LESSON Nine: Don’t Abuse and Neglect Your Body

“We Don’t Get to Choose Our Body, But It’s the Only One We’ve Got!”

Click Here for the Video Lesson


     I grew up playing sports from the time that I was knee-high to a grasshopper, so to speak! Around the time that I was 5 years old, I was already able to ride an adult bike, I could roller-skate, kick a soccer ball and make baskets with my older brother’s basketball. I was coordinated physically and loved being active. I happily took on the title of being a “tom-boy!” I played and excelled at various sports while growing up, all the way through high school and well into my early twenties.

   While I was in high school, I was a big-time dreamer. Daydreaming was one of my favorite pastimes! I had two main dreams. One dream was of me growing up, moving to a “real” beach someplace tropical, with warm weather year-round and being in, on and around the water as much as I could. (Remember I grew up in Washington state, we didn’t have any beaches like in my dreams.) For some reason, I was hypnotized by surfing and had famous male surfers plastered all over my wall while growing up. Kelly Slater, was one of my favorites. (This was before women surfers took off, otherwise I’m sure I would have had a mixture of guys and gal surfers up there.) Can you blame me for having such fantasies.

   My other dream was to get scouted and then recruited to play either soccer or basketball on a college-level, get an athletic scholarship and full-ride to school. (Then become a P.E. teacher and coach the sports I loved so much as a youngster.) Although, I had great talent in both sports, my attitude prevented me from achieving this dream.

   Ironically, once I did grow up, I quickly went out into the real world and then became a young Mom, I stopped working out as much as I should have been doing. Like most people say “I became too busy!” It was my excuse too! I know that’s a completely bullshit excuse and a cop-out.

   Over the next few years in my mid 30’s, I grossly neglected my body, sadly. I always thought that I would be an active Mom that would be in better shape than my son but that wasn’t the final outcome. It’s the one thing that I regret not handling with better care and attention because as we all know we only get one body in this life.

   Right now, in my life, I’ve been struggling with my health, my weight and my body overall. From years of abuse, overuse and neglect, I feel old. In fact, I often feel like I’m trapped in an old woman’s body. Although, I don’t drink or do drugs, I still damaged my body and have been struggling to repair it.

   I’m grossly underweight, my BMI is below average and currently I weigh just 105 lbs. For a lady that’s 5 foot 5 inches, I am not proportionate or at a healthy weight. When I look at myself in the mirror I see bones in my back, sticking out. That’s totally crazy!

   I struggle to do every day things that most people do not much of an issue with; such a being outdoors in the sun and being able to hang at the amazing beaches that are within a few miles where I live near Destin, Florida. Being active today for me, means going on a 15 to 20 minute walk every day, a few times a day, not overusing my body in any way (which can feel very limiting at times), doing simple exercises with my body weight and light weights. My stamina sucks but my heart is in the right place.

   It’s hard for me to exercise consistently, even with a reminder being set on my phone. Pretty pathetic, I know! I’m working on things and I’m a work in progress. I get it and see it every day and have to deal with where I’m at. Denial isn’t a river in Egypt it’s something that I act like I don’t have to face and that I don’t really have a problem. Then something happens and I’m flat on my ass, hurting from pushing myself too hard and sometimes even having a panic attack over.

   Another thing that is strange for me is that I get picked on by people throughout my day-to-day activities as if they are jealous and envious of my small frame. What bigger people don’t get is that people that are “too skinny” have just as many issues as people that are “too big!”

   When an old lady that is waiting in line behind me at the grocery store sees me buy a box of chocolates and makes a remark about it, she thinks that she is being complimentary but it bugs me, just as I can imagine it bugs bigger people.

Moral:

   I know that I pay attention and listen to my body more now than I did in the past. When it “talks” to me, I try to listen and figure out what it’s trying to “tell” me. I have more respect for my body today than I did just a few short years ago. Getting back into shape is just as hard for me as it is for a bigger person.

   I take full responsibility for letting this happen to myself and I know how to fix it. I hope someday that I am able to overcome my battles and demons (being me) so that I can get back to an overall healthy lifestyle.

   If I could have a chance to go back to the times when I decided it wasn’t important to keep active, moving and pushing myself, I’d slap myself upside my head and say “Hey sista, don’t let your body go to shit, otherwise it’s your own fault” and you won’t like the outcome. I’d take gaining my health back over making the kind of money I make today. If I could be comfortable financially and have better health, I’d take it in a heartbeat. Nothing else is more important than your health and I know that we have all heard that. I get it!

      I used to find so much joy and pleasure in exercising and even in the moments when I was being active outdoors, especially if it was doing something that I was good at and loved doing. Although, I still get glimmers of those feelings and moments today, they don’t happen as often or as easily. I’d like to find a way back to the best version of myself before it’s too late. As long as I am alive and breathing, I’ll keep trying to better myself. One baby step at a time, day-by-day and if I work hard and smart enough, I’m sure I’ll find myself where I want to be.