I have a seriously obsessive personality. When I find something that interests me I don't just casually go about it. Oh no. I delve completely into it. I immerse myself in the knowledge of it, I research, I read everything I can get my hands on. For instance, most of my friends will remember my Marvin the Martian phase. It lasted a very long time. I have the tattoo to prove it. Then there was the Sheryl Crow phase, obsessing about people can in fact be dangerous. There are stalking laws for a reason, people. The VW phase where I went as far as buying a VW bus that broke down days later and I paid storage fees for 2 years before finally giving it away.
Don't mention the Jeep fiasco to my wife. The guitar phase (never did learn to play), the entrepreneur phase (found out I'm really bad at sales), the classic motorcycle phase (I can tell you about every model of Honda built between 1965 and 1975), the woodworking phase, the body repair phase (I pulled all the trim off my beat up Chevy truck, then decided it was too hot to work outside), the marketing phase, which actually led me to a career and my current job as a Marketing Director, the photography phase, still in that one and started Sherri Paxton Photography. Some work out, some fizzle out quickly and I'm on to the next thing. I blame my ADD.
So really, when I decided a year ago that I was going to lose weight and get in shape, it's no surprise that my wife was a little skeptical about how long it was going to last. I was fat. I'd been fat most of my life. I've tried every diet ever made. I'd made the same resolution year after year. This would be my year to lose weight! And every year the lure of donuts and chicken fried steak would bring me back to unhealthy eating habits and more and more weight gain. Then it was excuses. I have degenerative joint disease (which is a fancy term for arthritis). It started in my 20's. So obviously I can't exercise, it hurts. My knees are bad, I can barely walk up a flight of stairs, how can I possibly exercise? My back is full of arthritis. I'm too fat to do anything.
But finally at 40 I decided enough is enough. I got really sick, not sure what is was. Some stomach flu? A bizarre parasite I picked up from eating too many donuts? Who knows. What I do know is that I could barely keep toast down for almost 3 weeks. When it was finally over I had lost 18 pounds and realized, hey I can eat a lot less and survive. And lose weight. So I decided right then and there to stop making excuses. I started changing the way I ate. I became obsessive about what I put in my mouth - maybe a little too obsessive. I did mention I have that problem right? I started losing weight. And guess what? After the first 20 pounds, my knees stopped hurting so much. So I started walking every day. And I kept losing. I kept researching. I learned what works for my body, what doesn't and I kept losing more and more. I didn't do it the right way, if I knew then what I know now I would have started building muscle sooner. I didn't know that if you lose too quickly, it's a bad thing.
Eventually I worked my way up to lifting weights and walking on the treadmill. I lost 78 pounds in 9 months. I've got about 50 more to go. To most people 78 seems like a lot. But I still feel like I'm 100 lbs overweight. I look in the mirror and I still see a fat person. Granted, I AM still a fat person, but I don't see the weight I've lost. I see the weight I still need to lose.
I had a secret goal when I started. I only told two people. I didn't want to disappoint everyone if I couldn't do it. I wanted to compete in the Warrior Dash with my sisters and brother-in-law. Eventually I mentioned it to them. They were so encouraging but in the back of my head I just didn't think I could do it. Again, I didn't want to disappoint them if I failed. Guess what they gave me for Christmas? They registered me in the Warrior Dash. OH. MY. GAWD.
So now, here I am at the beginning of the new year, I have three months to get ready to do something I probably couldn't even have done in high school. At first I panicked. I texted my cousin, "I can't do this, I'm not ready!" She said to me, "You have more determination than anyone I know". I asked her, "who are we talking about?". It couldn't be me. She said, "It's the 'new you' ".
The new me. Hmmmm. The NEW me. Yeah, maybe I CAN do this. So it's become my new obsession. I started a program called Couch 2 5k that will supposedly help me to be able to run a 5k without stopping or walking in 90 days. That seems so far away from where I am now. But then I think, well you didn't know anything about lifestyle photography a year ago either and now people pay you to take their pictures. So maybe, like my therapist reassures me, sometimes an obsessive personality isn't a bad thing.