This isn’t the post I intended to write about health and fitness and how it relates to me. I was going to do something frothy and upbeat, but I changed my mind. Because, maybe, being frothy and upbeat â€“ therefore avoiding too much honest emotion â€“ has been one of my tools for staying unhealthy and unfit. I’ve had a few kicks in the pants lately, and am determined to be healthy for the rest of my life.
In an effort to be honest with myself, in this very public place, I think I need to review.
1. I’m the most unfit and biggest I’ve ever been. In my life. Ever.
2. I want to be healthy for me and my family.
3. I want to see my grandchildren (and be able to run and play with them).
4. Hell, I want to be able to run and play with my children.
5. I need to stop treating my body like there aren’t any consequences to my actions (have I mentioned my love of ice cream?)
The encouraging thing is, I know I can get healthy because I did it while I was pregnant with Tobin. I was diagnosed early in the pregnancy (around 6 weeks) with gestational diabetes. I had had it with Nicholas, and when I felt some of the same symptoms, I asked my doctor to test me. So, I had it in control early and did it mostly with diet. While I had a little insulin, my control of my glucose levels really came through keeping track of my carb intake and portion control. While I was pregnant with Tobin, I lost around 30 pounds and felt awesome. What does all that mean? That I can’t use the excuse that I just *can’t* lose weight. Because I didn’t go on a diet, I just ate correctly, and I lost a good chunk of weight. And I did it while growing a human being. Got it.
In addition to a talk with my doctor that has helped to spur this new determination, I have had a couple of other being-taken-by-the-shoulders-and-shaken moments over the last few months. I have two people that I really love fighting cancer. People who are incredible, wonderful, kick-ass people. Also? People who were incredibly fit and healthy when they were diagnosed. People who are using every tool at their disposal to fight this disease that is trying to take them from their families. And here I am, taking my body for granted. It’s ridiculous.
Last week, on CNN, my amazing friend, Ronny, was interviewed about the breast cancer medication that she (and her doctors) feel is keeping her alive. She’s 34 and has been fighting cancer for 7 years.
I watched the clip with pride for my friend who is articulate and did a great job putting a face to the fight. I watched the clip with tears running down my face for my friend who is a mom, a wife, a daughter, a friend, a photographer, a cheerleader, and who has one of the biggest laughs in the world.
There are other kinds of survivors in my life, people who have battled disease or accidents. People who didn’t let anything stop them from living the lives they wanted to live despite their “bad luck.”
All this to say I’m getting healthy. And I’m starting today.
My incredible friend, Ronny on CNN last week: