My List of Give Ups


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  122 comments   :  29,536 Views

Back in January of 2011, I wrote a blog on my SparkPage that ended up being voted a popular blog.  As I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my journey from morbidly obese to healthy, I wanted to share a little bit more about my growing list of "Give Ups.''  Here is an excerpt from last January's blog:

''I was sitting in my imaginary beach chair looking out at my pretend ocean and contemplating life, when I thought about my list of give ups this morning.

Really, this thought stems from a conversation I had a number of months ago with a work colleague. I was routinely giving him friendly harassment about improving his eating habits. I would leave sticky notes on his can of Dr. Pepper and note how many teaspoons of sugar were in it. Yeah, I was bad like that.

Anyway, he responded one day by saying he didn't like all the things you had to give up when you chose a healthy lifestyle. With that in mind, I present a brief list of things that SP has caused me to give up:

After losing 90 lbs, I have given up being afraid of what the doctor will say to me when I go in for a checkup. She calls me her incredible shrinking patient and brags about me to the staff when I see her now.

I have given up half of my pants sizes and switched over from the plus size stores/departments and can now shop in just about any store I want to shop in (including the ones where my teenage daughter loves to shop).

I have successfully given up supporting the soda industry and enjoy drinking water every day.

I've given up watching hours of TV a day and work out with friends at the gym instead. I find this form of social interaction much more stimulating.

I've given up being winded after going up three flights of stairs during a fire drill, to routinely running 5Ks with a running buddy and a growing club of Dallas sparkers!

I've given up ''mom'' jeans for MISS Me jeans and get noticed when I wear them.

I've given up supporting the junk food industry and love my clean eating diet. I realize now that french fries should not be my primary source of vegetables and that they are not my friend.

I've given up feeling alone in my weight loss journey to having tons of friends on SparkPeople who support me on a daily basis.

I've given up a future of potential diseases and immobility for a healthy outlook and the ability to do things for myself. I ditched immobility for loving yoga and Pilates.

So, in the end, do I regret the fact that I buy Runner's World instead of magazines that feature Paula Deen? Do I miss refined sugar, butter, and her favorite ''whipping cream''? No. I realized this morning, as I drank my black coffee (I have successfully given up my addiction to hazelnut coffee creamer), that my tastes have changed, and I'm better for it.

I'm happy to have given up what I had before. I took one small step at a time and worked on SparkPeople day in and day out, and I wouldn't trade that for anything on the list of items that I have given up.''

What I would add to this list now, more than a year later, is the fact that I have given up wondering if I will be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle this time around.  I have given up wondering if I can run a 5K, or if I’ll ever finish a half marathon.  I’ve given up wondering what it would be like to do a mud run, or run a relay race with other sparkers.  I’ve given up wondering if I will have gained a lot of weight the next time I’ll see my doctor.  Essentially, I’ve given up a lot of worrying, and I’ve gained my life back. 

I’ve gained more than I ever gave up in the form of fattening foods and calorie-laden treats.  I’ve gained the ability to LIVE and enjoy my health.  I’ve gained freedom of movement and wonderful support.  I also gained a precious gift when I was in my doctor’s office for a checkup a few weeks ago.  She looked over my chart and my labs, looked at me and said, ''You’re perfect.''  That was worth every step, every change, and every moment of the journey for the last four years. 

What holds you back from giving up your old habits that lead to an unhealthy life?  What was your latest doctor’s appointment like?  Is it one you would like to repeat, or are some changes necessary to make it a positive experience?

