Unlike my counterpart Charles, I’m not near as interesting or funny or can tell you about an epiphany. But I can tell you that staying fit, healthy, and keeping a good attitude is possible, and is the key to a fulfilling and satisfying life, no matter what happens to you. That’s what I’d like to share. You never lose if you never quit. So never give up!
I’m pretty average really. Average height, average build, average looking, average intelligence, average athletic skills, average lifestyle. However, I’ve worked hard my whole life to always learn, always improve . . .basically, to always do better and to become the best “average” Julie I can be. I refuse to be mediocre or be to satisfied with “good enough.”
Even though I’m average, I don’t live like I’m average. Even though I’m average, I don’t believe that I can only be average. Even though I’m average, it doesn’t mean I’m not special. Even though I’m average, it doesn’t mean I can’t accomplish great things. Even though I’m average, it doesn’t mean I have to settle for anything average. I’m an average person living an above average life. You can too.
Let me give you a few examples.
My mom and dad divorced when I was two. My mom moved my two older brothers and me from Seattle, Washington, to Lewiston, California, to live with my grandma. (Huh? Where’s that you ask?) Well, I have actually seen Lewiston on a few maps, but you will definitely find Weaverville, which was the big town just up the road and where we moved to a few years later (It’s the County seat of Trinity County in Northern California). Weaverville was a great place to grow up. [Population 2,500, not a street light in the entire county, lots of mountains, trees, rivers, lakes, hiking, hunting, riding bikes at 2:00 a.m. on a hot summer morning . . playing outside from dawn til dusk. . . neighbors looked out for each other, we never locked our doors, we always left our keys in our car, my mom knew what I did, even before I got home . . . I never worried about a thing.]
My whole life revolved around sports. . . specifically baseball, football and basketball. I had two older brothers who were both very good athletes in their own right. They also were very rough and tough with me. Yes, in other words, I was a tomboy, and I loved it (still do ). Everything they did, I wanted to do, and do it better, of course. In elementary school, I was always challenging the boys to races, dodgeball, basketball, marbles, jacks, basically anything competitive . . and I beat them most of the time.
I basically acted like a boy and wanted to be a boy my entire single digit childhood. When I was 8 years old, the Little League Association decided to allow girls to play. That had to be one of the happiest days of my life. One other girl and I signed up to play with the boys (and you know they weren’t quite so happy about it). I played for the Cubs and then for the Yankees. I started out as a pitcher and first base. As I got older, I moved to second base, third base, short stop. I was (and still am) very fast. I could hit the ball, run the bases, slide, etc. I loved it. (my favorite thing was while I was on base, I liked to lead off and either steal second or third, or dive back to the base!! I loved that shit. The dirtier the better.) I played until I was 13 years old. I made the all star team twice. There are many other examples of playing with/against the boys during my childhood. I was the first girl to play on the flag football team (running back and safety), I played and continue to play basketball (my all time favorite sport)! It was awesome. I was an average kid, but I accomplished above average things. I wasn’t afraid to play with/against the boys. I didn’t care if they teased me, were mean to me, wouldn’t throw/pass me the ball, wouldn’t pick me for their team. I made them have to play with me and I used that to make me tougher. I earned their respect and I respected myself. Facing those early childhood challenges made me capable of facing almost any challenge without fear.
Teen Years/Turning Point:
High school – I find that most people either hated it or loved it. Either way, it is a very defining time of life. That’s why we have high school reunions, right? And why some people can’t wait to go and why some people never go. I was actually going to skip over this time of my life, but it was actually a very difficult and defining time of my life.
My freshman and sophomore years were great. I was the starting guard on our varsity basketball team both years, starting player on the volleyball team, and I was in great shape. The boys were my buddies and no one really wanted to date me (tomboy, like a sister, etc.), but they all talked about what a great body I had – especially my nice “unit” (ass). Now some of the new boys did flirt with me and we dated. It was fun, but I didn’t fall for any of them. So, of course, when they want you and you don’t want them, they try harder. Of course, I liked the attention and I loved to flirt. But then, things changed.
