Sunday, April 20, 2008

Motivation To Get Fit

"Get Motivated, Get Active, Get Fit!"


That was the title of my daily meditation e-mail this morning. Talk about right on time, as I had been planning this post for today.


As I shared in my last post, my motivation for getting fit wasn't simply so I could fit into a smaller dress size. Hypertension, borderline diabetes, sleep apnea, and asthma necessitated that I drop a massive amount of weight. I had tried everything - any and every popular and fad diet known to man. I exercised - making sure to do the things that I actually enjoyed. However, I never succeeded in losing and keeping off the kind of weight that I desperately needed to lose.


When my supervisor casually asked me if I had ever considered gastric bypass surgery, I almost blurted out "Hell no!" She and another co-worker had both undergone the procedure and lost well over 100lbs each. However impressive that was, I was not subjecting myself to what I thought would be a lifetime of one tablespoon of food.

The months went on and my joints ached more. I continued to eat uncontrollably and pack on more weight. I don't quite remember the final straw and what led me to start doing my own research. However, after an emotional and arduous journey, on July 8, 2005, I climbed on that operating table and risked my life to save my life.

Here I sit, well over 140lbs and seven dress lighter, and it still remains the best decision I will probably ever make in my entire life.



I won't tell you that my experience has been a walk in the park and gastric bypass is not for everybody. I know some people who were not successful at it and regained a lot of the weight or had a lot of medical problems afterwards and wish they had never done it. A lot of people have died. It was the best decision for me. I was blessed to be swimming laps across an Olympic size pool one week after surgery. Nothing but God could have made that happen. He has things he wants me to do and the weight was holding me back. It had to go and that's how I had to make it happen.


Over the past 2 1/2 years, I've often wrestled with whether I should ever tell anyone who didn't know me before. I've gotten quite adept at explaining to people why I only eat a quarter of my meal. Anyone that didn't know me would never be able to tell by looking at me.



I'm shaped like my mother, who has never been bigger than a size 14. At 61, she's a size 10/12. This is the way I'm supposed to look.

Although I am a virtual success story, I am far from perfect. I can eat pretty much anything I want - and I do - sometimes more than I should. This surgery does not automatically erase the issues that caused you to become morbidly obese. If anything, it exacerbates them! I can no longer turn to binge eating to deal with my emotions - not without dire consequences. I have been in therapy off and on (now on) and I plan to start attending an eating disorder support group in the next few weeks. Frankly, I would rather die before I let myself get back to that "before" picture. What happens from here on out is entirely up to me.

This is my motivation to get fit. Share yours in the comments.

4 comments:

VOD said...

There are way too many things that run in my family - both my mother's side and my father's side - for me to not be motivated to be fit. I haven't been to the gym in a long time, but I just started walking recently for 1/2 hour every day or every other day and I might let the gym membership cancel out in favor of this. I also walk for mental health and clarity. I try to eat healthy too; I don't do it every day but I definitely eat healthier than the average American.

I have many family members who are overweight or obese and have/had medical issues, but there are also family members who are small like me who've had cancer(s), heart attacks, strokes, etc. Some of them, big and small, have died, unfortunately.

Damn looking good; that's just a small bonus. I do it for my health and my life.

Nona said...

It was really good to read your post VT. It is so important for us to remember that when our health is in jeopardy we should leave no stone unturned.

Love your before and after photos. You look wonderful!!!

My initial motivation for eating well and exercising is quite simply to give myself a fighting chance at living a long disease-free life, but I've noticed that as I lose weight I'm becoming more focused on looking good.

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