Obesity

“Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you have made. If you want a different result, make a different choice.”

-Unknown

     I believe in choices. I believe we all have the capability to make them. Each person in the is world may differ in many ways, but what we all have in common is our free will. God gave it to each and every one of us.

     Before I begin writing on what I have chosen as the topic for this particular blog post, I would like to say that: I am about to write what are my personal thoughts and opinions on the subject and that they do not apply appropriately to every situation. It is in no way my goal to offend, bully, or discriminate against any group of people.

     In a recent conversation I had where I was expressing my opinions on obesity, someone who clearly did not share or care for my opinions, asked me if I had ever been obese. What I believe came off as hesitation to them was a thought process to me. I did not answer right away because I had to consider what they believed to be considered “obese”. By definition, obese means being grossly fat or overweight or having excessive body fat, which to a point, I had been becoming. But the term is so widely used to describe people of a much larger mass than I had ever gotten, that I couldn’t decide on what to tell them without choosing my words carefully and providing an accurate explanation. However, in that brief moment of hesitation, they decided to answer for me and took full responsibility in assuming that the answer was no. I was told that since I had never been obese, I couldn’t understand.

     This frustrated me you see, and even more so when I heard another describing obesity as a disease.

     I was fortunate enough to grow up with a mother who cared about my health and well being. When other kids were eating lucky charms and pop tarts for breakfast, I was eating raisin bran and oatmeal. I didn’t grow up with cable or video games and spent the majority of my childhood outdoors. Those were my mothers choices and for a child who was too young to decide for herself, that was how I ate and spent my time. I didn’t always like it or understand it, but today, I am thankful for it.

     By the time I was old enough to start making my own decisions, I was living in a different environment surrounded by junk food and indoor activities. That’s when I began noticing my body changing.

     Foods that had been considered treats and activities that had once been accessible in small amounts were now open to me. Friends houses were no longer the only place I could find junk food and television. I specifically remember the first day I began gaining weight. I was in sixth grade and we were eating out at a Chinese buffet. I got SO full. I remember thinking, wow my tummy is so full I can’t see my toes! And that’s when it started. I don’t know why I held onto that memory, it’s really kind of embarrassing, but mentally it was the day my insecurity and unhappiness began because every day after that I could look down and not see my toes.

     Through the rest of middle school and high school it lasted. I would spend my summers on the couch watching Disney channel when I used to spend them riding my bike and playing with friends. I would sneak junk food from the kitchen after school before dinner. I specifically remember eating two or three bags of chips or ice cream sandwhiches every afternoon and then throwing away the wrappers in a separate trash bag so I wouldn’t get caught. At friends houses they told me to help myself and so I did. My friends and I lived off of nothing but soda and pizza every time we hung out, which would sometimes be four to five times a week.

     I knew it wasn’t good, but going from one lifestyle to the next, it was new, exciting, and most of all, EASY. I truly believed I was living the life. Until I began to feel self conscious about myself and what I looked and felt like…

     I was becoming more and more unhealthy and equally unhappy…but I had no one to blame but myself.

     The foods I was eating, the way I was living, all of it was my choice.

     It finally became bad enough that my self esteem had gone to hell…I was getting fatter and fatter and I hated myself. I was slowly, but surely heading down the path to obesity…until finally, I caught myself.

     My unhealthy ways had destroyed not only my body, but my mind. They effected my relationships with my family, my friends, and even my boyfriends. I was so desperate to be “skinny” like the other girls and so terrified of being “fat” like the other girls. I didn’t know what to do, which way to go, or what was up or down. I just wanted to be happy and fix whatever I needed to fix to get there.

     So I made a choice.

     Actually, I made choices. A LOT of them.

I chose not to go back for seconds.
I chose to go for a run in the park.
I chose to drink water.
I chose to pick healthier options.
I chose to do crunches.
I chose to sweat more than sit.
I chose to love more than hate.
I chose to do things for myself.
I chose to care.

     Was it easy? No. Is it any easier now? No.

     Every day I have to get up and do more and try harder.

     I don’t think people realize how hard people work to be healthy and fit. I know I do. And it all comes down to choices.

     Every day I choose whether or not I’m going to make excuses or get things done. I choose whether to eat clean or let my cravings get the best of me. I choose whether to push myself or just give up. I don’t have a fast metabolism, so every food I intake can effect me in the slightest. Every choice of food I make throughout the day can make or break me. I go through excessive meal prep and weekly grocery shopping because my food is fresh and doesn’t come in a box. I work extra hours so I can make sure to have the money to eat healthy. In a good week, I work out an hour each day six days a week. It is a lot of work but it is NEVER not worth it.

     I do understand being obese. I was on my way to being obese the majority of my life. I have seen it consume family members, some who still struggle with being obese and some who have changed their lives and turned away from it. But that’s just it…I have seen people overcome it.

     Our bodies may be all different shapes and sizes, but we make a choice as to how we treat them, what they are made of, and what they look like. Everyone’s body has potential. No one is born to be stuck a certain way.

     I have seen amazing transformations throughout my journey. People who have taken themselves from morbidly obese to a body builder. And it all started with a choice.

     Obesity is not a disease, it is a lifestyle choice.

     If you choose to be inactive and eat fattening foods, you will become obese. The math is simple.

“If you want a different result, make a different choice.”

-Unknown

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