The beginning of 2015 and the beginning of all those New Year’s Resolutions.
By now some of those resolutions have already been laid to rest, 2 weeks in to the new year. Maybe it was too much too soon. Maybe there isn’t enough hours in the day for all those resolutions to stay a priority when work, family, bills and (insert whatever else gets in the way here).
5 years ago, I was just on my journey to losing weight (and changing everything about my life). I don’t remember saying it was a New Year’s resolution. It was just a simple decision to stay away from the elevator and track calories. A very very simple version of watching the calories that were going in because there wasn’t enough calories going out.
It was never a declaration of “I’m going to lose 100+ pounds”. I knew I was morbidly obese. I knew my food was shitty. I knew that there wasn’t enough moving throughout my day. I just promised myself I would take the elevator up but not down (because it was too hard to walk up the three floors) and if I was willing to log the calories of something then I could eat it, but that I had to log every thing that went into my mouth.
I remember thinking this was more difficult than I was prepared for. Just that little change felt hard and that was a wake up call for me. I wasn’t getting healthier as I aged…I was getting fatter. I was getting more and more unhealthy with each passing year both physically and emotionally. I always thought “there’s still time” but then I turned 40 and I didn’t have nearly as much time as I thought I did.
Then those little changes got pretty easy. Instead of just taking the stairs down to the car at the end of my shift, I was taking them up as well. The food choices became just a little easier when the toxins of fast food were allowed to leave my body and the diet coke intake was replaced with crystal delight (still not *that* good for you but heading in the right direction). Those first few pounds that came off weren’t really celebrated because I’d lost weight in the past. But I hadn’t really stayed in the moment with those other pounds. I made myself sick. I took pills. Never did I incorporate looking at my food and moving just a little more.
As all those little changes got easier and easier I started to challenge myself. I didn’t want to be on the Wii earning my fried chicken leg icon (you remember those right?) any longer. I was down 20 pounds and walking my dogs early in the morning. I was walking during my lunch. I was parking my car in the farthest parking spot I could find. I was carrying my grocery bags instead of trekking them in a cart. I was looking at labels. I was moving in the right direction for the first time in my life and it didn’t feel like a temporary thing. I acknowledge that I was 270 pounds and in order to get down to a healthy weight I was going to need to lose over 100 pounds but now I was almost 1/4 of the way there.
I shuffled a little faster than a walk. I did it for 30 seconds. I had that copper taste in my mouth. My throat burned. I coughed for a long time afterwards. I threw up. I pushed myself for what seemed like the longest 30 seconds in my life but you know what I felt?
My heart working.
My muscles burning.
Sweat coming off my face.
My breath coming fast.
I felt alive.
If a later version of me had been standing there and said to me “you have no idea what’s coming…marathons, ironmans, crossfit. muscles, triple digit weight loss, single letter clothing sizes“, I think I would have spit in my own face for telling me such lies when I was 250 pounds and puking because I couldn’t run for even half a minute. Even though I had no idea what was coming, I was always moving in the right direction.
It was five years ago I was struggling to walk up a flight of stairs.
It was five years ago I was crying over the food I was eating because all I wanted to do was bury my face in a Jack in the Box burger, and a vanilla shake.
I can’t imagine going back to the old me but I know that person is always lurking in the background. People wonder why I’m so adamant about my food and how much I move. It’s because I have too this adamant in order to make this a lifestyle that takes me into my old age. This was never about trying to look good for the beach or to get back to a high school body. This was always about finding the potential in me. In believing that for the first time in my life I could commit to a change until that change became the norm.
I do what I do in order to stay alive.
I don’t want to be depressed.
I don’t want to be morbidly obese.
I don’t want to watch life pass me because I’m on the sidelines.
I do this because I want people to know that weight loss and taking control of your life is not just a dream or a resolution that gets forgotten about 2 weeks in to the new year. It’s real. It’s possible and it doesn’t have to start by changing everything at once….
It can start with just a flight of stairs.
A glass of water.
A 30 second shuffle.
Small changes can lead to some amazing things…
Get up and get after them.