My fitness journey goes back, waaaay back. Just over twenty years ago, I lost my first large amount of weight. I went from 180 pounds on a 5’5” frame, to 130 pounds – fifty pound loss in about nine months, not too shabby. I maintained this for a couple years, going up and down and then up again, settling in around 150 three years later. Then I went on a form of birth control that seemed to cause me to lose weight. I mean, I was working out and eating well, but it literally seemed to fall off, and I made my way down to 118, my lowest weight ever.
I lived at this weight for about a year, went off the birth control, gained twenty pounds and became pregnant with our first child. I gained forty pounds during my pregnancy, revisiting the 180 mark on delivery day. After my child was born, I really began to look to Oxygen magazines, and the desire to grow strong and healthy was sparked. My efforts at losing weight the first time were not always the healthiest and I knew I wanted to be healthy for my baby. The tips and advice in Oxygen helped me to get back down to 140… I became pregnant again.
Again, I went up to 180 and then seemed to hover around 160 for the longest time. I continued my subscription to Oxygen and continued to read them, but my stress levels with having two small kiddos, a full-time career, and home to take care of, on top of trying to have a healthy marriage and friendships seemed to squelch my endeavors. The scale wouldn’t budge, and honestly, I got tired of trying. I think in my mind I felt like reading about it and learning about it was enough. Four years ago I decided it wasn’t enough, and I really needed to get back at it.
I managed to get back down to 140, but it was short lived. My body started acting up, and I began having episodes that nearly drove me batty. I’ve mentioned it before, it was labeled as panic or anxiety by docs, and adrenal fatigue by holistic practitioners. There was a time when I couldn’t leave my house without an attack, this was daily, for several months. The degree and severity never the same, but still a looming cloud. It took me a couple years to adjust my diet and lifestyle. It took a lot of time in prayer and looking to God. It took relying on and trusting Him, but now here I am.
Had it not been for what I will call the darkest night of my soul, I probably would have handled the skin cancer scare a lot worse than I did. I probably would not appreciate my body as much as I do. I probably wouldn’t have the same fire to be the healthiest my body will allow, for the sake of my husband, children, family, friends and community.
As I was celebrating my birthday with my family last night, I thought of all this. I thought of how much I love them. I thought about what we have all been through. I thought about how long this fitness journey has been going on in my life. I thought about how it has morphed into something so much more. I thought about how it has become a critical aspect to who I am as a whole and who I need to be for God. I thought about how it is not about a number, be it my weight, body fat percentage, BMI, pants size or whatever. It is about being here, the healthiest I can possibly be, to celebrate and LIVE life.
My daughters reinforced this in their card to me, telling me it doesn’t matter what I look like or how old I am, it only matters that I am there with them and having fun! What a blessing. However, my oldest daughter asked if my abs have showed up yet, because it seems like forever since I said I was going to have them. She is right! I have been modeling a fit life for her (for the most part) since she was born. She has witnessed the trials, the struggles, and sometimes all out battles for my life. She has been waiting and watching, to see how this is going to pan out. This fuels my fire to keep moving forward, to keep pressing on. Hopefully at the end of the Ultimate Oxygen Challenge my six pack abs will be there, but if not, I’m alright with that too, they’ll come!
Have a good one!
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