Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In which I share how I got started

In my weight loss not-so-secrets post, Jen commented and asked:

What motivated you to start, and also what kept you going each day?

My start and my motivation are two great topics, but too big for one post. I'll write about starting here and motivation in another post.

Why did I start when I did?

Basically, it was time. My youngest had just turned 1 and the But-I-Just-Had-A-Baby excuse was quickly expiring. I didn't want to be walking her into Kindergarten registration in 3 years and still be a Size 24-26...or, most likely, worse.

Also, my oldest was heading for Kindergarten registration the following year and when she started in Fall 2011, I didn't want to be "the fat mom." Kids are honest and, later, mean. I didn't want her to ever bear the brunt of my weight issues.

I wanted to buck the stereotype of the "Oh, she has three kids and obviously has no time to care for herself."

I just wanted my pride back.

Over 5 years, 3 pregnancies and the ensuing children, I ate whatever I want. I had fun, but paid the price. By summer 2010, no food excited me anymore. I could (and would) eat anything and nothing gave me a charge. That also signaled it was time to make some changes.

People engage in destructive habits because they obviously get something out of it. I was no longer getting anything out of it, just exhaustion and boredom.

Finally, my desire to regain my pride trumped my longing to eat whatever I want and sit on the couch.

In spring 2010, I gave myself until the kids started school in the fall. I would enjoy the whole summer and then rejoin WW when school began.

My family loves amusement parks, so that summer we went to several. Being overweight took its toll: I was crazy hot and sweaty. All the walking, not to mention carriage pushing and childcare, left me really tired.

And, most tellingly, everywhere I looked I saw obese families. Seriously, they were everywhere. Mom: Fat. Dad: Fat. Kids: Fat. I didn't want that for me, or us.

There was no Ah-ha! moment, no horrible picture (although I have plenty of those), no single terrible experience that got me going. It really was the culmination of everything I've written here.

Plus, I want to be around for my family. I was concerned about developing diabetes and I am positive I had sleep apnea, although I wouldn't go to a doctor to be diagnosed. No doctors! How that has changed.

A couple months after I rejoined WW I either read or heard this great statement that puts obesity in perspective and I think of it often, especially if I'm having a tough time:

Obesity is a disease as serious as cancer. But, unlike someone who has cancer, you have all the power to cure yourself.

Imagine walking into any cancer ward and telling the patients, "You want to be cancer-free? Here's what you have to do: Eat healthy and exercise. Do this and you will walk out of here 100% cured."

Can you imagine any cancer patient not doing it? Just like everyone I've lost too many family and friends to cancer, and I can't imagine any of them refusing a sure-fire cure.

Anytime I think something related to weight loss is "hard", I remind myself:

Chemo is hard. Dragging my sorry ass to the gym is not.

I tell myself: Stop feeling sorry for yourself and suck it up. And be damn thankful you can do it at all.

So the way I look at it is I have a disease, and all the smart eating and exercising I do is what I have to do to keep it under control.

1 comment:

  1. Melissa - Thanks for the daily dose of motivation - your statement is SO TRUE. It is in line with what I always say about my mom - she smokes and has emphysema. I always say to myself, "Why doesn't she just quit smoking?" I compare that to myself being overweight...I'm unhealthy, have aches and pains to the point that I can barely walk and I am not LIVING to my fullest potential because of my weight. So, why don't I apply the same logic to myself..."Why don't I just stop overeating!"... UGH...such a battle. But, your words are SO TRUE...we have the power to cure ourselves. Health is NOT something that should be taken for granted.