Life is funny sometimes. Since my husband left me in 1999, I have been reevaluating what I believe and what is important to me. Over the last 11 years I have found that the things that I valued and believed in prior to his exit are not things that I value or believe at all. I never considered that I had been so influenced in my values and beliefs, that I, myself had no idea what I truly believed. As I floundered in my own beliefs, I was open to new ideologies.
My first step towards “freedom” was my venture into the gym and vegetarianism. I struggled with it and I failed at times. In an area that is not vegetarian friendly it is difficult to commit to this lifestyle. I moved to Seattle in 2004 with a man that was a complete vegetarian. Of all his faults, he did help me realize I can overcome my past and start a new life. I also found being a vegetarian so much easier. Having access to fresh produce and vegetarian items made the transition easy. Over time I found that my ideals were evolving to a much greater inspiration.
I found books on food policy to be fascinating. I had gained so much weight that food was always a subject on my mind, along with health and physical activity. In 2006 I bought a bicycle. It was so big I couldn’t even ride it. I had not been on a bike since 1989. My ex husband would not let me have a bike when we were together, he hated bikes along with many other things. I walked that bike all the way home and every night for a month I would ride it around the track across the street from home. I would work the gears and relearned my balance along with how to use coaster brakes. I eventually got the nerve up in October, about 6 months later to ride it to work.
I have been riding to work for the better part of the last 3 years. This last year my commute doubled when I was forced to move and my new apartment was in the central part of Seattle. It took me a good 5 months to gain the courage to start riding from my new place because the route was so much farther, on a hill and I had to go through downtown traffic. I initially started with putting it on the bus for part of the ride. In April I stepped on a scale for the first time and I nearly cried. I was probably at my biggest weight ever. I was about 9 months away from finishing my Master’s and in a fairly new relationship.
I think when my partner bought a bicycle to join me on rides was a turning point for my life. We started biking for enjoyment along with my doubled commute involving big hills. In September I stepped on that scale again and I had lost nearly 60 lbs. I had eaten almost all fresh food that was either grown in my own garden or organically grown from local resources. The cleanse of processed food along with increased activity seems to have been to a great benefit for me. I love the way I feel now and I love the fact that I have had to buy new clothes, I am officially a size 12 now! I may soon need to drop a size again. The fact that I now know what it is that I believe in and what my values are along with a great relationship have done a world of good not only for my soul but for my body as well.