Monday, March 11, 2013
Today I want to share with you a problem so many face when the destination is FAR from the starting point! As those of you that have been reading my entries know I refer to this journey as a one-way trip to "Health & Fitness". Today I want to talk a bit about getting your car out of the garage in "Obesity" and getting well down the highway on your journey.
As I have said before everyone wants to be fit and healthy. Now I have friends that would say all the time "I'm perfectly happy the way I am." I think most of us truly desire to be healthy and fit but use that phrase to convince ourselves that we aren't UNHAPPY and to get others "off our back".
I look back and see that many people tried to help me move out of the garage. Family members, friends, doctors, nurses, co-workers and even strangers. The problem I had "then" was that I saw their comments as "judgement" that I was "broken" and "unacceptable" the way I was. Now there were a few people that probably used the guise of being helpful to just be mean but I think you know the difference and most genuinely wanted my better health.
All of those people had great intentions but not a one of them could get in that little car and drive for me. They could fill that car with gas (offer to buy me healthy foods), hand me a map (countless diet books), get my engine tuned up (paid for me to see an obesity doctor), offer a prize for reaching the finish line (money, trips, etc) and even stand and cheer me on but "I" had to get in the car and make the trip. So what was the problem?
1) The journey was too long.
2) I didn't like diet food and didn't want to give up my treat foods.
3) My treat foods were my comfort and reward.
4) I never exercised and felt like a fool doing so in front of others.
5) I kept playing the Annie game - "tomorrow, tomorrow".
6) I didn't ask for specific help.
7) I didn't see my weight as the true health problem it was going to become.
8) I saw myself only as the image in my head (which was the woman I once was at 21) not as the reality in the full-length mirror I tried to avoid.
9) I was in total denial about the true quantity of food I was consuming.
There you have it - a laundry list of why I was stuck in the garage!
So what happened? How did I get out of the garage? It began with bad health. I'm not talking the flu or a case of GERD, I'm talking post-operative complications due to my obesity that led to kidney failure critical hypotension and near death. As I lay in ICU I knew that if I survived I would have to make a change. Once I recovered (long process - 3 surgeries over 15 months followed by a year of rehab) I was finally ready to do something. I had signed up for Sparkpeople a year before (someone on the internet suggested it and I knew it was something I SHOULD do) but it had been dormant. I peeked back in and started poking around reading others' stories. It gave me hope. I actually lost about 20 pounds just giving a little effort.
When one is over 350 even making small changes will lead to some early success. Take note of this! But then that early, easy weight loss was off and looking for some new ideas I stumbled across BLC. These 12 week rounds of team based support and challenge were JUST the ticket! They provided what I needed to keep my little car on the road headed in the right direction.
I had finally moved from denial to decision. I DECIDED I would do this. I DECIDED I wanted better health and MOST importantly, I DECIDED I would do the necessary exercise and food modification to make progress. It had to be a conscious, lifestyle changing DECISION.
Once you have truly made the decision to do the WORK to achieve the goal the battle is half won. Note, this does not mean you engage in temporary deprivation to an achieved end and return to your previous life (and weight sadly) it means you decide to change the COURSE of your life to get you to that desired destination.
This will mean making changes FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. This is why I encourage you to pick a few things to change at first and get those conquered then move onto other areas. It allows you to feel success and not have to make ALL the changes at once.
So if you are still stuck in the garage think about what I've shared. See if you can't back out and shut the door behind you. You don't have to make the whole trip in one day but you have to go in reverse to get moving!
Put down the brownie. Close the bag of chips. You have a journey to make. Trust me, it's not that scary and once you get going... you will like the view!