Thursday, May 13, 2010


As I have written before, this is not the first time I've been down the get healthy road. It is the second. Obviously, that means that things derailed the first time.

Both times I have gotten healthy been similar. I have, in both cases, reached a point where my ability to live life was severely compromised. I felt uncomfortable in my own skin and, ultimately, reached a point where I said "ENOUGH!" and decided to change. And both times, it has been very very difficult initially, I reached a point where it felt natural and like life was great, and then it has gotten tougher. The first time, obviously, it got so tough that I gave up.

To lose weight -- both times -- I have taken a relatively healthy approach. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, and try to limit the amount of processed crap that I eat. I exercise 5-6 times a week. I do it the old school way -- the way that I think is healthy and, both times I have tried it, it has worked like a charm. It's not easy, but it gets me results and I feel a ton better when I fitter than when I am fatter.

The first time I lost weight, I really wanted to become a health evangelist. I am not sure how obnoxious I became, but everytime I saw someone fat I thought, "You know, there is no reason to be fat!! You will feel so much better if you lose weight, and losing weight really isn't that hard!!" I rarely (at least as far as I remember) actually said such things out loud, but I thought them often. And when I saw overweight and especially obese people, I judged them. I wondered why they did that to themselves. How could they not just change their eating, their bodies, and their lives? I mean, changing your diet and exercising isn't that hard right?

And then I relapsed. And then I got up to 299.4, about 10 lbs higher than my previous high weight. And then I felt bad for having judged the fat people, because I once again was one. It is a lot easier to dole judgement out than to be on the receiving end, you know?

As a re-morbidly obese person, I saw the world differently than I did the first time I was that way. I was cynical when people on Biggest Loser-type shows would say goodbye to the 400s forever. "Ha!" I thought. "This is so much harder than you realize, and you will be back!" It's not that I wished failure on anyone, but as someone who had been down the road to being healthy and then back up the road to being unhealthy, I was incredulous. I thought everyone else was destined to fail too. And, unfortunately, statistically speaking most people do.

I hope this is the time my lifestyle changes stick. I hope that I am one of the 5% who does not regain the weight back that they lose. I am working to overhaul my life -- AGAIN -- to be one that I enjoy living, is healthy, and I am proud of. It is hard work, but I am finding it worth it.

This time, when I see overweight people I don't judge them. It is hard to describe my feelings toward them. I am a lot slower to see their "laziness" that I used to see the first time I lost weight, and now usually see their sadness. I remember how I wanted to change for so long, but was sad and afraid to fail. I remember how there were points where I felt like food was my only friend. Mostly, I see a lot of the old me in the current them. And it makes me sad.

Yes, losing weight and feeling great is part of the equation, but fixing the me underneath -- the feelings, habits, behaviors, and environments that helped me to get to a breath away from 300 lbs -- is the harder part, and the part that will allow me to be part of the 5% that succeeds at getting and keeping the weight off. I am working so hard at this, and hope I get it. And if I do, I pray that I will not be judgmental of those who are still not there yet and those who are fighting the good fight to get healthy. It is a very hard and tiring fight but one that I imagine will feel great to win.

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