Today I am in a lot of pain. I have been going to the Y and getting in the pool Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It took more courage that I could say to get there the first time. I like the water, I love being in the pool. It is is the only time in many years that I do not feel the pain and pressure on my joints. But getting there is another story.
It is a big process to get in that pool three times a week. First of all, putting on a swim suit is an aerobic experience in its self. I am grateful for my friend Pat, who helps me get dressed. She will never know what a lifesaver she has been in my life. Putting on something made of Lycra is not easy for a chubby chick. Then I put on my aqua shoes, which have toes in them, and takes some doing to put on. I feel more secure using them. So they are worth the trouble. Then I get in my Tahoe and drive the 10 blocks to the Y. It is a beautiful new facility. People are very nice there, I never feel judged, only respected.
The walk to get to the pool is by far the hardest thing I do all week. I use handicapped parking, I am grateful for that. But the walk up to the door is quite a distance. No one would really notice, but it is a slight incline. I am winded and sometimes have to sit on a retaining wall for a bit half way to the door. Once I get in the door, I sit in the waiting area to catch my breath. Then I proceed to the pool, I hope the person behind the desk will see me quick, so I do not have to stand very long to check in. Then I start my walk through the longest hallway I have ever seen. (OK, not really, but It seems long to me) I can walk to to the end of the hall, and go into the pool, or cut through the woman dressing room, and zig zag my way. When I get to the pool, I have to walk to the furtherest place in the pool to get to the steps that are provide to walk into the pool. I sit on a bench in front of the steps, and bravely remove my cover up. Once I am in the water, with my friend Diana, I realize that it is all worth it.
Ryan, the lifeguard is awesome. it is no surprise this handsome young man is one of the managers at the Y. He is very helpful and friendly. Ryan is a young man from a small town in Iowa, with great people skills. Honestly, having a friendly lifeguard, with a warm personality, that never intimidates, could make or break my experience. I am grateful for Ryan.
There is usually a handful of people in the pool, mostly older and middle age folks. No one has a perfect body, so there is no judgement. Only respect for all who bravely attend. I try to get finished and out of there by 3:00 PM, because soon, the high school swimmers arrive for practice. I think I would die if I was in the pool when they all come marching in. Is there anything more intimidating than being in my swimsuit in a pool with high school athletes also swim suits? Oh yes, one thing, getting out of a pool in all my glory, in front of a group of athletic high schoolers.
The next morning I can hardly move. But I do, and I am grateful for the pain, because I know it’s working. There is a saying “Everyone must choose one of two pains, the pain of Discipline or the pain of Regret”. I thought about this long and hard when I found it, remembering some of my regrets based on my lack of discipline. All the great years I wasted morbidly obese living an isolated life, mostly in my bed. Trust me, it is much harder to regret than experience the pain I am feeling. The pay off is worth it 1000 fold. I am so grateful that God gave me a chance to restore my health before something life threatening happened to me. I am living on grace. There are very few people over 500 pounds that are over 50 years old. I am one of the few who survived. I say this with humility and gratitude.
This is serious business to me. This is the reason I do not blog about recipes, or diets. There are many vehicles to getting weight off. It’s the fat in my head that is my biggest battle. I believe when someone endlessly chatters about diets, food and recipes, sometimes, that is a way to avoid dealing with the real heart of the problem. Feeling the emotional pain from a dysfunctional relationship with food is hard to look at. Many will avoid feeling and talking about that at all cost.
As I continue my road to health, I hope I never forget the regret and years of isolation when almost all of my whole social life was on the phone or on on the internet. I will spend the rest of my living days, encouraging those who felt as hopeless as I. I pray as I continue losing, I never forget how close I was to losing my life or that hollow loneliness I survived.