A Spotlight Read Through Tears
I don’t like to cry. I also dare you to have read this and not shed a tear. A tear because this is real life. This is a life shared with me. A life that has hurts and pain, struggles and shadows, along with joys unspeakable. This story is laid out openly for us to feel, see, and experience as we read the pain of struggle for years. The life is real, but for now the identity is secret.
“It’s complicated. My relationship with food, exercise, and general health has always been complicated and exhausting. I was one of those kids who, one day realized I was different. I had no idea until I went to school and I was called names and was ostracized because I didn’t look like my peers. I was fat. I didn’t even know why I was fat – I was only 5 years old at the time! But I was, and it gave people license to focus on my appearance and comment without any regard for how that might make a child feel. My parents started me on my first diet at the young age of 6. I ate eggs, bacon and wheat germ each morning and for the rest of the day drank some kind of concoction with nutmeg in it. I lost weight quickly – almost as quickly as I lost interest in this crash diet. I still can’t stand the smell of nutmeg and it’s been 54 years. They wanted to help me and did the best they could, spending lots of their hard earned money on weight watchers, diet centers, exercise programs, etc. My weight became a focal point for them and an obsession for me. My life consisted of dieting, starving, binging, losing weight, gaining weight, exercising in a healthy manner and exercising compulsively. My weight and body sized fluctuated greatly and my self-worth was associated with my appearance and the number on the scale. It was a hard life and as I aged, I kept losing the battle. I didn’t think about my health and to be honest, just didn’t care. When I would lose weight, my father would ask me if I felt better and I would tell him that I did, but I really didn’t. I just felt a frenzied need to not be fat so I could be as good as everyone else. Otherwise I was different and a walking target for people to verbally shoot at.
As I became older I began to look at things differently. The obsessive thoughts of weight and dieting began to lose its fuel and I became somewhat hopeless about my situation. I didn’t know what to do – I couldn’t stick to a diet for very long and if I did manage a short time and lost weight, I would immediately regain the weight and increased body size. It was exhausting and disheartening at the same time. I began to struggle with blood pressure and blood tests indicated the need to monitor my cholesterol and triglyceride numbers as they were above normal. I was challenged with significant body pain and attributed it to arthritis or I thought I might have something like fibromyalgia. I don’t like to go to the doctor in spite of having to go every 6 months for my blood pressure, so I never said much about the body aches. When I did mention it, I was told that it was to do with aging and arthritis.
Several years ago I walked into Get Fit NH in Epsom. I did my 2 week introduction and thought I was going to die. Nancy greeted me with a chipper good morning and a broad smile at 5 am and I immediately thought she must be crazy. I looked around at these people and thought that they were looking at me and judging me. I also could not understand why they were smiling and talking to me. I just wanted to do this and get it over with. Within minutes I realized how out of shape I was and how hard this was going to be for me. I had no idea what planks were and thought that a squat thrust was something indecent! But, I hung in there, even after I threw up out of my nose one morning. I cleaned it up quickly and pretended nothing happened! I also realized that these people were kind and supportive and that Nancy’s positive interaction was genuine and caring. That was interesting to me, but still not enough.
I slipped in and out of Get Fit for a few years and finally returned about a year ago. I still struggle with training consistently and the physical and emotional issues around my weight, but I am beginning to understand what Get Fit is offering. It’s up to me to accept it. There are so many classes and groups that provide a support system and assurance that I am not alone in this struggle. The focus on health has been a huge shift for me. I still struggle with my weight, but at this point I actually care about my health. I am taking my test results more seriously – something my doctor is happy about and something my dad would be relieved with. Last August I had a blood test and the results were concerning. For the first time, I saw the word Pre-diabetes in the results. My glucose levels were at a 110 and although it did not suggest Diabetes, it did indicate that if behaviors were not changed it is likely that I would be dealing with this in a few years, if not sooner. That scared me. No-one in my family has ever had diabetes and I don’t want to be the first, if it is something I can avoid with life style change.
In November I participated in the 21 day detox. I found it challenging but I learned a great deal and continue with many practices from it. Dairy is nearly nonexistent in my diet now. I drink lemon with water each day and I drink a great deal of water daily. I try to stick with a Protein Produce & Water template, but will be the first to admit that I am not as disciplined as I should be. I try to go to training at least twice a week and I try to walk on the other days. I do the best that I can. I don’t go on diets anymore; I work on habits with Nancy and my group.
My body aches have diminished and it is so much easier for me to move than before. I just received my newest blood test results and would like to share the comparison from August 2015 to February 2016. In August my total cholesterol was 237 and it is now 194. My LDL Cholesterol was 152 and it is now 124. My Triglycerides were 177 and they are now 112. Best of all, my glucose was 110 and it is now within a normal range at 88. Although the glucose surge had been new, the cholesterol and triglycerides were an ongoing problem and I am shocked and delighted to see the changes.
Get Fit NH, Nancy, and my peers are the stable force in the craziness of my weight and health issues. They are unwavering, dependable, and supportive. I can bounce back and forth, but I can always come back to their unconditional acceptance and understanding. There is no judgement or criticism. For me, Get Fit NH is a safe place.
As I said at the beginning, it’s complicated. But today I am hopeful and not hopeless. I am energized and not exhausted. I am empowered and not victimized. And if my dad were alive today, I would delightfully say “Yes Dad, I REALLY do feel better!!””
Read this again. Do you see yourself in any of this story? Encourage this person, encourage yourself, encourage me, and encourage others. Share your story. There is strength in numbers.