I Don’t Know How Pleasant “Plump” Is
I almost jumped for joy at how fat I was today. I know that seems odd, and it’s not because I like being overweight. And I’m actually not crazy. To explain, I really have to start back several years ago.
It wasn’t that long ago that I was a poster child for poor eating habits. I didn’t pay attention to what I eat and wasn’t very active. To some degree I had an arrogant disregard for eating well.
Over time I put on the pounds. It wasn’t something I intended or even noticed. The change was moderately slow so it was easy enough to ignore without too much conscious thought. There were signs, sure, but we have a way of fooling ourselves about a lot of things, don’t we?
At the worst point I was fully in “obese” territory flirting with “severely obese”. I was probably a good 70 pounds overweight, but never dared weigh myself lest my self-deception revealed itself.
I’m the big one… in more ways than one.
I Made a Change
Then things changed. I divorced and started taking inventory of how I wanted my life to be. I had already been on the road to better health, but I decided to go full speed ahead.
I ate better. I became more active. I ran. I joined cycling groups and covered hundreds and hundreds of miles. I lost a ton of weight.
At my best, I weighed around 175. I was healthier, happier, and having fun.
I’m the one that looks happy to be there.
Life Is Demanding
As good as that felt, it was hard to maintain. It took a lot of time and energy. What’s more, I moved to a much colder climate where four months out of the year it’s quite cold and nearly six months out of the year it’s difficult to cycle. What’s more I didn’t really know anyone in the area. There are sturdier people than me who do it, but I was not doing as well.
I started out strong, then started slipping. At first, I made it to my lowest weight. Moving to New York is when I hit 175 and lower. But after the first year the loneliness and cold caught up with me. Between that and a task-oriented nature where there seems to be more to do than there is time, I just found it hard to maintain.
My weight started slipping. I was thrilled when I hit 175 and below, but then it climbed to 180, then 185. Most days I stayed around 185, but some days it was closer to 190. It wasn’t where I wanted to be, but it was still much better than where I was years ago, and I was still a lot healthier.
Step off Me, Fatty!
Despite all that, despite my effort and my goals, I still weigh each morning. My goal for the year may be solid, but my weight today may not be.
Each day I weigh myself and each day that I’m not where I need to be, I cringe at the scale. It’s simply honest, but to me it feels like failure. At one point I was athletic, toned, and felt powerful. Now I feel bloated like I’m never going to get that back.
So there I sat, ready to weigh. The scale sat in front of me, mocking me, and I sat there knowing that the next thing I would feel would be disappointment.
You Da Man!
That’s when it hit me. It’s all perspective. If, when I was around 240 pounds I would have said “one day you will be 195!” I would have been thrilled! If, one of the two or three times my weight flirted with 200 again I would have weighed to find I was closer to 190, I would have been so relieved.
So I told myself, “yesterday I was 192. It’s not where I want to be, but it’s not 200 either. There is no way I’m 200 today. Just remember, I’m not 200.”
Then I weighed myself, originally worried I would see 195, but telling myself, “whatever it is, it will be less than 200”.
And there it was… 192. The same as yesterday. I was elated! It wasn’t where I wanted to be, but in perspective it was awesome.
Choose the Right Motivation
We need to have strong goals. We need to be healthy. Sometimes we even need a kick in the teeth.
But sometimes we need to feel proud of our accomplishments even if we aren’t where we want to be. In the end, I am still 50 pounds better than I was. I am healthier than I was. I still want to do better, but I need to appreciate where I’ve come.
Today, you may need to get on yourself to do better. Today you may need to change your habits. Today, you may find that your approach needs tweaking or great alteration.
But in this moment, just pat yourself on the back for coming this far. You deserve it.