During the summer of my sophomore/junior year, two very defining moments happened: 1. I had a boyfriend and went on the pill, 2. my mom got remarried (for the 3rd time). These may seem a bit inconsequential to you, so let me explain. 1. The pill makes you gain weight, which I did; 2. my mom’s husband was a trail builder so he was gone a lot. That would be fine except my mom was gone with him. Between the pill (chemical) and my mom being gone a lot and the fact that her husband and I didn’t get along (emotional), I gained weight. Now, to keep it real, it was only 10-15 lbs. but that is a couple of pant sizes. So, I went from being “hot” to being called “fat”. My boyfriend broke up with me (there were other reasons involved) and I was feeling awful. No matter how hard I tried, I kept that weight on through my first two years of college. It totally defined my self-image. But I never gave up. And other defining moments helped me lose the weight.
Like many young fatherless women looking for love in all the wrong places, I also became a very young wife and mother (pregnant at 19 and a mom at 20). Talk about challenges!!
Again, an average story. I married the sperm donor, moved to Guam (compliments of the U.S. Navy) and learned how to be a mother. My husband was out to sea for over the half the duration of our short marriage (2 years). Taking care of a child when you are still a child yourself is, needless to say, extremely difficult. However, it was during this time that got back into shape and lost the baby fat (40 lbs) along with that extra stubborn 15 lbs I couldn’t lose in high school and college. I have to say; living on a tropical island (bikinis and shorts everyday) was very motivational.
Over 40 – Now
I just decided to become disciplined. There aren’t many things we can control in our lives, but we can control what we eat, how much we eat, how much we exercise, how much we drink, if we choose to smoke, who we have relationships with, etc. Bottom line is you control your lifestyle. So, I did that. I’ve been disciplined most of my life. I will admit, during the valleys, food is still a struggle for me. I have fluctuated in my weight the requisite 5 lbs, but I’ve always been able to lose it and get back to where I wanted to be.
But Hello 40!!! Oh my. I’ve always heard people talk about the changes women’s bodies go through after 40. I listened, of course, but as long as I wasn’t experiencing those changes, I didn’t think much of it. But then . . drum roll please . . . . 42, separation, divorce, job changes, mid-life crisis . . . . and weight gain!! And boy, was it sneaky. I didn’t really notice too much that the weight was slowly creeping on, but it was. My clothes still fit, and I was still sexy (ha ha), but it was there. One of my lifestyle changes didn’t help, partying with my girls and drinking. That added weight faster than 5 chocolate chip cookies!!!
Then, my good friend, the man whose name is on this website, gave me a reality check. My friend Charles made a comment about my weight. I had to quit denying it and take a good hard look. I asked him to help me and, as any good friend would, he did. I took the Colonix (read Charles’ Clean your colon page) and cleaned out the bad stuff. I lost 5 lbs just by doing that. I started eating healthier, quit drinking so much (I still drink a glass of wine now and them) and just got focused. I became an AFAA certified group fitness instructor and I now teach boot camp classes at my gym. And I’m here to teach you what I know. I want to give back.
Midlife does change your body. . It really does. But I’m learning how to work with what I have now. I’m actually a lot more confident, comfortable in my own skin, and I don’t have to be perfect. Do you even KNOW how freeing that is? Wow!!!
Change is a process, not an end goal. And just when you think you’ve arrived, something will happen and you’ll have to learn to adjust, change, adapt and get back on track. It’s true, adversity can make you bitter or better. Choose to be better. Be flexible, keep a good positive attitude, and help someone else along the way. As long as you only focus on yourself, you’ll never be happy.
So, this is Julie Dean. Healthy, happy, confident, adventurous . . . I act like a 12 year old . . and when you’re over 40, who cares. I still struggle of course, we all do and we all will, until the day we die. But choose how you will live this day of life you are given, because it’s all you have. Live and enjoy life. You only do it once!!Google+