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  • 122
    Excellent article. I have also noticed looking for petite sizes since my size 8 no longer fit. I surprised myself when I was able to fit a size 4 that one of my 10 year old nieces had. - 12/27/2017   8:50:17 PM
  • 121
    Excellent perspective. - 8/3/2017   8:28:18 AM
  • 120
    Very inspiring! - 8/1/2017   9:36:08 PM
  • 119
    Great motivating article - 7/29/2017   9:35:52 AM
  • 118
    Thank-you for this post. It's exactly what I need after my doctor's appointment yesterday. You are an excellent role model. So, today's a new start and, instead of being scared by what the doctor had to say, I choose to be excited about the things I'll be giving up! - 9/27/2016   8:05:51 AM
  • 117
    Mi last doctor's appointment was a follow up with my oncologist. He said that my lipoma is getting smaller and he credits all the healthy changes in my diet and lifestyle. I have to say that it made me really happy to hear that! - 5/24/2016   12:43:50 PM
    I nearly didn't finish reading this article because of the 'concern trolling' the author did with her colleague. Fortunately I have a sensible doctor who, after assessing that my blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels are good, and that I eat well and exercise, doesn't bicker about losing weight. - 7/16/2015   1:29:44 AM
  • 115
    What a beautiful article!
    So motivating! - 7/16/2015   12:41:33 AM
  • VANESSA1616
    Thank you! I, too, am afraid to go see my doctor. But, I have made the appointment with the goal in mind that I have to lose weight by then. Thank you for your inspiration! - 7/9/2015   11:42:12 AM
    Thank you! This was just what I needed to hear this morning. - 7/9/2015   8:09:52 AM
  • 112
    Very inspiring to look ahead and see the rewards that await me. Thanks for the peek..... - 3/9/2015   7:55:38 PM
  • 111
    Thank you so much for sharing. This year I was inspired to honor the Lenten Season by giving up chocolate, soda and white bread. My daughter has joined me by giving up chocolate, cheese and reading Manga (she's an illustrator/artist and is obsessed with anything Manga). This has been a liberating time for us and your article is so appropriate. We gain so much more by giving up things that may be hindering us from being healthy and fulfilled in other areas. You are a great inspiration for all of us on this weight loss journey! - 3/9/2015   7:54:19 PM
    While I'm glad that this person is happy with their lifestyle choices, it's completely inappropriate to harass others about their choices. I'm of the opinion that you don't have to give up everything you love to be healthier, I do everything in moderation. I love high fat foods, and running, it doesn't have to be an either/or thing. And everyone is in their own place in their lives, they have different priorities. That doesn't make them wrong and you right, just different. I have never really tried to lose weight before, because it just wasn't that important. Now, it's kind of my hobby, since my kids are grown, I needed something to focus on. And although I was overweight, my doctor never gave me a hard time, if he had, I would probably have gotten a new doctor. - 11/12/2014   9:31:11 AM
    This is awesome and inspiring! Thank you! - 10/25/2014   1:52:02 PM
  • 108
    I love this! Hope it's ok if I steal this idea for a blog entry of my own. Don't worry, I'll give credit. :) I just think it's a great thing to look at when you're having a bad day, and not feeling motivated, or when others are trying to derail you with their insecurities, and negativity. Heck, it's great just to really look back at all the good you'e done, whether you have a ways to go still, or have finished the loss part of your journey and are moving to maintenance. - 9/2/2014   3:26:26 PM
  • 107
    Thank you! The article is wonderful and what I needed to hear! - 8/19/2014   9:17:57 PM
  • 106
    This was incredibly inspiring to me --thank you so much :) - 8/19/2014   8:45:07 AM
    This hit home! Last doc appt was for lump in breast, negative diagnosis thankfully, but I know that obesity increases my chances! Huge wake up call. - 11/25/2013   11:06:07 PM
  • 104
    Very inspiring blog! Thank you! - 11/25/2013   7:41:29 PM
    Wonderful Blog ! - 11/25/2013   6:00:42 PM
    What a wonderful, inspiring story! Your comments will help me to lose my unwanted 30 lbs I'm lugging around. I will watch my daily sodium and sugar intake, add more healthy greens into my daily diet, and exercise either by walking or strength training each day. Thank you for your encouraging words. - 11/25/2013   2:58:41 PM
  • 101
    Agree 100%. I don't feel that I gave up anything, just made other things more important and more a part of my daily life. - 11/25/2013   1:23:52 PM
  • 100
    Great post!! Thanks for sharing. Congratulations!!! - 11/25/2013   7:41:28 AM
  • 99
    Very inspirational. Thanks for sharing! - 11/13/2013   8:36:51 PM
  • TIGER_LILY_613
    This blog gave me goosebumps of pure emotion ! Well done !!! - 11/11/2013   5:48:06 PM
  • 97
    What a wonderful achievement! Thank you for sharing your positive perspective on a really tough journey. - 7/22/2012   11:20:31 PM
    Your really are Triumphant!!! Thanks for this blog------I sure would like to reach your level of success. I have, however, quit that soda addiction, and it is something I do not miss now. Hugs to you! - 7/19/2012   6:01:11 PM
  • 95
    this made me tear up so bad right now, so inspiring. - 7/11/2012   10:52:38 AM
  • 94
    Thank you for sharing! - 7/5/2012   10:54:18 PM
  • 93
