I can’t believe how much I have changed this year and I am not just talking about my appearance (and that has changed a lot).
The beginning of the year started off with me registering for the Body Transformation Program at Manimal Athletics. This was a big deal for me because other gyms would not let me join because I did not have appropriate footwear or they felt that their programs were too strenuous for someone with lymphedema. I was so happy to have a chance to go to a gym. I took it very seriously since I didn’t want to waste this opportunity. I believe that just doing this one thing was the base for most of the changes that I have experienced this year. Here are some of the ways that I have changed:
- Confidence – My confidence has improved in a lot in different areas of my life. The confidence that have I found through having success at the gym has spread to other parts of my life. I talk to a lot more people now. I start up conversations with people where ever I go. I feel comfortable talking about the gym, real estate, my lymphedema or just about anything.
- How I deal with stress – This was a big one for me this year. I have had the most stressful year of my life. It started of with having a major car issue that was going to cost thousands of dollars to fix and I still owed thousands of dollars on it. Then the plumbing in my house started leaking and the furnace gave out. Plus some bank issues. I am not even sure how I got through it all but I did. Normally when I was stressed I would have tried to eat my stress away. This year it was totally different. When I was stressed I went kickboxing. Hitting the pads is an amazing stress reliever. I definitely hit a lot harder when I am having a bad day. lol
- Stamina and strength – I am definitely a lot stronger now and I can be active for much longer period of times. The gym has made me physically stronger. I can lift and push things much easier now. I had to push my husband’s truck out of a parking lot a couple of days ago and I did it without even thinking about it. I also helped to empty a shed and storage unit a month ago and I was able to lift and move items all day long. That was amazing. Last year I could only do physical activities for about 15 minutes at a time. This has really helped me with my real estate career. I can now show houses all day long without a break and that includes homes with a lot of stairs. Last year I had some major issues with stairs because, with my lymphedema, my legs are very heavy and I didn’t have the core strength I needed to lift them (especially by the end of the day).
- Appearance – I have gone from someone who wore clothes that were a 2 o r 3 X to now wearing a large. I have also chopped off my hair. Oddly enough, the change in my appearance is not as big a deal to me as my other changes even though that is what most people probably think I mean when I say that I have changed this year.
- Promoting Lymphedema Awareness – I spent most of my life hiding my lymphedema, never mentioning it and definitely never showing anyone my legs. I am now dedicated to promoting lymphedema awareness. I started this blog. I talk about it. I show my legs to anyone who wants to see them. I have worn shorts at the gym (and even to my favourite drugstore (The Medicine Shoppe). I can not even tell you the last time I wore shorts in public. I posted photos of my legs on Facebook and on this blog where they were seen worldwide. I am now organizing a Lymphedema Awareness Seminar that is going to be held on March 5, 2016 in Lower Sackville, NS. If you live in the area please contact me for more info.
There are probably many more ways that I have changed this year but these are the ways that came to my mind immediately. I am sure my husband, family, friends and coworkers could come up with some more. I believe all of theses changes have been very positive and I am looking forward to seeing how I will continue to change in 2016.