It randomly occurred to me earlier today that despite the many things I want to change about my body – and I have a big list – I’m still extremely grateful for it. With a glass-half-full view of the problems I’ve been experiencing over the years – lack of fitness, knee issues, obesity – I’ve come to realise that I actually can make a change, and that I can see my body actually responding to my efforts. The damage I’ve done to it is not irreversible, and the willingness my body has shown in losing weight and gaining fitness has been incredible. It’s somewhat opened my eyes up: my body hasn’t abandoned me, thrown in the towel like a broken down old thing to be tossed aside as useless and unsalvageable. Even while I was sitting on my backside for all those years, harboring serious denial about my health and fitness and neglecting it terribly, it was still chugging along and attempting to perform as well as it could manage. All this despite myself.
Looking at it like this, I confess I do feel a little guilty; but more than this, I feel incredibly grateful.
If my body were a person, I’d give it a huge hug for sticking it out with me despite how badly I’ve treated it. I know, if it were able to do so, I couldn’t blame it for upping and walking out on me after the years I’ve mistreated it. I’ve eaten badly without thought for more than what my taste buds wanted at the time, ignored the gains and the stress the weight had put upon my joints and muscles, suffered the horrible pains of the bursitis that struck my knees and hips and caused me to be unable to stand. I’ve been tired and anemic, depressed and just absolutely miserable. Despite these problems I’ve had, I’ve actually come 28 years without serious harm coming to me like type 2 diabetes or something much, much worse. I’ve dodged a bullet, all things considering.
I realise now, as I’ve picked up my physical exercise and cut down on the bad eating habits, my body was just waiting for me to get into gear to respond. It’s evident in the way the pounds have come off, in the way that my fitness levels have risen and how wonderful I feel now whereas before I felt tired, moody and pessimistic. I find it incredible that I’ve been able to run on knees that, nearly 4 years ago, suffered such painful inflammation that I was unable to walk. There had been a day that I disintegrated into tears in the middle of my university campus, unable to take another step from the pain. I literally had to stay seated or work with crutches in order to get around. At that time, I probably weighed close to 200lbs. 200lbs on a 5 foot 2 inch frame. It was hell on my body, but it kept on going.
I find it amazing that I’m able to wear clothes I never imagined I could ever wear, that I can walk long distances without being exhausted, or that I can easily pass by tempting junk foods in favor of more healthy and filling foods. And for my dedication and hard work, my body is rewarding me with more energy, stamina and visible physical and mental improvement. That, I think, is the biggest reward of all. The comments and compliments, the encouragement I’ve received have all been wonderful, but nothing comes close to the change I see and feel within me.
I know I have a way to go before I reach my ultimate goals, but I’m feeling pretty positive. I have a good deal of weight to lose before I hit my healthy weight range. I don’t believe I’ll ever be at the low end of my recommended health range – I don’t want to be 105lbs, or even 110lbs – but I do believe that I can get to a weight that will feel good for me.
What keeps me going is thinking of where I’ve come from – being at a maximum weight of over 200lbs – and looking at myself today. I’ve come a long way; by losing more than 50lbs from that max weight and coming from a place of serious health issues, I’m now where I never imagined where I would be. I only just need to keep going. I know I can do it.