Start of a new journey…
Well maybe not *THE* worst, as in the worst that can *ever* happen. But at least in terms of living a healthy lifestyle, it has.
Hmmm….Actually, if I’m going to be completely honest with myself, my current fitness level is not the worst it could be. Things can always be worse.
Nonetheless, the situation right now is not a pretty one.
So, let’s get the facts on the table, engage in just a wee bit of self-flagellation, (Don’t you just love that word?!) then we’ll talk just a bit about what happens next.
“The facts ma’am, just the facts…”
I now officially weigh the most I’ve ever weighed. I have the highest body fat percentage that I’ve ever had. I can feel the effects that living an unhealthy lifestyle have produced in my body. The cold hard numbers are: 279.25 lbs / 37.2 % body fat
Ok, I know that some of my kinky friends will quickly jump all over this and say that I really enjoy a bit of self-flagellation but in this case there are no whips or leather involved. I got to this point by making choices: bad ones. I know that I didn’t wake up one morning and say “Hey, I want to live an unhealthy lifestyle.” It wasn’t one choice. It was many. It didn’t happen overnight. It has taken me years to arrive where I am now. Small choices that I made, tiny actions that I did, have now accumulated over years and produced the unhealthy me that I see in the mirror every morning.
I have a good friend who blogs over at “Dances with Fat“. She makes an excellent point with which I agree: Some people can be both fat and healthy. Our society has a false correlation between being fat and being unhealthy. I do now believe that one can make healthy choices and still end up with a body that does not match some idealized image of a “healthy body”.
I really devoutly sincerely intensely wish that I was one of those folks who can be both fat and healthy. Unfortunately I’m not. I can hear my body talking to me. I’ve listened, and as much as I would like to deny it, the message my body is sending is “Tony, you are not healthy.” I can remember when my body sent me a different message; a message that said “Tony, you healthy stud, you rock!” It has been a long time since my body has said that to me, but when it did, I was not fat.
Ok. So I accept that I’ve made some bad choices. Now we move on. Self Flagellation done. And, despite what my kinky friends might imagine, no whips or leather were used during the process.
We start with a single step, a singe action, then another, then another. For me, the “first step” is taking place on two fronts:
- Mental — it is only as I write this that I realize that for months now I’ve been mulling over a concept, a new way of looking at my body and I have come to a conclusion. I’ve been focusing on the wrong thing: “loosing weight”. Me being overweight is not a problem. It is a symptom.
The problem is that I’m not doing good things for myself and my body. So the solution is simple: do only good things for myself.
Yes, I can hear the groan that just went up from the dozen people who actually read this blog. If it were that simple, I can hear you scoffing, then it would be easy and everybody would be doing it. And you do have a point, kinda, sorta. I agree, it is not easy. But it really is simple.
Every time I am faced with a choice that can affect my health I ask a simple question: “Is this good for me?” If the answer is “no” then I have to ask “Why am I doing it?” Occasionally, because we live in the “real world,” the answer may be “Because it is the best of several bad choices.”If that’s the answer then we work to create options where there is a good choice. I know it won’t be easy. It won’t be overnight, but if I start making more choices where the answer is “Yes, this is a good thing for me.” rather than “No, this is a bad thing for my body.” then eventually the result will a healthier, happier me. And, whatever my weight may be at that point will be the right weight for me and for my body. Even if that weight doesn’t match some advertiser’s image of a perfect body. (Thank you Ragen for planting the mental seed that has now blossomed.)
- Action — pick one thing. Any one thing. A small thing. Do it. Grit your teeth and gut it out. Then glory in the accomplishment. Brag about it. Revel in it. Tell all your friends. Tell the world! Ignore the naysayers and rejoice in what for you is a HUGE accomplishment.
Keep doing that one thing until it becomes a habit that you don’t have to think about any longer. Then move on to the next thing. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. In fact it is better if it is something small: something as simple as switching from Half and Half to a soy-based creamer for your morning coffee. Or getting a 20 oz fountain drink instead of a 32 oz drink. Or switching from soda to tea. Or walking around the block every other day. Or drinking more water. Or switching from white bread to whole grain. Or choosing a banana instead of a doughnut. Or parking at the edge of the parking lot instead of by the front door.
The important thing is to start a positive cycle of choices. The first ones, no matter how small, will be hard and require what seems huge amounts of effort but eventually the very act of “making good choices” will become habit.
After all, “The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one’s feet” – Lao-tzu
See ya on the dance floor!