I have spent the greater part of the past three hours going through one file box of old papers from the early 2000’s. The plastic container of personal historical documents told stories of countless weight-loss attempts: ionamin, personal training, gym memberships, weight watchers, nutritionists, HMR entrees, and other indiscernible items.
I saw the receipt for ionamin, and I clearly recalled the day I asked my doctor in 2001 for a pill to aid in weight loss. My journey into ionamin didn’t last long. The side effects included rapid heart beat, and let’s just say I didn’t care for that feeling. I thought I was having a heart attack. I didn’t even last a week on those pills.
I went to a nutritionist. Two really. I didn’t connect with either, but I did learn some healthy eating habits. The really issue with me and nutritionists? I don’t trust advice from people who haven’t experienced obesity personally. They might be knowledgeable about food, but recovery from morbid obesity—well emotions run rampant on that roller coaster.
I tried HMR entrees. I don’t really recall them at all. I tried Weight Watchers but didn’t have success there. I didn’t feel comfortable in the meetings. I didn’t like the feeling of success being defined solely by the scale. I tried Overeaters Anonymous, but had my anonymity broken twice. Lesson learned.
I hired a personal trainer. He called me a douche bag. I found another personal trainer, and I learned how to use machines really well, but my head wasn’t quite ready to see the numbers on the scale move. Full disclosure: I had the funds to hire a personal trainer as I still lived at home. I don’t currently have the disposable income to hire a personal trainer, but I don’t really need that now. I still remember the lessons I learned: how to use machines, how to integrate interval training into cardio sessions, etc.
I found one cancelled check for a yoga workshop with Ana Forrest. That helped me! That memory still helps me. She didn’t coddle me because of my size. She got addiction and yoga. She understood. I only took two workshops with her, but I remember each fondly. Rod Stryker: I took several workshops with him too. He didn’t judge or coddle me either. He pushed me to my limits and beyond. When I think of that I know that I can push my own limits safely.
Those memories make me glad I decided to go through that plastic file tonight. Those yoga memories bring a smile to my face.
I also have a deeper appreciation for how I spend money. I want to find joy in my life, so the activities I do from this moment on need to bring a smile to my heart. A life filled with joy is a life worth LIVING.
I went to the gym today and did 30 minutes on a recumbent bike. That makes me happy because I did that for my health. I didn’t overdo. For much of my life, I’ve felt I had to do too much, go to far at the gym to prove, to demonstrate my worth. I didn’t feel worthy because of my size, so I had to prove I could work out harder than a skinny person.
Now, I just want to be me and to work at being healthy and happy. So many of the pieces of paper I discarded didn’t bring me joy. I don’t wish to look backwards—just forwards.
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