Attitude of Gratitude
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I've heard it said that one's attitude determines their altitude and I have found it to be true. I joined Spark People almost two years ago at a time when I was just tired of being overweight. I had no known health issues and I wanted to keep it that way, but I was also tired of the inconvenience of being fat. I was tired of being the one who as a passenger got the front seat of a car because it made more sense for me to sit there than to make others uncomfortable in the back seat. I love to dance and I wanted to do so again without huffing and puffing. I wanted to run up and down the stairs in my house instead of gingerly taking them one at a time. And I wanted to buy my clothes at any store and not be relegated to specialty stores or departments. In other words I wanted to be normal, and regardless of who thinks that this is politically incorrect, fat people are not considered "normal" in this society. So where does attitude come in here? When I joined Spark People in 2007, I did it with a sense of desperation. I was looking for a magic bullet and I didn't want to stop and read blogs or learn how the site worked, or maintain trackers or respond to threads. I just wanted a quick fix. So I quickly abandoned the site and looked elsewhere. I tried colon cleanses, lemonade diets, miracle pills and other fad diets. I would buy a magazine as I checked out my groceries in the supermarket because a diet was advertised on the cover, only to go home and put it away for the future. I lost weight from time to time and almost as quickly I'd regain it. Then I got a bit of bad news. My thyroid was not fully functioning and I'd have to go on medication. At first I felt relief because it validated the fact that I was not responsible for staying fat, but that relief lasted only a minute. I now had a medical condition and that was not in my agenda. No, not me, I told my doctor. I am not about to spend the rest of my life tied to a pill bottle. If it's not completely necessary yet that I take medication, let me find a way out. Skeptically, he looked at me before agreeing to hold off the prescription until our next visit in six months at which time we'd repeat the tests. I walked out of his office with my mind racing for a cure. Then I did what I do when I can do nothing else, I prayed. As I prayed I became more mindful of myself and all the toxic foods I'd put into my personal temple. I had no one to blame but myself for gaining the weight but blame was not what it was about; it was about finding a cure. As the days went by I learned to slow down and make the right choices before I ate, and even when I made the wrong choices, I did so mindfully, not mindlessly with the realization that I had to do better next time. Then I received a magazine from a hospital advertising a Lean to Wellness Program and I signed up for it. I was taught how to read labels and determine portion sizes. We made nutrition plans and fitness contracts and we were told to keep a food log. Once again my negative attitude kicked in. I hated to write what I ate. But I also realized that it wasn't about writing, it was about accountability and when I did keep the log I was appalled at what I put into my body, even mindfully. Talk about a mirror, the log was my mirror and I did not like what I was seeing. I did my log for a few days before it began to bore me. I needed something more interactive, so I searched the internet and Spark People popped up as an option. I was sure that I no longer belonged there so I attempted to sign up again. My user name was taken (by me I found out); I was still a member. This time I was ready. My attitude was right. I would be successful even if I did so by taking baby steps. And as I fixed my attitude to one of gratitude everything began to fall into place. I now plan my meals on the website and eat accordingly. At first it was challenging, now it's a habit. I work out as scheduled and most of all, I share the Spark with my friends and family. Many are not yet ready, but as I show signs of success, maybe they too will come around. As for me, I'm thankful everyday that I've come full circle and landed once again in the Spark People community where I can find a fertile ground for re-harvesting good health and a beautiful body. Thanks everyone.