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Last night I danced!

When I was a small girl I never walked. I ran and jumped through my little world, I spread my arms and whirled around, danced to music only I could hear. Sitting still was hard on me, there was so much to see and so much to do. Why didn't adults understand?

Slow down, I heard often, and I really tried, it just never worked for too long. It got worse when I went to school. Running was forbidden in the hallway, and the same rules all of a sudden applied at home.

I had to sit still for hours and hated it. This whole "School thing" was not to my liking but like everybody else, I adjusted and slowed down. I learned to sit still for hours. I stopped running and walked down the hallway, just like I had been told. As a teenager and a young adult, I still danced occasionally on my search for Prince Charming, but the dancing stopped after I met him.

Now, decades later I have been told to move again. "Go and walk, run or workout....move girl," they told me here on MFP and the humor is not lost on me. Now as a fat lady, I am asked to do exactly what I did as a child when I didn't want to sit still.

Perhaps children are healthy, and we make them sick when we tell them to slow down? Maybe sitting still and walking slowly is against our nature -and we just start to understand the harm it causes?

Last night I stood in the kitchen, cut up vegetables and salads for our lunches, while our dinner was cooking. I listened to the radio, when an old song came on that, I hadn't heard in a long time. Barry White, "My first, my last, my everything." Before I knew what hit me, I started moving my hips and wiggled my butt, and I ended up dancing all by myself in the kitchen.

I have absolutely no talent for singing or dancing, but it didn't stop me from doing so. I might have scared the dogs a bit, but it made feel so good - it made me happy.  I felt just like the young girl so many years ago.

I start to understand my journey better and better with each passing day. It's not just about eating the right STUFF and the right amount. While all of it is helpful I need to move more...and more..and more.

I need to get the healthy balance back that I had when I was a child. The young girl I was back then, I remember her well, she is still somewhere in me, she is with me at all time. I have silenced her for years, and I think now it's time to let her take control once in a while.

Chances that I will be skipping and swirling through the office are low but goodness, if I like dancing so much, why don't I just do it sometimes -somewhere? I am old enough to make a fool out of myself anytime I feel like it.

I have found the joy in eating right, now I have to find the joy in moving, and I have to do it my way, without trying to copy anybody else. My journey to a healthy life is as simple and as complicated as I am.

I thought about my friend who dance-walks to hip-hop on the treadmill, and I couldn't help but smile. While I hate the treadmill -with gusto- I do get the dancing part. The right music works like magic. Doesn't it?

Good, old Barry White got me moving and thinking. Who knows, I might start taking dance lessons after my Thai Chi class -or perhaps even get a wild hair and do both and will talk Prince Charming into joining me.

84.5 lbs lost - Only 55.5 lbs to go! Slowly but steady!

He is doing it for me

My husband doesn't know anything about nutrition or "diets" because he doesn't have to -his weight doesn't change much. During the holidays he gains about 5 pounds, and he loses them quickly right afterward -effortless, so it seems. He would still fit in his old jeans from way back then -and he could prove it -if I wouldn't have insisted on throwing it out in one of my annual spring cleaning marathons.

He is fairly healthy. He takes supplements and vitamins and one pill for high blood pressure, which runs in his family.  Ever since I move and walk more, I am trying to give everybody around me unwanted advice as well. In my infinite wisdom, I told the love my life that he had to get up and walk more as well.

I even gave him the famous Love-and-Age-speech -what is pretty much a mix of blackmail and threats. I told him he had to take better care of himself because I don't ever want to lose him. (Still trying to plan life, like I don't know better.)

Like so many men, he wears his phone on his belt, so we downloaded an app that would count his steps. The first day he came home it showed over 17,000 steps. (The diet fairy and I fainted.) The next day it showed 15,000 and on Friday that week -when he worked overtime- it showed over 20,000 steps, what convinced me that the app wasn't working right.

A new -used- Fitbit has now confirmed his activity level, and it also shut me up. What is there left to say for me? I always wondered why I gained so much and he didn't. I solely blamed the food and the amounts I ate.

Seeing the difference in our step counts, might not explain it all...but it explains a lot. My husband has been more active and moved, while I was sitting around. 

I thought being fat for life was a family curse. I blamed hormones, genes, gender, age and so many other things for my weight. I suppose I only saw what I wanted to see. Not all can be blamed just on the food.

Last Friday he came home from the store. He put the bags up on the counter, "I almost bought you gummy bears," he said, and I just looked at him. "They had 2 for $5," he continued, "But they contain WHEAT...did you know that?"

