Well, technically it’s not Autumn until the 22nd of September, but let’s just stretch that a bit.
Around the United States we should start seeing lower temperatures soon, if not already. The kids and grandkids are back in school, and our lives have been kicked up several notches in demands on time. It may or may not be an easy time to try it, but how about taking care of ourselves now? Introduce a walking schedule a few times a week, cut back on those nachos and margaritas, double latte’s and lose a few pounds?
I know many of you are shaking your heads at me, but sisters and brothers, I’m working on what I’m preaching.
At the beginning of this summer I did a sleep study and found out that I had sleep apnea. While not going into specifics, let’s just say it’s been a frustrating experience. What did come out of seeing my regular doctor then specialists is I’m fat. Obese. Out of shape. I accepted that in the kind manner those doctors told me, but I didn’t feel fat, and didn’t think it really was making sleep that hard to accomplish. Yes, I was sometimes shocked to see my reflection in a store window, and mirrors, but was I really fat? The stories we tell ourselves.
The last trip to a sleep specialist spelled it out to me. I was obese and wasn’t getting enough oxygen at night, and we, I, had to do something. It was hard enough getting on the scales in that office, knowing I was pushing 200 pounds on a small 5’4″ frame. I fought back the tears as I listened, and then walked out to my car, angry with my doctors and the insurance companies, angry with my husband who’d forgotten to come to the appointment with me, and lastly furious with myself for letting stress eating push me into obesity.
I ended up at Willowbrook Mall, looking for the Lush store there, and ending up walking almost the entire Mall in frustration. Never found it (it was in the Macys), but found that my restless walking had made me feel a lot better. Hell yes I was still angry, but calmer. I went and sat in my car and ruminated like I usually do, then drove myself to my neighborhood Weight Watchers and signed up. Felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders by admitting I was obese, pun intended, and had to do something about it.
Later went and signed up for Jazzercise, and willingly put those extra large yoga pants on, and started learning the routines. There are a lot of nonjudgemental women taking those classes, friendly, supportive, and each on their own path to fitness and health.
Started walking my hyper little dog who loves nothing more than to literally drag me for 45 minutes through my neighborhood. I literally can get the same amount of exercise from that dog as Jazzercise. Last week I actually did push ups in body sculpting class, something I hadn’t done since high school.
12 weeks have gone by since my epiphany. While I haven’t quite lost ten pounds, I’ve lost almost three inches in my waist, and can see a difference in energy levels and the way clothes fit. While exercise and weight loss aren’t going to make me look like a twenty something again, I feel younger and healthier. Yes, I’m still obese, but I’m giving myself kudos for what I’ve accomplished, and have a goal to get me through Halloween Candy, Thanksgiving dressing, and Christmas stockings. I want to look at Holiday pictures and not want to drown my sorrows in food.
So sisters and brothers, I challenge you to join me and put those Keds on, grab the dog’s leash, and get out there and enjoy the Autumn days to come. Get moving, grab the hands of those you love and take them for a walk. Reinvent yourselves this Autumn and leave the guilt and excuses behind. Take care of yourself and love the person you see in the mirror.
If you’re already doing this, let me know. Leave a note. Let’s hold each other up, 50 Somethings, and be healthier and happier in the Autumn days to come.