Do you have any idea how many things fit/healthy weight people take for granted?
I don’t mean that as a slam at all. But until I got fat (and started losing that fat again), I had no clue how many aspects of life I had never ever given a second thought to.
Almost every week these days I say to my trainer, Joe, “Guess what I can do now?” He usually cheers and celebrates with me, and every once in a while says, “Wow, I’ve never thought of that being an issue before.”
And really, who would? What kind of person thinks the most exciting thing in her week is that she can now change her clothes without breaking into a sweat?
So yes. It’s me. I’m that weirdo who just about cried the day I realized I was able to change, sweat free, for the first time in years. The fact that I can shower and put on clean clothes without breaking out into a sweat while putting them on is so unbelievably awesome. Who knew?
There are about a billion other things I’ve realized thoughout this process, and I’d like to share those today as a reminder to myself, why I am working this hard and hanging in there. Each of these things that I can now do that I couldn’t before, make all the sweat and tears and pain and deprivation worth it. Sit back. It’s a long list.
1. Tying my shoes. Seriously, first of all, when I started this, my feet were so fat and swollen that my laces were almost too short to tie into a bow. Not to mention that bending over to try to REACH my feet was a monumental, almost impossible chore. You know how fat people love flip flops and slippers? Now you know why.
2. Wiping my butt. I know, I know, this probably delves into TMI territory, but think about it. Or don’t. But when you get fat, your butt gets bigger and your arms seem to get shorter by comparison. It’s not fun.
3. I can climb a flight of stairs without being winded. Self explanatory.
4. Movement. Seriously this one is so major I can’t possibly list it all. But just being able to walk downtown, climb stairs, do chores, mow the lawn, get out of bed, etc. You don’t realize how much extra effort it takes to do these little, simple things until you get fat. Just walking down the street for me is exciting these days. I’m not huffing and puffing. I’m not constantly looking in front of me trying to figure out how much further I have to go before I can sit down again. It’s actually ENJOYABLE to be able to move around again. And bonus, I don’t break out into an insta-sweat from the tiniest of movements anymore! I don’t feel like I’m having a hot flash every two seconds. Guess that’s a bonus as you shed “insulation.”
5. Sitting in stuff. For example, movie theater seats. It sucks when you barely fit in them. Airplane seats (and hello, how embarrassing is it when you have to ask for a seat-belt extender?) Also, booths at restaurants. Booths suck for fat people. Especially if you’re so fat that your gut is wedged up against the table. (This past week I went to Buffalo Wild Wings and the best part of that outing was that I sat in a booth and had MULTIPLE INCHES of space between the table and my gut. Oh happy day!) Roller coasters. Forget about it. The backseat of a two-door car. No thanks.
6. Not breaking stuff. Like flimsy, plastic lawn chairs. True story. Or not so flimsy wooden chairs. Also true story. And if you haven’t actually broken it yet, there is always an honest child nearby who will tell you not to jump on his tampoline because you “might” break it. You guessed it. True story.
7. Not smelling funky on a daily basis. Honest children will also point this out to you as well. And who can blame them? All the sweat that spontaneously breaks out at the tiniest of movements stinks. There is this misconception in society that fat makes people stink. This isn’t true. I’ve never noticed my fat having a smell. But I have noticed smelling BECAUSE I’m fat. That’s what happens when you can’t reach all the fat rolls with soap, when you have to do perform gymnastics in the bathroom, and when changing your clothes makes you sweat like a pig.
7. I can climb stuff. I locked myself out of my house (ok a few times) this winter and learned that I am now strong, agile, and fit enough to be able to pull myself over my 6-foot privacy fence with a little boost from a lawn chair. Bonus: I didn’t break the fence or any bones doing this on any occasion.
8. I can walk long distances. For example, the 10-mile hike I did last November. I’m really learning to love hiking, and I have plans for some double-digit overnight hikes this summer if I can work up the courage to risk the ticks. When I started exercising again, it was a challenge to walk for 5 minutes on the treadmill without being out of breath. No joke.
9. I’m no longer “too heavy” for some stuff. Did you know certain bicycles have a weight limit because the frames aren’t strong enough to support more than about 300 pounds? How about bathroom scales? Lots of them error out over 300. The most exciting thing for me in this category though is that I recently tried on a hiking backpack at a sporting goods store. I thought for sure I wasn’t going to be able to strap myself in at the waist but wanted to get an idea of what length I needed (who knew backpacks come in different lengths?). I was so stoked because the size I need for my torso has a hip belt that is JUST long enough for me to snap. No hip-belt extender needed!
10. I am developing confidence and self-esteem again. It’s a horrible feeling to not recognize yourself from the outside, but it’s even worse when you lose yourself on the inside. I’ve reached the point where I’m beginning to like myself again, to enjoy the person that I am and to believe I am worthwhile and I have something to offer.
This is an evolving list, obviously. Every day I appreciate something from this list or realize something new.
What kinds of things have YOU taken for granted without even realizing it?