Today’s Training: Yoga- something low key and challenging- the stretch of my muscles felt great after yesterday’s run.
“The Body is like a piano, and happiness is like music. It is needful to have the instrument in good order.”
Why am I so passionate about this running thing and all things health? Fresh from high school, I was going to major in education (Why, I do not know. If you compare me to say, my best friend Ashley, my teaching skills pale to nothing in compaison.) One semester in, I changed my major to Wellness. Yes, I’d been slowly getting more and more into running, but why? What happened? My family wasn’t super health concious, my mom only did the occasional step class now and then, and I didn’t go away to a health camp or something. Well, with her permission, I’ll tell the story of my sister.
My little sister- the same one I used to steal Barbie dolls from and make mud puddle soups with- developed bulimia in high school. It started when I was a Senior- she a Freshman. She began to lose weight- lots of it, fast- and would hide a towel in the crack of the bathroom door with the water running. There would be entire packages of ho hos gone in one day, wrappers strewn about her room. Weird, I thought. I went to my mom one day, and I expressed my suspisions. Like any parent, she didn’t let herself believe it- she didn’t raise us with negative body image issues at all. So, I, being the bold blunt person I am, confronted my sister. She admitted to it right away- yes, I am bulimic. I kid you not- I remember that day like it was yesterday. It’s one of those few things in life that happen and they come at you like a blow to the chest- you lose your breath-your heart jumps into your throat. My sister had an eating disorder.
I won’t go into details, but it got far worse before it got better. I remember sitting at my computer in my dorm room one day when one of her friends wrote to me on AOL ( yep, I’m old), “Your sister passed out at school today…hospital…dehydrated…” Blow to chest, loss of breath. I had to stop this– at that moment all I pictured was losing her. I could not lose my sister. I blamed myself for being so mean when we were little, I blamed her friends, I blamed magazines. I blamed everyone, and I searched every single “cure” I could. I came at her too strong, too often, “YOU NEED TO EAT YOU ARE GOING TO KILL YOURSELF! BEING “SKINNY” ISN’T EVERYTHING!” But like anyone with an addiction, she wasn’t going to stop until she wanted to. She was too far in. In retrospect, I think this is when running really took on a real meaning for me- my sister was sick, I could not be with her every day, and I needed to do something to cope with my feelings.
She struggled with it for a while longer; recover, relapse, repeat- but she finally fully recovered. I know my sister will say she looks up to me if asked, but I will tell you she is one of the strongest people I know- I way more look up to her. I’m proud of everything she is. She came out of that dark time in her life and, she is a very successful, talented, amazing, wonderful person. She is a Registered Nurse and healthy as a horse! Her drawings could put Picasso to shame, and she’s a Yoga enthusiast! Go, Niki:)
That’s what got me interested. I wanted to help my sister. It frustrated me that I couldn’t fix her, but in the process, I learned why being healthy is so important.
I read a quote from that Stacy Keebler chick in a magazine. They asked her “What food do you like to splurge on?” She answered, “Well, when I’m in Mexico, I love to eat a spoonful of tequila ice cream, but I’m sure to spend extra hours at the gym the next day!” tee hee. Really, Stacy? Come on.
I hope our kids don’t read that- especially our daughters. Healthy is beautiful- and healthy comes in all different looks and sizes. I mean, our bone and body structures alone are all different from birth (example: my torso is 1 inch long and probably was supposed to belong to a little person). I work with it. I just want to be a good example for my children- and I want to be around to be a good example for my great grandkids, too.
I hope that anyone who does read this blog understands that my goal or my advice is never a how to “get skinny”- it’s help getting healthy. I don’t like “skinny.” It’s not a compliment- it’s how I described my sister when she was sick. Yes, I am a woman- it does feel good to hear “Wow, you look great!” Or like the lady at work who said “Whoa. You lost all your fat!” Well…it was a baby…but…thank you? I work hard to be healthy.
I carried a child in my body for over 9 months and I plan to carry more- so if I have a mommy-pouch for the rest of my life, I will wear it proud. I never wish it away- it will do what it wants. And I wouldn’t trade it for one second for what I got in return.
I don’t run to look like a model or anyone else. I don’t compare myself to anyone. I take pride in being unique and different. I do it for myself and my future and my family.
I’ve learned a lot from my sister. And I can say is that she is way more beautiful now- more happy and radiant- than she ever was when she compared herself to the world. I still have her and I love her more than I’d ever be able to write. Now if only I can get her to like tofu….<3
…in all our glory!
Proud Aunt Niki<3
“My sister taught me everything I really need to know, and she was only in sixth grade at the time.” ~Linda Sunshine
“If your sister is in a tearing hurry to go out and cannot catch your eye, she’s wearing your best sweater.” ~Pam Brown
“In the cookies of life, sisters are the chocolate chips.” ~Author Unknown