The first, most difficult, and best change overall was ending my miserable marriage. I never thought I would be someone to get a divorce, but in the end I decided it was the best decision for not only me but for the both of us. It took a good deal of counseling and talking to God for me to realize that admitting failure in the relationship did not mean that I was a failure at life. I took this as my turning point to make some other changes.
From there, I determined that my health had to become a priority. I could sit back and let my neurocardiogenic syncope rule my life and live a sedentary lifestyle, or I could say "No!" and take my life back. I did not make any drastic changes, but slowly I began making lifestyle changes. I began eating less processed foods, more fruits and vegetables, less fried foods, and more lean meats. I cut down or cut out completely soda, ice cream, pizza, your typical junk foods. I hit the gym when I could, though in no particular system because of school. I tried Zumba and loved it! I worked my time up on the elliptical from 20 minutes to 45 minutes. So far, I've lost 20 pounds (212-192) and gone from an 18 to a 14. I have not been this size since 2007, and it's a great feeling. Seeing these results truly keeps me motivated to keep it up. They may not seem like much in pictures, but I can definitely see a difference in my body and the way I feel.
While school has always been a priority, I really focused myself on putting my all into my education. I was doing my first internship at a local elementary school in a first grade classroom. It was honestly the best experience I have ever had, and I grew so much as a teacher thanks to a great mentor teacher, mentor professor, and a room of the best first graders around. When my days were hard, because let's face it-divorce isn't easy, I would walk into that classroom and be hugged by 20 kids. How can that not bring a smile to even those with the hardest of hearts? I believe God put me in that classroom at that time to show me the joy in life, and that I am right where He wants me to be. My work that semester paid off in a multitude of ways. I made President's List by earning all A's, and I recently found out I am one of the winners of my university's Undergraduate Research Conference which is an honor. In April I will be doing a poster presentation at the conference, and I am so excited-but that's a whole other blog.
I have a long way to go on this journey, but in the end the journey is the reward. Won't you join me?