What are your defining moments? I found this quote the other day and it hit me; this is what life is really about. It gave me permission to chunk down the many different life experiences I’ve had and who it makes me today. I’m pretty sure that’s why I loved my 40s and will jump for joy in my 50s. I love the skin I’m in, for good, bad or worse or better.
Up until a few weeks ago I started my mental conversation— “I was better when…” I know we have all done it. I can list a lot of reasons physically why I was better in my younger years. I could EAT whatever I wanted and still be the skinny mini. I didn’t “have” to work out. I could drink wine, beer and cocktails anytime with no effect on my body. Then as the decades rolled on, I fret over being a size 2 when I was “normally” a size 0. Then I fret over being a size 4 when I had been a size 2. I saved those “tiny” clothes in plastic bins, threw them in the back of the closet for “better days.” I knew I’d lose weight and be back at a size 0! Umph.
What I failed to take into account was my wisdom and experiences I gained over those transitions in life that have made me who I am today and the body I have today. I read a lot of books along the way about exercise, our biology and the bazillion diets pros/cons. I screwed up a lot, had some long stints of successes in keeping the weight off and some that flat out were a joke. But I was not tying in the fact that my life experiences created the body and habits of today.
I decided to define my succession of lives to understand who I am, what I can do to be the best I can and forgive myself for a lot of self-body hatred I created, even when I was a size 2.
My Defining Moments List.
“Kool-Aid Face”. My peers at pre-school decided that my port wine birthmark on my face was ugly and started naming calling. I’ve never forgotten this, even as I turn 50. I became a very shy insecure young child who just knew people thought I was ugly and unworthy. It has taken over 30 years of emotional effort to love the skin I’m in, and five laser surgeries to build my confidence. I became a make-up artist for Clinque to learn how to apply make up to “look” normal.
Death of My Dad When I was 12. Too young to comprehend the depth of what happened. I can still replay the movie of events in my head and the image of him coming down the stairs under the white sheet. He was only 41 years old and had a massive heart attack, the “widow maker.” It wasn’t until I was 30 years old that I forgave him for not eating healthy and taking care of himself. I took a vow in my 20s to never be that selfish to others. To this day, I feel my obligation to eat well for those that I love, to live a long life and give back.
Mom and Me. Mother was widowed twice. As her only child, it was only natural that we bonded closely over the years. It wasn’t until she got sick that I realized how close our bond was for over 45 years.
Mom’s Death. Mom was diagnosed with cancer in late 2015 and sadly passed away within 2 years of her diagnosis (August 2017). It wasn’t until I watched her take her last breath did I realize what an invaluable bond and different experience I had with her compared to my peers. The loss was devastating but with that loss has come the understanding of how much she shaped my life as it is today. And more importantly, stepping out and redefined who I am as an individual. I pretty much put a lot of my wants and needs in life on a shelf after she lost her 2nd husband in 2002. She taught me that adversity builds strength. I’m feeling so strong after the heartache of losing her that I’m actually finding happiness and joy to put my life first again. She’d be proud of me!
Hiking Colorado 14teeners. I have hiked 5 of the 52 in Colorado. Hiking these large mountains and extreme elevations require dedicated training to fitness and outdoor survival skills. My first four mountains were done in my 20s and whimsically. I lived in Colorado and that’s just “what you do on a Saturday morning.” But the 5th required me to train hard while living in Virginia and in my 40s– an elevation gain of 14,000 feet from sea level can give you altitude sickness and in extreme cases, kill you if your cardio health is not in peak condition. When I got to the top of Quandary Peak, looked at the views, I cried. It was my first real success on a personal journey of focusing on a goal. Whenever I don’t feel like working out, I think of standing on top of that mountain and how proud I was to have made it. I want to do that again when I turn 50, and 60, and 70. I can’t do it eating cupcakes!
HORMONE SHIFT. Surgery One and Surgery Two. I’d been healthy all my life, except for my women’s health. I’m convinced the Pill with the synthetic hormones created imbalances so great that I had to have surgeries. First was in 2012 when I had to have 2 orange and grapefruit sized ovarian cysts removed. And in 2016, my uterus was removed due to the massive growing fibroids. I launched into hormonal chaos in 2012 and although my primary care physician says my “numbers are good” and my OBGYN says “you are normal,” deep down I know I was not. My weight gains have been horrific in these years. I had to really dig deep and understand the biology of how our bodies function on a daily basis. My diet changed, my weight did not. This quest to seek answers has lead me here, to blog about this epidemic of obesity and the personal journey of fighting back, on my terms.
I have found this book which is reseting my all my hormones in the next 21 days, all of them, through diet. I hate the word DIET! Don’t you?
Here’s the book I’m reading now and implementing. The Hormone Reset Diet- Heal Your Metabolism to Lose Up To 15 Pounds in 21 Days, by Sara Gottfried, M.D. It’s working for me and I like how easy it is. I just found this video..it’s great:
I’m in Day 4 and as of last night, I have lost 2.2lbs in 3 days. That’s not happened since I was in my 30s. Whoa…. I think I hit on something!
I encourage you to write down your events in hopes you can discover where things went haywire with your health, your weight and anything else that happens to be getting in your way.
My goal is happiness, to give and to love myself inside and out. Make it yours, too!