I was the grade school chubby girl who wore thick glasses. My mom made sure I had the right foods, no junk, but I always ate too much. (I still do that – I have to think in portions). She also made sure I got contact lenses when my eyes kept getting worse every year. I was the youngest kid to wear contacts (age 13), which I thought was pretty cool. But I still knew I was different.
I loved swimming, weights, boxing, but hated running and softball and anything else that would make me roll my ankles. But my biggest love from the day I was born was music. That’s all I ever really wanted to do.
I was very social in school, even tried my best to make everyone like and do the things I liked and did. I’d already had lessons on the Hammond organ (not the piano, I liked the instrument with double keyboard and pedals) and the violin. When I was in junior high school I taught myself the guitar. By that time, my mom was raising us on her own. I was the youngest and felt like my best friend in the world was my mom, OH aside from Alice and Janice and Pam and my other great girlfriends. I loved carrying around my guitar to sing and play with my friends.
I was still envying other skinny hippie girls. I wanted to be longer, and thinner. My body was muscular and chunkier. It was always in the back of my mind.
I got to college and was life-guarding and teaching swimming during the summer. I put together a local band too. That was the beginning of my real life.
I got married – to a sometimes verbally abusive man who I met in high school. The ultimate Basketball star, and told me he knew he was going to marry me the first day he met me. We got married at the ripe old age of 19. After I finished college, I did what I always had done. I had a plan for myself and made it happen. Got the band out on the road with 2 different agencies in 1977. During the first couple years of traveling living in hotels, playing music full time and dealing with musicians who needed more babysitting than a 2 year old, made this man become physically abusive. After spending 6 years married and wondering what it was that I did to make him this way (I know it wasn’t me, of course. And I remember he was verbally abusive to his mother) I left. I left him, my band and called my favorite agent to hook me up with a different band. My weight was at a good place, but I needed more exercise at this point. Stress does weird things! I called my agent and told him to get me into another group because I was done with the abuse and drama. And, by the way, 23 years later, I got an apology letter from this very guy.
Well, my agent got me another gig. And that’s a LOOONG, crazy story that I will continue at another time. It has to do with possessiveness, more abuse, new love, great music and becoming a big name in the world of road bands. But I did meet my first real soul mate, and after 16 years of rock/pop stardom on the road with my life partner, Bruce, my world changed overnight. I moved to Iowa to become a caretaker because he had become terminally ill. This is where his family was. It wasn’t so bad at first because Bruce was getting better. We played a lot locally, went back to the Martial Arts and moved up in ranks, started eating crap again because of stress and knowing that was NOT the life I was meant to be in. But you do what you must do for loved ones.
The weight packed on, even with the physical activity. The music played on. Bruce got worse. After 10 years of this, he passed away from his illness in 2001 and I was left with the freedom of choice and trying to find out and remember who I was before all of this. I chose to pick up my guitar and my keyboard and my VHS exercise videos and change my food habits. I bought the Martial Arts school where I taught Tae Kwon Do and fitness classes, and resumed personal training.
This led up to who I am now but there was a lot of “stuff” that swallowed up my 40’s, so that decade was all a blur of caretaking and trying to move forward. By the time I was 48, I was almost where I wanted to be physically, but still trying to remember WHO I was and what my life was supposed to hold now. My 50’s were better and better. They aren’t kidding when they tell you each decade is much better than the one before.
At the age of 60, I am younger, wiser, stronger, and just as energetic and positive and confident as I have always been. I know what to do to stay that way too. I’ll share it with you, but you have to start NOW! And believe me… the struggle is real and it is constant. But the rewards are great.
I want to talk to you all about your life so far. Since the late 1980’s I have seen what the ravages of an unhealthy lifestyle will do. I lived among musicians and groupies and saw “parties” and was not impressed by that lifestyle. In 2001 I lost my partner of 20 years because of addictions and that lifestyle that I tried to pull him out of.
Knowing someone is in this way of life and constantly “nagging” to about it, bringing to their attention doesn’t help. They already know, their choices are different than yours, and you cannot make choices FOR them. It can make you feel helpless but it can also make you feel empowered that you will do the best you can to keep yourself healthy even though you can’t protect them.
Sometimes, it’s hard to realize the power you have to change YOUR life, and the IMPORTANCE of doing just that. If you let stress in, you will either let unhealthy weight gain or weight loss in too, and maybe other things. I was a stress eater and turned my decent food into pasta and ice cream and started hiding myself under big t-shirts and my Martial Arts uniforms (which are baggy anyway). When I saw some pictures of myself, that’s when it hit me….I was that chubby grade school kid again and I am NOT going to stay that way. So, between daily/nightly care taking, sometimes spent driving to and from the hospital multiple times day or night, working a full time job, and running the Martial Arts school, I decided it was time to take the steps to find myself. And there’s more to that story, but this is about YOU now!
Unfortunately, this happens way too often. Recently, I’ve witnessed what a lifetime of someone KNOWING what’s going to eventually cause future health problems, and not taking steps to change those things will do to your body and to people that love you and surround you. Have you considered the fact that you may go into the hospital one day because you were short of breath, or you were having some other issue, thinking you’re going home in a few days and never get to go home? You didn’t realize your organs were a lot more damaged than you ever thought possible. Maybe you’ll be transferred to a care facility, maybe you’ll go to another room in that hospital because all they can do for you is to keep you as comfortable as possible. Maybe you’re 36 years old and a lifelong smoker, maybe you are 45 years old and a lifelong drinker, smoker or drug user. Maybe you are just 51 years old and 75 pounds overweight and on the edge of diabetes and heart disease. Maybe you’re only 60 or 70 – which may sound old to you now, but it’s not old these days – I’m over 60. Maybe you didn’t even realize how self-destructive you were all of your life because it’s just what everyone else was doing. Maybe you had no idea that you would end up like that – not you. You thought you would live to be 90. Think again.
I can’t change you, YOU have to do that, but I can help. Your loved ones can’t make choices for you, unless you are incapacitated and they HAVE to make those choices. YOU have to make different choices NOW. Not tomorrow, not next week, not on whatever START DATE you choose – do it this minute. Because your body might not want to wait for you to decide. And the ONLY right time is now. There is a balance – and it will spill over into everything you do every day!
I’ve dedicated a huge portion of my life to helping people find their health. That’s what I do, please reach out to me. I will help you change physically and financially.
OH and by the way, in 2016 I was inducted into the IA Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for Women Who Rock