    Wow - Is Sparkpeople great of what. Where else can you read inspiring and motivating blogs such as yours. Along with the nutrition and fitness tracking, the teams, message boards and loads of other information and fun sources, I am really lucky that I found SP. It was last August and I had been to see my cardiologist, or maybe I should say he had seen me and my lipid numbers and flat out told me as I l left that I needed to start eating right, get more movement in my life and lose 10 or 15 pounds. Although I have only lost a little over 20 pounds in nine months, my numbers are in line and I am getting rid of some meds. I'm not done, I'll keep reading the blogs, tracking and stay hooked on SP.
    - 5/22/2012   5:19:50 PM
  • 92
    Wow - Is Sparkpeople great of what. Where else can you read inspiring and motivating blogs such as yours. Along with the nutrition and fitness tracking, the teams, message boards and loads of other information and fun sources, I am really lucky that I found SP. It was last August and I had been to see my cardiologist, or maybe I should say he had seen me and my lipid numbers and flat out told me as I lfet that I needed to start eating right, get more movement in my life and lose 10 or 15 pounds. Although I have only lost a little over 20 pounds in nine months, my numbers are in line and I am getting rid of some meds. I'm not done, I'll keep reading the blogs, tracking and stay hooked on SP.
    - 5/22/2012   5:18:31 PM
    I am so happy for you, keep up the good work. It took me a year to get off of soda how long did it take you? It was almost like I had a hard time giving up soda but eventually I did. All I drink is water and decaffeinate tea with french vanilla creamer all day. Soon I need to give up the french vanilla creamer but I have to substitute for something else but I know I can do it like you did. - 5/22/2012   11:11:20 AM
  • MADDY_1
    wonderful blog . - 5/22/2012   1:19:58 AM
    What a wonderful perspective on the "give up" issue! Thank you for the reminder that giving up is not necessarily a bad thing. - 5/21/2012   6:22:59 PM
    Wonderful blog. Thanks for the reality check. :) - 5/21/2012   9:59:19 AM
  • 87
    Great inspiration... Thank you :) - 5/21/2012   9:41:18 AM
  • 86
    What a great approach. The healthier I get, the more things I gain: energy, self-esteem, the desire to socialize again... I really never think much about what I've lost. Putting it in the perspective you did here, I see that there are things I've lost and definitely don't miss either. Thanks for the inspiring reflection. - 5/20/2012   11:43:52 PM
    I have given up many things when I started eating clean. I read labels and no longer buy packaged, overly processed junk.
    But the main thing I gave up that has done me the most good was beer! All those empty calories not only packed on the weight but made me not feel well enough to go out and walk and do other active things all day.
    Not to mention it lowered my resolve in other areas of my diet.
    Can't say what a doctor would say, I haven't seen one for about 14 years now as I don't have any health insurance. Another reason to take good care of me! - 5/20/2012   12:32:39 PM
  • 84
    At my last doctor's appointment he told me I no longer fit the criteria to be labeled diabetic, and my cholesterol level has been cut in half. That is one year's worth of effort paying off! - 5/20/2012   12:17:20 PM
  • 83
    Would not like a repeat of last doctor's appointment which was just a few days ago.I gained 5 pounds when I was so close to being in 190-ville I could smell it.
    Thought I could do coffee ,half and half and sugar as long as I indulged once a week ,which I did for a while .I eventually convinced my self that since I wasn"t indulging everyday I could drink coffee -my way- more frequently .Lo, and behold I discovered that croissants are sold at the coffee shop and I hadn't had a croissant since the cows came home ,so I convinced myself that I'd only have one .Well,every time I had a coffee I had a croissant and two servings of butter,of course. Could be that I was also unprepared for hunger attacks because I would be gone for hours on end without having packed healthy snacks that I actually had on hand.
    Other than my weight gain some of my "numbers" were better but not nearly as good as they could have been and my doctor made sure that I knew she wasn't pleased ,but she encourages me cause as she stated ,"I know you have "it" in you.". - 5/20/2012   1:23:52 AM
  • 82
    Very inspiring! You have such a positive outlook and are enjoying life. - 5/19/2012   1:49:53 PM
    Your success story encourages us all. You've worked hard for your accomplishments.
    Congratulations!! - 5/19/2012   1:03:11 PM
  • JLOSS01
    Very inspiring indeed. Now I can follow your footsteps and make a list of things i will give up in order to be healthy. Thank you and congratulations.
    - 5/19/2012   12:36:05 PM
  • 79
    Your perspective is very motivating and heartfelt. I teared up reading it because there is hope. Thank you for sharing :o) - 5/19/2012   11:19:44 AM
  • 78
    I rarely comment on these daily spark blogs, but just had to. This one is so inspiring. So encouraging to hear the author comment on things that were changes in her life, not foods, or activities. Changes your perspective.

    Thanks for posting this and giving me encouragement. - 5/19/2012   10:05:13 AM
  • 77
    Inspirational as always. This one made me stop and think. Off to make a healthy breakfastm
    - 5/19/2012   9:24:48 AM
  • 76
    A wonderful blog!!! Things we all should strive for!!! THANKS - 5/18/2012   10:13:49 PM
  • 75
    i love giving up these things! - 5/18/2012   9:53:58 PM
  • 74
    Thank you! I've fallen off the wagon more times than I can count. This is a VERY encouraging perspective. - 5/18/2012   8:39:14 PM
  • 73
    Very inspiring....sometimes we have to give up things we like, but the rewards we reap are so much better. Thanks for the reminder. - 5/18/2012   4:22:31 PM

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