On Thursday October 9, 2014 I decided to put into action a change. I have always been fat. I was a fat child. I was a fat adolescent. I have been a fat woman for as long as I have been a woman. Don’t get me wrong, I know that people that are overweight can be fit. But I am not. I get winded on the stairs. I have pains in my hips and back when I walk too far, which isn’t that far. I can’t get on my knees to even consider sitting on the floor. My belly gets in the way of things I want to do. My weight stops me from living the life I want to live.

I have had times in my life when I felt the need to buy workout DVDs and hand weights and for a short time I would would work out. There were times I walked almost every day. Always something happened and exercise got set aside.

I had been thinking about working out because most of our belongings are in storage right now while we are living in a very small place. During one of our trips to put things away or search for something I had grabbed my Sweatin’ to the Oldies DVDs and brought them home. I had been looking at them for at least a week and on that Thursday I finally made the decision.

The first time was hard. My poor body was like, “What the hell!” At some point I had to pause the DVD because my heart was racing and I felt like I was going to throw up. I drank some water and got back up. Before I had started, I had made one decision.

What was different this time? This time my goal was not to lose weight or get into shape, it was to make a Life Change. 

For the first time in my life I was going to be committed to adding exercise into my regular, daily life. It would be nice to be smaller. I don’t want to become diabetic. I would like to be stronger. I want to dance all night long, like I did when I was in my 20’s. I have been fighting cellulitis for a long time and I am sick of it! I figure if the cells aren’t there, they can’t get infected and maybe next summer I can consider not wearing leggings everyday to cover my ugly legs.

So…on October 9th I started working out.

One spot on my leg that likes to tease me started swelling, but even then, on October 10th I worked out again. On October 11th that spot had started to change color, but I still did aerobics for an hour. My goal had been to do aerobics 3 times that week, take 2 days off and then commence with 5 workouts a week and two days off.

That night as we watched TV, I had my leg up and I could see it was not getting better. I asked my wife how long we should wait until we call the doctor about my leg. She was glad I had said that, because she was hoping I wouldn’t be difficult. We decided to call the doctor on Monday.

The next day, while I was making dinner, the abscess on my left ankle burst. Yuck! But good…

Tuesday through Thursday I wrapped my ankle well and continued working out. I saw the doctor on Thursday and we met the new doctor. I like this one…hopefully I will get to keep her a while…we saw that some of my wellness goals were being achieved and she was excited that I was doing aerobics. She put me on antibiotics in order to prevent a trip to the hospital, if my leg didn’t heal on its own and gave us kudos on using the saline solution and silver salve faithfully. She also seemed surprised as she mentioned how frequently people came in with cellulitis. Does that say something about the wellness of the people in Longview/Kelso?

I worked out 5 days in a row until October 18th and was so exhausted that church was not an option on the 19th.

On October 21st I posted on Facebook:

Day 1 of Week 3 (Workout #9): Sweatin’ to the Oldies has been sweated to!

“Only by the grace of God!” Prayer and thoughts of my supportive wife are the only reason I finished today. I could not sleep last night. I think I was under spiritual attack and each time I tried to pray it got worse….I tried to be motivated and made my Nufinna shake with a banana and almond milk and grabbed a glass of unsweetened iced tea and sat down to check my email and I really don’t know where 3 hours went, although I did get a few updates done for a client and prepared to care for 2 more web clients…so I guess I was working…then I dragged myself into the other room, prepared a Visi Energy drink and made myself start my work out. My abs and shoulders hurt today and I was working as hard as I could. It was a struggle…but I guess life changes aren’t supposed to be easy.

My goal is to work out Tuesday through Saturday and rest for two days.

On October 22nd I posted:

Day 2 of Week 3 (Workout #10): Sweatin’ to the Oldies has been sweated to!

What I find interesting is that instead of getting easier, there seems to be a different challenge everyday…My shoulder is hurting today…it think it is the rain…but it made some of the upper body stuff a bit more painful as the pain radiated down from the joint. Overall today was a good workout…and MUCH easier than yesterday, emotionally!

My goal is to workout Thursday through Saturday and then let my body rest two days…I read once it takes doing something 21 times to make a habit…10 workouts…I guess I am about half way there! Yahoo!

The next I had to concede. About an hour after working out I noticed a lot of pain in my legs, lower back and abs. For the next 2 days I had time to think and be realistic.

