My List of Give Ups

By , SparkPeople Blogger
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?