When my dad was in his 70s his doctor told him that he was minutes from a heart attack. At the same time his doctor told him what he had to do – change his diet, get more exercise. And he did it. He told me he started walking an hour every day, no matter the weather. Eventually he added a weight routine.

He changed his whole diet, cut out a lot of the sugar and fats he had been eating.

And he still died of a massive heart attack at age 82. I’m 34. If I can make the same improvements I’ll have more of a chance. I’ve had less time to do the damage.

But instead since he died three weeks ago I’ve returned to really terrible eating habits I developed as a kid. Too much junk, not paying attention to how much I’m eating of what I’m eating. I feel sick to my stomach a lot of the time and not drawn to any food, certainly not a full sit down meal.

I’m not doing well. I’m tired, I’m not active, I’m eating like crap.


And then I see her. She had her first soccer practice this week on Sunday, after gymnastics on Saturday and swimming on Sunday morning.

Watching her on the soccer field, a huge smile on her face, thrilled to be out in the sunshine, running around, playing. I want that. I want the ease of that. The joy of it. I wanted to stand right up and run laps around that field.

But once again the fear holds me back. I fear losing my breath. Falling down. Passing out. The pain – there will be pain.

I fall back into the comfort of old habits and focus on the fear of changing over the fear of the damage I’m doing to myself, and now I wallow in this idea that I must be a disappointment. If he could do it, why can’t I?

But I’m not ready right now. I can’t move forward. It’s too much. Every day is overwhelming. I want desperately to see my daughter and then when I’m with her I can’t handle it. I’ve been losing myself in movies and all the letters my father wrote to his sister. I sit all day doing almost nothing. I surf. I nap. I don’t even turn on the TV for a distraction. None of it is healthy.

None of me is healthy right now.

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