It has taken years for me to get to this point in my journey out of obesity. If I had waited until I was slimmer, healthier, or better looking before challenging myself physically, much of my life would have passed. It was important for me to do things along the way, to challenge myself as much as I could physically. When I did this, I felt better for it.
Given my size at the time, it was not easy for me to walk every day. At the end of each walk my legs and feet hurt, but the sense of achievement spurred me on to do more. To help myself I visited a podiatrist regularly, saw a physiotherapist and chiropractor. I did anything I could to keep myself moving as I did not want to do back into the mindset of my past. Although I struggled to control my eating patterns, I kept walking. Starting on the flat areas, I moved on to hills and steep inclines when my strength had improved.
My friends encouraged me to walk with them into national parks, so my walking evolved into hiking. I hiked with the help of walking sticks, a sweat band and rain jacket in many areas of Australia. My friends walked with me in the Grampians Victoria, climbing the Pinnacle, Lamington National Park where I walked 17 km in one day, around Uluru and over Kings Canyon in Northern Territory and a 14km return hike to the summit of Mt Kosciusko, the highest peak in Australia.
I walk with knock knees, out-turned feet and my right leg which turns outward from my hip. I wear orthotics in my shoes to push my knees outward, so my legs don’t hit each other. It hurts to walk, but I do it every day. Why? Because the sense of achievement is worth every bit of pain. With every step I know I am doing the best with what I have now. I am doing my best for my heath despite my strong genetic predisposition to diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
Wherever you are, whatever your health and fitness, do the best with what you have now. Remember to celebrate the little achievements. Every step is another step to a healthier life.
In love, Jenny
Picture taken on the board walk near Cradle Mountain, Tasmania Australia.