“I am not my midsection”

My first true realization and scare of my poor health was when I was 42. I had my first open heart surgery.

My health is something I have struggled with for a very long time now and have grown overwhelmed with. My first marriage ended in such a way that, without realizing, I started turning to food as my vice. For years prior, I was a healthy size 10 and after certain situations that came up in my marriage and the birth of my son and daughter, I began to put on weight and went to food for comfort, on top of smoking countless cigarettes a day. Thus began the downward spiral of my health.

After my open heart surgery I realized a few things but the most important was the harsh and terrifying truth that I was confronted with by my eldest child; that I may not live to spend time with my grandchildren and be apart of their lives as they grew up. I remember the day my daughter told me this and it was that very moment that I gave up smoking. I went from smoking two to three packs of cigarettes a day to nothing. Ever, again.

It is hard for me to understand sometimes that I was able to give up on smoking so easily out of fear of not living through my grandchildren’s lives but I can’t seem to motivate myself to lose weight or take better care of myself physically. I don’t know if it is because I am lazy or if I just don’t want to. I know that I am scared, because I have tried to lose weight before and have failed to keep going with a diet plan or exercise regimen. I do realize, however, that I make excuses. I feel unhealthy and I know deep down in my mind and soul that I need to lose weight. But, for some reason, I just can’t seem to muster up that willpower to change my lifestyle. I have lost weight here and there before but I know myself as someone who starts something and then stops. Perhaps, it is because I am a giver in relationships. I am constantly focused on others and their well-being. I see myself as a caretaker and that is what makes me happy, so, it is easy to lose sight of my needs and myself. And my health.

I am very uncomfortable with the way I feel all of the time and I am insecure about my complaining also. I am in constant pain and I continually make comments about my pain to others and I have never wanted to know myself as someone who grumbles on my misfortunes to others. I am insecure about this as well, but I need to be able to talk about it sometimes. I feel like a 95-year-old woman physically but I present myself as young at heart and I know that others see me this way. Because, no matter how I feel inside, I refuse to let my health affect the way I want to live my life. I wont let it stop me from taking my grandkids out for a fun day or hanging out with my sisters and family. I know I struggle with my health and I am very insecure about my complaining of it and my physical appearance but I also know that I am not my midsection and I will not let my health hold me back.