04 March 2010

Making a choice…

I really need to make exercise a part of my routine. It has all kinds of health benefits, I usually feel good when I do it, my doctor doesn’t fuss at me as much when I can tell him (or otherwise prove with pictures) that I am exercising…there are benefits. BUT I HATE IT! Even as a child, the whole idea of exerting so much energy doing something that you would break a sweat?! Pure torture. I hated PE class, which is usually every child’s favorite subject (next to lunch). Not me! Send me to the science lab instead…PLEASE! The idea of getting undressed in a locker room, changing clothes, going outside to play handball or run or do gymnastics, getting sweaty or worse, clammy, then going back and doing it in reverse, and then sitting up in class for another 2-3 hours – YUCK! And while most kids exercise for the benefit of weight control, as a child, and even as a young adult, my metabolism was pretty high, so I could eat any and everything I wanted and it never showed.


Ok, did some switch inside my body just shut down, turn off, and stop working? My metabolism quit. It didn’t help that I also had major surgery at this time and part of the post-operative treatment was steroidal shots once a month for six months. Can we say uncontrolled weight gain? I cannot remember if it was 40 pounds in 6 weeks or 60 pounds in 4 weeks, but whatever ever it was, it was horrific. As was the way people started treating the “new, more voluptuous” me. My beloved grandfather stopped calling me “Sweetie Face” and started calling me “Moon Pie” or something equally disgusting. My grandmother would start every Sunday morning conversation with, “So how much do you weigh now?” and for the first time in my life, I was really uncomfortable in my own skin. People who didn’t know the medical issues I was having would say such kind things to me…like: “why’d you get so fat?” or “when is the baby due?” or “maybe you need to start pushing away from the table quicker”. Yeah, people can be cruel and insensitive and stupid. And it hasn’t stopped as I got older. A dear saint at church told me just last week, “I remember when you first came to this church (back in the late 1980s), you were so cute and skinny, but now you are so fat. You need to change your diet and lifestyle.” Really? Yeah, I’ll get right to work on that. Thanks.

A few years ago, I was diagnosed with diabetes. Ok, the absolute worse disease that can befall a foodie like myself. Suddenly, food (always my friend) is now my enemy. EVERYTHING I eat affects my health. This will make my blood sugars go up. This is what to do if your sugars ever drop too low (ok, never my issue. Mine are always high, which puts me at risk of eventually needing insulin shots to maintain good blood sugar health.) And the pricking of the fingers to tell where you are – yeah, not good. Of course, the easiest way to bring blood sugars down (and still be able to eat what you like to eat) is to get the blood moving, circulating and flowing. How do you do that? Yeah, that four letter word that has eight letters in it: exercise.

Now at 45 years old, when habits are ingrained and stubborn, I have to make a choice: fight this disease with all that I have – or let it win and end up with more issues. When I was first diagnosed, I used to say stuff like, “I’m gonna beat this because I love to read and cannot lose my eyesight” or “I have too many shoes in my collection to be an amputee”. I still feel those sentiments, so I have to do what I gotta do. It’s hard. Did I mention I hate to exercise? I will find every excuse in the book NOT to do it. “I’m too busy”, “My work schedule doesn’t make it convenient to exercise”, “I need a partner” (which is really NO excuse because I have several friends who are willing to meet me and go walking. Thanks Judith and Brittany and Ife and BuPee and…) I am the one who has to find the motivation to get up out of the bed, get dressed and out the door to do it.

So, I’m turning off the computer, throwing on some sweats and walking out the door. I’m going to walk around the neighborhood, take in the sights, and come back home. I’m not going to call it exercise because I hate to exercise. I’m going to call it…hmmm…making a choice for better health. Let’s see how long that motivates me. I solicit your prayers and encouragement.

Be blessed.

© 2010 Kristina E. Smith

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