Thursday, 27 April 2006

Why I Am Having an Affair

I got your attention, didn't I? Sorry to disappoint any voyeurs out there but the love affair in question is perfectly acceptable from a moral standpoint. I'd like to share a thought with you ... in case it may be of help to YOU somehow.

"The difference between a successful person and an unsuccessful person is that the successful person does what the unsuccessful person does not want to do."

About 4½ years ago, I began losing weight. I lost a whopping 61.5kg (135 pounds) in 10 months.

Why the extreme makeover? Some of it was related to health issues and some of it was related to personal vanity, but the main reason was that one of my kids was going overseas and had to supply a photograph of our family (fractured as it was) for the host-family portfolio. Said child didn’t want the world to know that the mum in the family here in Australia was fat. I wasn’t allowed to be in the picture.

Losing weight was hard work. In the process, I changed my whole life style: what I ate, where I lived, and, for a while, with whom I lived. I got myself a new job and moved 400km away from Townsville and gave myself up to some ‘me’ time.

Sounds drastic and self-centred, huh? Want to know something? It was worth it! I not only lost weight, I got out from under the rock I befriended when my ex-husband left me in 1992, gained back my self-esteem, recognized my self-worth, made new friends, improved relations with my children and met my current husband.

In the years since that move and initial weight loss, family life has taken over once more. I’ve also learned that I need to consciously keep up the momentum of efforts to stay in good shape both physically and mentally and that there are times when I must use a helping hand to do it.

With this in mind, this week I finally joined a gym. For years, my dietician has been telling me about the benefits of doing regular exercise but I have resisted using a gym because I thought my love of walking was enough. The truth is that walking wasn’t enough for me. I found that I was relying on my regular work routine and somewhat sporadic ballroom dancing classes to fill in the blanks of regular exercise. I was slipping back into old ways of thinking that improvement would simply ‘happen’ by itself.

It’s my opinion that things worth doing are worth doing well and worth making time for. The gym membership is a current motivator to exercise. Since I stopped fulltime work in February, I’ve gained back a few kilos. It’s time to make a conscious effort to get in there and train! The best part about all of this is that …

Exercise Is Good... For Your Brain!

Studies have shown that exercise can do wonders for your body. It helps build up your bones and lowers your cholesterol. Even a peaceful walk for 20 minutes every night may improve your chances of avoiding diseases from cancer to strokes and heart attacks. Now scientists have added keeping your mind in shape as you age to all of the other benefits. Exercise helps you to have a better memory and problem solving skills after 50. I’m getting in early. LOL.

Scientists have found that the three key areas of the brain adversely affected by aging show the greatest benefit when a person stays physically fit.

Your brain contains two types of "matter": gray matter is the thin layer of neurons and support cells that are critically involved in learning and memory; white matter is the insulating myelin sheath containing the nerve fibres that transmit signals throughout the brain. More or less like an electrical cord, organic wires wrapped in insulation to carry the electricity from the one place to another.

After age 30, these tissues shrink. Apparently, the fitter the body, the less shrinkage there is in the areas that control memory and other "thinking" tasks.

In a nutshell, while it helps me looking good, the idea that I’m still going to be able to cognitively think as I age is even better! This affair with gym is one I have to have so that when Paul asks me in our conversations ‘why bring logic into this?’, my response to that will be ‘Because I can!’ and, hopefully as I age, ‘Because I still can!’

November 2001

March 2003

Wedding 6th August 2005
(now all I gotta do is work out the hair)

Oh and for those who managed to get to the end of this blog ... I'm having a love affair not only with my husband, but with me and my life in general. Loving myself has made me able to love other people with whom I come in contact be loved the way they want to be loved.

Happiness & laughter always,



Gabriella said...

Hi mum,

the site looks great, and I have been reading it rather often. (sorry no messages, I only just worked out how to leave a message withough haveing my own space. (everthing is in german except your actual blog for me))

You know what`? I never saw you as the person in the first photo. I am absolutely surprised at the 61kgs of lost weight. Congratulations!!!

Good luck for the gym,your not alone in your efforts of staying fit. Austria has deffinitely taken a tole on my body as well. (luckily i am now with the new family, somewhat of fitness freaks!)

love you

Paulio said...

It is so so easy to be in love with you!

Rachel said...

What an awesome achievement. I had a little journey of my own losing just over 10 kgs so 61kgs is an absolutely inspirational achievement. I'm now on a new journey but will always incorporate the lessons I learnt from my weightloss challenge. Goodluck with what ever you embark on next.