and I can’t fix this alone.” I went public to all my friends and family and told them all how much I weighed and where I want to be. Doing this gave me accountability. If I slack off everyone will know.
Step 10. Getting started
How, Where, When, What, Why?????
So many questions and so many answers. It’s an information overload. But what do I do first? The best answer to that is at the beginning of this……
I will do what I know I will do.
I will drink more water.
I will eat from a smaller plate.
I will say no to second helpings.
I will walk at least 3 days a week.
I will change my life 1 Baby Step at a time.
I didn’t get here overnight, I can’t change 20 years of bad habits in 1 day.
I will stumble, I will fall, and I will get back up and start again.