There’s a story behind this. Of course.
It started with last fall’s challenge to myself. I wanted to improve myself, to do things I would not normally do, to work on making myself a better person. Sounds good, right? Well one of the things I did was join a gym and start going regularly. And one of the results of going to the gym was that I became annoyed with the fact I did not lose any weight.
None. Not one single ounce.
I was working out, working hard, sweating buckets, improving my strength and flexibility, but I did not lose any weight at all.
Coupled with this was a doctor’s visit for something innocuous. But while I was there, I was stuck in the office for a loooooooooong time. So I was reading the charts on the wall, one of which was a BMI chart. And I discovered that according to my height and weight measurements, I was obese.
Obese. Me. Seriously?
I’m strong. I can lift 50-lb bags of livestock feed. I don’t lead a sedentary lifestyle. I am outside every day with the animals. I don’t ignore my health. I eat natural foods made from scratch, with plenty of vegetables. I’m healthy. I work out 2-3 times a week, strenuously. I can touch my toes. Heck, I hiked up to the top of Pikes Peak mountain in Colorado less than 2 years ago! In my mind, none of those things are congruous with being obese.
Was her chart incorrect? No, I went home and Googled other charts, and there was no difference. It took a while for the knowledge to really sink in, but it finally did.
I am obese.
Even my Wii gaming system knows it. The little icon representing myself (my “Mii”) on the Wii Fit is fat. They automatically take my weight and height and make my Mii proportional to that.
I hate it. Instinctually I know I do not look like it does, but I also acknowledge that I do not look like I did when I was 29 either.
Obese just doesn’t look like I once thought it did. One doesn’t have to be in a wheelchair, incapable of walking more than a few feet, before they’re considered obese. One doesn’t have to sit on the couch all day eating fast food, to end up being obese. It can happen slowly, in a healthy and strong person. It can creep up on you when you think all is as it always was.
I am not plagued by any of the health issues that often accompany being obese. My blood pressure is great. I’m hardly ever sick. I don’t have trouble doing exercise. I just have the extra layer of fat over parts of my body. And for that I am thankful.
But in what ways might my life improve if I were no longer obese? I bet I would have better flexibility if I had less fat to maneuver around. I bet I could pick up 75 lb bags of livestock feed if I got rid of some of the weight I’m carrying inside my skin. I’m sure there are more, those are two that came to mind most quickly.
I don’t know what the future will hold now that I have internalized this realization. But I’m not happy with the way things are, and I will change them. I have not made any lifelong changes yet. But I will.
I think I look forward to seeing my Mii get skinny as much as anything! Sometimes the small things matter. 🙂