The Weight of My World

"It is easier to change a man's religion than to change his diet." ― Margaret Mead

I did a very courageous thing the other day. I got on the scale. "119 pounds?????" It was 5:45 a.m. in the morning and I ran into the bedroom and jumped on my husband. King, I'm 119 pounds!!!!??? How the did that happen? I haven't been 119 pounds since... since... I was 21!" In between snores, my husband kissed me and rolled over saying, "That's terrific honey. Just don't buy any more shoes. There's no more room in the closet." Bless my husband. Please... He's loved me from the time I could woof down an entire meatball, pepperoni, extra-large pizza to now, with my spinach salads, my cashews, apples and two liters of water. It's been a journey. So here's the truth.

It takes a health scare to make one realize that when something goes wrong with our body, there is a direct correlation to something that we're doing to ourselves. We can live in denial. We can cry. We can stay up night after night worrying and very upset that we were chosen to have this crisis happen. All of this is incredibly valid, but it's what we do after we're faced with a health crisis that matters more than the crisis itself. Are we going to take control of our lives or let some one in the health care system who doesn't know us and spends ten minutes with us, dictate what we should do? At a crucial time like that, we need to get educated. We need to ask a ton of valid questions and then... hard as it is... change.

It took me two years. I watched people, more courageous than I will ever be, tackle grave health issues with a fierce, "take no prisoners" behavior. They were diligent about being physical. They were diligent about their bodies. They cared about themselves and they put their health above all else because they had to do it. I realized if they could do it, so could I. In fact, I realized that real change comes from the heart. My heart. My mind. I literally was carrying the weight of the world on my shoulders and if I wanted to live a long life, I had to shed the fear, the guilt and the worry of my weight.

When I was growing up, we ate well! I mean, my mother baked and cooked and baked and cooked every single thing we ate. Eating was a sign of good health. If you weren't hungry, there was something wrong. There was the occasional "Devil Dog" or "Ring Ding" in the lunch bag, but for most of my youth, we ate in an extremely healthy fashion. We had a garden every year. My mother baked the bread for our sandwiches. When she bought a pasta maker, we had homemade pasta. She worked hard, so our bodies worked. Who could not love that?

But bad habits are bad habits. They creep up on you like a bad virus. I lost my appreciation. I got caught up in other people's drama. I lived the lives of others and not my own. I lost myself. That's how weight gain happens. We lose ourselves because we feel we should. There are no "shoulds." There are only "coulds." Two years ago, I realized I could. That doesn't mean it's easy, but it's a relief.

I've lost 16-17 pounds, but I can tell you that the loss was my gain. There are no more Snickers, Peanut M&Ms or wine. My body can't handle it. However, there are no more severe dips in energy. I eat apples. I don't count calories. I count my blessings and add as much color to our dinners as I possibly can. I thought I was missing so much, now I realize I've gained so much more. The partial vision I lost in my right eye two years ago, has been replaced with a much clearer vision. There is always hope.

I've realized I'm a fighter. I don't "diet." The word "diet" is a horrible word. Don't "diet." Live. Let no one tell you otherwise.