  1. I am not in my 20’s anymore.
  2. I don’t have to compete with anyone, even myself.
  3. I know most people don’t do the same workout every day.

Yesterday, the pain had subsided a bit and I did my hour workout to Sweatin’ to the Oldies. This time I followed the advise of my friend Chris and tried to keep my stomach muscles sucked in and my back straight, so as to not hurt my back. I did not push myself as hard, but I did the workout.

Did I mention that I was in a ton of pain? Shoulders, neck, abs, thighs. My muscles were so sore that I didn’t even notice the pain from the sore on my ankle, which is still open, but getting much better every day.

Today I decided to switch things up a bit. I did not do my normal aerobics workout today. Instead, I tidied the apartment, made the bed, vacuumed the whole place and cleaned the bathroom…then I worked with my 5 lb. weights and did some stretches for 15 min. I am still dealing with a lot of pain in my abs, back and legs…so I thought I would be a little forgiving of my body that seems to not want to change.

My goal this week is to do aerobics for an hour Monday & Tuesday, work with hand weights for 15 min on Wednesday and then do aerobics on Thursday and Friday and go back to the short workout with hand weights on Saturday. Then I will reassess my body’s ability and make my goal for next week.

I think we are taking a trip to our storage unit tomorrow and I will dig out my Tai Chi DVD, it has a 30 min morning routine that is mainly stretching and breathing. I think going back to some fundamentals is good. I realized yesterday that not only do I have muscles that haven’t been worked on in a long time but I have huge fat rolls that pull on them while they are working which adds to the reason why I need to be careful not to injure myself. I may have to readjust several times during my lifestyle change to take care of myself.

The Only Competition in My Town is Me

I was never a sports-oriented kid. Actually the only person I have ever been competitive with was myself. This is probably my first lesson in all this. I would never beat down a friend that was doing this with me…why would I tear myself apart? It is hard to learn to be kind to oneself, when you never have been before. God has healed me from wanting to kill myself…now I will have to let Him teach me how to care about my body. Thankfully, He gave me Karen G Clemenson who says all the things He says several times a day…between the two of them I am hearing how loved I am in stereo!

The Other Issue

As I have begun working on my own wellness I have been looking at all aspects. Getting out of the apartment has become a greater challenge. When I was 21 I was diagnosed with Anxiety Disorder. I tried a few medications at that time and they made me suicidal. I have avoided medications since that time. I have found that time with God and counseling were the best thing for me. Lavender, Calming Blend, Geranium, Respiratory Blend and Peppermint Essential Oils have also helped me deal with my anxiety. But if I were truly honest with you, in the last year, I have had a hard time leaving home and being in public. I worry about being anxious. Being anxious makes me depressed….it is a vicious cycle. I think it might be time to try something else. Prayer is not cutting it these days…and when I think about it, this year has been really hard with lots of loss and change. I was searching my texts with my friend Jamie the other day and was shocked to see all the old messages as we counseled each other…maybe I just need some help getting back on my feet.

I have learned a lot about myself and I have a few ideas about wellness too. It can’t be something you just decide to do, it is progressive. It is dealing with the new issues as they arise. It is forgiving yourself and doing what you can until you can do better. I have committed to this Life Change and as the name implies it is going to change me as many times as my plans and goals will change.

What are you doing to be well?

My name is Summer. That is how you can call me. I hope that I am a blessing to you. I am not perfect. I will fall again. But I am forgiven.

Do you know Jesus? Do want the Holy Spirit to fill you and give you understanding and salvation? Ask Him. Want someone to pray with you? Contact me.

If you would like to know Jesus as your friend, but want to make this amazing commitment by yourself please pray something like this:

Thank you Jesus that You are the Son of God, the God that created heaven and earth. Thank you Jesus that You came to earth in the form of a man so that You would be able to empathize with my humanity. Thank You that You did this in order to fulfill the promises You made at the foundation of the world.

I realize that I am a sinner and do things that hurt myself and keep myself away from you. Thank You that You died for my sins so that You could defeat death and bring me into Your life. Please forgive me.

I ask You to be Lord of my life. I ask you to heal my hurts and show me what my new life, empowered by You looks like. Thank You for Your mercy.

Amen

The Lord is with you always.

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