I used to have panic attacks in elementary school during gym class. I remember standing in line for the 50 yard dash relay being so scared that my stomach hurt, my palms sweat, and my heart was racing. I couldn't run as fast. I was teased as an obese child and even more difficult was the fact that I was shy and had such low self esteem.
In 7th grade, I failed the Presidential fitness tests and was put in 'special' P.E. class where I was forced to lift weights and feel punished by being outcast. Why was it that my parents accepted that our family was all overweight? As an adult looking back at my childhood, I'll never know the answers to this. Perhaps, they were feeding us foods as a replacement for emotional connection. I was loved as well as my siblings, but my parents had it hard. They were busy raising 4 children on a modest income. My father was disabled from having 4 heart attacks, so my mother was out working. I had an unusual childhood having a father raise us before it became more common.
My parent's lives didn't turn out the way they had hoped. I grew up with my mother always saying, “Well, we never planned for you, but we're glad you are here.” Great. What a way to grow up knowing in the back of your mind that I was a “happy little accident.” That's a nice factoid to add to the mix of what I was already suffering from in my head.
I'm 47 now. I've overcome a childhood and adult life of poor life habits, food choices and lack of exercise. I've unveiled a new me now. I'm still getting to know the new me. I've been off of my Oz blog for a bit trying to spend some time understanding who this new me really is. I think I like her a lot!
Everything in my life is totally different right now. Everything! My identity is completely upside-down. I look different, feel different. I'm in pants size 8 from size 26. I have put my illustration career aside to expand this platform I have as a messenger of wellness. I've embraced the title “Wellness Warrior” that Dr. Oz has given me, and am living it. I firmly believe that the universe brings you to a place when you are ready. I believe I'm right where I need to be. I'm on this new path to helping others get out of their fat suit and into a new vibrant life. I can't help everyone. But I can and am reaching some. I have learned what so many people are desperate to learn – how to unzip that fat suit. It's time I continue to share that message.
I am quietly sipping coffee this morning getting ready for my work day. I have taken what once caused me such anxiety and have turned it into love: the gym! I am a personal trainer now and absolutely love lifting weights and working out. I would have never thought in a million years that I would be the woman I am today. I'm passing on to people that reinventing themselves is possible with a little self love, and a little hard work, I'm helping them get there too.
I am unveiling a sensual passionate happy side of myself that I never knew before. I'm enjoying learning who I have become! I feel like I just awakened from a coma and am having to relearn who I am. The reality is, I've never been this “me” before. The new me? I think I'll keep her.