I remember well in high school when the rumblings of making Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday. Initially there were protests, angry comments, the typical push-pull of anything new. There were cheers, tears, and fears thrown everywhere, but when it came down to it, more people wanted his work to not only be recognized, but to continue.
Now, I have no idea if you believe in everything MLK Jr did or said, but no one can deny he got people talking, he started people thinking, questioning and wondering if what they had believed for so long was actually true.
We’re all like that. We’re told something and unless there’s a reason to question it, we don’t.
This kind of mentality follows us into every aspect of our lives. The way we react to others, the way we live, the way we eat…ah, you knew I’d get to something to do with weight.
Again, why question something you’ve practiced for most of your life? Cheese on everything, fry everything, cover everything in dressing, and always have dessert, right? People can live very long lives on such diets. Think Burgess Meredith in Grumpy Old Men (“I wake up and I smoke a cigarette. I eat five strips of bacon. And for lunch, I eat a bacon sandwich. And for snack? Bacon!” A whole damn plate of it!)
So is changing for “the better” worth it?
I think so, at least it is for me. There are many reasons for it, but one of which involves my daughter.
She came home not too long ago, spitting tacks and red-faced. When I asked her what happened, she said her friend was singing a song, something like “Yo mamma, yo daddy, etc” (Lovely song, right?) and it ends with someone being “fat.” She looks around and says “You know who’s fat? Emma’s mom is fat.”
I’m proud to say my daughter immediately told her friend to cut it out and she did, but it broke my heart to know my sweet girl had gone through something I’d caused.
Calling someone names because of their weight, skin color, height, demeanor, etc is nothing new, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it or tolerate it. Just like many strong people who lived not too long ago (MLK, Ghandi, Mother Teresa), I feel a fierceness for allowing people to prove their character and it not to be determined their worth by their jeans size. Apparently, I’ve told that lesson well because of what my daughter’s reaction was. I can be proud to know she’s well aware of people’s potential despite their race, color, sex, or weight.
I know being heavy is unhealthy for me and it could easily keep me from enjoying my family for the many years I hope to, but I also know it’s an easy target for those who can’t find anything intelligent to say. Let’s not go so far as intelligent, lets say positive, respectful, or dare I say, just be silent and listen.
So I started making a difference. I found a website called Mamavation and I sent in my video for consideration for their Move It or Lose It (MILI) challenge. I was one of the top 12 and that was very cool, but there was more to push for. Of that 12, the top 2 would get major swag and a whole lot of help to meet their weight loss and health goals during the 7 week challenge. So I pushed, asked, posted for people to vote for me and so many did (thank you!). It helped me be more mindful, be aware of what I was eating, how much, how often, and how active I could be.
Now, I learned a few things since I applied last week.
First, because I’m in the final 12, I get to compete for $500 and EarthWear shoes if I lose the biggest % of weight in these 7 weeks.
Second, if I simply finish the challenge, I get $100.
Third, Project You Magazine wants me to write about my weight loss story for their Feb and April edition.
Fourth, I didn’t place in the top 2, but I’m still in the challenge and I can apply again.
Now, I have to admit, I was bummed that I didn’t win any swag at the Twitter party tonight, nor did I place in the top 2, but I’ve started on a path that will be of benefit to me for the rest of my life.
It’s a journey, one that’s unknown and I’ll probably fall a few times. In fact, I full anticipate that I’ll tumble and I have to figure out how to get back up again or should I even get up? Pushed down, pulled up only to be pushed down again.
Kind of like a struggle anyone goes through to make a change, big or small, change is change and it’s hard. If it were easy, it would be called something else.
Like anything worth having, there’s going to be resistance to it, but in the end, it’s the best possible thing that could happen.