I don't know what shocked me more. The fact that my husband reads labels or that they put wheat in my beloved gummy bears.

"Since when do you read labels?" I couldn't help but ask him. He looked at me, like I had just asked the most stupid question a wife can ask. "I have to. I don't want to buy anything that hurts you," he explained to me, then grabbed something to drink and went in the living room.

Later on, I told him about my gluten-dilemma, confessed that I had troubles separating the meals. I got another funny look. "Why don't you just cook gluten-free for both us," he informed me- like it would be the most natural thing in the world.

My husband started to track his steps and he reads labels now. He is doing it for me. Even after so many years together, I underestimated him; I should have known better. 

84 lbs lost - Only 56 to go! I am moving in the right direction.

Tonight is ladies' night out. Weigh in tomorrow didn't sound like a smart idea. Victoria II was in a good mood. 

 

Sometimes I hurt

It happens, some days I get up and right when my feet hit the ground, I can feel the pain. That's the magic about RA and all the other autoimmune disorders. They come in flares and take you by surprise. Invisible diseases -we look normal, and nobody can see we hurt, but we do. Somewhere on the inside, something is out of whack.

On days like that, I want to turn around and crawl up in bed. I feel stiff, and many of my joints are hurting. They call it "The pulling disease" and they are not kidding. It feels like an evil fairy shortened my joints and tendons in the middle of the night, and left everything a few numbers too small -every step hurts and normal, daily activities are harder than usual.

I don't often talk about it because I will not allow any disease to define me. It is not the center of my world -never will be.

On days like this, it takes about 3 to 4 hours until I can walk without hurting; until I can grab a pen or a water bottle without flinching inside. Normally I handle it pretty well, however, there are rare days when I want to have a pity party and yesterday was such a day.

"Can the whole world just stop for a while and feel sorry for me, please," even though I would hate it if it would actually happen?

Yesterday in the morning, I walked by our guestroom and starred at the treadmill. We are not getting along, we will never be friends. I use this torture machine because I have to, but never really enjoy it.

Deep down I knew that walking on it would help me to loosen up, and to my surprise, I decided to listen to my inner voice and got dressed for my workout. Black leggings and the brightest, hideous, neon-yellow t-shirt this world has ever seen -it makes me look like a plus-size parakeet.

I started the treadmill at the lowest possible speed and after two minutes I felt like waving the white flag. I was ready to give up -I hurt. I wanted to give the treadmill the middle finger salute, but then SHE came to my mind.

There is a lady here on MFP who befriended me a while back. I don't know who she is, sadly, the messages we get with friendship requests, disappear at the moment we accept them. I don't even know if we are still friends. I don't remember her name but I remember what she wrote.

She hurt too. She told me about her first workout attempts. How she cried when she tried to walk and how she did it anyway. Step by step, day in, day out because she wanted to succeed and she did. 

I admired her and she inspired me -how much she must have been hurting.

I have never cried, I am not even close to tears. I swear and curse like a sailor, what probably means I am in pretty good shape. That lady endured so much more than me, and still, she worked out. She never gave up!

If she could do it, who am I to quit. I walked on the treadmill yesterday first thing in the morning, and it helped. I forgot to look at the distance. Perhaps I walked a mile, maybe less. Who cares! I walked for 15 minutes. I did it, and of course, it helped. My stiff joints moved easier afterward; I was ready to start the day.

I wish I could thank this lady here at MFP. I wish I could tell her, that her achievement helps me to put on my big-girl-panties now and then (not kidding, they are still huge.)

Aging and the little problems that come with it are not for sissies -what is perfect because just like this lady, I chose not to be one. Without coming here and reading about all the everyday heroes at MFP, I would have never even tried to "walk through it."

Victoria II. must have been asleep today in the morning. She didn't move.

Still, 83 lbs lost - Only 57 to go!

I don't hurt often -only once or twice a month -my life is good. 

I am the miracle - we all are!

I sat down in one of the chairs in front of the pharmacy and waited for my prescription. I didn't feel like shopping, just sat there and felt sorry for myself, the way we do when we have a cold -coughing and sneezing, ready to go to bed but forced to stay awake.

I watched people go by, and when I got bored, I checked out the shelves close to me and took a trip down memory lane. An aisle full of miracle cures to lose weight. Low-calorie shakes and healthy snack bars, herbal pills, and powders and of course, the appetite suppressants.

