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Through My Lens: Teresa's Adventure - So Close to the Top

In 2011 my husband and I took a trip to China. It was an escorted tour with varying age groups. In our mid 40’s, we were somewhere in the middle. It was the most wonderful, horrible, delicious, disgusting, eye opening experience... someday perhaps more details will be shed on that!

On this trip we had the opportunity to climb the great wall of China. We were given a time limit that we could explore and do whatever we chose but we had to be back at the bus at a specific time, it would not wait around.

We set off and stood in awe and wonder looking at this monstrous, unending wall that went up and up into the mountains. Each level was marked off. We reached level 2 or 3 and the senior citizens and my husband decided they had reached their limit and found a place to sit and rest and just take it all in.

But I wanted so much more! Filled with anticipation and determination, several of us continued. It was fun, challenging, exhilarating and exhausting. The view was breath taking.

I did fairly well, there were moments I needed to stop and rest, the sweat beads were forming, my breath at times was a bit labored, my legs began to ache, but I forged on.

I forget how many levels in total there were in this particular section but what stands out in my mind was I had to stop 2 levels from the top. Since we had a time limit, I had to turn around and head back down to ensure I was not left behind. As I made my way down there was a great feeling of joy and a tinge of sadness...I was so close to the top...if only... sigh... but I did not let myself linger there, instead I decided to latch onto the “look how far to the top I made it attitude” and the joy won the battle.

However… I had discovered just how heavy and out of shape, I had gotten. I could no longer ignore my health and the risks being overweight could mean for me. The difficulty climbing the wall planted the seed that something needed to be done. The pictures afterwards, smacked me upside the head...and shortly after our return home, back to Weight Watchers I went.

Growing up I did not battle weight. I had dabbled a few times before with WW in my late 20s, early 30s. I needed to drop 5-10 lbs and I would go to a few meetings, lose the weight and then forget about it. However, when I hit my 40s, my metabolism changed drastically, and I failed to change my ways so the weight packed on. I became a bit sedentary, my kids had grown, less running around, more time to sit around. I did not seem to notice, or rather, I chose not to acknowledge the fact the pounds had gradually found their way back and had multiplied exponentially. Of course they did, I was on a diet, I lost weight, I moved on... I got on that scale the heaviest weight ever and I vowed that if I ever make it back to China, I would make it to the top of that wall with time to spare...

This began my quest for a complete and permanent lifestyle change. Along the way, I started to use the old WW website and found the blog site. Occasionally I would share a few sentences...very tentatively, worried about how my words would be received and perceived. I had this notion that whatever I shared needed to be profound so that people would want to read my words and would "learn" something from it.

I did not enjoy it. Then one day I had a "brain dump" and words just rushed out that had been bouncing around my brain, consuming my thoughts. Very few were directly about weight or weight loss. As I read what I had written, I felt this huge release and relief...since then every single day I write out my thoughts and share them. Initially on the WW blog, then eventually on connect and multiple Facebook pages. I realized losing weight was only one small part of living a healthy lifestyle.

My journey is so much more than worrying about a number on a scale. It is about eating delicious food that provides fuel, finding physical activities I love to do rather than making myself exercise. It is a clear headspace, it is a joy filled existence and a passion for living too. It is about finding balance so that all day every day is not consumed with "dieting" and worry about food. I am living a lifestyle that I love, that brings me great joy and has opened my eyes to exciting adventures. But I also have a great appreciation for simple everyday ordinary, because it's our lens that turns what we see into something truly amazing. From here, the view is beautiful. I am a story teller, my hope is as I share my life experiences with you that I am able to paint the picture of my world so you may envision it too through my lens but relate to it in a way that fills your needs. I hope you come back again so we can get to really know one another.

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