Challenge Accepted!!!

This may in fact be the scariest thing that I have ever written!  I have been debating whether or not to write about this for some time, but I think that it is very important for people everywhere to be the best possible "self" version that they can be.  In that vein, I think that it is appropriate and fitting that I make my commitment to myself public.  

I have Type II Diabetes.  

You should have seen my face when I got that news 2 years ago!  As much as it is possible, I am certain that my face was ashen.  I thought it was a death sentence.  

Your circulation and eyesight can go to hell and you better forget about ever having dessert again, right?  Not exactly.  Over a year ago, I did it.  I lost one dress size and took myself out of  what I like to call the "weight danger zone" for my body type.  That was great.  Quite the accomplishment in a few weeks.  BUT then university started up for me and school for my boys and working out or as I like to think about it now, working on me, took a backseat to being a mom and student, with the multitude of things that both those titles entail.

So, what's changed for me?  Well, literally in a week, I have my official graduation ceremony from university (yea me)!!!  With that milestone successfully negotiated, it really made me start thinking about my health now and where I would like it to be.  I have no grandiose aspirations regarding becoming a supermodel (ha!), but I do know that if I work hard and I work consistently, I can accomplish just about anything.  

I know this.  I have proven this fact to myself many times over.  Want proof?  On January 15, 2013, I just decided to quit cigarettes after an unbelievable 20 years of smoking.  My graduation date from school is also the half year mark smoke free!

Now we get to it; the commitment.  

I will lose two dress sizes by the end of August.  I specifically say dress sizes because I do not own a scale.  At times I can be obsessive about things like this and it can become a reason to demotivate me (continuously checking a scale is not helpful).  So what I've chosen to do instead is break out the old dressmakers measuring tape and measure five locations on my body bi-weekly.  It's EXTREMELY motivating to me to see the numbers going down.  

The high point of my day today was my 11 year old son randomly telling me that he can see that I have lost some weight!  I think that was just AWESOME!  So, my 20-30 minutes every morning (about 5 days a week on average) is having an impact! 

I am well on my way already.  By the end of June I will be one dress size smaller, which literally gives me two whole months to drop another dress size or as I secretly hope, to blow that goal out of the water and exceed it!  So, why the big push NOW?

In a general sense, I do not like taking pills of any kind.  I tolerate vitamins but abhor meds that I really do not need to take.  Essentially, if I do not get on top of this now, I will HAVE to take some sort of medication to lower my daily glucose levels for the rest of my life!  

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical practitioner of any kind!  What I am doing works for ME!  I am not advising anyone to deviate from whatever plan they have with their healthcare team.  Exercise makes me look better, feel better physically, mentally and emotionally and move better as well.  

Don't get me wrong, I do not like working out before I start moving, but once I am moving, I am committed and will push myself very hard.  What I am doing is working out to live better, since dying decrepit really does not appeal to me.    

No, to answer the question some may have, I did not indicate where I am starting out from as a "dress size" because the current number, though not horrific, isn't exactly one that I'm proud of either.  What I will do is promise to say what dress size I END UP AT at the end of August (this year, 2013).  That puts a little pressure on me to deliver something noteworthy, but I don't shy away from pressure.  Besides, sometimes a kick in the pants is EXACTLY what we need; this just happens to be mine!

So, there you have it!  That is my commitment to myself to live a better, healthier life.  I'm going to challenge you all in a minute, but first a little relevant anecdote.     

When I was pregnant with my first son, I had half of a cigarette after I knew conclusively that I was "with child" and then didn't touch one again until almost a year later.  I always smoked outside whenever I was smoking and I didn't breast feed after I started smoking again, so fairly low exposure for my older son.  

Four years later, I quit smoking the second I suspected I was pregnant with my younger son.  I didn't smoke again for 14 months.  Unfortunately I did start smoking again a few months after both children were born.  

Are you ready for the challenge yet?  We're nearly there.  I quit smoking when pregnant with both of my boys; why?  The obvious reason is because I wanted to protect them.  I was the caretaker of their little developing lives and could never dream to pollute them, before they even had the chance to draw in their first breaths.  

This is what occurred to me at the beginning of this year; this is what made me drop cigarettes with very little thought afterwards: my children were each worth quitting for, why am I not worth quitting for?  Think about that question!  It literally takes will-power out of the equation and makes it a personal value judgement.  Do I value myself enough to quit smoking?  Am I worth it?  

At the start of this year I found the answer to that question in myself: YES I AM!  Damn right I'm worth it!  And I quit smoking, just like that.  It is not easy, but if you really want to do it, and you're ready, you can change yourself in the blink of an eye. 

So why is this relevant to my weight loss?  Well, I quit smoking for my kids and I think that I should live for them as well.  What's more than that, I changed the question.  Am I worth living for (to myself, apart from my kids or anybody else)?  The answer to that is bloody well "yes!"  

Is there something about you that needs to be fixed or changed?  Whatever it is, just sincerely ask yourself the challenge question: am I worth it?  Don't worry, I'm not going to leave you hanging.  It's basic really.  The answer to that question, is always YES!  The trick is that you have to believe it.  

I hope you can believe such a simple thing as this.  If you do, it will change your life.  It's already changed mine.