21 April 2009

Working on me..and wanting to help others ...is who I am

Who am I? I can first start by telling you who I am not. I was not born an athlete. I was not born skinny with a fast metabolism. I did not have such an easy life that allowed for me to enjoy sheer happiness throughout. My parents worked long, hard hours which meant my twin sister and I had to behave ourselves, study and keep the house clean. We did not grow up with a fit healthy family destined for a healthy, happy life. I had to work to get there on my own.

I clearly remember having many colds as a young child and having to stay home from school. As I mentioned in another blog a few weeks ago, I was diagnosed with asthma and bronchitis when I was about 10 years old. The pediatrician told my mother that I should "take it easy," and not run around too much because it would make my condition worst. She said, "ok." I had inhalers. I did not enjoy that time of my life.

I never played sports as a young child like how my children play now. Since kindergarten (age 5) both my children have played t-ball, soccer, baseball/softball. My son played football for a few years and he did Tae Kwon Do. Both now are participating in Track and Field as well. When I was growing up, we just ran around in the yard or rode our bikes around the neighborhood -- that was about it. Well, I decided the doctor was probably wrong, and I decided to get back outside and run around as much as possible. I had a need to run around.

It was not until I was in high school that I learned to play tennis during the summers. For the rest of the year, I pretty much started to explore the world of exercise on my own. Sure my mother would do her little floor exercises, but nothing significant on a regular basis. As a matter of fact, much of my teen years, I watched my mother lay on the floor suffering from endless back pains. Luckily today, she has found her way to healthy eating and lots of walking, and her back issues are a distant memory.

Like most teenage girls, I surely started to care about my appearance and my weight and I tried some of the crazy diets that were popular: starvation, cabbage soup, starvation, salads. Time and time again, I would get the same results, lose some weight... gain it back. Self-esteem was in the forefront of my mind. I had my share of stomach issues and headaches too. My mother surely did not know at that time what to do -- just take a pill, drink some tea.

By the time I went off to college, I did discover aerobics, and so I did as much of it as I could in my dorm room since I was lucky enough to NOT have a roommate in the beginning. But all my efforts went sour during the second semester when I did have a roommate because now I did not have the space or the ability to "do my thing." It bothered me because I knew the exercise was benefiting me on so many levels. I did some running around campus here and there to make up the lost indoor aerobics.

As I approached my 20s, I started running with my father, and I give him all the credit for introducing me to long distance running. He taught me the concept of "slow and steady wins the race," and it's something I have held onto all these years. The fact was, I did not have the "makeup" to be a speed demon and I accepted that. Slowly I started to add more and more time and distance to my runs. In the beginning, there was lots of walking at first. Eventually, there was less walking and more running. It gave me a new sense of confidence.

I also belonged to various gyms over the years where I tried out many different types of exercise to (a) see if I liked it, (b) liked the outcome and to (c) accept a new challenge. Some stuff just was not for me, and so I would just move on. I came to realize that the world of fitness had so much to offer and the best way to find out what was interesting to me was to at least try something at least once. Some stuff I did for the body benefits, and others I did for the sheer enjoyment!

I took time out to learn about the different benefits of strength training, aerobic, anaerobic, flexiblity training, etc. I also worked hard to incorporate some of everything in order to be ideally fit.

Along with learning about exercise, I took the time to learn about food and how it benefited the body as well. I spent a lot of time learning about nutrition. Over the years, I have made adjustments because I notice that the body is always changing as we age, and information about nutrition has become more helpful and abundant. The stuff we know now is AMAZING! Food has true purpose.

My life has had it's share of conditions and illnesses, and I always took the time to continue with my fitness and investigate ways to avoid medications. I knew that medications were not for me. I hated the way they made me feel and I make an effort to avoid them as much as possible. My efforts shine through on a daily basis because I can say I enjoy good health throughout!

My personal life had it's share of turmoil and throughout I became my own therapist, my own personal trainer and my own nutritionist, always seeking to find out how to make things work, and how to maintain an ideal "self." I did this in the midst of watching other family members continue to make poor health choices. Some came to me over time asking for help and I would surely help.

One thing I learned early on was that if I kept my mind and body strong, I would keep my ability to handle life strong as well. When all the personal strifes were happening in my life, no one could tell because I let my light and my strength shine throughout. Feeling healthy and being healthy came easy to me despite what may have been happening --- good or bad.

I surely have an immense amount of knowledge about fitness tips/routines, nutrition (foods, food preparation, supplements) and I could be a wonderful personal trainer to just about anyone.

The one thing I know I can help someone with -- someone who struggles to balance their entire life and maintain a good sense of WELLNESS --- is with their mindset and overcoming all the FEARS, and false beliefs they have about themselves and all the misinformation they have about true WELLNESS.

I am a true advocate of caring for one's self, a true supporter, a true motivator and I can make you believe in you and change your life for the best!!

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