Susan Brunner, 59, has worked as a dental assistant for the past 29 years. She lives in Mint Hill.
About the time I turned 30 I made a conscious decision to take charge of my health.
You get to a middle-age point where you don’t exercise and start to put on weight. I’d seen photographs of myself and wasn’t pleased. I felt this was just not who I was or who I wanted to be. I realized I wasn’t just someone going through life being batted back and forth – I was in charge of what was happening to me.
I sat down one day and simply told myself, “You are not going to be overweight; it is your decision. You are going to take care of yourself.”
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The Charlotte Observer
There are certain things within your control if you take charge. I started going to the Y and exercising a great deal. Eventually I took yoga, a practice I still pursue and find great benefit from.
In fact, yoga has become my mental “panic room”; when things are overwhelming I can go to that. Everything else is gone – it’s just me and the yoga practice. There is a mind-body connection that is truly wonderful. It forces you, in everyday life, to face a situation that makes you uncomfortable and take a deep breath and step back. You look at it and put it in perspective.
Through my life’s journey I’ve learned to trust myself and be OK with what I think and feel. I’ve learned it’s OK to speak up and express myself. In the past that wasn’t always the case. I let people roll over me. I was a pleaser.
It’s OK to be who you are and find out who that person is. That search is probably the most interesting thing a person will ever do.
As told to Michael J. Solender