A Tale of One Woman’s First Steps Toward Better Health

“Would you please stop asking and leave me alone. No, I don’t want to exercise; it’s hard enough for mommy just to move from the car to here. You go ahead without me — I’ll just sit here and wait for you.”

That was part of the conversation I happened to overhear while attending the Blues Community Farmers Market Family Health Walk this past Saturday at Benjamin Davis Park in Lansing. Wow, those words sounded way too familiar to me, since I once used them myself during my morbidly obese days.

A Mom In Denial

I can still recall how much my kids wanted me to exercise, especially when they were in physical education class  in elementary school. On the days when the teacher really stressed how important daily physical activity was, they would come home and inform me that I really should exercise.

I can only imagine the thoughts that crossed their little minds when the P.E. teacher explained: exercise burns calories and keeps the body in good physical condition. I’m pretty confident that my three children immediately thought of their overweight mother who really needed to add exercise to her daily routine.

Of course, when they told me that I needed to exercise, I casually explained that mommy is on her feet all day long and that she receives plenty of exercise. Deep down I knew they were right, but I refused to accept it.

I can honestly say that if I happened to visit a community farmers market and discovered that there was a health walk being held, I would have given my kids the same excuse and sat on the bench to wait for them to walk the 2-mile stretch. Yet after learning that I would receive a voucher allowing me to receive free fresh fruit and vegetables if I completed the health walk, I may have actually done what the mommy mentioned above did: walked it anyway.

A Huge Victory

Yes, the woman quoted above did challenge herself to take the 2-mile walk and it was the greatest moment for me to witness her as she finished all three laps, smiling ear to ear along with her children. Frankly, receiving the food voucher seemed to be the last thing on her mind. She was overcome by the happiness that her children conveyed: “See, we knew you could do it, mommy! We all walked together for two full miles — we exercised!”

Okay, these are the times when I can’t help but become choked up… wow. Thank God for moments like these.

I spoke to her after things calmed down a bit and we talked about how walking changed my life and helped me shed 162 pounds. Out of respect for her privacy, I won’t go into our conversation, but I will say that she plans on walking every day now that she realizes that she can do it!

She had planned on sitting, but she ended up walking… and she has begun her process of change.

Remember:  she is no different than you. So stand up, take the first step and begin your process. J

Photo by Nadar.

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