Here are some startling statistics:
"Two-thirds of U.S. adults are overweight or obese (Flegal et al., 2012). . . . Research also shows that the heaviest Americans have become even heavier the past decade (Beydoun & Wang, 2009).
"Recent national data show that 82.1 percent of Black women and 75.7 percent of Hispanic women are overweight or obese compared to 59.5 percent of White women (Flegal et al., 2012). In addition, over half of Black women are obese (versus 38.8 percent of Black men and 32.2 percent of White women) (Flegal et al., 2012). Extreme obesity continues to be higher among women (8.1 percent) than men (4.4 percent), especially among Black women who have more than double the rates of extreme obesity as White and Hispanic women (17.8 percent versus 7.1 percent and 6.0 percent) (Flegal et al., 2012). Rates of overweight or obesity are higher for Hispanic men (81.7 percent) compared to Black men (69.9 percent) and White men (74.0 percent), although obesity rates are fairly similar across racial-ethnic groups (Flegal et al., 2012)."
Nearly 60% of white women are overweight. As a white woman, that's astounding. And yet not. I mean, look around. And for more than 25 years, I've been a member of that dismal statistic and demographic group.
BUT NOT TODAY!
Today I weighed 153.8 and blew past my 25 BMI to hit 24.8. Woooo-hoooooo!!!!!!!!
13.8 pounds to go to hit my goal. But now every time I enter my weight on my iPad app, it will tell me that I am "normal weight." :D
It doesn't seem like just a year ago at this time I was at 230. It seems miraculous, to tell the truth. I'm still not at all sure it's real. And I want to say to all the Sparkers out there who are right on my tail with their own progress that in celebrating this milestone I hope it doesn't sound like I'm saying something negative about being overweight or obese. Believe me, in my mind, I still feel it. It's hard to just turn off that switch because a scale says one's BMI is under 25.
It really didn't sink in this morning when I got on the scale. I was tickled that I dropped a pound this week. I've been stuck for quite awhile at 155-ish. I entered it into my app and showed Hub that my BMI read "normal weight." But then I had to dash off to get a long set of intervals in, worried about the day's tasks, and was just generally distracted.
Finally, in the 10th of 18 intervals of running, it hit me. I was feeling good on my run this morning, and I just suddenly grinned. I'm normal weight. I'm a normal weight person out for a 7.5 mile set of intervals trying to get my mile speed down below 10 min/mi. That is ME. THIS is me. :D
And then I cried. I thought of that commercial that played a lot in the Olympics. I think it's a Nike commercial, but I'm not sure. It's the one with the very overweight young man, a boy, really, running toward the camera, from far away to up close. And the commercial is about courage. He's big. He's wearing a huge t-shirt, baggy long shorts, and a really crappy pair of shoes to run in. He's breathing hard and sweating buckets.
And he just keeps running. Courage. Because being fat and a runner is one of the world's Hard Things To Do. Physically and psychologically and socially.
I was that boy. Last October, still over 200 pounds, I was running. I was bad at it. I looked like, well, you can imagine. I gasped for breath. I sweat buckets. But I just kept running. And so when I think about that boy, my heart just squeezes. I hope that Nike or whoever it is follows up on this commercial so we can see how he does over the weeks and months. I want to know how he's doing, if they are really sponsoring his journey.
Consistency. And lots and lots and lots of help, from my family, my friends, my trainer, my gym's clients and staff, and especially from SPARKERS who have been there every single day to help me stay focused.
So, now to the last stretch of road on this odyssey. I'm a different person, inside and out. And the same. But I know things now that I never knew before, the experiential kind of knowing. And I know that I can make it.
And I know you will, too.