Shortly after arrival I bought an inexpensive, single-gear bicycle from K-Mart. I didn't want to invest a ton of money until I was sure I would stick to my plan to ride my bike just about everywhere.
I've been using the bike. In fact, unless I am out mystery shopping, I almost always choose my bicycle over my vehicle. Even better, I have lost nearly 10 pounds this month.
What an epiphany. I kept questioning whether I was just making another excuse for being unhappy when I told myself I needed to move somewhere different in order to bring on this change. Back in Birmingham, I was too discouraged: 1) living in the same area for 35 years means nothing is new - there was no excitement about exploring because I already knew where everything was; 2) back in Birmingham there were no sidewalks outside my neighborhood, and there certainly were no bike paths. At least not in the suburbs. In Clearwater, we've got this wonderful 30 mile bike path called the Pinellas Trail. I can throw a rock from my house and hit it - it's that close. And many of the roads have bike lanes. Additionally, it's easier here to stay off the busy highways that are too dangerous.
Lesson learned: drastic times call for drastic measures. I'm absolutely certain I am on my way to better health, and I know it took moving 500 miles away from home to force myself to embrace these necessary changes.
I haven't even touched on the money I am saving by not driving. I'll save that for another day.