Choose Health

I’ve been choosing hope since 2007.  Most every day I make a conscious choice at some point to be hopeful.  Sometimes it is first thing in the morning.  Sometimes it isn’t until late at night.  Sometimes it is a pretty constant process throughout the day.  Point is, I choose hope almost every day and my life is better for it.  I have managed to choose hope through some fairly desperate times.  I am a better person for this choice.

Now I need to choose health.

I am overweight.  I am uncomfortable.  I am ashamed.  That’s not cool.

There are few things I hate more than people who whine about their weight, their health, their lives and don’t do a damn thing to change anything.  I don’t want to be that person, so generally I keep my negative thoughts to myself.  Which is never a good idea.  Negative thoughts breed negative thoughts.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately.  I want to be healthier.  I need to be healthier.  Welcoming a baby into your home is a test of both endurance and stamina, you know?  It stuck me a few weeks ago that I needed to “choose health” just as I “choose hope.”  If I can choose hope through grief and terror and sadness, then damn, why do I continue to choose cheeseburgers, cokes, sugar, and sofas over health?  If choosing hope is a conscious choice I make day after day, I need to apply that strength and ability to my health.

It’s not rocket science.

Part of me is angry at myself for being in this place again.  Way back in 1999 I gained a bunch of weight in graduate school and my first job out of school.  It was not the happiest of times.  After a couple of years of this, I decided it was not the life I wanted and did what I needed to do to both look and feel better.  At that point, it was Weight Watchers and exercise.  Life was good.  I looked and felt great.

I maintained my healthy weight through eleven years of babies, cancer, caregiving, and grief.  Something changed last year.  After my fourth miscarriage, I started gaining weight again.  Ugh.  I stopped eating healthily.  I started justifying my poor diet and sedentary life.  I deserved that pizza.  Life is hard and soda helps.  I’m too tired to move.  Elastic waist pants are more comfortable anyway.

No more.

In my latest effort to choose hope, I have decided that 2013 is my year to choose health.  More fresh food.  Less sugar.  More exercise.  Less sloth.  More cooking.  Less fast food.  More sleep.  Less procrastination.  More sweat.  Less shame.

Mary Tyler Mom has been a lifeline for me — my church, my confidant, my pillar.  This is wholly unexpected, but so appreciated.  There is rarely a day that passes that I don’t feel gratitude for this amazing community of folks who read my words and keep me company.  Almost every day.

Strangely, my weight gain started with the creation of my Facebook community.  Hmmmmm.

I need to turn this thing around.  Me thinks, as it is the most cliche time of year to do so, some of you might be wanting to do the same.  My vision is that we could keep one another company as we do this.  I see a wall of support and camaraderie and ideas and motivation and encouragement.  I don’t want to join a gym to lose weight.  I don’t want to invest in tons of special food to feel healthy.  I want to do my own thing, but in the company of others.

I have created an event, “Choose Health,” on the Mary Tyler Mom page that you should feel free to join if you, too, want to choose health.  I will be posting about my triumphs and failings as I make the necessary steps to choose health.  It might be recipes, it might be a song that gets me going, it might be a log of how I moved that day.  It will evolve and become what it wants to become, which will most likely reflect what we need as we all choose health.

Okay!  I am IN January 2 and until then, I will be consuming copious amounts of all things unhealthy.  I will be eating sugar and carbs and cheese to my heart’s discontent!  But after January 2, I will choose health!  I will eat less and move more.  Join me, why don’t you.

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