Hi ladies (and gents?). I posted this on the support forum, but wanted to post it here as well. We are always having threads asking about motivation and inspiration and how and why and I don't know, it got me to thinking about choices. So here goes. It didn't come out exactly as I was thinking it, but anyway:
Let's say we had a say in determining some stuff about us before we born. I know it sounds silly, but just bare with me, if you will. Like we were actually ASKED about certain things. For example: What color hair would you like? What color eyes? How tall do you want to be?
Would you like to be fat or thin. If you choose to be fat, well your life just won't be as happy and your life will be harder then if you choose thin. You will have a horrendous time shopping for clothes, you just won't look or FEEL as good. You very well may suffer from low self esteem, you might have trouble socializing, you most likely will feel uncomfortable doing ordinary things, like tying your shoelaces or walking up a flight of stairs, air travel will be difficult and embarassing, you will probably lack energy and a huge host of other very unpleasant things. Would you like to be fit or unfit? Well if you choose unfit, you will be missing out on a lot. Long romantic walks, long friendly walks, volley ball games, softball games, basketball, hiking, rollerblading, surfing. Playing with your children. And the list goes on and on. Oh and your inactivity combined with your extra weight will more then likely shorten your life and you will be setting yourself up for many deadly diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and many cancers just to mention a few.
Okay, so now that you've heard just some of the bad things (trust me there's LOTS more) about choosing fat over thin, unfit over fit, you've decided on thin and fit. Ahhh, you've made a good choice!!! BUT, you will indeed have to WORK for it. FOREVER. Don't panic. No big deal. It's DOABLE. You'll have to eat the right foods, highly nutritious, mostly whole, ya know the stuff nature provides. You can still eat some of the other stuff, just occasionally and in moderation of course. But that shouldn't be a problem, people have been choosing this option for centuries and it really works!!! And those people have a great and full life. And the great thing is there's room for error. You are bound to have some slip ups, so don't sweat it. YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE PERFECT.
So you want to be fit. Great choice! You can do it. Again people have been doing it for centuries with great results and success. You should probably be doing some type of cardio 3 -4 times a week, as well as some strength training. You could use a treadmill, an aerobic class, a DVD or you could just walk. Find a sport that you like, tennis, racquetball, ride a bike. There's tons to choose from. And it could vary. This will all help you to stay active and it helps greatly in the thin department as well. Having chosen to be fit and thin you have just decided on being a happier and healthier and more productive human being, with much, much more joy and way less worries. You have decided to make your life soooo much easier then your fat and unfit counterparts. You have also given yourself the chance at a longer life.
We will never be given the choice of what eye color (sans contacts), hair color (hair dye aside) or height we would like. But we actually CAN CHOOSE to be thin and fit and healthy and active. Any really if given the choice BEFOREHAND, who in their right mind WOULDN'T choose the thin and fit option? All right so you gotta work a little. Doesn't that make it sooo much more rewarding? Aren't the rewards so, so, so, so great that it JUSTIFIES the work? By a LOT? Luckily we ARE given the choice, not beforehand of course. Just NOW. Right now.
03-15-2007, 02:50 PM
Wow. Thanks for the post.
03-15-2007, 02:58 PM
Enjoyed your post because it got me thinking. Up until a few years ago I really didn't think I had a choice about being fat or thin. I honestly thought that it was my lot in life to be the me that I formerly was!
I'm not sure whether it was that I would soon be turning 50 or that my sons were growing up or even whether it was menopause that did it, but when I looked at my Chrismas picture in 2000, it all seemed to go off as a HUGE GONG in my head that I was a person, too, and I had wants and needs and dreams. I had spent so much of my time making everyone else's life wonderful that I forgot one thing...ME!:(
I had been fat so long that it was pretty much my only known identity! I was used to always taking what was left after everyone else had chosen theirs. I am not sure why I was this way for so long, but I still fight myself to speak up for myself, to do for myself, to care about myself, to LOVE MYSELF as much as I love everyone else!
