Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A New Journey Begins

So it's been almost two years since I really did much of anything with this blog. It's time I changed that.

During the summer of 2008 I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. To say I was scared would be a vast understatement. I was immediately put on a slew of medications to protect various organs from the damage that diabetes can cause. I was given access to some excellent educational tools to help me control my blood sugar. I learned a great deal about my body, how it works and overall health. At that time I also began researching something called Health At Every Size.
"Health at Every Size
is based on the simple premise that the best way to improve health is to honor your body. It supports people in adopting health habits for the sake of health and well-being (rather than weight control). Health at Every Size encourages:
  • Accepting and respecting the natural diversity of body sizes and shapes.
  • Eating in a flexible manner that values pleasure and honors internal cues of hunger, satiety, and appetite.
  • Finding the joy in moving one’s body and becoming more physically vital."

I was intrigued. I had spent so many years, and countless dollars, in efforts to be thinner. In the end, all that ended up doing was adding even more weight to my frame. The approach I was using obviously didn't work.

So I decided to try this HAES approach. I began with small things. I stopped berating myself for the size I was, the way I looked and my lack of physical stamina and strength. It took a long time to just get to that point. I began to renew my interest in clothing. I started taking more risks in many areas of my life.

And it helped. The better I treated myself, the better I felt and the better I felt, the better I treated myself. I am not saying this happened overnight. It didn't. But slowly I began to notice positive changes in my attitude and health. My numbers (blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure) were all good and my joy of life improved.

Then we moved across the country.

So now we are settled back in Southern California (where we're originally from) and I had a rough time initially. I was tired and unmotivated. It seemed like I had forgotten the lessons I had learned.

Then I found out, through a size acceptance online group I belong to, that Dr. Phil was going to do an episode of his show about the so-called "obesity epidemic" (cue diabolical disaster music here) and he was looking for persons of size (that's me) to be part of the audience. So, on a whim (and a lack of anything better to do as I still hadn't found work), I went to the show.

It was chaos. People on the "thin is fit" side saying we were all walking diseases and people on the "size acceptance" side saying that fat people should be left alone, stop making us into the bad guys and that a fat person could be just as fit as a thin person. It left me with some interesting ideas. Then Dr. Phil dropped a gift on us; a one-year unlimited membership to 24Hour Fitness.

My new projuect was born. I joined, had some personal training sessions (which were not covered) and began my project to get as fit as I could at my present size. Within a few weeks, I was bored. I needed something that could hold my interest for a longer period of time. I needed to interact with others. I needed a sport to play.

Enter boxing. I was always interested in the sport. I wanted to try it but, in the past, I shied away from it (and, to be honest, most other organized sports) due to my size. A cruel debate on Facebook with a stranger claiming to be a retired fitness trainer (a blog post in itself for another time) led me out of the house and over to the boxing gym on the Navy base. It was there I met the trainer, Oscar. I asked a few questions, he told me a little about the facility and then he asked "Are you ready to start today?" I admit, I wasn't, but I said yes anyway.

Tuesday, May 4th was the beginning of this strange new odyssey. I want to point out that I am not looking to lose weight, my body will do what it needs to do. I am, however, looking to build strength, speed and stamina. I am looking to hit hard and to avoid being hit. I am also looking for the other benefits of regular physical activity, improved metabolic numbers. My goal is to be off all my medication by next summer.

I will try to blog about my workouts and experiences in boxing. I will also do my best to blog about size acceptance and how Health at Every Size can be, and should be, what motivates people to activity.

Love yourself now, in this moment. Don't let anyone take that away from you.



Anonymous said...

Kelly! I LOVE this blog! You are so great at articulating your experiences! I am on the edge of my seat (as it were) and can't wait until your next entry. Thanks for sharing!

Christina Fleming-Hunt

Tara said...

Awesome, Kelly!!! And inspiring in lots of ways - 1 - to get off my damn academic ass and 2 - to get my fingers going on my Courage Inc blog again...