Today was a breakthrough. For whatever series of events or thoughts, I decided to see about having a physical and taking more active control of my health. I called my old doctor, whom I haven't seen in years, to see if he would take me back as a patient. He's this young, wonderful guy and my whole family has been in love with him since he arrived in my little hometown I don't know how many years ago, maybe fifteen or so? He's just two years older than I am and just has a lovely manner.
Oh, and by the way, I left my job last month, which has freed up most of my days and enables me to spend the time to drive the hour and fifteen minutes to my hometown to see said doctor. Since we moved here to Niagara Falls, I just never latched on to another primary care doctor, only went to a little neighborhood clinic for things here and there.
(So much to tell you about!)
Anyway, it feels amazing to have reconnected with my doctor again. He kept saying, "Amy G____ is 40 years old! I can't believe it!" So cute. We had a great chat about what it is I'd like for myself health-wise, and talked about what carrying this extra weight means for me. He does not demonize fat, by the way, which I love. He told me that I should get back on establishing healthier habits again (I told him about my past success with losing weight and walking and running a couple years ago), because now is still a time when I can do it on my own without medical intervention. He told me we could not have the same conversation 10 years, even 5 years from now.
He has taken the feelings of responsibility off my shoulders for doing this for the next eight weeks. He does not want me to get on the scale, look in the mirror critically, or even think about what my body is or isn't, or what other people think. "Other people do not exist from now on!" he said, which I thought was cool and funny. Obviously he's speaking figuratively, and I loved it. He said that all I need to do is the following, for the next eight weeks: start walking three miles a day (obviously I will build up to that) and cut out from my diet beef, pork, bread, pasta, potatoes, and rice. I can have seafood, turkey, and some chicken. I can have vegetables and fruit. He didn't say to cut out ice cream and cake, but dude, I get the gist of it. All I need to do is the work, and whether I lose weight or not is mostly irrelevant... and if I fail in some way, it is his fault as the doctor.
It sounds really weird when I was trying to explain it to C. and also now as I am typing this out. But let me tell you, when he was saying this to me, I immediately felt this huge sense of relief and happiness, almost to the point of tears. He was taking a big burden off me, and letting me just tend to the business I needed to tend to. No icky emotions, no self-judgement. Just matter of fact do this and this, and come back in eight weeks to talk about what happened.
I don't know. It makes so much sense to me, I am feeling elated. I am not even scared to try to eliminate those certain foods, because I really want to do something, and now I have this fantastic, caring, professional ally there to back me up and carry the huge bag of issues that I usually shoulder. It'll be interesting to see what comes of all this.
So, yes... I quit my job. I was offered a couple classes to teach at an area college this fall, and coupled with the online teaching I do is enough to keep us afloat. My career as an artist has also been taking off pretty well (small scale still, but making steady progress), and I really wanted to be able to focus more on my studio work, too. Doing graphic design in the capacity I was was just really making me unhappy, so despite the economy and everything else, I took the plunge. Daring and a little crazy, I know! Truth is, I've been as busy as I ever was before, but I love my new lifestyle. The only time I HAVE to be somewhere is on Monday and Wednesday mornings for teaching, and then for whenever I am teaching the odd workshop here and there. Other than that, my time is mine to shape it however I like. Obviously I still have responsibilities to my online classroom, but that is asynchronous and I don't have to be there at a certain time of day... plus, I can do it in my pajamas on the couch if I like.
I'm still getting used to things and I am still a bit connected to my old job, but man! Life is pretty darned good. It only seemed appropriate that I also take good care of my body while I am at it, so that I can also FEEL good physically.
I hope that some of my old friends here are still out there and doing well. I'd love to hear what you're up to!