Since my mother died when I was twelve years old, I have struggled with a weight problem. All through high school, my Army service, my college years, and up until three years ago, I have been on a series of yo-yo diets. As evidence of that, until fairly recently my wardrobe consisted of clothes ranging from size 6 to 16.
In October of 2007, something happen that made me rethink my approach to diet and fitness. I had an abnormal mammogram. Due to changes in our insurance coverage and a miscommunication with the diagnostic lab, I did not receive a clean bill of health until December 2007.
During those two months of anxiety, I realized I had to change my life style. In January 2008, I would celebrate my 43rd birthday, the same age my mother was when she died from breast cancer. I was also a mother to a two-year old daughter, and the thought of my morality and leaving her made me take a hard look at my current health situation. According to my OB/GYN doctor, I had many of the risk factors for breast cancer, I was at least 30 pounds overweight, I had a family historyof cancer, and I had never carrying a baby to a full term pregnancy. I also sat at a desk ten hours a day, did no type of exercise, and had gained 20 pounds in the past year. Something had to give…
In the past, I had always focused on my diet, and eventually I always gain the weight back. This time, I decided to focus on exercise. I would try to eat healthy, but I would not go on a diet.
I started with the New Year’s resolution of running in an 8K race for St. Patrick’s Day. My goal was to run, not walk the race and complete it in less than one hour. I started waking up at 5:00 am, and walking with our old faithful dog, a Shepard/lab mix. It was so dark and cold that time of the day, I started running short stretches at a time just to keep warm. After a month, I was able to jog thirty minutes without stopping. By Saint Patrick’s Day, I had lost ten pounds, but more importantly, I had completed the race without walking in 55 minutes.
That spring I participated in several races, my time steadily improving, until I suffered a stress fracture in my left fibula. After that, I joined our local rec center and rode the exercise bike, until I was cleared by my doctor to run on the elliptical. Since then, I do the majority of my exercise on the elliptical. With the addition of our youngest child, I stopped going to the rec center. I purchased an elliptical second-hand off of Craig’s List so I could exercise at home.
My weight loss was very slow, usually about one pound a week. It took six months for me to lose 30 pounds, however I am proud to say I have kept the weight off for three years now, and I have given away all my “fat” clothes, there is no going back!
So, as part of our home schooling, I have “fit in fitness” into our daily schedule. After circle time, and catechism, my oldest daughter watches “Super Why” on PBS kids and my youngest daughter plays, while I run on the elliptical for 45 minutes. At 9:30 am, we start back up with Saxon Math for my kindergartener and shapes, and counting flashcards for my pre-schooler.