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Part IV…………..climbing mountains April 15, 2010

Posted by Barbara in Gamer Mom, Warcraft.

So my dream is just to be healthy?  Isn’t that everyone’s goal?  And frankly, it doesn’t work very well as a motivator.

I guess I should explain how I see the difference between a general concept and a motivating vision or dream.  First of all, my dream isn’t just health.  It’s the life I could live with my husband and kids, and the things I could accomplish, if I were healthy.  That’s a lot of difference.

I’d been doing high stress and low real exercise for years.  Add onto that,  genes and ‘the change’, and I was set up for the obesity, high blood pressure and other health problems I’d developed.  For a long time, I accepted it as inevitable.  And I could always hide on the computer and not face the problems.  It wasn’t just Warcraft that kept me hiding.  I started with research and e-mail for my work, and grew into surfing the web for everything I wanted to know.

Curiosity can be a good thing, but surfing the ocean to learn about my sea critters would have been healthier.

2008 gave me the motivation to try.   Two major surgeries and a frozen shoulder syndrome left me spending a lot of time depending on my family and friends for just daily survival.  I am so grateful for the wonderful guy I married and our awesome kids.  They pitched in and took care of me and the house and we all made it through.  And it made me aware of the future.

I could have a long life or a short one – depending on my actions (not just dreams but actual actions).   That life could be one of productivity and giving, or it could be one where those I loved were forced to spend their time and energy caring for me.   The thought of that was pretty devastating, but there were so many metaphorical mountains to climb before I would ever be able to climb the real ones.

So I let myself dream.   Every night, for a couple of months, I went to sleep thinking about what it would really feel like to be able to run.    I thought it was just a daydream, until I realized that my dreaming was becoming something I could actually feel, inside my head, at least.   I could actually feel the exhilaration of that run and looked forward to sleeping so I could dream it again.

In real life, I could barely walk up the short hill in front of our house as far as the neighbor’s mailbox without stopping to catch my breath.  Maybe 50 feet.     So I started using the Wii Fit.  (See, I really was techno-hooked.)  It was private.  I could do it with the curtains closed after everyone was gone from the house.    I could do it in just small ways that wouldn’t jeopardize recovery from surgery.  And I could walk.  Up the hill to the neighbor’s mailbox and back.

And then, after a few weeks,  all the way to the top of the little hill – about a 1/4 mile, and back.  And then 2 or 3 or 4 times.  Over time, I got to where I could hike the hill many times without breathing too hard at all.  Then it was time for the gym.

Baby steps.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to take baby steps, as long as they lead the right direction.   If I take baby steps, I’ll be a little closer to the goal.  That’s better than being no closer or even deeper in the rut.

And, it turns out, exercise was the best thing I could have started with in reaching for balance in my computer use.  It helped make the healthy diet more productive in terms of weight loss, I started sleeping better (that helps both the weight loss and the depression), it takes you away from the triggers that cause the craving to sit down, and it feels good.

It feels gooooooood!

Part the Last  – Baby Steps

Those who think they have not time for bodily exercise, will sooner or later have to find time for illness.     ~Edward Stanley



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