I'm going to blame it on some sort of astrological convergence that makes us Cancerian chicks think about the same things, but once again, Laurie hit me over the head with her observations. Between the not being on a diet to the not drinking so much wine (I never smoked) to the actually exercising regularly instead of just thinking about what a good idea it would be, I identified. Different circumstances, and I'm a lot older than she is, but I was nodding along, and admiring her writing (don't be scared, Laurie, I'm really not a stalker - honest).
I've spent the past few years making big commitments to diet and exercise and drink only a reasonable and heart healthy amount of wine, and doing it for a while and then abandoning it. Until the elephant fell out of the ceiling onto my head and I woke up in the ICU, I felt I had lots of time to change my life Later. To get back into those size 8 jeans and firm up the jello around my middle Later. And if my face looked a little puffy and I knew I was drinking too much wine and never passing up the good stuff at business lunches, I could always cut back Later. I came this close to not having a Later, and though my indifference to my diet and non-commitment to exercise and even the wine were not really to blame - they didn't cause the aneurysm - it was a hell of a wakeup call to the reality that there is no putting off goals until Later, there is only Now. And while my half-assed health habits and denial and excuses weren't tagged as directly responsible for the SAH, they sure didn't help, and may have helped it happen Feb. 22, 2007 instead of ten or twenty years from now, I'll never know for sure. Honestly, I'm grateful it happened, and it happened when and where it did. That scar on my head that itches because the hair is growing back makes me happy, because I am alive and feeling great and doing more for myself than I have in many years, maybe ever. Yes, probably ever. I am honestly glad that it happened, because without the elephant falling on my head, I might have gone on for several more years on the same path.
And there is no one keeping score, and I am not doing this for anyone's approval but my own. I am not on a diet, I am just eating what is good for me most of (but not all of - where's the fun in that?) the time, and thinking about portion size. Because portion size is my downfall and I know it.
I have not "gone on the wagon" and decided to live a life of deprivation and wheat grass shakes, I just think twice before I pour that second glass of wine. I am actually being honest with myself, and admitting that I do know better than to ignore doing what is good for me. And I already feel so much better, it makes me kick myself for not doing this years ago.
Today I did 3.4 miles on the treadmill, and it took me the same length of time that 2.5 miles took a week ago. I am honestly shocked at how quickly my 48 year old body is getting with this program. I wasn't in terrible shape before, but post-surgery I was so weak I fell down twice in the hospital, and when I came home I needed 4 naps a day. That was a month ago, and now I go to the gym every day. I am so happy/relieved that I'm able to do this, I look back on the years of saying I'll get around to do it Later, and could kick myself. This is a gift. I am not perfect and not trying to be, but I don't think I'll stop appreciating my body anytime soon.
So Laurie's post and the shift of her coping mechanisms hit home with me. And good for her, she got there many years before I did and didn't need a near death experience to figure it out. I'm a slow learner.