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My Life Long Journey Towards Health

This is not a story of “I was fat all my life.”

I’m not going to show you pictures of an obese 4 year old girl with an ice cream cone in her hands.
I was healthy.
I was active.
Then something went wrong…
I don’t think that any of us know how these things happen. Maybe when the energy level of my childhood dwindled my genetics saw an open door and swooped in. Maybe we can blame it on the arrival of the Nintendo, the advent of 125 channels on the television, the acne, puberty, the general malaise of the tween years coupled with the intense boredom of living in a small town….
Whatever happened, skinny active kid gave way to sulking, chubby teenager. And I didn’t like her very much.

And here is the funny thing about being overweight. Once you’re there, you think you’re always there. My senior year of college I cooked my own meals and worked long hours as a student teacher. I had just fallen in love with my now husband who happened to live 1600 miles away. I slowly but surely faded away to….healthy. But heck if I knew it.
Before writing this post I pulled out some pictures from the end of my college years – exactly ten years after that smiling girl posed with her cheerleading pom-poms. For spring break I travelled by myself to London to meet up with friends, travel to Ireland, and figure out what I was going to do with my life. Looking at this picture of me kissing the Blarney Stone I remember that I had to fold those jeans over twice to keep them from falling down before that picture. But I was sure I was huge, and there was no need to buy smaller clothes.

One year later I was finishing up a counseling internship in Philly during grad school when the advising psychologist offered to take us out to a nice restaurant. Notice my right arm draped across the front of me for the picture. Yet I was skinny. What I wouldn’t give to get into those pants today!! (and where, oh where, are those boots?)

So this is what I’m thinking: As long as my brain thinks that my body is fat, it won’t mind actually being unhealthy, because that is who it believes I am.

I will never know when I made the switch in my mind. But it’s time to switch back.
Today.
I’ve already shared that I’m well on my way to heart disease. I’ve shared that issue with you more than once, but I’ve done little to nothing about it. Today I’m going to make some changes.
  1. Less soda: It’s my major vice, and not only is it unhealthy for my body, it’s also bad for my teeth and replaces the water that I desperately need to drink to be successful on this journey.
  2. Less snacking: Working late most nights has turned into snacking late most nights. Even if it means packing up the computer and shutting down, I need to stop the late night snacks.
  3. More movement: Today I am starting the EA Sports Active 30 Day Challenge. I will use the EA Sports Active with my Wii every day for 30 days and report the changes here!

It’s not going to happen in 30 days, but I hope to go from this:

To this (plus a few well-earned laugh lines…):

Join me on my journey!

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