“Inspired to do what?” you ask. Inspired to get healthy and, in doing so, to rediscover myself.
Truthfully, I’ve been inspired for a while. But, inspiration is not always enough … evidenced by my complete lack of motivation. Pitiful excuse. Excuses: I have a lot of them.
A brief picture (please forgive the photo quality) story:
Once upon a time there was a skinny young tomboy who loved sports.
That skinny tomboy became a skinny junior-high athlete …
… and, in turn, she developed into a skinny (yet muscular) teenager … who still loved sports … lived sports … breathed sports.
A little history beyond the above photographs is needed, I believe. This will read a bit along the lines of bragging rights but, damn it … I didn’t brag back then. Why shouldn’t I do it now? Let’s see … 7th grade through 12th grade should do it. My 10th grade year will be noticeably absent from all mention as I was in the United States that year and I chose to not participate in any school sports.
Basketball (my least accomplished sport)
Position: Guard or Point Guard
7th – Junior High Team (1st year picking up a basketball.)
8th – Junior High Team
9th – Junior High Team
11th – Junior Varsity Team
12th – Varsity Team
Field Hockey (my passion)
Position: Right Wing
9th – Junior Varsity Team (1st year picking up a hockey stick.)
11th – Varsity Team
12th – Varsity Team
Track (my natural gift)
Events: 100m, 200m, 110m hurdles, high jump, long jump, 4 x 100m relay … and wherever else coach chose to plug me in on any given track meet day … except long distance. Not only did I not have the stamina to run anything longer than a 400m, but even I wasn’t stupid enough to run long distance against the Kenyan schools.
7th – Junior High Team
8th – Junior High Team
9th – Varsity Team
11th – Varsity Team *Captain
12th – Varsity Team *Captain
There you have it. The story continues ...
Eventually, and far too early in life, she got knocked up … got married … had children … got divorced. Life (and one particular bed-ridden pregnancy) took its toll.
[Stare at this spot long enough and you might see a full picture of me as I am today. Pffffft! Like hell.]
I am … *ahem* … full figured. No, I don’t exaggerate and I am miserable. I have been for years. All my attempts at losing the extra weight (and I’m not talking about 10 pounds here) were epic failures. On top of my half-hearted attempts is the undeniable fact that my bipolar medication (and pretty much all bipolar meds on the market today) causes weight gain … often substantial. For a long period of time maintaining my current weight without putting on medicinally induced pounds became the main issue at hand.
About three years ago I finally joined a gym and actually began to make some progress. But then, I found myself (by my own choice, mind you) a single mother with one income and a very strict budget that left no room for gym dues. What progress I had made … vanished in a couple of months.
So, here I am. My circumstances haven’t changed. I’m still a big girl. I’m still a single, working mother. I’m still … so bloody miserable. Hence, the commencement of Operation Skinny Bitch. Now, I am realistic. I have no intention of ever being as tiny as I was in high school. Truthfully, I don’t want to be that small. The word “skinny” to me conjures up images of anorexic and emaciated women. Likewise, I don’t really think of myself as a “bitch” … but we all have our moments, right? The point is this: I think I finally hit my breaking point. No more complaining. No more blaming anything and everything but me. Circumstances may have led me to be this way, but I am 100% at fault for not working harder to overcome the effects of those circumstances. No more bullshit excuses.
A lovely friend here in town is close enough to me that she can see through my smiles and my sassy attitude. She knows I am in pain and, in a moment of wondrous generosity, signed me up and paid for the first month of my membership at one of the local gyms … and I have been going … and I had almost forgotten exactly how much I LOVE exercise. I love how it makes me feel. I love to sweat. And … I hope I can eventually love the results. Subsequent monthly dues, however, are my responsibility so I must decide what to give up in order to give this gift to myself. With this quest has come a new found will power in regard to food. Oh, I am no glutton. I ate more in high school than I do now, but I haven’t necessarily been eating the best things for me. That’s changing and it means an entirely new lifestyle for me.
I know this body does not define who I am. No, it does not. Yet, I allow it to affect how I portray myself … and that is a travesty. I have to find her again: the confident athlete. I can do this. I have to do this. I need this. Failure is not an option.
“I am not a has-been. I am a will be.” ~Lauren Bacall