Friday, April 23, 2010

why getting rid of my fat clothes made me sad

I have been having fun purging my house of all unnecessary items. I have been using a group called FREECYCLE. I post what I want to get rid of, people email me within minutes, I put it on my porch and by dinner it's gone and I have blessed others.

I decided yesterday to go through all my clothes and give my "fat" clothes away on FREECYCLE.

I listed all the sizes and what I had. Within 15 minutes, if that, they were all taken.
I still didn't have my laptop back so I was doing all the correspondence by email on my phone and it was a pain.
One lady that wanted whatever clothes I had left had left her phone number. I decided to call her and talk to her instead of trying to email her on the phone.

We talked for a long time. She asked me questions about how I lost my weight and she just seemed like she had no hope. She told me that she had lap band surgery a couple of years ago, but that it wasn't working. She said just because she has it on doesn't mean she can't eat junk. She has figured out that she can still eat Ice cream and drink Mountain Dew and other soft junk food. She relies on a cane to walk.

I encouraged her to just take little steps. Walk more, cut out a little bit of the food at a time. She told me it is hard with kids in the house. I told her how I am teaching my kids and now they are measuring their food and reading labels. I encouraged her to stop drinking the Dew. I told her I know how hard it is and that she could email me anytime for help.

She told me she just can't get her 5 fruit and veggies in. I explained to her that a 1/2 a cup is a serving. When you measure that out it's not a lot. I told her to start measuring out her fruits and veggies. If she buys chips, get baked in individual sizes. Just simple advice that took me so many years to learn.

It felt so good to give her this advice and she seemed to really listen, but it saddened me, it truly saddened me. So many people want the quick fix, the easy way out. I'm not saying she did this with her surgery, but I know several people that have had Gastric Bypass surgery and out of the 5 I know only 2 are happy. The rest have told me it didn't work because it only fixed the physical and not the mental. The two that are happy worked on the whole package.

Surgery, diet pills, fad diets, will never work unless we get to the root of the problem, which is why I am so happy to share about my counseling and my mental journey because it is the reason I am having success this time around.

This also reminded me about a conversation I had a couple weeks ago with a friend after I ate at SWEET TOMATOES. It is a soup and salad buffet. I had my Weight Watchers Food Points book and a piece of paper to write down everything that went in my mouth. Even with that said I went over my weight watcher daily points and weekly points in that one day. I cannot even imagine how many points I would have eaten had I not written everything down.

I was telling my friend about the number of overweight people that were there, some using walkers, some in wheel chairs using their feet like Fred Flintstone to move around, some with canes. How they sat as close as they could to the buffet and that their plates were, seriously, 4-5 inches high with food. Free refills on Soda, all you can eat. I actually got sick watching people eat and to think I was like that not that long ago. I think because it is a soup and salad buffet people think they are eating healthy.

I did great with the salad part. I loaded my salad with veggies, used a low fat dressing on the side. The problem comes in with their soups and the rest of the buffet. Where I messed up was with the soup. I had two helpings at 5 points a cup, the pizza bread. I only had two very tiny pieces, but they were 4 points each and the yummy muffins that went with my soup, three points each. I had 2 or 3 of those and a sampling of their lemon lava cake, 5 points for my very tiny piece. The reason I know all the points now is because I looked everything up online when I got home. I was a very conscience eater (or so I thought) and still messed up and just looking at those other plate amazed me and made me sick all at once.

That same day, earlier in the day, I went to Meijers. I needed to buy some healthy snacks because I was going to be out all day with the kids and we needed to eat. I bought bananas and grapes. What I noticed throughout the whole store was that there were a lot of electric carts zipping around. Every person I saw using them were obese and not just a little, a lot. I looked in their cart and it was all junk food. There was only one lady that I saw that day, who was obese, buying healthy food, looking things up in a book, reading the labels, asking her husband to reach a food with a lower weight watcher points. I wanted to go up and encourage her, but I didn't, but I tell you I was really proud of her.

I walked out of Meijer's very sad, I walked out of Sweet Tomatoes very sad, and then went to a Wolves games with my kids. Since my kids are older I let them go walk around during one of the intermissions between periods. Guess what they had as entertainment? A hot wing eating contest. I'm watching all the men come on the ice to get ready to go. Again, I was saddened, all but one was obese. The reigning champion from 2009 was the biggest. I'm watching these men on the jumbotron, hearing everyone cheering them on, and getting sick and sad all at once. The reigning champion won again. That makes 2 years in a row that he won. He ate something insane like 33 hot wings in a very short amount of time, 2nd place ate 32. He won a sky box for another game with all the food they can eat or something to that affect.

