Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Do you ever have a "scared straight" moment? One where you get a sobering reality check of where you are or where you're headed?

I had several when I was overweight, but for some reason although they scared me -- terrified me even -- they didn't scare me straight. For some reason, I was either unwilling and/or unable to change my habits and sever my emotional relationship with food and chose to go on "living" life as someone who was morbidly obese. It seems terribly childish and selfish now, but for some reason it seemed logical in my head at the time.

Anyway, yesterday when I got to work, I saw someone who I don't see that often walking across the street to get from the place where we park to the building where we work. If I had to guess this person's age, he/she is probably about 45-55. This person walked as though he/she were about 80. Reason? The overweight waddle. The place where I was headed. It was a re-scared straight moment.

This person parks with a handicapped sticker. Although I don't know all the details, I am 90% sure the reason he/she has the handicapped sticker is because of weight-related problems like bad knees and the fact that it's hard for him/her to walk. It makes me sad because I know this person has struggled so much with his/her weight, going so far as to have two liposuctions. However, his/her struggle with weight continues. It provides further evidence to support my theory that there are no quick fixes.

Seeing this person struggle makes me sad because I know that this is the path I was headed down. In fact, obesity compromised my quality of life severely. I could not walk up even one flight of stairs without getting winded. Everything I did took enormous energy. I gave up on mustering it for many things. Walking around to enjoy things like a county fair or amusement park was a chore. Not to mention that I would likely not fit in a ride even if I walked around an amusement park. I think there is no amount of money you can put on being able to live a life with your full mobility; one where it is comfortable to walk around pain free and as much as you want; one where you don't need a handicapped sticker and where your knees and back don't kill you with every step.

Now being on my way to the "other side" -- the one where I fit in all restaurant booths, where I don't impulsively sneak food, the one where I love to ride my bike and enjoy all of the outdoor activities available where I live, the one where I am rarely self-concious about how I look -- I want to say "There is so much more for you and your life. And it is possible to change. And I know it is hard. Wow, it is hard. But it is worth it."

But that is one of the most important parts of this journey -- people have to realize this themselves. Only then will the change happen.

1 comment:

  1. I've had several reasons that should have 'scared me straight', including temporarily losing my sight for over 10 weeks. Still, I chose food before my health. I'm still not winning the fight to change. Your last sentence of this post is so true. No one can do this for me, I have to do it myself. However, reading posts from people like you that are winning gives me morsels of strength.

    I love your attitude. Fat Tammy wants the recipe to the red velvet cookies and cream cheese frosting. But the newer Tammy that is trying to change, knows that I am unable to limit myself so instead I will just picture them in your garbage and I won't reach for that.


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