Thursday, April 28, 2011

Two Reasons

There are two reasons I'm excited about getting back to my gym schedule. One has to do with a phone call from an Endocrine specialist.

Before we left for our house hunting trip in Colorado, I had some biopsies done on my thyroid. Since we've moved to NY it has started to grow and expand. So far I've had few symptoms, but the ultrasounds show it is 'showing it's nature' (as my endocrine guy says). It wants to grow, and soon that will be a problem.

For now the samples came back clean. I can move ahead with moving details, and not worry about thyroid cancer treatments. But there is a good chance, if it continues to grow, that I'll need it taken out in the next few years.

I've done some reading on that option and one of the things that scares me is weight gain. Quite a few online articles pointed out that struggling with weight gain tends to be a problem for people who have their thyroids removed. I need to get serious about being the right weight before I start any process like that. The way I see it, this time next year might be the very earliest that I'd have to consider the surgery. I should be in peak physical condition by then, so I can make smart decisions.

The second reason is much more fun. I want to go back to being my Utah Self. Six months after we moved to Utah I got rid of my foot and clicked on my new titanium leg. I hit the gym and worked out like crazy. It was so freeing, to have mobility again, especially after spending three months on crutches after the amputation surgery.

I got strong. I didn't appreciate it at the time (always wanting to lose 'just a bit more' weight) but I was in a good place. We were active. We spent a lot of time outside. We explored Utah from top to bottom. I learned to ski by the next winter and for two years I skied every Friday, through lessons at an Ability Center. Friday nights I was exhausted, but happy to my core.

Then we decided to get back to the East coast, to be closer to hubby's wonderful family. The job opened up and he grabbed it. For three months we once again lived in temporary housing while we looked for our NY home. We lived on fast food, and I rarely got consistent exercise. I not only gained ten pounds, I got soft to boot.

Then our first year turned out to be a rough one. The NY schools were much more challenging and a couple of our kids struggled. It had a ripple effect at home, stirring up problems at every turn. We did a major renovation on the house we'd bought. It was educational and enjoyable, some of the time. But some of the time it was stressful and marriage bending.

When times are stressful, I don't turn to fitness and health foods to get myself through. I turn to chocolate and soda. It was a quick band-aid, but didn't help my health in the long term.

By the end of that year the reality set in that I needed to go back to work. The cost of living in NY just started swallowing us up. I had to take the first thing I could find, to keep us afloat. There was no chance to use my education degree. I ended up working the overnight shift at an Alzheimer's Unit.

I loved the people I met that year. I learned so much about the elderly and came to deeply appreciate the way a well functioning brain works. I have files of stories I hope to write out some day, about the amazing residents I came to know in my long overnight shifts.

But honestly, that schedule was hard. I was tired a lot. We were making ends meet but I didn't have peace. Again, I didn't eat right. Didn't exercise. I chose catching up on sleep over working out.

Then an amazing job at our local library opened up. It fit me, and my education, much better. But it was full time. I have not worked full time since the kids were born. I didn't know if I could juggle it all.

But for a year I did. I worked 40 hours a week and Hubby and the kids stepped up to keep the house running. I loved the padded bank accounts, but hated the unrest I still felt. That went on for another year.

Through all of that time I did small starts and stops with exercise. I made vows to myself, to my husband, to my little guy, who loved being my coach. But I could never stick with it. I could never find my Utah Self in there.

For the past two years I've worked part time at that same library. It's a job I love and a schedule that worked better for my inner sanity. I started writing a parenting column for our local paper, which helped me to redefine myself as a 'real' writer. Then I got a great gig writing for the blog. I've come to learn a lot about myself in the past two years.

So now it's time for the next step. I got a vision for it when we were in Colorado last week, on the house hunting trip. After a long day of driving neighborhoods, we were all ready to stretch our legs. So we got out at one of our new favorite spots.

Together we walked out a long path, across a field, and the kids scampered up some huge boulders. I climbed halfway up, then stopped to watch my boys in their glory. The breeze was refreshing. The view was astonishing. It reminded me of our Utah life.

I'm ready to be that outdoor, active Utah Self again. I guess I should call her the Colorado Self. I have a vision for her. I have a vision for what she'll be like, what she'll look like, this time next year.

There's nothing like a move across the country, to a fresh new state, to give you optimism about starting over - again. I'm starting that new life now, this week. I want a good base, strong legs to get me up those hiking trails, and a toned core to get me onto those ski slopes when the snow starts to fly. It will be a gift to myself if I can be a more fit version of my current self, on the day we drive into Colorado for good.

So that's why I'm excited to get back to the gym. My new Colorado self is hiding in there somewhere. And by golly, I'm gonna find her.

1 comment:

  1. Hi & hello from Germany!

    I just found your blog today and read a couple of your articles. I like the way you write and how you motivate me to google for a gym close to my "new" home (we're going to move soon). :)
    I'll be back to your blog soon (already added it to my Google Reader).