Thursday, January 29, 2009

Day 137 Losing a Loved One and Gaining Strength

Day 137

Losing a Loved One and Gaining Strength

As a kid I had some very good adults around me that set wonderful examples. My mom made our home wholesome. There were never any drugs or alcohol, no smoking, no serious cursing, and a steady schedule of “The Honeymooners, “I Love Lucy,” and “Leave It To Beaver.” I was very lucky to grow up in a very nice, loving environment. As I got older, my mom allowed me to become a fan of Johnny Carson and David Letterman, even though Letterman came on incredibly late back then. At the risk of sounding like Loretta Lynn, what we didn't have financially, we made up for in love. My grandfather was the most honest man I've ever known. His integrity and work ethic was never compromised in any way. My uncle Keith was always there to guide me through the years and tell me what was right. Aunt Kelli is only three years older than me, and she was always like a big sister. And grandma always made sure I had what I needed and always showed how much she loved and cared for me. So as much as I talk about what a tough time it was as a fat kid being bullied in school, I wanted to counter with these blessings I was so fortunate to enjoy growing up. Several family members were successful at losing weight too. My mom lost 100 pounds when I was little, my uncle Keith lost 100 pounds, my grandma lost weight too, and so did my dear Aunt Violet. Aunt Violet not only lost weight, she kicked the smoking habit cold turkey, and never went back, ever. She set an example that she hoped many family members would follow, and some did, including her brother Bob and sister Connie. Aunt Violet was always fun to be around growing up and was always there to help when she could. You would be hard pressed to find someone with a bigger heart than my Aunt Violet. I was so happy to be able to prepare dinner for her and her daughter Debbie on Day 99 of this journey. After dinner that evening, I took them on a tour of Christmas lights around Ponca City's Festival of Angels. My mom later told me that she often talked about what a beautiful experience that was. I'm so happy that we had a chance to do that, because this morning Aunt Violet passed away in Stillwater at the age of 67. She will be deeply missed by all of us.

Upon getting that news this morning I was saddened and depressed, as one would expect, and normally when I feel down, I eat. At least that's what I always did before. But Aunt Violet was so proud of me for losing weight and getting healthier, there was no way I could let the news of her passing effect me in a negative way calorie wise. This is a part of life and the new habits and behaviors I'm developing are becoming a way of life. I can't expect everyday to be rosy. Learning to adapt to emotional ups and downs is a critical part of this journey.

I had a good day calorie wise and the workout tonight was a real good one. I'm on my way to some exciting goals and who knows what else down the line. I'll tell you this, losing a close family member really can make you think about things. I'm certain many of my readers can relate easily to that. It really makes me grateful to have each and every day I've been given, and it pushes me to waste not one of them. The bottom line of this entire journey is to get healthy and fit so I can live as long as I have left to the fullest. None of us know how long that is really, but I do know one thing, if not for this important journey it would be much shorter.

This blog is a reflection of my daily experiences and feelings as I go from over 500 pounds down to a normal weight. I sincerely thank you for reading and until tomorrow, good night and...

Good Choices,

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