For the past couple months I have been very deliberately focusing on dropping some weight and getting in better physical condition. My motives have been mixed. Part of it was spurred on by hitting my 50th birthday. My mother died at 53 an my father died at 55, both of heart related illness. So I have a genetically stacked deck for a weak ticker. The ONLY things I can control are how much I move, what I put in my mouth and what sort of attitude I hold in my heart. I have way too many things I still want to accomplish, so I decided it was high time to start being a better steward of the body God gave me.
Another piece was that I had a medical exam which revealed that I had extremely high bad cholesterol. The doc put me on meds to bring it down, but also said that diet and exercise were the main things to focus on to get it under control.
Then there was the vanity factor... when we were planning our trip to AZ we made reservations for the hot air balloon ride that ended up getting cancelled due to high winds. At the time I made the reservation I had to tell the company exactly what I weighed so they could calculate how many other people they could allow in the balloon, how much gas they needed, etc. Now, I'm not stupid. I do have mirrors and a scale in my house. I KNEW how much I weighed. I had just never said that number out loud to another living person. YIKES!
I was certainly not morbidly obese. But over the past 10 years I've probably gained 3-5 lbs each year that I did not need. Because it went on so gradually, and because I remained reasonably active with a fair amount of hiking and other fun things, I never really thought about it as being an extreme problem. I just bought bigger clothes.
But saying the number to the balloon people was a wake up call even more than getting my cholesterol results. Holy Cow - I thought to myself, how in the world did I ever get to THIS point???
So I've started to do something about it. I am not a big exercise maven. I am more than willing to walk or swim, but dancing around with calisthenics is just not my thing. I'm doing what I can. The main change I have made is in what I eat.
I love food. I love the look of it, the texture, the temperature, as well as the taste. Food is a social connector, it is a comforter, it is a reward, it is a distraction, it is so many things.
I'm trying to reformat how I use food so it becomes something that NOURISHES me, not a means of self indulgence. I have stayed really faithful to the plan so far, and have managed to lose 20 lbs. I've got another 25 or 30 to go.
Because I've taken the weight off very, very slowly - the same way it went on - I don't really notice a change. My pants are loser now. There are some clothes I will no longer wear. But I don't feel like I LOOK any different. I guess when you are as big as I have been, 20 lbs is just not that much. But when I was talking to my son during a period of discouragement about this he said: "are you kidding? You just lost a toddler. Well, maybe not the whole toddler. Let's put it this way - the weight you have lost represents Chesilee's legs. Keep it up Mom! You'll be up to her waist in no time!" The image of that just cracked me up.
So I was thinking of those big cut out thermometers that fund raising campaigns so often use that show the mercury rising as they work toward achieving a certain goal. My thermometer is an image of my 3 year old granddaughter....I am little by little stripping of weight equivalent to her body mass. Thinking of it that way instead of just in abstract numbers, I see I really am making a difference.