All of it promises instant results! Guaranteed help on our way to a skinnier and healthier life.

I know most of the STUFF because I have tried a lot of it. The weak fat woman, who couldn't stop eating -I was the perfect victim, the target customer. 

There is not a diet hoax out there that I haven't tried. Any common sense I might possess, flew out of the window when it came to weight loss. I needed to believe there was a miracle cure out there, that would help me to lose all the weight because I knew, I couldn't do it on my own. 

I needed a quick fix for the "only" 50 pounds I had to get rid off. Later it was 80 lbs, then 100 lbs and more. 

Even the best scam of all, the drink that promised me I would lose 10 pounds in 24 hours, is still available and it still looks the same way it did when I bought it, a couple of years ago.

Not feeling hungry, is another assurance they give and I fell for it, wasted my hard earned dollars, in my search for help.

$10, $20 and more -much more- was willingly spent on anything that gave me hope. Nothing worked! Not even the diet pill that was advertised by TV Doctor "Whats-his-name."

I believed the advertisement, accepted it without thinking. Why wouldn't a celebrity who makes millions and can hire a chef, lose weight with cardboard food that comes via mail?I tried the cardboard food myself. Good grief, what was I thinking and what is wrong with celebrities. (Don't get me started!)

I would have danced naked in the yard and would have painted neon-colored polka dots on my body -if THEY would have told me it would make me lose a few pounds. 

It turns out; I am the miracle  -we all are. I can solve my weight problem without any supplements or false promises. I had it in me all this time -we all do.

Weight loss is not always easy, but it's easier than being fat that's for sure. I know, because I am still fat...but only temporarily. 

82.5 pounds lost -Only 57.5 to go!

Another 1.5 lbs are gone with the help of this cold. I take it! 

I want to hit somebody!

In the movie"Calendar Girl," Helen Mirren and her lady friends -a group of elderly women- perform a slow-motion exercise outside, in the middle of a field and of course, because it's Hollywood, the surroundings are drop-dead gorgeous.

Somehow, the picture of the ladies working out and having fun, came to my mind when I thought about a form of exercise I could master. "Slow-motion" that was the keyword, it seemed to be just what I was looking for.

I read up on Thai Chi and learned a lot about the benefits of martial art. If Millions of people around the world can do it, I can too, I thought and so it began.

The first 20-minute workout kicked my butt. I stood in my living room and argued with the teacher on TV when I tried to stretch and move my body, the same way the master on screen did. What looks so easy at first glance, requires a lot of precision and coordination -something I don't possess. I am clumsy by nature -I am a disaster waiting to happen.

After a few sessions I wanted more, I wanted to practice with a real teacher. I searched for Thai Chi classes in our area and found a few martial art studios, which offered beginner classes. I called my best friend and asked her if she wanted to join me. Of course, she did, and two other friends joined in.

Last night we had our first beginner class. I almost fainted when I found out that the class would last 1 1/2 hrs. I glanced at the empty chairs in the back of the room, and it gave me the confidence I needed. THE CRUTCH, my way out, was not too far away. We took two short breaks in between, drunk some water, sat down and relaxed for a couple of minutes.

The skinny Margarita we enjoyed afterward, was well deserved.

We all had fun, and today we are sore. Muscles which hadn't been used in years screamed at us today in the morning. Who would have thought this could happen if you move slow?

We booked the spring session and now twice a week, we will continue our Thai Chi adventure from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. I am very grateful I am not alone, it is more fun with a group of friends.

Thai Chi, the meditation in motion, is just what I had been looking for. Lately, I seem to be more flexible, my balance is better. The constant need to hold on to something is almost none existing.

I can't help but wonder if I could go further from here. I am not allowed to lift weights, but perhaps I could hit something when my hands are covered with gloves? Kickboxing or any other kind of self-defense came to my mind.

I always wanted to take a self-defense class, perhaps not such a bad idea now in my 50's. I want to hit somebody, just once! Being the old(er) lady who is able to kick you into the middle of next week when you try to harm me, I can't help but smirk just thinking about it.

I always believed women should know how to defend themselves and now my imagination is running wild, and I envision myself jumping around like Bruce Lee. (The diet fairy just rolled her eyes.)

13 months ago I was a couch potato, and now I seem to be fearless.

The candy weight is gone -81 lbs lost - Only 59lbs to go!

I am so sore! Even stepping on the scale hurt. 

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