A Note Of Thanks To My Body

At my heaviest weight, I was 267 pounds. That was 15 years ago. Through the years, I dieted, stopped, exercised, stopped, dieted some more, and stopped again. Any of us who has a substantial amount of weight to lose can probably say the same thing. We rarely get it right the first time, or the second or the third time.

When I started on my latest and last fitness journey in 2008, I weighed 230.2 pounds the day I stepped on the Weight Watchers scale. I happen to know that I’d managed to drop about 5 pounds before then. I weighed 167.2 this morning. That’s 100 pounds from my heaviest weight to now.

Yesterday I ran 4 miles. Running 4 miles is something that I wouldn’t have attempted or believed I could do….ever. Certainly not when I was 267 pounds or 230 pounds. Not even when I was 18 and 140 pounds and in good physical condition.

I was on my way to personal training this morning with my friend Jen…there will more about her and her alternative approach to resistance training in tomorrow’s blog post…and I started thinking about how far I’ve come. I think about this a lot. It keeps me going.

And I realized that I am truly grateful for having been 230 pounds, even 267 pounds. I didn’t appreciate it at the time, but I do now. Our bodies are amazing. Amazingly loyal, and amazingly resilient. My body still carried me when I had 100 pounds more on it’s 5’4″ frame than I do now. And at 230 pounds when I decided to get fit this time, it let me walk first, and then run…and swim and bike.

Being morbidly obese comes with consequences. And make no mistake. I was morbidly obese. I got winded easily. I got tired easily. I had acid reflux and heart palpitations. I felt like crap. But I was able to keep going.

You would think there comes a point where the body just says, “Nope, not doing it anymore. Not moving from this spot until you start treating me better.” It seems to take a lot to get the body to that point.

Think about it. If you abuse another person, you end up in jail, or at the very least that person can be taken away from you. But if we abuse ourselves, and getting to the point of morbid obesity is personal abuse, even if it’s done slowly and with yummy sugary treats, the only consequences we face are personal.

I am grateful that I weighed 230 pounds. I abused my body, but it stuck by me. And when I was ready to start treating it right, it responded. With each step and each pound lost, my body has gotten stronger and rewarded me in ways I never imagined. I have energy. I feel great. Aches and pains are fleeting. My skin has retracted to fit my frame (for the most part).

I can tell you that if I’d stayed at a reasonable weight all of my life, I probably would never have started running. I wouldn’t have gone back to swimming. I wouldn’t have attempted triathlon. Why would I have had to?

I would have been normal sized but unfit. Because I weighed 230 pounds when I decided to get fit this time, I knew I needed to exercise and eat healthier to reach my goals. I’ve taken it slowly. I’ve had missteps. But my body sticks by me. And I’m encouraged to get stronger and healthier every time I look at myself in the mirror or run a longer distance.

So thank you body. At whatever weight, I couldn’t have done it without you.

And I promise this time it’s for good.

5 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by onelittlejill on October 5, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    This was a really reflective post; and I think those are the best kind. You only are as good (or bad) as the places you have come from…it isn’t what has or hasn’t happened to us, it is how we deal with it. Looks like you are finding yourself in many good places- kudos to you!


  2. Hey Diane,
    This bought tears to my eyes. I am so proud of you. I have known you for 10 years now and I know how much the struggle was – even when you did talk about body acceptance and I was hoping you meant it.
    Reading this I know you do mean it now and forever!
    Thanks for the inspiration – did 2 miles this AM and between you and Jen I am on my way.


  3. Posted by Fran on October 5, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    You’ve really come a long way Diane. And your post is an eye-opener: why abuse our own body without being punished.

    You know I told you last week about my dog? Well we’ve been to the vet tonight and she’s very ill. We’ve got some medication but if that doesn’t help her we might have to decide by the end of this week to put her to sleep. Her kidneys hardly function anymore. And I’m so sad right now. I knew this was coming but hearing it is difficult.


    • Oh Fran, I’m so sorry. I hope the medication helps some with your dog. It is such a horrible decision to have to make. My heart goes out to you.


  4. Posted by Jeannie Porter on October 6, 2009 at 12:32 pm

    Loved your post! Quite motivational. I could relate to everything you said as I too am a previous fat girl. Your post reminded me of the great treasure we have with our bodies. Thanks for the post!


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