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I get it

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

So I have this co-worker who started running and getting fit a few years before I even thought about it. He's now a serious runner, marathons, the whole bit. The one who told me about the fish oil capsules. At the time when he started, I had just had my baby and didn't yet realize that weight was going to become a problem for me, which it not-so-gradually did. My co-worker dropped 40 pounds pretty rapidly from the running - over the course of the next few years, I gained about 70 - until I was even 30 pounds heavier than I was when I was full-term pregnant.

So we'd talk from time to time about getting fit / healthy living, I'd do stops and starts, lose five pounds, gain five pounds, that sort of loop. It wasn't until I turned 40 last year that despite my years of talking about it, needing to do it, actually doing cardio for the past two years with no to lackluster results, that my need to get healthier fully clicked and I integrated the missing pieces that I'd neglected for years. (For me, it was clean eating and adding strength training and yoga to the cardio. Cardio alone wasn't going to cut it for me, obviously, past 40.)

But here's the thing. I would get so frustrated at my co-worker for not being more positive and encouraging about my efforts. I would feel like, during those times I would get amped up and lose 5 pounds, and try this and try that, that I really WAS trying. Yet still he nagged wouldn't "give me any credit" (my words.) I dropped 20 pounds, and he was still "ho hum" because of the additional 50 I have to go, and my crying wolf in the past about how I was really going to do it this time.

Well his reasoning (if he had any, or at least my reasoning) has finally clicked for me. With my less-than-one-third of the amount of weight I have to lose, lost, I already feel tremendously better. Just imagine, when I get rid of the other 2/3, how much better I'm going to feel. The chemical POISONS and toxic foods are no longer in my body's systems, and no longer in my brain, so none of me is being poisoned anymore, and it affects everything all the way up to your thought processes. I feel younger than I have in five years, and I'm only 1/3 of the way to my goal.

So I understand, once you've reached this feeling, not wanting to encourage anybody who's stopped at anything less. I addressed this issue with another friend, who was going through her yoga certification. She was like, "I'm getting certified, and so is Lucy and blah blah and this person and that person." And I was like, dude, you can't all be the yoga teacher. It seemed like everybody I knew who started a yoga practice decided to get certified and teach. We live in a small town in a state that ranks consistently in the lowest among health and fitness and the highest among obesity and smokers and poor health and high morbidity. I was like, you can't all be the teacher - our community and environment simply does not support yoga students for all of you.

But I get that now too, and I'll tell you what clicked that. At least twice now, I have seen obese state employees taking stairs. Even just a few stairs down the hall from where I work - not even a whole flight. And I see them walking - like I walked. Like I walked when I wasn't even 40 yet and had gotten morbidly obese from poor lifestyle choices. And I know their tricks - how you adjust your body to shift more weight to your arms on the hand rail because your legs and knees are strained from your body weight on stairs. How you pretend you're turning sideways because your heels are too high and you don't want to fall (okay in this case sometimes it was true, but it wasn't the full reason.) I know the lies they tell themselves, because of what they want to believe about themselves, and what they desperately want the outside world perceiving them to believe / think / see when they see them.

And I want to help them. (My version of wanting to be the "yoga teacher.") But of course I would never make a comment to a stranger. Whatever that is didn't stop other people from approaching me at the YMCA and commenting on my weights and my efforts and giving unsolicited advice. And I didn't appreciate it, so I would never approach a stranger that same way. But when people (even strangers who know me by my face) comment on my now-noticeable weight loss, I don't hesitate to tell them what I'm doing in case it can just get the message out to the world or our little unhealthy community that their bodies and brains don't have to feel and function that way. To stop trying to get their cells to perform their metabolic functions by fueling them with poisons.

So I get it now why my co-worker wouldn't encourage the five pound losses he knew I was going to gain back by ordering pizza. And why all my other friends are becoming yoginis.
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