Hi Shauna and Carla!

I don’t know if you’ll be able to get this in the podcast you’re recording today, but I’ve been meaning to get you my blogger news:

I’m happy to report that I’ve been able to establish a regular habit of walking my dog each morning for about an hour. I started in August, when my youngest started first grade. It was the first time in over 9 years that I’ve been child-free on a daily basis.

Making time for a daily walk doesn’t sound like much, but for me, it’s a huge victory.

I’m now over 100 lbs overweight. I’ve lost 60 lbs on two different occasions (once on Weight Watchers, once with a personal trainer and a very clean, high-protein diet), but gained all of it, and then some, back after my elderly mom moved into town. I’m her sole caregiver, and she’s been juggling multiple health issues, including heart disease and diabetes. The added responsibility in my life resulted in my being diagnosed with depression, which I tackled with the help of a therapist and prescription medication.

Starting in January, Mom’s health took (yet another) turn for the (even) worse. She began the process on being evaluated for a kidney transplant. That resulted in my taking her to 3-5 doctors a week between January and August. My health and fitness got dropped off the list completely.

During that process, Mom was diagnosed in April with lung cancer. We learned last month that it’s stage 4, and not much else can be done for her. Her oncologist gave her “less than a year.”

In the meantime, I’ve gained about 25 pounds since January. Walking every day is just the first step, of many I hope, in taking back control of my own life. And this time, I vow to do it in a way that I can sustain for the rest of my life.

I’m not in any hurry to go back on anti-depressants, and I’ve found that my daily walk has been INVALUABLE to keeping my sanity. I’ve posted about it a couple of times:

http://sohelpme.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/walking-on-sunshine/

http://sohelpme.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/my-morning-walk-is-my-prozac/

I have to tell you, your podcasts are a big reason why my walks are so addicting. I found them not long after I started walking, and having your positive comments ringing in my ears instead of listening to my inner critic for an hour made a huge difference in my outlook. I blew through your archives very quickly, and now I eagerly anticipate each episode. After hearing all the blogger news from runners, I even wonder if I might be able to one day call myself a runner!

Thanks for all you do. You have no idea how much it has helped me.

Kathleen
@SoHelpMeKath http://sohelpme.wordpress.com
@sandwiched http://sandwiched.wordpress.com

P.S. Say hey to Mrs. Fatass! She’s also been a huge inspiration for me. She’s an amazing writer, she doesn’t take any crap, and she’s one of those people I can SO relate to!