I have always been a giver, and I have believed that happiness comes only every once in awhile for a brief, shining moment. I have definitely settled for a less than marvelous life for myself as I produced a meaningful and rich life for everyone else.
I'm glad that after SO MANY YEARS that I have learned to be selfish enough to put in the huge amount of effort that my weight loss has taken!
What would I choose? I would choose FREEDOM TO BE MYSELF. I would choose living in a healthy body that can be as good as everyone else at doing the normal things of life. I would choose being SELFISH ENOUGH to sometimes put myself first. I would have done this LONG AGO and not wasted so many years feeling like a second-class citizen.
03-15-2007, 03:02 PM
You are so right. The article really touched me. For five years the only thing stopping me from becoming healthy and fit was myself. I chose to mess up my life by eating poorly and not working out. And now I'm choosing to work harder and eating better. Thank you so much for the post. I love it. :)
03-15-2007, 03:56 PM
My aggravation is that my choice is so very dependent upon my circumstances. If my life is relatively calm, then I choose to be thin and healthy and the effort is not too much...its seems very do-able. However, during times of stress, the waters get a bit murky and the choice is not that clear...its seems like I am choosing to add to my stress level by trying to maintain self control of my body and eating on top of the other major stresses. Unfortunately, I often find myself giving up on the "me" choice just to get through everything else in one piece. I honestly don't know how to relax and de-stress without food. This is so frustrating! Every day, I start over, and over, and over. And, I know that I will wake up a few months down the road and regret that I couldn't seem to maintain my self control. I really need to figure this out this time! This time, I want things to be different. Why couldnt life just be relaxing and stress free long enough for me to get a big chunk of the weight off. :)
03-15-2007, 06:09 PM
You're right...and now I'm choosing thin.
I WISH I could choose black hair, blue eyes, and an exotic (say polynesian) complexion.
03-15-2007, 06:54 PM
This is an excellent post. Thanks for your thoughts. I've thought about that before, but haven't been able to find a way to articulate it.
03-15-2007, 08:21 PM
I must tell you what got me started thinking this way. My DH and I were called up to school. My 15 year old is a freshman in high school. The guidance counselor wanted to see us. She started out doing very well this year and has really been struggling as of let. At the meeting we discussed some things. I said she starts out all gung ho, really into studying and keeping up and then she slides. She just can't sustain it. Anyway, the head of guidance then calls my DD down and we're all talking. She says to my daughter how can we get you to do better. And I chime in (naturally) and say she has to WANT to do better. And then funny enough she uses a comparison that my daughter can surely relate to. She says to her "I bet you WANT to do well, but you just don't want to have to work for it" And my DD nods her head in agreement. Now comes the comparison part. She says "Well I love being a size 10. I wasn't always a size 10, but I am now. I was not happy being bigger. Didn't feel right. I always wanted to be smaller, but I just didn't want to WORK at it. Hated exercising. I just wanted it to come to me naturally. Well that was not to be the case. For some it's easier, for some it's harder. I tried to get smaller, did lots of things that just didn't work. But I kept on trying until I found the right "formula" for me. I hated to exercise. But I had to do that too. I hated eating the "right" foods, but it just wasn't happening without it. I might not always like to exercise, I might not always like to eat right - but I sure as heck LOVE the results. My hard work PAYSOFF." She went on and on. I just thought it so odd that she used that comparison. My DD is new to this school, I had never met her before, she has no idea what I previously weighed. My daughter knew exactly what she meant having just gone through that with me. Interesting, huh?
03-15-2007, 11:19 PM
WOW. Great post (and interesting inspiration!)
I've been doing this whole "new lifestyle" thing for over a year and a half now. The bloom is off the rose. I am definitely starting to realize what "for life" means.
Most of the time I'm fine with that, but sometimes I feel a little stifled by it. I start to view it in negative terms.
But then I read a post like yours that turns me on my head and makes me remember all the POSITIVES about my lifestyle. I'm not sacrificing -- I'm giving to myself!
This is why I hope I always keep coming to 3fc. I need these reminders, and may always need them!
