Saturday, August 11, 2012

No intention of being another statistic

I have been thinking a lot in the last couple of days about what will happen when I move from this phase of weight loss into maintenance.  Plenty of people have told me, warned me is more like it, that the real work comes when all the weight is gone and I have to live a normal life.  It does amaze me how so many people have an opinion and feel it necessary to voice it to me.  No disrespect to anyone, but this part of my journey is not exactly a walk in the park.  Unless you have lived in my shoes, you can have empathy but not really know what it is I'm going through.  Sure, I don't have to deal with the choice around what food to eat today because I'm still on the full-fast and so my choices are what to put in my shakes and when I'll have my chicken broth.  Pretty simple, right?  Well, not exactly.  Imagine if you were living in a world where you were practically the only one not eating in most situations involving food.  Sometimes people choose not to include you because it's just easier, sometimes they shoot a poor you look your way and sometimes they are insensitive. 

I am not saying this because there are any issues that have come up, but just as a reminder that life is about perspective.  I have an incredible support system around me and I feel very strong in the decisions I make every day to take care of myself.  This phase of weight loss takes work though.  Just because I don't seem to struggle and have peace about me doesn't mean I don't bust my butt to make it happen.  People in my previous Optifast group (before we switched over to my current one) nick-named me Kick-Ass Kathy.  I kinda like that!  Once I made the decision to put one foot in front of the other and do this, my commitment level has been one hundred percent at every moment.

Perfect storms will do that to you.  When you survive them, you either go about doing what you were doing before or you take the opportunity to grow from them.  For me, it took the occurrence of a perfect storm to get me here and I don't intend to waste the opportunity or be another sad statistic.  That does not mean I walk naively forward saying that this time with the weight loss will be different, that I will be the one person that does not gain the weight back.  What that does mean, however, is I recognize that there are challenges in front of me, that I am committed to continuing to make lifestyle changes and that I must approach things very differently than I did before.  I did not have a bad life before, but I have to make permanent changes so that I can leave the past where it belongs.

In about three months or so, provided I continue losing the weight and progressing towards the goal set with the Optifast clinic, I will be transitioning to food.  It will be a whole new world for me, one that I am completely unfamiliar with.  I have never been at a healthy body weight before.  I never had those "thin" years when I was younger.  I was always pretty much the fattest one in the room.  So, obviously, in addition to incorporating new habits in my life, I also must continue dealing with emotional challenges that come up.  That has already taken place and does not start when I hit that magic number.  I am already at a weight that I have never been at before.  Instead of being overwhelmed by that, though, I am completely in the moment about it.  As I was putting on my capri work-out pants to exercise, I discovered new muscles and bones in my thighs and hips I had never seen before, ever.  I had to sit down on the edge of my bed and process that.  And when I was out doing my power walk, I saw people in their cars looking at me as I crossed in front of them at lights or as I turned a corner.  I don't know what their reasons were for looking - either positive or negative - but I just kept doing my thing.  God has really blessed me with legs that take me far every day, even though I have occasional knee pain and even though I'm not supposed to run on them.  I could never express deeply enough how much I enjoy the exercise now and how much I look forward to continuing that as I move into the next phase.  There definitely has been a shift where that is concerned.

I am making concerted efforts to be the best I can and do the best I can to live life in a healthy way ... emotionally, spiritually and physically.  I am not running away when things become difficult or I encounter challenges.  Instead, I turn to God to help me walk through them.  I write about them, I talk to friends about them, I turn to others who have been on the journey before me and I embrace the things I know nothing about.  I do feel like a child in some respects, encountering a lot of firsts along the way, but I also feel incredibly empowered.  I know that when it is eventually time to go into maintenance, it's not a place I have to fear at all.  My life is so different than it was just six months ago when I started and I know it will be completely different in another six months.  Hopefully you'll continue coming along with me, cheering me on and getting encouragement if you are also on the same path as me.  As the saying goes, it's in the journey, not the destination.


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