I thought it would be appropriate to have my first post be something of an introduction that goes deeper than the “about me’ section on this site. Sometimes I like to think of my life as a story: It has some earlier chapters that I can look back on and learn from, but the rest has yet to be written. That used to scare me, but I’m learning to love the unknown part of who I am and who I will be. For now, I want to focus on one of the bigger pieces that have played an important role in my story: my health.
I am currently on a journey to lose weight and live a healthier life. I’ve struggled with my weight since I was in middle school, and I can’t tell you how many crazy diets I have tried and failed at. After so many failed attempts at losing weight I started to give up. I tried telling myself that I was fine just the way I was; truth is, I was not fine. My body ached, I could barely walk up a flight of stairs, I had heartburn all of the time, and I felt trapped in the only body I have. You would think being that miserable would have been enough to push me to make a change, but it wasn’t. At least not for a while.
In addition to being overweight, I also have asthma. I’ve had asthma since I was a kid, but it hadn’t been a problem for five or six years, until I got sick during my first semester of college in 2010. For some reason what I thought was just a cold was not going away. It turned out that it wasn’t a cold: it was my asthma, back with a roaring vengeance. In the year 2011 I made almost two dozen trips to the hospital because of asthma attacks. I felt like I lived at the doctor’s office, having to go in almost every week as they tried to get my asthma under control. It was then that my doctor started stressing even more the importance of losing weight to hopefully relieve some of my symptoms. I asked her how I should lose weight. Her answer was “diet and exercise.” I asked her what I could do for exercise while not triggering an asthma attach. Her answer: “nothing right now.” That was the answer I heard at every appointment for the next year. Losing the weight had finally become a matter of life or death, and I had no idea how to do it. I kept saying I would try, but in reality I was scared to make a change. I don’t think it was because I didn’t want to lose weight, but because I was afraid I would only fail again.
It wasn’t until about seven months ago that I found the answer to being healthy. You see, I wasn’t just worried about my health – If I was to be honest with myself, I was more worried about how I looked. I needed to stop focusing on being thin and getting fast results, and instead focus on being healthy and feeling good! In order to do that I also needed to come to the realization that I did not get to be obese overnight, so I’m not going to lose all of that weight in an instant. I was sick and tired of my doctors telling me that I couldn’t exercise, so I decided to do it anyway. And guess what? I didn’t die. I may have been out of breath after that first workout, and the next 30 after that one, but something in me changed. I saw that I could make a change. I needed to stop leaning on my health as an excuse and just start making changes.
So what is different about this time, compared to all of my other failed attempts? This time I see that losing weight and eating healthy is not a quick fix. It takes time and a whole lot of effort. There is a saying that I’ve heard before by Tony Robins that started to make a lot of sense once I came to see this: “Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of making a change.” Exercising is not easy. Counting calories is not easy. Completely revising the way you live your life is definitely not easy. Losing weight is hard. Being obese is much harder. I decided to make that change, and it has been the best decision I have ever made. Since June or 2012, I have lost almost 80 pounds. It has not been easy at all. But guess what? I feel amazing! I still have a long way to go, but I’m looking forward to the rest of this amazing journey. I have an amazing support system full of some amazing people who have helped me get to this point. My goal is to continue to lose weight while learning how to live a life that is healthy and free from a body that is overburdened.