Tara's Story: I Can Tie My Shoelaces!
I am so excited to share this article with all of you! Tara is a dear friend of mine and has lived with my family as a nanny working with us for years. She has always been an amazing addition to our family and we are so proud of how far she's come with her weight loss and her life transformation! Tara is an inspiration to us all, here is her story! (Originally posted at endtheweight.com)
The other day, as I was tying the laces of my running sneakers I came to a newfound revelation. I wasn’t out of breath! My first thought was “wow, I didn’t even have to manipulate or maneuver my body in a way that I could REACH my shoelaces never mind tie them!” This small, yet significant change is the first of many potential changes that have and will occur in my life because of gastric bypass surgery. I never thought there would come a day when everyday tasks and responsibilities would become more manageable and easy to carry out. Little things like tying my shoelaces, and taking out the trash have become much simpler and more enjoyable being now 153 pounds lighter.
Being as obese as I was, fitness never seemed feasible, let alone fun. Shopping involved using as many elevators or escalators it took to get the job done. Bending over to pick something off the floor felt like a chore. I was constantly out of breath, in pain and miserable. Taking an exercise class was not on my list of fun things to do. And going to the gym seemed like a joke. I never realized until the weight loss, no matter how many people encouraged exercise I just wasn’t in the right mindset to do it. As the weight began to shed, I became more willing to try new things. Every- day tasks became easier and my want and will to exercise became more prominent.
I began an exercise regimen of 15 minutes per day. I didn’t set the bar so high that I couldn’t reach it; but I gave myself a small goal so that achievement was possible. As time went by I found a new love for being fit. The physical changes along with the psychological changes that took place were profound. I became more patient and pleasant to be around. My job was more manageable and my overall health was much improved.
With the New Year finally here people sometimes approach it with a hefty list of goals and challenges, only to find that they don’t live up to their own expectations. Everyone is left with more guilt and disappointment, creating unwanted and unwelcome feelings. After my experience with gastric bypass, I have inevitably grown into a new me. Putting aside the “new” clothes, “new” feelings, and “new” appreciation for life, I have learned to approach each and every day as a new day, continuing to create the results and happiness I’ve spent my life searching for.
I know that this year I will approach each day with a newfound determination. What about you? How will you make this coming year the greatest it can be? I can tell you from experience, that getting “fit” will not only fuel your body’s need to be healthy, but it will produce endorphins that will boost and stabilize your mood and outlook on whatever challenges life throws at you. I’ve come to realize that it really starts with your mindset and frame of mind. And this means making your health, and well-being, your number one priority. You’re worth it! “Excuse making” (which I was really good at), is detrimental to your success. No more putting yourself on the back burner while you take care of everyone else, this is YOUR time and YOUR life. This is YOUR year! There is no magic pill that will make you lose weight and build muscle. If there was, I promise you I would be the first to try it. The best way to reach empowerment and physical fitness is by exercising on a regular basis. Walking, swimming, bicycling, and weight training are all ways to improve your body’s natural ability to fight off infection, and maintain optimal health. Your mood, ability to problem solve, and “deal” with life’s many curveballs, will ALL be enhanced by exercise and making health conscious food choices. Improved health, fighting disease, and good mental well-being are all great and imperative reasons to exercise.
It’s important to be honest with yourself. You are the only one accountable for your actions. So why not make your New Years Resolution a gift to yourself, a gift of health and improved longevity. Promise yourself that you will wake up each day and make that effort to create the life and body you have always wanted. If you need to make yourself a reminder “sign” or a “post it” note on your bathroom mirror, or refrigerator these can all be helpful reminders. It’s never to late to start working on a healthier, happier you. Nothing motivates me more than waking up, looking in the mirror, and loving the person that is looking back at me.