Friday, January 29, 2010

Need for Change (Part 2)

I still feel good about having listed, yesterday, some of the things I'm already doing well when it comes to living a healthy life; the list was longer than I thought it would be.  Unfortunately, it is even more clear that I need to change some things.

For me, wanting to make changes is about at least two things.

1.  I want to lose weight.
To set the context for this, let me tell you that there have been a few periods of my life when I gained chunks of weight.  For example, in the days I was injecting myself daily with heavy-duty fertility drugs (that ultimately failed anyway - there's an irony), I gained a huge amount of weight in a very short period of time, despite exercising and eating pretty well!  Weight gain was mentioned by the doctors as one 'possible' side-effects of those drugs - and of course, it was the side effect that would find me...big time!  There have been other times that I have gained (and sometimes lost) weight, often during hard times in my life and sometimes due to the carelessness that creeps up so easily on the person unaware.

I could cry (and often have) about the impact that my weight has had on my life. In my struggle to understand myself, it has occurred to me recently that my excess weight likely remains for a reason - I'm not fully sure what that reason is yet, but I'm getting there. It's some kind of crutch, coping mechanism.  I observe about my life that my weight has been, at times, a convenient excuse for me not to engage in parts of life - including various physical activities.  I wonder if I avoid engaging in these things by using my weight as an excuse.  At the same time, being heavy stems, at least in part, from a physical need to comfort myself at times.  Like many people, I eat when I'm depressed, I eat when I'm stressed, I eat when I'm angry, I even eat when I'm happy and celebrating.  Finally, food never rejects you, right?  Food is always available as the go-to, always-availalbe companion.  It's a very, very hard cycle to break.  But break it I must.

2.  I want to get/be/stay healthy.
For some folks, wanting to lose weight and wanting to be healthy seem to be the same thing.  But I think that we all too often confuse/combine weight and health issues.  The reason I say this is because there are a lot of people out there who are thin (even some of those skinny minnies who, in my envy, I used to hate), but who live very unhealthy lives - either because of what they consume, or because of lack of exercise, or because of other unhealthy choices.  There are many out there for whom candy and fast food, combined with a tendency towards couch-potatoeness, constitute daily living...yet, they remain thin and, thus, to the eye of the beholder (and perhaps to themselves), healthy.  Of course, looks can be deceiving.  Just because I'm a heavy person doesn't mean that I don't live some parts of my life healthily; and just because miss hoity toity nauseatingly skinny mama looks thin and awesome doesn't mean that she is healthy. And yet, people make assumptions about me (and about Her Righteousness) that are often undeserved on either end.

All that to say that I want to change the future trajectory of my life in order to be healthy.  It's about wanting to be here for my husband and my child(ren). It's about wanting to grow old with them, and about living life to the fullest in the meantime.  Remember my post from a couple of days ago (Life and Death Matters), when I talked about being reminded to live each day as if it's my last, and realizing that I have some work to do before I could claim to live that way?  Well, learning to live a consistently healthier lifestyle is all about that for me.  I want to have lots of energy for my kid(s) and my husband and my household; I want to be able to find clothes that I actually like, more easily (including a warm winter jacket which is so necessary in this climate and so difficult to find as a large woman); I want to engage in activities that have long tempted me and which I've untruthfully professed having little or passing interest in (cross-country skiing being one; horseback riding being another; tennis being a third; and there are others).

The bottom line for me is this:  It's about living life to the fullest every single day, and not letting one day pass me by where I haven't made some progress towards the goal of being able, some day, to claim that yes, I live each day as if it's my last.

Well, given the length of this post, I guess the promised list of things I need to change will have to wait until tomorrow (assuming I want to post on the weekend - if not, then on Monday).  Godspeed the implementation of that list!


  1. Ruth,

    That was a very inspirational post! A lot of what you said is a mirror to how I am feeling! That was the kick in the butt that I needed today! thank you!! -Hilary

  2. hey girl, do you want a fellow emotional eater, crazy adoptive mother (and I honestly think that has alot to do with my weight gain!) to join you on the trip? :) I'm right there with you!

  3. YES, I want company along this trip - you're both welcome to join!!


  4. Me too

    I want to be part of this great support !!!!!!

    Lets do it together,

    Hey we pulled off a miracle this summer Imagine is back up ( and stronger than ever )

    Surely we can you use that same strength and lose the weight we need to to be in great shape for referral day,

    I would love to do this with all of you.
    Maybe we can start an on-line group ?

    Anyone have any thoughts or feelings?

    Thanks again Ruth for tackling this topic so well on your blog.


  5. Hi Ruth, I stumbled upon your blog after jumping from blog to blog today. How lovely to find you on the blogsphere! Your posts are honest and inspiring. I look forward to reading more and following you on this journey. All the best, Heidi

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