It seems like everyone is doing one and no, that’s not the only reason I’m doing one.  I mean seriously, did you think I hadn’t been thinking about what I’m thankful for? Puhleeeeze, that would require me not thinking which we all know is impossible.  I nearly didn’t write one of these due to a post I read (sorry I now have no clue where it is, I read it while grading papers, answering questions and probably chewing gum – the gum chewing being the major culprit of taking away my brain power) where the individual posting said something along the lines of “where everyone pretends they haven’t been complaining over the past 12 months.”

So, I read that and went “oh”… I mean, that’s pretty true.  The author later went on to state what she’s thankful for and so all hope is not lost for mankind!  As I threw the words around in my head, I realized though that remembering to be thankful is EXACTLY the point of Thanksgiving.  I mean, it’s the day when you’re supposed to pause and remember to appreciate all the good things you have instead of complaining about all the things wrong with your day to day life.

I have many things to be thankful for and this post wouldn’t do them any justice should I try to label/list them in some sort of ranked order or even just a top ten.  And so, what I’ve decided to do is to mention a few things I’m thankful for in my life which have changed in the past year… Naturally, these will be related to my journey of getting healthier… after all, this is what the blog here is all about.  I’m going to write these as they come to me in my head so, they may be jumbled.

The very first thing which comes to mind is not having to pretend.  Exercising every day has given me stamina I only pretended to have before.  I used to fake it.  I used to say to myself “sure I could climb those 200 stairs, but  no one else I know is going that way and so I won’t.”  I used to tell myself all sorts of things about what I could do.  In reality I found myself realizing while in Mexico (amazing how much time you have to think while on vacation) that I’d pass up many of the excursions because I was afraid I’d have to walk for too long and too far in the heat.  As it was, the one excursion I went on sapped my strength because of the amount of walking we did.  I have more stamina now, thanks to exercise and it feels great.  Some time in September, my husband and I weeded around the house and I remember just tearing through it while he lagged behind… something which never used to happen.  I remember how I used to feel when trying to weed my garden.  Realizing it was now easy… felt really good.  I don’t have to fake it anymore.  I don’t think I can do anything… but I know I don’t have to fake what I can and can’t do.

The next thing which comes to mind i s feeling normal.  In the past month I’ve reached a point where I feel… normal.  I don’t feel as though I’m so overweight and sloppy that I need to hide underneath my clothes anymore.  I’m not flaunting what I don’t have, mind you, but I’m actually interested in looking good again… mainly because I feel good.  Want to know a secret?  The other night I was at a store wandering around and I came upon a bunch of security camera systems set up with TVs and stuff and as I walked by, I caught a glimpse of me.  I didn’t hate the way I looked.  It stopped me dead in my tracks.  Hell, I even spun around so I could check out my butt!  I’m not skinny, but I feel good and I think I look good.  I’m thankful to have that feeling back in my life.

The only other obvious thing which comes to mind right now is the knowledge I’ve gained.  For years I wondered why the people around me could eat so much and never seem to gain weight.  For years I thought I was eating ok.  I didn’t think I was going to win any awards, but I didn’t think I was doing so bad either.  Counting calories has given me information about food, things I didn’t know before.  Sure, I’ll always love calorie dense foods, they make them taste so good!  But, I’ve learned a thing or two about the art of moderation and while I still have a long way to go on that, I’ve come so far.  I’ve been eating better for a long time now without feeling as though I’m “on plan” or “dieting”.  It’s just been me, eating what I eat.  I don’t take a day off on weekends… is my eating different on the weekend?  Sure!  Do I go hog wild and forget to keep track of what I’m eating?  Nope.  I feel like I’m in control now whereas before I felt as though I was at the mercy of what I ate because I just didn’t understand what I was doing wrong.

So there you have it.  These are the things I”m thankful for.  I’m only 5 months in to my journey and I realize I have a long way to go before I’m as healthy as I want to be, before I eat as well as I’m hoping I will some day, and before I’m done obsessing about what I eat and how much I exercise.  However, my life has changed, and I hope in an irreversible sort of way… because it’s a good change and I’m incredibly thankful for it.