Thursday, April 03, 2014
The news loves to talk about weight. There are numerous articles about obesity and type 2 diabetes in our youth, numerous articles about how most adult Americans are overweight or obese, numerous pages about what foods to eat or not to eat.
One thing I realized today was this: for those of us who are outside the "acceptable" weight range, we know full well we are "fat". We may cloak in the clothes we wear, we may not just come outright and say, "Hey, my name is Carolyn, and I'm fat!", but we know it's true.
And for many of us (I say many, because like with everything, not all people feel this way), it eats at us that we are "fat". We aren't just walking around, oblivious when suddenly a doctor or a friend or the media turns to us and says, "By the way, you are fat." We know it.
But more than that, the community of SparkPeople stands out from the crowd. As I was scrolling through my friends, seeing the beautiful varied faces, I realized something else: We knew we are "fat", we are at a higher health risk, and WE ARE DOING SOMETHING. We aren't the people sitting in front of the TV, scarfing Oreos while watching Dr. Oz, promising ourselves to start a new-fangled diet tomorrow. We are trying TODAY.
This is what I love about the SparkPeople community. We ALL have something to learn. We ALL know we are imperfect. And instead of flailing and fumbling by ourselves in this world of unhealthy food choices, bad food education, and body shaming (God forbid a woman be anything more than a size 2!!), we are joining hands and moving forward.
Some of us are at different stages than others. Some are well into Maintenance, having gotten the swing (or still learning!) of how to do the most difficult of things: keep that weight off! Others are thinking about Maintenance, trying to plan ahead to be one of that small group to not regress. Others have just started, realizing they need to be healthy and drop a few pounds.
And in between, there are many, MANY other stages. For instance, I am technically in Maintenance, but am trying to lose the weight I gained while my knee was recovering. Others start and stop and start.
What is beautiful is that no matter where you are, YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You have someone else that can mentor you, you have someone who is at the same place as you, and there is someone that you can mentor.
We all know we have a journey ahead of us. Each one of us on SparkPeople is here to make our lives better - our lives, the lives of our family, the lives of our friends. We aren't perfect - that's why we're here! But we're willing to change. We are willing to try. We know we have to change, so we're dipping our toes into the water of Healthy Living. And whatever way we go about it - Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, TSFL, or just good old fashioned "Watch what you eat" - we are doing it. And as we do it, we support and encourage each other. We hold each other accountable.
This is what makes SparkPeople so amazing. Each day I log in and see so many people on fire for their health, it's contagious. It's hard to NOT care, to just eat anything in my face, when I read the comments and recipes and exercise routines and blogs of my fellow Sparkers.
We are in the middle of an obesity epidemic; but the people are SparkPeople are trying to combat that. And together, we are working to a healthier, happier life. I'm just honored to be holding hands with my fellow Sparkers and leading the way.