Publisher - June 2019
She needs time, like we all do. Time to be ok with being ok. Because sometimes feeling right, after feeling so wrong for
so long, is the hardest thing to get used to. —JmStorm
In addition to commemorating and remembering those who have served our country, Memorial Day is the official opening day of summer. As much as I love summer and all the outdoor fun that comes with it, here I sit six days before Memorial Day lamenting about…(I’m going to whisper this because I don’t really want to admit it out loud)…bathing suit season.
I am lamenting that I’m having this dialogue with myself yet again for the gazillionth time. As I ponder why I can’t seem to overcome the burden of being overweight, I remember a conversation I had with my doctor in my twenties. “You’re fat and happy, Elizabeth.” Must I be fat to be happy? I guess it’s better than being fat and sad, or even skinny and sad, but none of these scenarios are ok with me. Really, fat or thin isn’t even the issue. It’s being healthy. I want to be healthy and happy all at the same time. Is that too much to ask?
Well, the answer is no. It’s not too much to ask. The real questions are: What are you willing to change to be healthy and happy, Elizabeth, and when are you willing to change it? The good news is I’m happy, which is much harder to rectify than weight. I’m also fairly healthy, although I fully understand carrying extra weight around takes a toll on the body in numerous ways.
When I lost 72-lbs. six years ago, I was inspired by our own Pink Prescriptions article (page 30). As I edited the column each month, regardless of the health topic, doctors would state almost every time: If you are overweight, losing weight will reduce your risk basically for everything—heart disease, diabetes, stroke, cancer, back pain, joint breakdown, gastric issues, neurological, etc.
Nonetheless, I assume I still have a weight issue because there are remaining lessons to learn to heal the burdens I’ve been carrying around all my life. I packed on the weight as a child to pad myself, and old habits die hard. However, I’m ready to take it on again, and I think this will be my final victory. I am personally motivated, and I have great, loving support in my life now. Also, I’m pretty fed up with my own bull. It’s exhausting telling yourself you’re going to do something every single day, and then not doing it every single day. Frankly, it’s like constantly having to discipline a defiant child, and I think I’m ready to send that child to military school.
The theme of this month’s issue is #GoneCoastal and instead of writing about our beautiful coastal Lowcountry, here I am droning on about weight loss. However, the two go hand in hand for me.
When I started the weight loss journey six years ago, it all started with simply walking the beach at sunrise, a tortuous practice at first. In the long run, this daily task changed my life and became my favorite part of the day. Not only did I get great exercise, I also had time to think and heal and dream.
I don’t know which comes first, the gaining of the weight, or the fading of your dreams. Walking the beach reversed the effects of both. Everyday I walked I became more alive. It was my time—perhaps the first time I had made myself a priority—and it felt great. This practice impacted every area of my life, and I became stronger, clearer and determined.
One day, it turned cold, and I skipped walking the beach. I leveled up my workout, moved into the gym, loved every second of it and promised myself I would never quit. Then I tore my calf muscle and…I quit. Before I knew it, my zeal had faded. I didn’t return to the beach or the gym; I let it go as abruptly as a water skier releasing the rope.
Thankfully, I haven’t gained all the weight back, but with only two pairs of pants left in my closet that still fit, I am ready for a comeback! So out to the beach I go, where the sun and the surf and the salt soothe my soul and help me come back to me.
What do you want to shed this summer? Whatever it is, remember the cure for anything is salt water: Tears, sweat, or the sea…and sometimes all three at once.