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Friday, July 31, 2009

Enjoying the not so lazy days of summer.

As I sit on my balcony gazing out at the evening sky I am in awe of the beautiful pastel colors that intermix with the wispy clouds as the sun sets. The varying shades of blue, pink, red, and yellow intensify just before the sky turns a deep blue and settles into the dark black of night. It has been another day of hustle and bustle and I enjoy the quiet time as I relax from a long day. My mind begins to wander as I enjoy the mild summer we have been experiencing. I begin to realize how blessed I truly have been.

You see, I am on a journey to a happier and healthier lifestyle. Two years ago I had an infection that left me bed ridden with limited mobility. I had allowed my health to deteriorate over the years as I fell into a depression that had ruled my life. I have had a problem with my weight for years but I began using food as a crutch which left me obese with high blood pressure and congestive heart disease. I struggled for a long time but began to realize I could make a change and started to feel less depressed. By Thanksgiving I began to change my eating habits and drink more water. However, in February I almost died due to congestive heart failure and respiratory failure. This was my wake-up call and I realized I had been blessed with another chance at life. I knew I had to commit to a lifestyle change. No longer could I continue to passively seek change but I must commit completely to my goals.

I could barely walk within the confines of my home when I first got out of the hospital. I also have arthritis in my knees and one hip. But little by little I started to exercise my legs and my upper body. As time went on I was able to add more repetitions and additional exercises. I use to take the stairs like a toddler one step at a time with both feet. As I gained in strength from my other exercises I challenged myself to begin to walk up and down the stairs; with time I could climb them normally. Today, I have lost over 80 pounds and I can walk to the end of the street.

I like to walk in the evening as well as go out in the morning hours and exercise on the balcony. The weather has been fantastic this summer and I enjoy listening to the birds and gazing out over the patch of woods across the way. As I enjoy the outdoors, I dream about going to the many parks within Henry County. Heritage Park off of Lake Dow Road in McDonough is one of my favorites. I enjoy walking around the Historic Village and the Veteran’s Wall of Honor. I also like to go to North Mount Carmel Park and walk on the Trail of Honor.

Henry County offers many activities to do in their parks with some of the most beautiful scenery for you to enjoy. Visit http://www.hcprd.org/ for details. I look forward to the day when I can take advantage of all they have to offer. I miss the days of being a soccer coach for my children. These things motivate me to continue on my journey. I will enjoy participating in sports once again. I look at my accomplishments and realize I am achieving my goals. I am sure you can achieve yours as well. All it takes is a positive attitude and a commitment to make the effort required. We can live an active and healthy lifestyle by taking it one step at a time. They may be baby steps at first but we will build up our strength in time. I pray you find happiness and success in all of your goals.

This is the article I wrote which was originally published in The Henry County Times on July 29, 2009.

Click here for many fun ideas that you can do this summer.

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