It’s been 5 years since I started this whole wild, crazy, life-saving journey.
1,825 days spent working to change my ways.
Most of those days I worked hard, got it right, or at the very least I tried to make the smartest choice I could at any given moment.
Some of those days I just held on for dear life.
A few of those days were walks backwards. Regressions, lessons, pity parties and more than a few tears…
I am 5 years in today — with hopefully many, many years in front of me. I am cherishing the time that this lifestyle change bought me; time I plan to continue to use to love, adventure, run, grow, LIVE…
I have been handed a second chance at life and I am not going to waste a single moment.
Five(ish) years ago my doctor basically told me I could be dead in 5 years if I didn’t make a serious change in my life. Obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol were taking their toll.
Here we are 5 year later…
And I’ve made some serious changes.
I love when someone close to me — who KNOWS what I have been through says … ‘Five years ago would you have ever guessed…?’
The answer is always ‘no.’
I knew things had to change. But let’s be honest… I really had NO idea how this whole ’embracing a healthy lifestyle’ thing would go.
Or what I would gain. Learn. Love.
How radically different my life would become.
There are inspirational quotes that speak to this — but in reality that time was going to pass anyway. Each day was marching forward no matter what. I could have used those 1,800 days to hone my skills with needles/meds/glucose monitors and gotten to know even more fast food drive-thrus and bought more ill-fitting clothes in the largest sizes possible. I could’ve kept marching toward a sure and early grave, merely treating the disease as I gave up trying to save my own life.
Not to be all dramatic or anything — but seriously? That is exactly what I was doing…
I woke up July 2 five years ago and I began to fight.
I built and then clung to a team of support people.
I was fiercely determined to find a way to make this work.
I started to eat less and move more. I started losing weight and gaining control of my blood sugars.
A year in, I kicked diabetes to the curb.
I found running after a lifetime of saying I would only ‘run when chased’. And then fell head over heels (pun intended, although I really have fallen on my face a few times…) in love with running. Trail running to be specific.
I’ve worn tight/short spandex shorts in public. Many times. 🙂 I’ve even run in just shorts and sports bra.
I can cross my legs. I can see my feet. I can fit in an airplane seat. 🙂
And then there’s the whole bathing suit thing… 🙂
I still have to watch portions. I still fret over the scale. I still feel like a 392 pound woman walking around some days. But I NOW have tools and people and goals that make all of those issues seems less-important and way less all-consuming than they were even a year ago…
Nothing happened overnight. It was tons and tons of little baby steps on a wild roller coaster ride.
But I never, ever could have guessed where this was all headed or how my life, body and health would change.
If you would have told me 5 years ago that I was going to be able to use my story of being morbidly obese, Type 2 Diabetic, inactive, really just ambling around and waiting to die…. If you would have told me that I was going to be HELPING others to try to reclaim their lives, I would have told you that you had lost your mind.
And yet that’s the biggest gift of this whole endeavor.
Meeting people like me. People facing triple-digit weight loss, stern orders from Docs to ‘do or die’ and the inability to even know how to take that first horrifically-frightening step forward to save their own life.
I know how they feel.
I was THERE.
I remember going to bed on July 1st terrified out of my mind at what I was about to embark on. And yet MORE terrified of what my life would be like in 5 years if I didn’t get started. I don’t remember sleeping very well that night. 🙂 But I remember that when I woke up on July 2, 2011 — my feet hit the floor and I KNEW in my heart and soul that this time, this TIME, I was going to be successful in making some big changes. My life depended on it.
I’m not done.
I committed to this change for life. I’m still learning and growing and changing. And it’s not linear. There are still good days, bad days and habits that have to be shaken off or replaced. I’m really not done. 🙂
But every single day is a gift.
The people in my life are blessings beyond words.
The people who started this journey with me, the ones who run beside me now and the ones in between at every cross/turn/bump who supported, cajoled, questioned and supported me. It’s an entire, bustling village full of people who got me to this point.
This girl has a heart bursting with gratitude and joy.