per·spec·tive: a particular attitude toward or way of regarding something; a point of view.
Perspective was a very important word while I was losing weight, and I think it is even more important now.
I had a little perspective wake up call this weekend, and thought I’d share it with you all. It was a lesson I’ll never forget, but sometimes gets pushed to the back of my mind until a reminder brings it to the surface.
We have to go in the way-back machine for this one folks. It was back in 2002, the first time I joined Weight Watchers. I was a losing machine, but hungry all the time. You are only going to get so far that way, and thankfully Weight Watchers and myself have come a long way since 2002.
Anyway, I was a freakin’ rock star. I wasn’t just dropping it like it’s hot, I was dropping it like it was the seventh layer of hell hot. Then I had a month where it all came to a screeching halt. My weight loss didn’t stall, but I only lost one pound per week.
Now that I’m older I know it is much better to lose one pound a week, but back then I thought it was an absolute travesty. I ended up losing five pounds for the month, and felt like a complete failure.
I was lamenting that fact before the meeting, and my leader heard me. She told me to pick up a bag of five pound potatoes the next time I was in the grocery store and carry it the whole time. It sounded silly, but I did it anyway.
Five pounds doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you carry an extra five pounds around for more than a couple minutes you can tell a big difference.
This time of year is hard for me. Of course it was way easier last year as I was working towards lifetime, so I had a goal. Anyone that knows me knows I love to bake. I’ve already started feeling the “poor me” perspective, that I can’t bake as much as I’d like.
I will do some, because I love it, but I simply can’t bake constantly like I used to do between September and Christmas. I can give most of it away, but besides baking it I love to eat it! I mean I really LOVE to eat it!!
So my perspective sucked. I was thinking about what I couldn’t have instead of what I do have. The wake up call came as this was my Costco week. Salt for my softener, water, kitty litter – if it’s heavy, I bought it.
It probably only took me about fifteen minutes to bring all that stuff in and put it away. I’m in pretty decent shape. I run for heaven’s sake, on purpose even. I have a “normal” weight reading on my doctor’s charts. Despite all that I plopped in my chair after I was done, a bit winded and sweaty.
That reminder popped back into my head from 2002 and I got up to check out how much those things weighed. The water and salt were both 40 pounds. The kitty litter was 27 pounds. I don’t know how much the other bags were, but they were heavy.
So I was carrying 60 pounds around, all the time before. 60 pounds. No wonder I was always tired back then. People look at overweight people and think they are lazy, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth if they tried.
Everything you do takes more energy, more effort when you have extra weight on you, so give yourself a break. If you want to have a pity party for yourself because you can no longer bathe in mac-n-cheese, get over it.
Even though I can’t bake us much as I like, from my perspective the trade-off is much more valuable. Think about that the next time you only lose a few pounds, or you can’t eat what it seems like everyone else can without gaining weight. Your health is worth it.
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