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Sunday, February 20, 2011

One Step at a time!

It's a hard concept for someone who has the all or nothing mentality. I've been working really hard on realizing that it's OK to do things a little at a time. I have the tendencies to want to go all out or make sure everything is perfect, done completely not half done. My mind and my body are still not on the same page and it's a daily struggle to make conscious efforts to slow down. Here I am 159 pounds lighter, I feel great, have all this energy so my mind says GO, while my body says um, not so fast! It's usually not until I've overdone it and am not able to move that I realize that my body is still broken and deconditioned and it will take some time for me to be 100% physically. One of my Dr's calls this "superman" syndrome and clearly I've got it! I think OK, I'm feeling good so I'm going to be active, next thing I know I've been over active and I'm in pain because I'm moving my body in ways I haven't in a VERY long time! It's frustrating to feel like I'm being held back when I have all this energy and just want to GO all the time! Realistically I need to understand that in every aspect of my life, I need to take it a step at a time in order to get where I need to be! Like an athlete trains every day for what they do, I need to train myself physically, spiritually, mentally a little at a time in order to reach my goals in one piece. It can't just wake up and run a marathon when I've never even so much as jogged! It's never easy when in my mind I should be able to do all these things but my body responds in a way that doesn't concur with how I feel or think. I've always learned my lessons the hard way, it seems it's how I'm wired. As I get older I realize that I need to stop and think about things before I do them or say them because the after affects can be painful. I'm definitely a work in progress and I'll probably learn more lessons the hard way and there will be more painful I should've taken it easy afterthoughts! Life is a journey and it takes a while and many little steps to get where we need to be! As they say "Rome wasn't built in a day" same goes for anything in life! We can't just wake up expecting something to be a certain way or expect to be able to do things we've never done before! It doesn't mean we can't work towards these things, it just means that we need to pace ourselves and give our minds and bodies enough to time to adjust and by taking everything we do a step at a time, we will get where we need to be! I know that every day I move a little more than the day before and every day I'm able to accomplish something I wasn't able to yesterday! As I get stronger physically, spiritually, mentally every day I learn something new along this journey and I'm a better person for it!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Walking out of my comfort zone!

Participating in any walking event always sounded like a good idea and I always thought to myself "maybe someday". You see, walking was a major challenge not even a year ago. At 426+ pounds, a major back injury and bad ankles all made walking something I couldn't do much of. It limited what I did, where I went, and severely affected my life. I became a recluse, a shut in, agoraphobic and was terrified of simply going outside of my house because I knew the physical pain that would follow. 158 pounds lighter and walking is a lot easier these days. There's still the back injury and the bad ankles which still give me problems but I'm not limited like I was a year ago. Stairs don't scare me anymore, shopping doesn't terrify me nearly as much, and just simply leaving my home is something I do a lot more of! I'm making this year a year of I can, versus all the I can'ts that have been my life for so long! I find myself being more social and forcing myself to step outside my comfort zones and challenge myself to take on life! Last weekend I was told about the Walk For Life that happens every year in support of A woman's pregnancy center here in Tallahassee and I told my husband I wanted to do it! Last year I would've had every excuse in the book as to why I couldn't do something like this, but this year is different! I have a few friends who are into marathons and I have watched their journeys and have been inspired. Hoping that someday I would be able to do something like that! What better way to start than to walk? It's only a few miles but it's SO much more than I could have done less than a year ago! So, on Feb. 26th, which happens to be 11 months since I had weight loss surgery I will get up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday and participate in The Walk for Life! As someone who loves children and desires to have a family it's a cause that means a lot to me. I know how important women's health is and how important it is to support healthy pregnancy! If you'd like to help me by sponsoring me please let me know or you can go to this website and make an online donation or pledge! Amanda Matthews is my name :)
I'm super excited to challenge myself to step out of my comfort bubble and actively participate in life!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Check up from the neck up!

We all need one at times right? A friend of mine who's 6 years out from having bariatric surgery used to tell me all the time that every now and then we all need a check up from the neck up! It's a vital piece of this journey and is something everyone can benefit from. I've started seeing a therapist a few weeks ago because I couldn't get out of my head and was getting overwhelmed and having a hard time adjusting to all the changes that life has brought in the last year! I like him and think he'll be able to help me. He had me give him a list of things that I am struggling with and that I need to work through. He's not the first therapist I've seen! I've been in and out of therapy since I was 7. It's hard breaking habits and changing the thinking that you've had your entire life. Not only are we trying to deal with all the physical changes our bodies are going through but we are relearning how to eat, altering our relationship with food, having to find new ways of dealing with stress and having every aspect of our lives being affected has it's effects on our mental health! A lot of times we think that happy will automatically come with the weight loss and we aren't sure how to handle it when we've lost the weight but don't understand why we're not on top of the world happy! When the weight is gone and we find ourselves lost and not knowing how to cope with the new reality that we are in it can cause serious psychological issues! Breaking a lifetime of behaviors and those deeply embedded psychological patterns is probably one of the hardest parts about this journey I'm on. Realizing that my reality has been defined by so many outside interferences and circumstances is unsettling to say the least! Part of better health includes mental health and just like we spend so much time and energy on making ourselves physically healthy it's equally important to spend the time and energy on making ourselves mentally healthy as well. As I navigate trying to get to know this new person I see emerging I am hoping that by making my mental health as much of a priority as my physical health I'll be able to embrace the new me! There's no shame in seeking professional help in order to be able to better cope with the curve balls life throws at us! It's important to remember that we're not alone in our struggles and there will be times when we need to ask for help from someone whether it's a friend, coworker, pastor, counselor or therapist! It's normal to not want to "burden" others with our stuff, but chances are, there are people in your life who are waiting to be our support!  It's our responsibility to hold each other up and encourage each other and sometimes that can mean just listening to a friend or being that shoulder for someone to lean on! By doing these things we could be saving someone's life! If you find yourself struggling with anything please talk to someone! Chances are there's someone more than willing to be that support for you! It's a hard pill to swallow when you realize you can't do it alone, but the good thing is that you don't have to do it alone! We all want to be independent and be able to manage our situations without needing help but it doesn't mean you're any less of a person if you find yourself struggling and needing help! There will be times in our lives when we are able to help others and there will be times when it's us that needs the helping!