Thursday, August 12, 2010

Anything you can do

Pretty much every time you read a weight loss success story, the person says, “If I can do it, anyone can.”

Ugh. That used to make me so angry. I have thrown a magazine or two across the room because of that sentence.

But now I’m starting to get it. And though I haven’t said those exact words yet, I feel them bubbling on the surface.

When people see me and notice I’ve lost weight, the first question they ask is “How did you do it?”

I think they’re a little disappointed when I say Weight Watchers. I know what they’re feeling. When I’d ask that question of other people in my life who had lost weight, I was praying they’d say it was a magic pill or a shake. Perhaps a fairy godmother or an enchanted wand.

But I always knew better. I knew it would be hard work. And for a long time, I just wasn’t ready to do that work. Maybe you’re not, either. And nothing I can say here will change that. It’s all about doing things in your own time.

In those success stories, people will often talk about their “a-ha” moment—the breaking point which compelled them to start living a healthy life. The time they couldn’t fit on a roller coaster. The harsh words from a doctor. Losing their breath while walking upstairs. The lack of a relationship.

I waited for my own a-ha moment. It didn’t happen the time I couldn’t fit on a roller coaster after standing in line for two hours. It didn’t happen when my doctor diagnosed me with sleep apnea. It didn’t happen the time I could barely walk up the stairs to my seat at the Fox while seeing a show with a friend. It didn’t happen despite going to a billion weddings as a guest, minus a plus one. These were all things that embarrassed and hurt me, but not things that made me decide to change.

For me, there was no lightning strike. I guess it was a series of these kind of embarrassments that added up. And though I waited for this big change to happen to me, I’m the one who had to make it happen. I had to get off my booty, put down the French fries and do it. There was no magic.

I don’t have a wand or a fairy godmother. I don’t have a special pill or a shake. But I do have the words that I now know to be true:

If I can do it, anyone can. I promise.


Anonymous said...

Strong words from an obviously strong woman.
I am trying to get myself to where you are and I am glad for the wisdom, humor and inspiration you share.

Anonymous said...

Your post both inspired me and made me cry. I admire you!

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I can totally relate. Thanks for all of your inspiration and words of wisdom. Have a great weekend!
Jennie (from CHOA)