03-16-2007, 07:47 AM
At first, I thought this happened before you lost the weight. Thats so cool that she didnt even know you had lost a lot of weight, too!
03-16-2007, 08:30 AM
It is an interesting post but I'm afraid that I don't agree. Being thin does not guarantee a wonderful and fulfilling life. Thin people can have all the same emotional problems that any one else has. Thin people have problems with low self esteem and have problems socializing. Yes we have some unique problems like bending over to tie up a shoelace and yes that will go away when weight loss is achieved but I hope you are not figuring all the other problems are going to go away because I'm afraid that they are not going to go away and you are going to be really disappointed. Emotional problems do not always disappear and even medical problems do not disappear. Thin people also have diabetes and high blood pressure. Thin people can drop dead at any time the same as an overweight one (just may not be the same weight related reason). I don't want to bring you down about losing weight, it will improve your life in many ways, don't get me wrong but I don't think it is reasonable to expect that every problem you have will disappear along with the weight. A woman that I know who has had weight loss surgery said she was surprised after losing like 150lbs that she was the same person. I don't think she had really high expectations that her life was going to be completely different but I guess she must have thought she'd feel different in someways but that didn't happen. A lot of things will change but it might not always be what you think and it may not always be for the better.
03-16-2007, 08:30 AM
Wyllenn, you know I was struggling a bit last week or so and then you posted that letter to your frustrated self and then there was that thread about what inspires us that got me all riled up and then this past Monday was the meeting in school. It was those things piled up that has really lit a new fire under me. We definitely DO need reminders along the way. Because this is a loooooong journey - forever in fact. It's just funny that they all happened at the same time. I hope these little "reminders" just keep on happening, so that we can keep getting renewed so to speak.
Rhonda you mentioned yesterday about choices being related to circumstances. The good thing about having the choice and I firmly believe that it is always our choice, however lousy our circumstances are, and it can be really, really incredibly difficult at times, the choice will ALWAYS be there. Whenever you are READY to make the choice. So just keep that in mind. It really does take A LOT of focus to make the DECISION to lose weight and certain times are better then others.
03-16-2007, 08:45 AM
Jen, we posted at the same time. I agree 1000% with you. Losing weight or being thin in the FIRST place is absolutely no GUARANTEE of ANYthing. It guarantees nothing as far as happiness and good health. But the real point of the post was that if given the choice BEFOREhand, I really think most people would choose fit and thin, as opposed to fat and unfit. And again since we obviously can't choose that beforehand so therefore it is up to us to choose it now, if we want to badly enough, not down to the very last pound per se, depending on circumstances, but for the most part.
But I still believe that by being thin and fit and active you stand a MUCH better CHANCE at happiness and a more fufulling, longer life. And an EASIER life at that. A perfect life - absolutely not.
As for me I was unhappy due to the fact that I was UNABLE to do so many physical things. I couldn't walk for very long, I wouldn't/couldn't dance at social events, losing weight has changed that - so I am now HAPPY in that area. Very, very happy in fact. I had so little energy with all the added weight and that made me happy, I now have an abundance of energy, yup that makes me happy. Looking back I had poor self esteem, although I didn't think I was quite aware of it. I was uncomfortable socializing, although I hid it well, that has now changed. I was UNhappy about my clothing situation, that has now changed and I am indeed HAPPY in that respect. Very, very happy in fact. And on and on and on. So it really and truly has made me much, much, much HAPPIER. And the funny thing is - I'm not even thin. I just used the word "thin" as a general word. I still have quite a ways to go to get to "thin", not sure if I ever will get there. All I know is that after having been so very morbily obese for so long, I am ALREADY so much happier.
Anyway, that's just my spin on it. Of course we're all different. I'm the only one I can speak for.
03-16-2007, 09:42 AM
Hmmmm, interesting points in your response to Jen, Robin.
I have to say, I agree with Jen, and I think your answer to her was insightful. People who are "naturally" thin can have problems like you described. However, I see it another way as well. I think my "problems" that I had before I gained all this weight (granted, I was never a small person, but in the past few years I have truly "inflated") will probably continue after I lose the weight. I don't know if they were directly related to my weight gain, despite being an EXTREME emotional overeater, I do not blame the weight gain on the problems. What came first, the chicken or the egg?
