Sunday, September 28, 2014

On not being obese

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This summer, I hit a milestone. I just went from the 'obese' BMI category to the 'overweight' category for my height. I feel my chest tighten just thinking of the word obese. It's a scary whisper in my head and a heaviness on my heart. It was never how I thought/think of myself. It's a word that scares the crap out of me. I've always known I was bigger, but I just never thought of myself as 'obese'. I was 'chunky', 'just a bigger frame', and a 'great example of a corn fed American' but never ever EVER obese.  At this point in my life, I'm able to admit  I was obese because denying my obesity would be denying a lot of awesome things that I did when I was that size. Changing so many years of habit took a lot, but I had to accept that it happened and was a part of my life so that I could move on to the next chapter.

Things I've done as an obese person:
  • Hiked the Inca trail 
  • Ran 6 miles 
  • Biked 40 miles 
  • Became an overweight person
Things I will do as an overweight person: 
  • Bike 150 miles 
  • Run 13.1 miles
  • Become a 'normal' sized person 
My transformation has changed how I think of myself. I've always known that I'm smart/kind/important, but what was missing was a physical manifestation of how I see myself.  I've been overweight my entire life and my body became part of me. What else could I do? I accepted my size and focused on honing the fat person archetype.  I became the girl who was smart, funny, and a person who reveled in the excess of life. I decided if I embraced the excess, the fact that my body had so much excess would just be accepted. It helped me be okay with myself. In the end, it wasn't about how others viewed me. It was about feeling safe in the world.

I think the best part of this journey is seeing that I can be all the things I want to be, do all the things I want to do and still have a healthy existence. They don't have to be mutually exclusive (who knew?!)! Today, my life is balanced in a way that I never thought possible. The confidence I have in my discipline and spirit is something I never imagined I would have. I used to watch people achieve their goals and wondered what inadequacy I had within myself that prevented me from getting where I wanted to be. There is a hopelessness and loneliness in knowing that you are the only person in the way of your journey. In the beginning, I was most afraid that I would have to give up so much to get to this point and I wasn't sure how I could do it. In truth, I did have to give up a lot, but it was undeniably worth giving up all of those things over staying who I was. I've also had the support of so many people. It's incredible how excited other people get about you achieving something you are determined to achieve.

This transformation has made me think about all the other places in my life where I could channel my ambition and make something incredible happen. I get chills just thinking about what's next.

20lbs and counting. Half marathon training begins. :D

*The quotation above is from a character named Socrates who was a gas-station attendant in a book published in the 1980s by Dan Millman. The quote was not from the renowned Greek philosopher. :)


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