This weekend we went on a big camping trip with my granddaughter, my daughter and son-in-law, my sister, my nieces, my in-laws, and my dad. It was a wonderful and relaxing time. A time to take lots of pictures, lots of videos, and make a ton of memories. There is just one problem, I don't like the way I look in pictures and videos. In fact, right now, I don't like myself at all. This weekend my husband took a video that was an awakening. An awakening I needed to save my life.

We were all sitting around underneath the tent enjoying each other's company. My dad and I,  as usual, started teasing each other. We are very much alike. My husband grabbed my phone and started recording us on video. There's nothing wrong with that, it's awesome that he even thought to make a video. You see, my dad has Alzheimer's and it's getting worse and those are memories that I want to have later when he forgets how we tease.

As I was looking at the pictures and videos that my husband took, I saw myself and I burst into tears. I didn't like what I saw at all, in fact, I realized I've been in denial about just how much weight I had gained and how bad my health has become.

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You see when I started to WKDQ,12 years ago, I was a size 0 and weighed about 120 pounds. My weight was probably perfect for me because I am only 5'2. Over the course of the next 12 years at the radio station, my life and level of activity changed a lot.

When I was younger and my kids were little, I used to be a very active parent. With little kids, you have to have a lot of energy.  I took care of my kids during the day, or I would substitute teach, and then at night, I would teach theatre to high school kids, all of which required a lot of energy. I don't think I ever sat down.

Working at WK DQ changed my life in a lot of good ways but some not-so-good ways too. I began sitting a lot while at work. At the old studios, I would actually stand the whole show, which I prefer. But in the new studios, we don't have a choice, we have to sit the entire show.

So, I sit and talk in the mic for four hours. I might get up to go get some coffee or go to the restroom but that's pretty much the extent of it. Remember, I also drive to and from work which takes me an hour each way. That is two more hours of just sitting. Then, the rest of my workday is typing on the computer. I have to write articles for our website and post them on social media. All of which require a lot of sitting. I bought a standup desk, for home, during the pandemic to try to help me at least get my blood flowing.

Now, as I looked at myself in those videos, I realized just how bad it's been for me. The hours working at WKDQ, early morning until sometimes late evening, and doing a lot of sitting, has put stress on me that I failed to address. It's not the job's fault, it's what I do when I'm not working that has brought me to this unhealthy time in my life. I make up excuses, not to work out. But, I most times just don't have the strength or energy to do it. So, after years of abusing my body, add it all up and that means I've gained a lot of weight. I don't even recognize myself or even like myself right now.

Don't get me wrong I still like my personality, my sense of humor, my empathy toward others, and my craziness (which not everybody likes, but I think you secretly do). What I don't like about myself is what I've become physically. It's a problem for me basically because I never looked this way. I was always super tiny and skinny. Being skinny isn't important to me, but feeling good IS important to me and right now, I feel bad every single day.  It was easier to go take a nap than get on the treadmill. So, now I'm not in the best health. I get out of breath, have aches and pains I probably wouldn't have if I was the weight I should be.

I don't like myself and that's okay. I'm not telling you this so that you tell me that I look good or say I should like me no matter what. I don't want to hear it. It's okay not to like yourself because not liking yourself means that things will change because you don't like yourself enough to do something to make yourself better. That's why I say it's ok NOT like yourself, but not loving yourself is a whole other story.

Loving myself means that I have to take care of myself. If I don't take care of myself then I will most likely check out early. I will leave the people I love way too early, way sooner than they should have been without me. So, when I say NOT loving yourself is not an option, that's what that means.

I don't like myself right now and that's okay. As a matter of fact, I can't stand myself. I'm like my own evil nemesis right now. Just to be clear, I DO love myself, and I love my family. I want to make sure that I'm here for all the moments I should be. That means that I have to start focusing on myself and loving myself more than I ever have before. Not liking myself, forces me to love myself more. The way I should've been loving myself all of this time.

It's time I start taking care of myself, loving myself so that I can LIKE myself again. Then, I can be healthy and happy with who I am, all the time, and really proud of myself for overcoming my downhill spiral of unhealthy living.

I need to stop feeling sorry for myself and do something about it. I don't necessarily have a plan yet, but there is a fire that's been lit inside me. It's a realization that I wouldn't have had if my husband hadn't taken the videos I told him not to take. I didn't want to see myself, but I needed to see myself as I really was and it hurt. He didn't mean to hurt. He was so upset when I broke down watching the videos and looking at the photos. Quenton actually gave me a gift, a big hit on the head, a kick in the butt, that I needed to love myself enough to change and focus on myself.

I'm working in progress and I will continue to be. It's okay to stumble as long as I pick ourselves up. Right? So, that's exactly what I'm going to do. The best is yet to come.


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