It’s not a punishment.

Once upon a time a used to go to the gym. Now I am not talking about I took up the gym one day. I mean, I have pretty much worked out steady since I was like 6 years old. I remember when I saw the weight set in the Sears Catalog. I wanted to be Popeye. I believed being strong meant you were safe. Nobody beat Popeye.

I never felt safe. I thought the world was cruel and everyday was a fight for survival. It was a strange thought that lingered in my head for way way too long for as long as I can remember. This thought drove everything I did. I worked out, ate well. I chose diets catering to health and wellness. I never questioned whether or not I was doing the right thing because I had logic, research and control. Nobody was stronger at this than me. I fought an invisible demon everyday. I was brutal with myself. I used to work out for three or more hours a day. I pushed myself for perfection. I never once asked myself, not that I would have cared, whether or not it was something I enjoyed. I just did it because it was the right thing to do.

One day about three years ago my son was at the gym. He grew up with it so it was pretty natural for him to get the bug. He watched me grudge out an hour on the elliptical Trainer. I say grudge because I over exercised as a habit. I never once gave myself a break. He came up to me and said why do you even do this? What was he talking about? He new why I did this. I had too. It was good for me. No brainer right? He asked me again and I answered just that, it’s my medicine. He said your whack. He said you don’t even like this. You work out everyday and you don’t have fun doing it. Now I was really confused. What is this fun thing. Exercise was not fun, it was necessary.

After that day I had the chance to watch my son exercise once or twice and there really was a difference to his approach. He got on the treadmill and ran with a smile. He didn’t think about whether he was doing it well or hard he just ran. He had no agenda. He was genuinely their because he liked it. There was no medicine involved. If he didn’t like what he was doing he stopped. I couldn’t even comprehend stopping something because I didn’t like it. I almost took it as my mission to push through something until the end. Never give up, never surrender.

One day I was working out downstairs on the treadmill and my Nanny came down and said she was going to take my daughter and the dog to the park. By this time I had been sick for so long I didn’t even realize how exhausted I was. Walking was painful. Waking up was hard. I had so many food allergies I hated food. I had days that I would drop out of bed and crawl down the stairs to get my kids to school because my heartrate would get to 150 beats by standing and then I would blackout. So if I crawled I maintained a heartbeat that allowed me to get done what was needed. I still worked out. When we got my Nanny it was a huge hit to our budget but it was necessary because by this time I was starting to not be able to walk. I couldn’t keep up. Despite all of this I would take my dog for a walk which I hated. It was more work I just didn’t have in me. I never realized it though until she said she was going to do it and I broke down and cried. I couldn’t understand my exhaustion because I would never allow myself a break, ever! I was just so grateful to not have to do this chore that day that I weapt heavy tears from a place in my soul I didn’t even know existed.

When I got Cancer I was shocked but not completely surprised. I new I had been sick for such a long time that it made sense that I was harboring a deadly disease. What else could explain the gradual shut down. People felt sorry for my fight and I appreciated and still do their concern. For the first time people could put a name and a face on the sickness. They were able to feel for me. They worry about my battle. It is the funniest thing because this has been such a gift. I have been battling for almost twenty years. Battling was my everyday struggle. I was in an imaginary fight against evil forever. When I got Cancer I couldn’t battle anymore. I was forced to stop and ask for help. I couldn’t even stand and walk anymore. I couldn’t breathe. I was assisted in just about everything and I had to let it go. It was the weirdest feeling of my life. I could no longer control a single thing, even how long I had to live. No food was going to save me not for lack of trying. Two months ago I stopped sugar and went into ketosis to stop the progression of cancer. A last stitch at control. The one thing that controlling sugar has seemed to have some benchmark success with was ketosis for stopping some cancers, in particular cancer in the brain. I am always a fighter, so I had to put in the effort right? Two week ago I found out that not only did I have cancer mets back but to prove to me a little more that I had absolutely no control, the mets came back hard in my brain. At last check I had brain cancer covering a very good portion of some very important elements of my brain traveling quickly to my frontal lobe. I cannot fight this. This is not a battle anymore. This is can only be won by God. This does not discourage me however. It was a hard pressed lesson I had to learn. I have been fighting an invisible war almost my whole life and I never really had to. It has never been within my control. It has always been an illusion in my head. That is what control is. If we really think we can stop death from happening than we are delusional. This is a life sentence. Nobody gets out of here alive. But we do have some choices. Choices I have never been great at. We can live in this world. Meaning it doesn’t have to be hard time. We can slow down and enjoy things.

Lately I have been doing things for me that I would never have done before. I have not had icecream for almost 15 years. That is correct ladies and gentlemen. I have denied myself ice cream because it wasn’t good for me and I had some pretty messed up food issues. At first my stomach was not a fan but now I can eat ice cream. Ice cream is such a beautiful treat and I can enjoy it now with no guilt. It seems so small but it really is a lot bigger than it seems. I am giving to myself because I like it and I like me. I exercise as well but only when I want to and I stop when I am finished. It is a whole different experience. I am not punishing myself at all. I am loving myself. I sleep now when I am tired and I feel no guilt. Why I ever felt guilty over sleeping I will never know. I am not suggesting that I have given up. On the contrary. By making the steps to enjoy my life it makes me want to have more time to do it. I want more icecream and more fun. I really enjoy my moments and have so many more of them. I think that’s the greatest gift I could have ever gotten from this. I thought I loved myself a lot because I took care of myself with an iron fist. I was wrong. Life is about balance. I don’t intend on eating icecream every meal but I am not going to say no because it’s not good for me. I am going to live every moment I have. Life is way to short to just be about the medicine. Sometimes it is about the ride.

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