Growing up, I was always outside. I have very fond memories of practically living one summer in my black and hot pink bathing suit. I woke up, put it on and was out the door to play. When I was very little we were living in an apartment building for a few years and that was the summer that I’d race outside and meet the other kids on the playground. We’d build forts, pretend house, play restaurant where the sticks, stones and sand were the food. Freeze tag was my all-time favorite and our bikes were cars and we’d drive from pretend city to pretend city. I was skinny as a stick then and my mother had to practically make me come inside to eat. Those years were the happiest years of my childhood!
Life changed as I grew older and when we moved I had a hard time adjusting to our new environment and leaving my friends, this is when the weight started to pile. I was less active; I ate junk food and watched a ton of television. I retreated into myself and the frolicking little girl who lived in her bathing suit disappeared. Looking back I can see a direct correlation between my weight and my overall happiness as a child, teen and adult. My family wasn’t any less active and health wasn’t any less important but my own personal shift in activity and play changed because of feeling down-in the dumps. I’d just curl up and read a book. I’d turn on the tube and grab a bag of chips to console myself.
If only I could go back in time and tell that little girl that if she’d go outside and play like she used to that she’d be happier and feel better. Because the reality is that when we play, run, jump, use our imagination we feel better. Even when we don’t feel like it, it will lift our spirits. If I only I could rewind time.