You know what made me proud though is when my kids came back and I said to them, "Hey you guys missed a hot wing eating contest while you were gone." My daughter looked at me and said, "We didn't miss it mom. We were in line for something and were watching it on TV. Mom it made me sick to watch. That is so unhealthy and us kids are being told that scientists are trying to figure out the Obesity problem in America. Uh, mom it's pretty obvious to me." My son agreed. They were sickened by it, they knew it was unhealthy, and not something that should be cheered. It was a proud moment for me as a mom getting healthy, but a sad moment too because of our country and how people just don't seem to care about themselves, their health, and their future.

So on one hand all these things made me sad, but also very happy and proud. I used to be some of the people that I talked about in this post. I used to walk with a cane when my back was really bad, I used to make multiple trips to the buffet, I used to stay at home eating chips and watching hours of TV, I used to let my kids eat whatever they wanted, but not anymore. I am a new woman, a new wife, a new mom, a new athlete, a new person and it feels great. That is why I think I get so sad when I see all of this because I know it doesn't have to be this way and I am living proof of that. You can change, you can better yourself, you can get healthy and be happy.


Melissa Brown said...

WOW! This post made me cry, Melis. I, too, have been taking notice of those around me much more since I have been on WW. I notice people at restaurants, stores, etc. It is so, so sad. What I really notice are the kids. When we went to the zoo last month, I noticed parents pulling 8 and 9 year olds in wagons rather than having them walk. Some of these children were obese. That was incredibly sad to see. I am so impressed with Tricia and Parker and how much YOU have taught them. You have changed their lives, Melis!!! You should be SO proud of yourself!

Melissa said...

Thank you so much Melissa. I am so happy we have met and are on this journey together.

Darlene said...

Wow, you told me all about this post, but reading it made me feel sad with you, again.

It puts my dish of frozen yogurt into perspective. That little dish can do more harm than good. The little "bites" here and there. They not only add up but add nothing of health to me.

Thanks for the encouragement.

Bob Mitera said...

Yes! Food = fuel Crap in = crap out (performance)

Encourage those you see like that lady making the good choices. You may become good friends and supporters of each other. Its a struggle daily. Everyone knows it and when others notice it strengthens them and MORE to YOU.

When I race and I'm hurting, I try to puff out encouragement to others. It strengthens me even more.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting this ~ I'm right there with you in the sad department! Have you been to Disney World lately? Last time I was there I observed what you've written, and too was saddened by all of it. ESPECIALLY the kids. Every day when I'm at the gym working out I think to myself, "I've gotten myself into this size. No quick fix - I've just gotta keep going to get back to where I'm supposed to be. But oh the kids out there - if they can just figure this out while they're still young, they may never have to work they way I've gotta work to get back to health..." Yay for Jamie Oliver!

~ Therese Gustafson

Athena Misty, aka "GeekGirl" said...

I have also had experience with people who want to know how I did it, and when I talk about portion control and exercise, their eyes glaze over. Now, having said that, I will say that I am a huge, huge fan of weight watchers - but not for the reasons one might thing...I don't control what I eat so much as I make sure I earn enough points through exercise to cover my occasionally bad food binges. It works for me.

Melissa said...


The only way to reach the kids is to educate the parents. The kids do not go and buy their food. I am actually feeling called do this very thing. Reach out to obese kids and teens and educate the whole family. I'm just not sure how to do this yet, but I will figure out my role and get out there and do what I can. Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

When you figure out a way to do this, let me know. I'm interested too. Besides educating parents on just the meal thing (fast food, convenience food, etc.), I think parents need to be made aware of how much their kids get 'rewarded' with food. It's everywhere and it makes me crazy! I've seen glass jars of Starbursts and Hershey's Kisses on teacher's desks - rewards for good behavior, etc. Parents celebrate good report cards or a lost baby tooth with a trip to Baskin Robbins. Kids have a bad day and might get a McFlurry to help them feel better. And it only gets worse as they get older and buy their own Frappuccinos. Even the low fat "Passion iced tea" has 6 pumps of sweetener! I could go on forever. It's astounding. Keep on keeping on, Melissa. You're reaching people!

~ Therese