I am grateful to Patricia for making the time to share her experience. She emailed me privately after my blog post and I asked her to share her thoughts here.
On October 22nd, Carla really got me thinking with her post – What if You’re Not the Biggest Loser?”
Until I graduated from high school in 1979, I never had a weight issue.
I played tennis, walked dogs with my best friend for 1-2 hours every day after school. We lived on a military base, so walked everywhere we went! Did I know I was fit? Did I realize I had a nice body shape? Did I consider myself attractive? No, absolutely not! I had no idea back then that any of what I was doing meant anything or had any kind of impact on my life, how I felt or how I looked.
Shortly thereafter, I started gaining weight. I paid no attention to any of it. I was still young and, even though I was carrying extra weight – about 40 pounds of it – I still felt great! Of course I did! I was in my 20s! I never had any health issues. I was and still am one of those people blessed with good health.
Over the years from about 1985 until 2 years ago, I lost weight, gained weight and did it all over again several times. I saw the weight gains as an indication that I was unattractive only and that it was more important to others (men mostly) that I lose the weight. I didn’t really get it.
In February 2009, I realized I had to do something for ME! So, in six months, I lost 30 pounds. I’m fit, healthy and can do anything without having to stop! Over the last year and a half, I have maintained my goal weight and am still going strong!
What does all this have to do with Carla’s post? I lost my weight and no one cared. It didn’t really matter much. I did it for me and my health and fitness, but if I had lost 80 pounds or more, everyone would have been asking what my secret was, how I did it and what could they do! I’d be a local hero!
It wasn’t easy to accomplish! I’m 49 years old now and it was the hardest thing I ever did. I had to completely change my eating habits and workout harder and longer than I ever had to before to lose weight. I can say with certainty that I put in as much effort as all the contestants do on The Biggest Loser! I would have hoped to inspire at least one person in my sphere or contacts – nada.
I think shows like The Biggest Loser are great, don’t get me wrong. The contestants show others that anyone can do it. All you need is determination and willpower. They inspire other obese people, young and old, to make a difference in their lives and the lives of their families.
However, it does tend to belittle the difficulties the rest of us have managed to battle through to succeed! The rest of us don’t seem to have a niche. It’s all or nothing.
My husband told me to look at it another way. I started out at 151 pounds when I began my current journey and am now staying at between 122 and 125. That’s 20% of my starting body weight! 20%!!!
Now, that’s being a big loser!
Patricia is a 49 year old former military brat and military wife who’d rather move every few years than stay put! She loves fitness, being healthy and became a brave, adventurous soul when she met her husband 9 years ago!