True story: I used to be fat. Like 100+ pounds larger than I weigh now.
After my thyroid was removed, I ballooned up within a very short period of time. Like 3-4 months. It was maddening, saddening and a very difficult time emotionally for me. Every day I would wake up 2-3 pounds heavier than the day before. I wasn’t allowed to take any medicine to regulate my body until my cancer treatments were over.
I remember those days like they were yesterday. Maybe I have some PTSD about it still because now I am ultra careful with my weight. I don’t want to be like that again. I felt so horrible both about myself mentally and myself physically.
It took me a long time to lose that weight. I completely changed the way that I ate and for the first time in my life, I started to exercise regularly. It was back then that I discovered my love of hiking. Walking was the only thing that I could do.
I started off small in the beginning. Slowly the weight came off and I found that I could do so much more than I had ever imagined. Since then, I have climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, hiked down the Grand Canyon to Havasu Falls, climbed Mount Whitney, trekked the Tour de Mont Blanc and have conquered many more trails and mountains. Hiking helped transform my innermost self and my outward appearance.
Mentally, I found that it cleared my mind. The sun on my face and shoulders and the crisp air in my lungs brought me renewed happiness and great peace. I discovered that the friendliest and most encouraging people that I had ever met were on the trails. Within a few minutes of walking in nature, my stress levels were down and I became completely focused on the present moment. It is absolutely glorious. I found that I was capable of so much more than I had ever imagined. It rubbed off on my personal life too. I began to transform.
Physically, I got stronger and stronger. I got in better shape and the weight came off. Slowly. It seemed like forever. When you have a lot of extra weight on you, it is hard to keep encouraged when you don’t see immediate results. When you are that overweight, you really don’t notice 5 or 10 pounds coming off. Anyone who is buxom like this understands that struggle. And then one day you wake up and you actually see a difference. A light goes on inside of you and then from that day on, it’s like – game on! I can do this.
So, I’ve been there and I overcame. I just had to figure out what kind of exercise I actually liked to do and then I did it. Showing up was the hardest part in the beginning…but once I was there, I never regretted it. If you have some extra pounds on ya, that is what you need to do: figure out what you would like to actually do and then follow through. As my friend Lisa used to tell me many years ago, “The best exercise for you is the one that you will actually do.” She was right back then and she still is now.
Hiking happened to be the one for me and it has evolved from there. Now I enjoy may different activities depending on my mood. The point is – that I always do something to keep moving. You can do the same.
One step at a time. Never easy, always worth it.
Thank you so much for reading today. I hope that I made you smile and think a little bit. Be sure to check out my Podcast on iTunes, Soundcloud and Stitcher —- Jen’s 10 G’s