I have four photos I have up around the house.
The first is from my wedding day. This photo is in our living room. I felt amazingly beautiful, loved and amazing. It was a perfect day. I was starting my life with the love of my life. I truly am not a superficial person. I am more comfortable in sweat pants and a sweat shirt but like to dress up and look nice. BUT I don't like the way I feel, the way my body looks, when I am over weight and out of shape. I don't notice other people that are overweight (unless they are morbidly obese) but I sure notice it when I am.
The second picture is from a work function that my husband and I attended. The proverbial little black dress. We were married in 1996 and our beautiful daughter was born in December of 1999. I gained a TON of weight during my pregnancy. Apparently, subconsciously, I decided I could eat anything while I was pregnant. My OB-GYN actually reprimanded me for gaining so much weight. My food of choice was pepperoni, green olive pizza. We have all heard the saying, "you should eat more, you are eating for two". I took that literally. After Elsie was born I started working out in a gym with a personal trainer. I had never been in a gym before let alone really exercise! After a period of time I was in the best shape I had ever been. I did cardio, I ate right and I lifted weights. The fat melted off me! I felt great.
The third picture is when Elsie was about 1. We were at a Hanken family reunion in Omaha. We recently discovered this picture. I don't think I had ever seen it. My husband, David's Father passed away just before Thanksgiving. Between 2000 and 2014 we lost all 4 of our parents and a Grandma. We were down in Iowa cleaning out the house and going though over 60 years of memories. I will write more about that later. We discovered this picture. I picked it up and all I could say was, "Whoa who is that woman"? (Spoiler alert - this was a bit of a turning point for me). This one hangs on our bathroom wall.
The fourth picture is from my nieces wedding. We had our amazing son Porter in 2002. I worked out as long as I could while pregnant with Porter. I carried him so low that it was actually painful to walk. I remember going to the gym and talking to my trainer in tears. I had to tell him, I just couldn't keep going, it hurt too much. Luckily I did not backslide much and was able to get back at it for awhile after Porter was born. This was probably the longest that I kept at it. This picture is in my office at work.
So you ask, what happened between 2002 and 2014? A LOT. Life happened, Motherhood happened, business ownership happened, financial stress happened, we lost the last 3 of our parents during that time, the kids schedules got busy, the kids activities got more expensive and busier, my husband bought a business, he was not paying himself (all the money went back into the business) he moved the business into a larger space with higher rent, there was a small financial system collapse (disastrous for small business owners - he was still not paying himself), I quit my job where I was part owner of a successful company, I traveled a lot for my new job, I quit tha!t job and took another job that was absolutely horrible - I was never home, I quit that job and went to work in David's business. People say the most stressful things a person can go through are death of a family member, changing jobs and/or moving. Let's just add financial stress to that issue.
These are not excuses they are reality. They are reality for many people. What have I learned? You have to take care of yourself. You can't care for others if you don't take care of yourself.
What happened? I quit taking care of myself. What do a lot of parents and business owners do? They sacrifice themselves for their families and for their work. I forgot what it felt like to feel great. I forgot what it was like to look great.
Yes, this is about me. That is my first why. My second why is my family. I want to be here for them for a long time. I want to be an active Grandparent (when that time comes!). I want to enjoy retirement someday. I don't think I have ever used as many I sentences EVER! It is about time.
I WILL DO THIS!