Friday, October 12, 2012

The nitty gritty truth

Disclaimer: Do not proceed if you are going to be easily offended or sensitive to these points I am making. Trust me, it's not meant to offend. I have been there. I still struggle with many of these things - which is why I can speak so candidly about them. I totally understand it!! This was/is ME! And so, the paragraphs below are me sharing with you a very blunt explanation, at least from my viewpoint, of some of our most common issues hindering weight loss.

Excuses. I am very passionate about this subject when it comes to getting healthy, fit and losing weight. You know what they say...excuses are like assholes...everyone has one. This is TRUE. I had excuses. I still have excuses, though I try to be conscious about this and give myself a kick in the butt or reality check when I find myself making them.

The truth is, 95% of excuses people give, even if they "sound" legit, are BULL. (The exception to this, is of course, medical issues or people who are very ill and on medication that truly does cause substantial weight gain). Oh, what's that? Your mother, grandmother, great grandmother and all of your aunts are obese and obesity runs in your family? Who cares! You have no time to work out? Well trust me, if it's truly a priority to get fit, you CAN make time! Your leg hurts, so you can't exercise? Do upper body exercises while you sort out your leg! You are an food addict, just like an alcoholic? I don't doubt it, but admitting you have a problem can be the first step, not a declaration of hopelessness! And oh, that's awful about splitting from your boyfriend, and finding your fish belly-up, and your best friend moving away, and being demoted at work. I truly feel for you and you totally deserve some time to grieve and feel upset. You deserve some "woe is me" time for sure - but it's not an excuse to go on a week-long junk binge, that will only make you feel worse! (trust me, I've done it!) Maybe instead you could put your pissed-off energy into some kick-ass workouts?! What's that? You are older than me and your metabolism isn't what it used to be and your habits are more engrained and you have aches and pains I just can't understand? That's just more excuses! Do you think you are the only "older" person in the history of the planet with these issues? And do you think nobody has ever overcome them? Of course that's not the case!!! Ok, so maybe you have more working against you. But again, it's just a matter of will.

Take it from me - I have used all of these excuses at one point or another (and then some). Obesity does "run in my family"...somehow I managed to overcome it! And having no time? That is a HUGE one! The fact is - where there is a will, there is a way. There was a period of time in the beginning that I was seeing great success in my fitness journey - along with working 70 hour weeks and taking care of my house, and family including 2 young daughters. My husband worked more than 40 hours a week too, so I also had to juggle against his crazy schedule. There were times that I got up at 3:30 am to work out, because that was the only time I could find. I am not saying it was certainly wasn't. It sucked, and it was hard. But that was what I needed to do in order to succeed, and so I did it. I made the sacrifices necessary because losing weight and getting healthy was truly one of my priorities. I have juggled many things during the last 2 years. Family, working overtime, grad school, being a chapter leader for Moms RUN This Town, training for half marathons, organizing a virtual 5k....and through it all, I (generally) maintained my priorities, even when it was hard because I felt like I had no free time. My point here is not to brag or to make myself sound all me, I stumbled plenty of times...rather, my point is simply that time is NOT a good excuse. Time is what you make of it and sacrifices may be required. It is hard, but totally worth it in the end.

Next up - honesty. You say you have "tried everything". Pills, weight loss programs, and even the old fashioned "eating healthy and exercising". Seriously though? You "tried", but did you truly give it 100%? Or did you give up in 2 weeks when you didn't see results?  Was your version of healthy truly healthy? Or did you just swap out your 10 regular Oreos for 15 reduced-fat Oreos? I hear all the time that people already tried the old fashioned way, and it didn't work. There is a reason for that, and it isn't because your body is simply meant to be fat!

Taking responsibility for your actions is also a major issue that you must overcome before you see success. It is not your spouses fault that YOU ate an entire box of fruit loops just because he or she bought it for your kids. It is not your spouses fault that YOU ordered nachos, onion rings and a 2,000 calorie dessert when you went out to eat after he or she suggested a date night. It is also not your mother's fault that YOU ate 10 chocolate chip cookies when she made them while your family was visiting her house. Again - this isn't easy, but you need to stop putting blame on other people and you need to find your willpower. The fact is, this journey is not just about losing the weight, but it is about maintenance. You can't expect everybody around you to eat exactly as you need to, for the rest of your life. You need to get used to dealing with reality, and the reality is that there will always be temptations. It is up to YOU and YOU alone, to have some willpower. Willpower is not easy to find. I still lose mine sometimes. I try to stick with it by remembering my long term goals and asking myself, how will this affect those goals and how does that compare to the temporary happiness it will bring me? How would I feel afterwards if I ate half of this pizza?  Ok - sometimes even asking myself that won't stop me from eating it and then feeling guilty and bloated afterwards. But I try. And more often than not, it does help, as demonstrated by my 85 lb loss in the last 22 months. I make mistakes, but I move on from them rather than letting them cause me to make more excuses or get frustrated enough to give up. 

