What turned it around? I woke up in the middle of the night with my heart racing. I couldn’t slow it down by focusing on my breathing. I went to the ER. I now go to a cardiologist and take medicine for an irregular heart rhythm. I decided that I got off pretty easy this time, but what about the next time something was wrong? Did I want to hear that I had cancer? What about heart problems? My parents had both died young, one from cancer and one from a heart attack.
Fear motivates me, a little. But I had to turn around what I do when I feel fear. Normally fear causes me to retreat. Normally fear causes me to seek comfort food. But that is what caused the problem in the first place. So I stopped smoking and stopped drinking sodas. I lost 20 pounds in a few weeks this way. That was pretty encouraging.
Here’s another motivator. I don’t have children. I don’t have someone who can take care of me when I get older. So I have to take care of myself now. I don’t want to get so out of shape that I need help from someone every time I need to go to the bathroom.
Pain was also a problem. I’d gotten to the point that my knees hurt when I walked up or down stairs. I was only 40 years old. I figured I was too young to feel this old, but if that was the way it was, then that was it. Fortunately my husband had been going to the Y for a while and knew I liked to swim. We went to the Y and there was a water aerobics class going on at the same time. I stayed in the back and joined in. The teacher was enthusiastic and inspiring. The moves were fun. I was sore the next morning but I was happy. I’d found it. I’d found something that I enjoyed doing. I thought water aerobics was for little old ladies with arthritis. It turns out that it was exactly perfect for me. Keep trying until you find a way to take care of yourself that you will actually do. The life you save will be your own.