I’m trying to be patient with the process of redefining myself. I’ve finally realized that eating well and exercising isn’t optional. I have to keep doing it. It isn’t like taking a course of antibiotics. “Take one every 6 hours for 10 days and then stop.” Nope. The instructions are more like “Do this every day for the rest of your life.”
Life is a chronic condition. It can’t be treated like a passing thing. Do you want to live? Then take care of yourself. You can do any exercise you want – just do something. Everything counts. You don’t have to run a marathon straight off the bat, or ever. If you walk a mile every day for a month then you’ve gone more than you would for a marathon. Sometimes it is about adjusting your perspective more than anything.
When I moved to Nashville I felt like I couldn’t go walking. I knew the area around my home in Chattanooga, and I felt safe to walk. There wasn’t much traffic or crime. I didn’t know the area I moved to, and I was too scared and overwhelmed to try. So I went from walking at least three miles a day to nothing. I was also processing delayed grief from my parents. I was sad that I’d moved from my big house to a tiny apartment. I didn’t know where anything was. So in addition to not exercising, I ate. A lot. In two years I went from 120 pounds to 180. I was also smoking clove cigarettes and pot several times a day. This continued for a few years.
It didn’t take long before I ended up being close to 200 pounds. I dealt with it by buying bigger clothes. I was in a social group that had a lot of members who were morbidly obese, so I was considered petite in comparison. I didn’t think anything was wrong. However, I knew something was up when I realized that I could no longer find underwear that fit at Target. I also had to look in the “women’s” section for clothes. I didn’t want to be stigmatized by having to shop in a different section. Plus, all those clothes looked like flimsy tents. I didn’t want to wear what was offered me, so I had to make a change.