I've noticed something lately....I have a disturbing behavior trend. When there's a thought in my head that I really feel the need to get out, but think might upset other people, I avoid my blog. I procrastinate. Horribly. But, the thought eats away at me a little bit and eventually, I know I need to stop procrastinating and get the thoughts out. So, here I am....
My family is doing a "biggest loser" challenge. My sisters, their husbands, some of their children, and my mom are all doing it. They asked me to join in. My first response? "But weight isn't the problem!" I have decided to join in on the challenge and my husband has signed on for it too. But, it goes against the understanding that has been forming inside my mind. The incredible realization that WEIGHT is not the problem. Please understand that I'm only speaking from my own experiences and there are always exceptions to everything!
I used to be skinny. Incredibly skinny. My family lived miles from town, we didn't have cable, and I spent most of my time trying to escape into my own little world. Books and bike-riding were my two main escapes. Occasionally, I'd go for a walk along the river that our home was located on. I didn't snack much back then and I kept my activity levels up. So I was skinny. I had a great metabolism. And then, my mom and step-dad divorced, my mom started dating men I didn't like. I started becoming more self-conscious, I exercised less, ate for comfort, read more. And you know what happened? I gained weight. I know! Totally illogical thing to happen, right? The more weight I gained, the more I ate for comfort, the more self-conscious I became. When I was 14, I weighed 96 lbs. When I was 15, I weighed 125. By the time I graduated high school, I weighed 180. I nearly doubled my weight in four years! It became a vicious cycle. And it just kept going. Because I didn't stop it. I didn't change it.
Here's the point I'm trying to get across...weight is not the problem. Weight is the product of a lifestyle. It is not the problem. The problem is the lack of activity, the choice of nutrition, the daily life that leads our bodies to the condition that they are in. This is why I object to the biggest loser challenge. I'm doing it, because I think it could be a good motivator in some ways (who doesn't want to win a $200 jackpot?). But, I object to some of the ideas of it. You see, my sisters all did this same challenge last year. I have no idea who won. But you know what happened? Once the challenge was over, they all reverted back to their original way of life. The weight came back. Plus some, for many of them. Their habits didn't change, but they did work to get the weight off. Once the weight-loss challenge was over, they went back along their merry ways. Nothing changed. Life didn't change, habits didn't change. So their bodies reverted back to what their lifestyles dictated they should be.
This was a huge revelation to me. The whole idea that my body is a result of my lifestyle. I've spent so much of my life making excuses for my weight. I used diabetes as an excuse for why I weighed what I did, for why I gained weight. I tried to trick myself into believing that I did eat well, that I did get a decent amount of exercise. And at times, I even believed it all myself. But, with this whole fitness challenge, I'm learning that I need to be accountable for my own choices. I need to open my eyes and see where I went wrong, what behaviors I engaged in that made my body the way it is. I need to come to the realization that I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONDITION OF MY BODY. Yup, that's right. I became fat and overweight because of the choices I made. Diabetes may have made it easier to gain weight. Or it may not have. But, I gained weight because I didn't move enough, I ate too much and too much of the wrong stuff, and I stopped paying attention to what my body needed.
You want to know what the great thing is about coming to that incredible realization? Now that I've recognized it as being the truth, I am free to change it! My behaviors aren't holding me back anymore because I'm not busy trying to hide them anymore! My weight is no longer my problem and my behaviors aren't either. Because I'm changing them and making the effort to improve my health, not just lose weight! And that is making all the difference this time around. Who knows, in three months, I may just take that biggest loser jackpot!