However, I think if I were smaller, the things I struggle with wouldn't feel so MAGNIFIED. I wouldn't feel self-conscious when people looked at me.. I woudln't feel like my emotions were being worn on my sleeve. So often, I hear people saying about the overweight and obese, "how do you LET YOURSELF GO like that?" Not TO them, but about them... and it affects me just as much to hear people talking like that, becuase i"m never sure if they're tryign to understand or just judging.. People see fat as a symbol for weakness, and I hate that... I'm a toughie, except when it comes to this.
Hope this makes sense. It's too early for me to think! I've been out of school for a year and I'm still on college time :lol:
03-16-2007, 10:15 AM
Dana, you are making perfect sense to me. I eat to soothe troubled emotions and relieve stress and, therefore, I get fat. Unfortunately, my way of coping is there for all of the world to see! Thin people go through the same things in life and they also have to find a way to cope. However, just because they are thin, that does not mean they have chosen a healthy coping mechanism. Who knows what goes on behind their closed doors.
My goal is to get thin and be healthy...to find a healthy coping mechanism. I did not get the impression from Rockinrobin that she believes life will be perfect as a thin person. But, I do think she indicated that life is rough enough without adding weight issues to the mix. And the weight issues and unhealthy eating do add so many major problems to life. My weight and health issues have held me back from so much in life because I feel inhibited and self concious. And, I honestly believe that the prejudices the majority of people have towards overweight people have held me back in jobs opportunities, church activities, relationships, etc. I truly believe that life will be better after I've learned a new lifestyle and gotten slimmer as a result. How exciting it will be to ignite that spark between hubby and I, to run that marathon, to wear fashionable beautiful clothes, to meet people and have them "see" me and not the fat." Most importantly, how exciting will it be to know that I've done all that is within my power to prevent heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis, depression, etc etc etc. No, being thin doesn't insure a trouble free life....but, it sure improves the odds. It all comes down to hope for our future and our ability to make a difference in how we live.
wanna b thin
03-16-2007, 10:48 AM
I'm so glad that I found time to check this site this morning, I haven't been on much lately, I've been out of town and expecially busy, and I've been struggling staying on program. Thank you Robin for this post it does really make you stop and think. Just what I need to get my head back in the right place.
03-16-2007, 11:03 AM
The choice seems to be a no brainer, doesn't it? Sure it doesn't solve all problems and being fit and thin wouldn't make life perfect, but it sure would be a nice big part of the puzzle! :D It seems puzzling to me why at 42 years old this struggle has been such a big part of my life. I wish I knew why that was, but I am not waiting to find out. :carrot:
03-16-2007, 01:22 PM
You all bring up such good points, as usual I might add.
Dana, I love what you said about things being MAGNIFIED due to our weight. I think whatever we've got going on or certainly a good number of them are made that much worse by our being overweight. That's why I wrote that I feel it is an EASIER life. You are so right, I too believe that people look at being overweight as a weakness. I too felt as if I was such a strong and determined person - except for my weight. What a shame. People who have never struggled with their weight will never understand.
Rhonda, I like what you said about thin people's coping mechanisims. You're right, who knows how they're dealing with their "stuff". And yeah, you got the right impression. You DID get the point I was tryiing to get across. Your entire post is right on the money. I agree with everything that you wrote.
Wanna be thin, I'm glad that it got you thinking. That's basically what I was hoping for. Just something to ponder over. Hoping that maybe someone could grasp on to something and that it would indeed help them in some way.
Casey I agree with you, I turned 43 in November. I am for the most part past the "whys". It is not pertinent anymore. Who knows if I will ever figure it out. But for now I'm done wasting my time trying to figure it out. I'm just glad I finally am taking some action to rectify it.
03-16-2007, 05:03 PM
Dana, I like what you had to say about being overweight magnifying issues that might not be the problems we think they are. A very good point.