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Three Steps forward, two steps back

Monday, December 21, 2015

It's been years since I've felt the need - or more accurately - the desire to blog. But a recent health scare, and the fortuitous referral of a cardiologist has rekindled my desire. I was losing weight steadily when - as often happens when the motivation isn't clear or life gets overwhelming - I stopped losing and started gaining. Slowly and imperceptibly at first, but then clearly gaining. I decided to try a popular weight loss program that had been recognized in U.S. News and World Report, and although I was concerned about the prepared food I was going to be steadfast. And then I added green tea, metabolism boosters, BCAAs - you get the idea - adding instead of stopping to identify and set goals, motivation and sustaining plans for when the going got tough. My critical stop came one early Saturday morning when I was in boxing class, determined to push through the exhaustion from being up too late cleaning for Christmas holidays, which I had tried to beat back with more green tea. Suddenly the warm up exercise became hard, I was dizzy and short of breath with fluttering in my chest. I recognized that I had flipped into atrial fibrillation!!

As a health care professional I knew my options but cold logic flies out of the window in the heat of such a moment. Short of breath and occasionally dizzy, I tried to calm myself as I drove to the local ER. Three hours later I was back to my old rhythm, with a distinct dark line - a burn mark on my chest to remind me that my zeal for a "quick fix" led to the need for an electric shock to jolt my heart back into its normal rhythm. emoticon

I was referred to a very wise and kind cardiologist who recognized my desire but also my need for supervision and support. Instead of a lecture, I was referred to a terrific trainer who has helped me to take the long slow winding road to weight loss through hard work, and to appreciate/anticipate the challenges while celebrating the daily small victories.

Do I still sometimes make poor choices? Of course, I'm human! I also celebrate that during the Thanksgiving holiday I lost a pound instead of gaining three. Fluid shifts that leave me with puffy feet don't send me into a downward spiral looking at the 2 pounds that magically appeared overnight - and that will be gone with some exercise and extra water. My pantry had a great catharsis - and is happy to report it is no longer bloated with supplements. In short, I learned that there is no short cut to weight loss success, and that honest hard work go a lot further than deceiving myself with the latest "get thin quick" supplement.

Ways to motivate myself have replaced the ways I found to berate myself - which has made me happier, more eager to succeed and more successful. I'm not anywhere near my goal but I feel and look better. I still have bulges, wrinkly skin and cellulite. But I have stopped comparing me to others and even to the distance runner I was 30 years ago. I am thankful for every sunrise I see - a year ago in an East coast ER - short of breath and dizzy with a heart rate of 193, I wasn't so sure I would see any more of them.

When I get discouraged I look out of the window of my office, which is next to a very well maintained and manicured cemetery. Every day is an opportunity to greet the sunrise, work toward my goal, and embrace my current fitness. Those manicured headstones serve as a powerful reminder of what I have right now - and to embrace it while I can.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Miss Vicky, You are amazing. Living a healthy lifestyle is key. I am so happy to hear you have been given this opportunity to find your way to a healthy you again. I have always enjoyed reading your posts, this one hit me hard. Miss Barb
    1707 days ago
    Beautifully written blog about your journey. It was very heart felt. Yes, appreciate each day is what life is all. I do wish you a magical holiday season and a very HEALTHY new year.
    2003 days ago
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