Oh - and fad diets and pills? The HCG diet? NOT GOING TO WORK. The majority of the time, it either doesn't work at all, or works but then the weight comes piling back on once you go back to normal. And trust me - you WILL go back to normal. These diets and plans are impossible to do for the rest of one's life. Plus, they would be unhealthy to do for the rest of one's life! The only "diet" worth being on, is simply eating normally and healthfully. It is the hardest, but most easily maintained in the long-term. Honestly I could and probably will eventually make a whole blog post dedicated to just this...but I digress.

So really. Quit making excuses. Quit blaming everyone else. I don't give a shit what other people around you are eating - nobody is forcing crap down your throat. I realize it is delicious and addicting and tempting. Why do you think I (or any of "us") got fat in the first place?! But if you want to make a change, you need to be willing to actually make the change. 

And when it comes down to it, that is what we all desire right? To get healthy and STAY healthy!


  1. All I have to say is...LOVE THIS! While I see so many of my family members in all that was said, I also see myself! I have used the "obesity runs in my family" line so many times! And also the "I've tried the eating healthy/exercise thing". In January I gave up most of my excuses, and while I have only lost 5 lbs and 1 inch from my waist, at least I get out there and run 4-5 days a week and feel better about myself! Thanks for the tough love! :)

  2. I think it is wonderful that you have found your way. Now for some advice from someone elderly, remember that not everyone loses weight in the same way, what worked for you will not work for everyone else. Some people have other issues that come into play, besides excuses. Many people have issues from their childhood, marriage or lifestyle that affect the effectiveness of their losing the weight they need to lose. There are also things like age, health, handicaps and mental state to consider. We are all at different stages in our growth cycle and so to assume that the only reason that people are not losing weight is because of excuses is not considering the logistics of doing so. I remember saying as a teen that if I every got fat that someone should just go out and shoot me, because I believed that being fat was worse than being dead. In some way, our society has pushed that agenda on fat people. I have maybe 20-30 years left before I die and so at my age, do I really want to spend the next 20-30 years being obsessed over what I eat and how much I weigh? I am also aware that even if I did lose the weight I want to lose, my body would still require plastic surgery to repair the damage I have done to my body over the last 30 years. And I certainly cannot afford monetarily to do that. Those who are young and lose weight have the time and flexibility to repair the damage, but I dont'. I will NEVER look or feel like I did when I was walking around at 120 pounds. So even though I could lose the weight I wanted too, I would still be dealing with body issues that I cannot solve. So my thinking has been going more to; should I spend the future I have left, thinking, breathing and crying about the way I look or should I just worry about my relationship with Christ, so after I die and HE returns to take us to heaven, I receive the body He had planned for me all along? Why should I waste any more time worrying, working, fretting, feeling insecure, unsure, inadequate on a body that is going to die anyway? I will never ever meet the expectations of this society here on earth, so why try? The older I get, the more I realize how much of my energy has been spent thinking about and obsessing over my physical being, and what a waste of my life it has been. I am tired of the guilt I feel every time I enjoy a dessert that is forbidden or the exasperation of working my tail off for months and NOTHING changing in my body. I am tired of trying to find "more excuses" for the reasons I look like I do. I am tired of feeling that some days, it would be better to just shoot me for being fat and put me out of my misery, but then I remember that I am basing those feelings on what our society thinks is valuable, not what Christ sees in me. He doesn't see me as fat, He sees me as a daughter of His who he loves and cherishes and who He doesn't want to feel like a substandard human being just because she is fat.....I am 50 years old. The last time I was at the weight I wanted to be at I was 20. Realistically, I will never feel or be like I was at 20 again, until I get to heaven.

  3. Karin;
    It's not about saying what worked for me has to work for everyone. I know everybody is different, but the point is that where there is a will, there IS a way. Maybe not my way, but A WAY.

    What I gather from you is that you have given up and no longer feel the need or benefits of changing. That is totally fine if that's what you feel. But have you tried concentrating simply on the importance of being healthy, instead of viewing it as purely how you look? Its a bonus to look better but my biggest concern was being around and healthy as long as possie for my kids and grand kids?

    Oh and between massive, fast weight gain and a vertical c-section scar, trust me I have plenty of damage that can't be fixed short of surgery. But it's not about that. I'm glad to be healthy, and even if I have an ugly flap of skin and crazy stretch mrks the size of Texas, and what I like to call a "butt" on my stomach - I'm HEALTHY. THAT is what matters.