Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Why 100 Pounds

Ever since I posted my goal of losing 100 pounds, I've wanted to follow it with a post about why 100 pounds.  Or maybe what 100 pounds means to me.  They are to different questions and I have been able to decide which one deserves attention first.  I am prone to analysis paralysis and the area of weight loss is no exception. Tackling these questions, one at a time, will hopefully lead me down the road to a healthy, well-balanced, skinny me.  So now for the question.

Why 100 pounds?

The facts are that I am a 5 foot 5 inch woman in my thirties.  My healthy weight range is 120 - 150 pounds.  With a start weight of 240 pounds, losing 100 pounds is a reasonable and healthy goal.

It is also a shocking goal.  I need something shocking to get me moving.  I'd rather the reality of 100 pounds shock me into action than a heart attack or diabetes.  I have high cholesterol.  Heart Disease and Diabetes run in my family.  But my parents and grandparents worked active, physical jobs.  Their weight didn't begin to be an issue until they moved into more sedentary management positions.  My weight was first addressed as an issue in Middle School.

When I was 11 years old, I remember hearing that I had high cholesterol.  I wasn't an obese child.  My parents were healthy, but family history on both sides showed reason for concern.  We changed our diets, limiting eggs and beef, eating lots of fish, swapping out butter for vegetable oil and whole milk for 1%.  The dietary change was really irrelevant to me (I liked seafood and never had a taste for butter), but I became aware that I was different and possibly not quite right. That was the beginning of my weight issues.  There is no blame; I just recall that being the time period when I went from being a naive happy little kid to knowing about stuff that naive happy healthy little kids just don't know about.  And I began to struggle with my weight.

By the time I was 22, I was 100 pounds overweight.  I can't tell you when it happened.  I quite honestly only noticed it happening peripherally.  At this point, I graduated college, got my first job and felt I like I was an adult.  I have been approximately this size since then, my entire adult life.  How would my life have been different if I hadn't gained the weight?  I wasn't idly munching chips for 11 years.  I studied and loved and experienced and succeeded.  I  have succeeded at this weight.

Which brings me back around to the question.  Why 100 pounds?

I want to be healthy.  At 100 pounds above my ideal weight range, doctors look at my through an obese filter.  Many, but thankfully not all, of them can't or won't help me with problems unrelated to my weight because EVERYTHING is linked to my weight.  I spent 6 years in pain before finding the right combination of doctors to understand that the pain in my legs was treatable at my PRESENT size.  In the process of finding those doctors, gastric bypass was offered multiple times, arthritis was diagnosed without reason, and I was simply written off.  Regardless of all tests and symptoms, both of my pregnancies were considered high risk because of my weight.  I want to remove this one unhealthy characteristic of me.  Then the medical industry to be able to treat me based on my symptoms, not on my size.

The 100 is a bit of a magic number.  It is 3 digits which makes it much more impressive than 99.   Honestly, if I lose 99 pounds, will I be disappointed?  Hell no!  If I lose 100 will I just stop?  I hope not.  If I lose 100 pounds, I will be solidly within my weight range for my age.  I will have overcome the stigma of being 100 pounds overweight.  I will have proven to the world that I am not lazy.  I will have proven to myself that I can.  And for the first time I will just be an adult.  No weight-related adjectives needed.

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