Thought for the Day--May 6, 2011: Why I Have Decided to Lose Weight...

Every person has free choice. Free to obey or disobey the Natural Laws. Your choice determines the consequences. Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices.
--Alfred A. Montapert
Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.
--Tony Robbins
No matter what we weigh or how we look, we can improve ourselves: our health, our values, and, yes, our bodies and bad habits.

Last year at this time, I had decided to accept myself just as I was, overweight and all. After all, I was exercising regularly and I felt pretty good. I lived in a third floor flat, and I had no problems navigating the stairs. I loved walking.

"I am what am," I told myself and anyone else who was interested in hearing it. For the first time in my life, I was happy with who I was inside; my body was just the exterior, and if anyone disliked me because of my weight, then so what?

Then in September, 2010, I had a wake-up call, a health scare; it turned out to be a false alarm, but I had come face to face with some facts about weight and aging.

I had to do something. Based on my weight loss history, I knew I had to do something other than what I have done in the past, so I decided that any diet had to include these criteria:
--From day one, my plan had to be geared toward maintenance.

--My plan had to be healthy.

--My plan had to be flexible, allowing for occasional goodies and goof ups.

--My plan had to be realistic.

--My plan had to include enough food so that I would never become grouchy from hunger pangs or go to bed hungry.
I found all these criteria with the sensible Weight Watchers plan. I have accepted the trade off: a much slower rate of loss.

I'm not interested in losing weight for the typical reasons that motivate people (especially women) to start a diet:
--I don't care about swimming suit season.

--I'm not motivated by any upcoming weddings (I can attend family weddings fat, thank you).

--I'm not trying to snag a man (already got one, who seems to love me, no matter what I weigh).

--I have no high school reunions in the near future.
So, then why? Why? Why? My best answers:
--The health scare has been, by far, the most compelling reason for me to get my body into shape. I'll never a 20-something slinky vixen--that ship sailed years ago--but I can be healthy and limber for a woman of a certain age.

--This may sound a bit paranoid, but when I see older people in mobility scooters, it scares the hell out of me. I'm also seeing more and more younger people, some of them overweight, riding these scooters and wheelchairs around the mall and other public spaces. I would like to stave off, for as long as possible, the need to use any kind of aid to get around. And if and when I must use a mobility aid, I want to be slender enough so that I can at least move around as best I can.

--Being an older woman, I already have one societal strike against me. Our culture is revolted by--and even despises--older women and discriminates against them. In the U.S. workplace, discrimination is illegal, of course, but it happens anyway, prospective employers often finding "other reasons" not to hire older applicants--"Over-educated" is often a code word for "too old."
Well. I can't do much about growing older, but I can do something about weight discrimination, at least on a personal level. I wish that all discrimination could be eradicated, but that probably won't happen in my lifetime.

Fat people, who have no legal recourse (at least in the U.S.) for fat discrimination, seem to bear the brunt of society's cruel jokes and vitriol.

And I'm tired of it.

In the event that I some day end up in an assisted-living facility, I don't want the staff resenting and mistreating me because my fat makes their job that more difficult.
That's about it.

My reasons are very mundane, I'm afraid, and have nothing to do with vanity.

Bye, bye, CF.

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