Friday, July 22, 2005

Hey! Even *I* Can Do This...

Having completed workout 30/200 today, officially hitting the 15% complete mark, and seeing 173.5 pop up on the scale it dawned on me that:
  1. I am actually doing this thing for real.
  2. I am making progress in spite of all of the reasons I sat on my ass and managed to end up weighing nearly 200 pounds without a pregnancy to blame.
  3. It isn't nearly as hard as I worked it out in my head to be.
  4. 90% of it is emotional and only about 10% of my lack of fitness is truly physical in spite of plenty of - well see #2.

See, I have a medical diagnosis that gives me a "get out of guilt free" card on the fitness front. I am not going to tell you what it is right now because I don't want every wanna-be-doctor on the web giving me advice on what to do about it. Just suffice it to say that I have used this diagnosis to buffer any thoughts of better health. As in: "Oh, I could never sleep through the night, lose weight, run a mile, etc because I have ____." It is true that I have to be careful with myself so that I don't push my body into a relapse, but there is nothing to say that I can't move my body as long as I observe those limits.

Everyone in my family of origin is overweight. I am actually the smallest of the bunch. Yesterday, I saw a packet of information about WLS on my parents' kitchen table and had to catch my breath. Without starting a blog war on personal choice, let's just say that WLS would be a risky option for my father, and the idea really caused me to pause. I have been following Allan's progress as he follows the post-surgical diet without having the surgery, and agree with him on one major point: WLS does not remove all of the reasons you eat too much food, it just makes it physically difficult to do so.

When I asked my mom about the packet, she said that they had gone to the seminar because Dad's doctor suggested it. They have decided that it would be too risky for Dad and are teetering between giving up on fitness altogether and looking for another solution. Seeing an opening, I mentioned that I had made a commitment to move 200 times this year and have lost about 15 pounds since the beginning of June. She looked at me like I had announced that I had earned a free trip to Mars and said, "How'd you do that???"

And that is when I realized what a zealot feels like. I have the answer, but it is going to sound like a brush off. The obvious answer is, "I exercise 4-6 times a week, and watch what I eat." But the real answer is, "I came to a point in my wallowing where I decided that I had a choice in the matter and decided to make that choice. I still struggle with self-esteem, and all of the other stuff that gets in the way of my living my authentic life, but I am not waiting until I have all of the answers before I start moving in the general direction of where I want to be. That includes my health."

What was the epiphany *for me*? It was redefining "fitness" from looking like a swimsuit model, running marathons, and wearing a size 4 to improving my endurance, making a commitment to move, and not giving up when that first rush of "I am going to look like a swimsuit model" wore off. The frustrating thing about an epiphany is that those aha moments aren't easy to share. Of course, some folks are better at it than others. They are the ones who write the books, make the videos, and get the contracts. But maybe my writing that it isn't magic or voodoo or money or talent that ultimately gets the pounds off, and that even *I* can do it - with all of my excuses and neuroses - it will inspire someone to say, "Hey, maybe I can tackle a personal goal, too. I have nothing to lose."

Soap Box of the Day: Wendy has been ranting for a couple of days about some negative responses to the new Dove "Real Beauty" Ads. She has done such a phenomenal job of flogging the geniuses who think a size 10 female body is somehow defective that I am officially stepping off of the soap box for today to give her some extra space up there. Rant on, Wendy! (And in case you are a deluded schmuck who believes that a size 10 is "chunky" you probably ought to quit reading my blog, 'cause that's the size I will be at my goal weight. So there!)

3 comments:

Roly Poly Girl said...

I total understand you on the epiphany thing. That's how I got started when I finally began to lose weight for real and for good - it's was just an "a-ha" moment and then I started spending a lot of time, thinking, planning, plotting. I've read that the majority of people who lose weight and keep it off for good have a "a-ha" type of moment, almost a religious experience (the book Thin For Life discusses it a little bit) -- I almost started crying when I first read it because it meant to me that my psychological change was really significant and it was a confirmation that what I was feeling, that I was really going to do it this time, was true. Pretty strange, huh? It's really a big common thread.

BTW I love those Dove ads, those girls are sooo not fat! I also like that they included a whole range of skin tones, even the blindingly pale like me :)

Allan said...

Thank you for your kind words. I read most of the blog and you are doing fabulous. Basically, as the Doctor told me, I should shut my mouth a little and things will work out.
Again, thanks for some inspiration. Dinner will be fine as I am actually pretty immune to anything my mother can do or say.

Dee said...

I've had that moment too, over and over ha!

But for me it was getting in out of my current situation and in a new one that I was comfortable with that made it all stick, I mean people have to realise everyone's journey is different, and they need to make their committment for them.

I'm with ya on the size 10 hehe that's my goal size too!! "Chunky?!" I was floored when I seen that, how on earth can anyone think that. pfft.

Congrats on the 32 workouts so far, you're doing an awesome job, and 15lbs?! BLOOY BRILLIANT!!!