Life is funny sometimes. I do have a tendency to go from challenge to challenge or duty to duty in a reactive mode. I get so caught up in the process of “taking care of things and taking care of people” that at times I lose sight of implications.
There have been times like that before. Each time it has re-directed me. A perfect example would be my high school guidance counselor. I went to him for advice on applying for colleges. My dream school was St. Mary’s of Notre Dame. Admission there (and to their brother school across the road ~ University of Notre Dame) was rigorous. My guidance counselor told me he didn’t think I had much of a chance of getting in there, and to consider applying to Illinois State in Normal, IL. I was stunned, as I thought of myself as pretty much the bees knees. Rather than get depressed or angry, his advice re-defined me. I became completely focused on school, put in consistent effort, and got straight As. And yes, I was admitted to St. Mary’s and Notre Dame. Chose my dream school, St. Mary’s. Nope—did NOT apply to Illinois State. And yes, brought a copy of my acceptance letters to my counselor ;-).
I went through the same thing in my job hunt, and in getting admitted to grad school. When I lived in both NJ and OH I went through some of that, too. In those cases it was merely in battling some with getting people to see me for who I am. Sometimes people tend to pre-judge. It is human nature. During those times I did my best to stay calm and positive. Sometimes it worked, and sometimes it didn’t. But post high school counselor those other times weren’t really major re-directs; they were just moments of strengthening my resolve.
More recently, though, I have had a new awakening. It became obvious to even me how some people actually see/assess me that encounter me in person. What they see is an overweight woman that is currently quite unattractive–yet they also see that I am a nice person. To be brutally honest with myself, they are correct. That is a moment that re-directed me. You see, I have not taken care of myself. I have gotten quite overweight and out-of-shape. It is no wonder that some people believe I will always be that way. Fortunately for me, my husband and son see me for how I am on the inside.
I realize that some of that is typical as we age. I have actually had to take a realistic look and assess—that yes, I am way too heavy. It isn’t how I want to look or feel. I want to be around for a good long time. So this week I began doing something about it. I began an exercise program and healthy eating plan on Wednesday. I have been eating somewhat healthy for awhile, but I have a major sweet tooth. I love bacon and chips, too. But now I am motivated. I want to prove to myself that I can regain my appropriate size and stamina. I want to prove to myself that I no longer need to hide behind all those pounds.
I certainly am inspired by my son who has made a very concerted effort to build his health and stamina. I dream of the time when I reach my goal, and reverse decades of being overweight. Like a phoenix (in phoenix) I will arise. Just watch me :-).