THE DAY THAT CHANGED MY LIFE

On August the 6th I woke up and for the first time in 15, yes 15, years I thought, “You know, I believe I have enough energy to take a short walk.”

I understand if you are thinking, “What’s the big deal?” In my world, plagued with mental illness, it was a humongous deal. Most days, putting one foot ahead of the other, is a major accomplishment.

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I laced up my running shoes and struck out. About a half a kilometre later, huffing, puffing and heaving, I wondered if I would have to call 911. Somehow, I hobbled home, blisters and all, and collapsed in my luxurious recliner.

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Little did I know, a seed was planted, that would germinate and flourish. Yes, I would walk again tomorrow, the next day and the day after that. The biggest challenge was finding the right shoes. Obviously, the two pairs I had were too old and worn, and the great search began. Five pairs of  shoes and at least a  $1000 later, I have a perfect pair of ASICS.

FOUR MONTHS AND STILL GOING STRONG

December 6th will mark four months of walking and sensible eating. I have dropped a few sizes but I have never stepped on a scale because as a high school student, I fell into the self-destructing trap of anorexia and bulimia. That is a Hell I do not wish to visit any time soon.

For the ten years we owned the funeral home, I sat at a desk day after day, which led to an extra ten pounds every year for ten years. You can do the math. This was compounded by my psychiatric medications which have a tendency to increase appetite and decrease metabolism – a recipe for weight gain. And I am only 5’2″.

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SIZE 16? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

Do I have a weight loss goal? Yes, but it is not in pounds. I would like to be able to wear size 16P so I can shop for fashionable clothing at Cathy Allan’s Ladies’ Store, Thompsons’s Ready-to-Wear and Bigley’s Clothing and Shoes. Hey, did your eyes bug out when you saw 16? You may be horrified with size 16, but after moving from size 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 1X, 2X to 3X, 16 sounds like Twiggy to my ears.

Years ago, I learned that an activity had to be repeated 21 times to become a habit. Not long ago, I read the truth is closer to 66 days. That makes more sense to me.

HAVE YOU HEARD OF FITBIT?

I began to use a FITBIT ALTA on September 16th and since then I have logged 755,695 steps or 306 miles/493 kilometres. I’m sure I walked just as many steps between August 6 and September 16th. Three months later  walking twice a day now feels like a routine or habit.

With winter coming on, walking may be more challenging, but I can use the treadmill or the bike at the gym if necessary. We will spend January, February and March and return to Nova Scotia permanently in April!

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I BELIEVE YOU CAN WALK TOO

If you think you would like to become more active, please remember that when I took my first walk of less than a kilometre, I thought I was going to have a heart attack or stroke – but I didn’t. Happy trails, dear reader, walking trails that is.

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