Goin’ Back to School

Current mood: contemplative
Category: Goals, Plans, Hopes

In the last few weeks, I’ve decided that it’s time to continue my education. I have my associate degree in Humanities, but only have taken 6 credits beyond my AA. Taylor will be finishing up school this summer, and it’s time for my education to meet my experience. I’m going to attend WGU online for a BS in Business Management. I will probably do a healthcare admin add-on as soon as it’s available. This is a copy of the entrance essay I just completed:

Western Governors University Entrance Essay

As we mature, our attitudes often change, and we learn to view things differently. Think about an important change in your attitude toward a person, a group of people, or a set of ideas, values or traditions.

Write an essay in which you contrast your earlier attitude with the attitude you now hold. Explain why the change has taken place.

When I was a child in elementary school, my least favorite subject was physical education. My P.E. teacher was always in a bad mood, favored the boys, and criticized me for being non-athletic. I grew up in an overweight family that went on an occasional walk on sunny, Oregon days; however, exercise was a chore and I tried to avoid it whenever possible.

I have struggled with my weight since my childhood. Our family would eat large, calorie-laden meals, with heaping bowls of ice cream for dessert. I was teased incessantly for my chubby appearance and cellulite. I became a yo-yo dieter for the next 15 years.

In 2000, I had some massive medical complications after the delivery of my child. My daughter was normal and healthy, but my illness (lung failure with sepsis) was further complicated by my obesity. It was a multi-year process to regain full strength and health. I changed my eating habits, and increased my activity slightly.

Unfortunately, my weight and stress-level always correlated with each other. If I was hungry or lonely or bored, I’d walk to the kitchen for momentary satisfaction. After a period of uninsured-unemployment last year, my weight skyrocketed even higher than I could have ever imagined. I began to experience pre-diabetic symptoms, was lethargic, and had very low self-image. I looked in the mirror and hardly recognized myself.

But instead of using the stress in my life as an excuse, I decided to take a proactive approach to my health. I joined Weight Watchers, signed up with a gym, and began to dedicate my time and energy into becoming the healthy and happy person I always imagined myself to be.

As I diversified my exercise routines and ate correctly, the weight started to come off. I traded around elliptical trainer, weights, treadmill, swimming, hiking, and yoga. My results encouraged me to push myself harder physically. I began to feel the benefits of exercise-induced endorphins, and it felt great! With each step I’ve taken towards wellness, other areas of my life have fallen into place. At this point, I’ve lost 35 pounds and become a self-proclaimed fitness nut. I have become more organized in my professional and personal life, and have made new goals for myself, such as finishing my bachelor degree.

I look back at the terrible health habits I grew up with, and can see the early steps taken towards poor health. But my success hasn’t just been for myself, it has been for my family. I am the mother of a beautiful six-year-old girl, with the “fat genes” on both sides of the family. I have been able to foster a love for fruits, veggies, grains, and physical activity in her. I encourge her with positivity in healthy eating and lots of physical activity. It is my goal to not only improve my life and health, but to instill these healthy behaviors in her. I hope she never has the self-image issues I faced, and still face from years of dealing with an ugly self-image. I am so happy that I have risen from the poor health habits of my past, and become a more healthy and happy person through the process.

Currently listening:
Eyes Open
By Snow Patrol
Release date: 09 May, 2006
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