Being Healthy Doesn’t Happen in a Vacuum

When I started this blog a while back, I did so with the intention of only blogging about my weight-loss, and the things I am or am not doing regarding that.  What I’ve come to realize is that losing weight and being healthy does not happen in a vacuum.  How nice it would be if it did.  It would be so wonderful if the only thing I had to focus on was what I needed to do to be healthy, lose weight and treat my body the way it wants to be treated.

The problem is….life happens.  Friends are lost and found.  Schedules change.  Jobs become stressful or less stressful.  Financial difficulties occur.  Family members become ill or pass away.  Romantic possibilities flare.  Life happens.  Some things are expected, but most are not.  Even the best laid contingency plans fail spectacularly.  We stumble.  The question is, do we right ourselves and continue the path laid out before us, or do we continue to fall back into that slow suicide? 

Several months I went to the gym, waiting for it to become ‘fun’ like so many people had told me it would.  It got to the point where it was less painful, less of a chore.  Then life happened and happened HARD.  It landed on me with both clawed, reptilian feet and screamed, “Here Bitch!  Take this!”  I fell.  I slipped into a depression and contracted a case of the ‘fuck-its’.

Excuses began to get easier and easier.  First two days passed, then three.  After two weeks I noticed how ‘bad’ I felt.  It wasn’t the being depressed bad, but just bleck, and icky.  I wasn’t sleeping well any more, I wasn’t as energetic and I just felt not like me.  Then I tried to give blood and for the first time in 6 months, I was denied donation because my hematocrit was too low.  I had this problem in the past but since going to the gym and eating better, it had gone away.  While I knew I was slipping in this journey, this glaring number was a neon sign that I was so glad that I saw. 

The next day, I went to the gym, it was hard.  My ego kept screaming, “You know this is going to be way harder than it was when u stopped.”  It was.  The regulars that had trudged along side me for the past few months, smiled and told me how happy they were that I was back.  They had been watching my progress over the months and like the underdog in an indie film they had been silently rooting me on.  Wanting me to succeed.  I posted my check-in on Facebook and many friends who had noticed my absence commented in much the same manner.

No, being healthy, getting in shape do not happen in a vacuum.  It actually happens much more like a stone thrown in the water, causing ripples and waves that reach places the pebble never even imagined.  I had NO idea.  I have never in my life been so grateful or humbled to learn that I, indeed, do not live in a vacuum.

The gym has become my god-place.  I put on my headphones, turn up the music and for the next 90 minutes, it is me and god.  Muscles burn, shake and groan but we work.  The feel of sweat first breaking the skin is like arriving at a much sought-after destination and I love the way my arms glisten in the fluorescent lights of the gym. 

I hope, no I believe, that I have stayed on this journey long-enough to continue.  It’s become too much a part of who I am.

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