Sunday, September 2, 2012

Labor Day and Everyday Struggles

First, I'd like to wish you all a very Happy Labor Day!!!  I hope everyone finds a chance to relax and spend time with family and friends.  We're doing that very thing this weekend and taking a break from our workouts.  My brother-in-law and nephew are in town for the weekend and we're celebrating BIL's birthday coming up.  He'll be a whopping 39!!  Can't wait to roast him next year.  (Along with my own brother who is also 39 this year!)

On another note, it's been on my heart today to encourage those of you who have been struggling with your weight over the years.  I've been inspired by a couple of people... namely Nancy Reinhardt, who, despite battling a bad back, made the decision to change her life and that of her family by eating clean and getting back in the gym.  Her story can be found here....(just click on her pic below).  She looks hot, huh?!

Nancy Reinhardt

Nancy's story resonated with me.  I think I was finally at a point in my life where I was tired of being overweight and everything that went with it.  Being tired all the time, having no energy, hating to look at myself in the mirror, hiding from the camera.  I hated myself.  I hated the way I looked.  But I was scared to change.

Two years ago I underwent open heart surgery.  Before the surgery, my heart issues got slowly but steadily worse over time and my cardiologist finally told me it was time to repair it.  After the surgery, my surgeon told me I could exercise with no restrictions.  Since then, my heart is so much better but I've been paralyzed with fear.  What will happen if I over exert myself?  I still don't know the answer to that question, but I've decided that little by little I will work up to it.

My other challenge is that I have a steel rod attached to my spine.  Okay, that sounds scarier than it really is. I had scoliosis when I was 13 and had a stainless steel rod attached to my spine.  I don't notice it and it hasn't hindered me in any way except for the fact that I can do sit ups or crunches.  Unlike most people, I don't bend at the waist.  I bend at the hips.  It's difficult for most people to grasp that - especially nowadays because the surgery for repairing scoliosis has improved dramatically over the years and patients now have more freedom of movement.  That's bad when I desperately need some ab work!!  LOL!

I can only walk right now on the treadmill for about 20 minutes at a pace of about 2.5.  I started out about three months ago at 2.0 for 10 minutes.  That's progress!  I'm also lifting weights and I LOVE it!  Weight lifting really gets my heart pumping!  At first I was afraid of how it made me feel.  Now that I'm getting used to the sensation, I'm pushing myself a little harder.  I've moved up in the amount I'm lifting and I'm seeing my body change.  I'm finding other ways, too, to get my abs in shape.  And the appreciation I see in my husband's eyes is priceless.  :)

I decided to take Jamie Eason's 12 week LiveFit Trainer.  While I can't do every exercise in this plan, I'm doing what I can and challenging myself beyond my fears.  There are days when I leave the gym feeling like spaghetti!!  There are days when I don't have the heart for it (no pun intended).  But, that's when I take a page from Nancy's book and I don't get stressed over missing a day.  I just continue on the next day.

I encourage you - if you are struggling with even getting started just take it in small steps!  Remember, it's a journey - a journey to a better you!!!  Join a gym or your local YMCA (which is what we did).  And GO!  We go at least four times a week.  Even if you only go for 20 minutes.... GO!!!!

Just remember...God loves you regardless!  But you can love yourself, too! It's time to start.

Here's to a fresh start!!!

Here's to YOU!!


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