Hey, Karen, How Can We Change the World?
One Pound at a Time
by Karen Hanrahan
â€˜ Tis the season for eating!!! I can hear my indulging commentary â€œOh why fight itâ€, isnâ€™t the holiday season all about the food? â€œ Iâ€™ll be really good after the holidaysâ€ (in holiday forked tongue that really means 6 weeks of being bad) â€œIâ€™ll binge now and worry laterâ€ (sort of like Iâ€™ll shove it in faster than I did before because in January I am going on a diet)
Welcome to my world. One year ago I was a whopping size 24 or XXX (not the steamy sexy kind of XXX either) Itâ€™s one thing to hit 200 lbs, itâ€™s another to go above and beyond 200lbs. At 240 lbs how could any weight loss make a difference â€“ 230 lbs now what? 100 lbs to go?? Forget it.
One brownie became 3 brownies simply because what difference did it make. In the bigger (ha!) picture of things â€“ I was already big.
How did I get to be so darn BIG? Some of it was circumstance (car accident — 2 years of pain), some of it was chosen sedentary-ness (if I didnâ€™t move then it wouldnâ€™t hurt) and most of it became utter and pathetic apathy (itâ€™s just too darn hard.)
For those of us who have been of size, there are details to being fat that are never discussed. Those of thinness take for granted the horrors we of girth endure.
In my minds eye, meaning without ever looking in the mirror, I was skinny. My true self (or the person I could seemingly relate to) would walk down the street see the reflection in the glass window and completely ignore who she saw. What I donâ€™t acknowledge wonâ€™t hurt me
I could never sit neatly in my chair. Those of thinness kindly observe that when you sit in a chair, volumes of you donâ€™t roll over the side. I affectionately called it sitting in the round.
After a recent 60 lbs of weight loss, I got on a plane and buckled my seatbelt â€“ without even thinking I sat in the middle seat, something I could never do as a woman of size. I burst into tears when I realized that my thighs were not invading someoneâ€™s personal space. Nothing worse than sharing thunder thighs with a stranger. (I then had to explain to 2 strangers why the heck I was crying.)
Ever go in the Womanâ€™s Plus Department? See anything hip youâ€™d care to wear? See any natural fabrics? Can you say S-T-R-E-T-C-H, synthetic land? Can you see that the #1 color choice is black? Can you imagine the feeling of black synthetic stretchy fabric on a balmy humid summer afternoon? Thunder thighs wrapped in plastic. Lovely huh?
I once had to walk through a crowd. A young man in front of me â€“ a thin young man pushed his way through the crowd shouting â€œWIDE LOAD coming throughâ€
WIDE LOAD. I thought I would simply die.
How bad does it have to get to shift from hefty to healthy? How horrible did it have to be?
For me, I got scared. I also got embarrassed. I looked in the mirror. I faced my skepticism, took on some products that helped the process, but mostly I allowed myself room for being real. What monster had I created and was I willing to look at that creep face to face.
5 things made a difference for me
- water â€“- the only beverage of choice
- snacks â€“- in this order; protein, vegetables, fruit, carbs
- movement â€“- like get up and just walk â€“ forget the gym membership â€“ save that for later when youâ€™ll actually go
- immediate success â€“- seeing some weight come off was truly inspirational
- habits â€“- notice them â€“- boy, I didnâ€™t even know the bad habits I had created. Do something about them.
Not rocket science and not something that everyone doesnâ€™t already know.
I had 2 immediate goals. Kick the 200 lb mark, and get out of the plus department.
I celebrate today my size 16 – ness. (not age 16 goof, SIZE 16!) and officially I am so out of the plus department!
In the world of thin-ness and ultimate BMI I have about 30 lbs to go. I lost 60 lbs in 12 months â€“ slowly and steadily. No up and down yo-yo stuff, and the best part is I feel really swell.
Do we hear weight success stories all the time? Sure. Perhaps you see a bit of yourself in mine. More than anything perhaps you find a bit of inspiration to give yourself that kick in the size ah-hem pants and get on the path to health. Best yet if we all took on weight loss, weâ€™d alter a frightening epidemic issue. One lb at a time.
Thanks, Karen! You’re an inspiration.
We can change the world — just like that.
–ME “Liz” Strauss