First After 40

by Ellen Demotses • More.com Member { View Profile }

I have never been very athletic.  As a child, I was never involved in sports and did not exercise.  I never was concerned about weight and I ate whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.  It happened to be junk food all the way.  I was also a smoker since the age of 14.  As I got older and had children, I did begin to add weight.  I was not the thin person I always was, but I had to begin to watch what I was eating.  At the age of 30 I quit smoking and went from a size 6 to a size 12 in a year.  My weight eventually leveled off and I still am cigarette free.  When I was about 35, I was not feeling well and decided to have a physical.  I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes, Hashimotos Disease and my cholesterol was at 300.  I was given medication to treat both the diabetes and the Hashimotos.  I hate taking medication, but the endocrinologist told me that diet and exercise could not change my health conditions.  I was adamant about not being on medication, so I changed my diet and started exercising with a friend.  I began running daily.  While my friend was available only a few days a week, I continued to commit to 6 days a week of running.  After about 6 months, my health improved dramatically.  In addition to eating better, the exercise got me in the best shape ever.  I struggled and pushed myself to run even though I hated it. My husband was a black belt in full contact karate and encouraged me to try the sport.  I was very intimidated as I am very uncoordinated and not athletic at all.  I went to class and committed to the same 6 day a week schedule.  I was awkward and really not talented at all.  I continued to train and kept going back even though there were very embarrassing days.  Within 2 years and at the age of 41, I tested and earned my black belt in full contact karate.  I worked incredibly hard to get there and it was something I never thought would be possible for me.  I continue to train 6 days a week and am in the best shape ever.  I am a mentor to other students, and through my hard work have become one of the best students in the dojo.  I don’t think that I would have done this in my younger years.  At my age I have motivation, heart and a hard work ethic that paid off.  I do better than some students with talent because of my tenacity and commitment.  My black belt was one of my proudest days and I look better now and am in the best shape ever.  In my 20s I was a smoker, but thin.  I am in great health and my body is in great shape.

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