Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pageants, Choices, Reality Shows, and Obesity...huh?

I've been overweight for most of my 20's. I am equally embarrassed and astounded by the fact. In high school, I was thin, athletic, and pretty. I'm not trying to sound conceited but I definitely had no problem with my self-esteem back in those days. I even participated in pageants and loved it. My senior year in high school I won a local scholarship pageant. I was Miss Rattlesnake Roundup! Go ahead, laugh it up. Small, southern towns are known for their odd festivals and the Rattlesnake Roundup is a pretty big deal in my hometown. For some reason, typing all this makes me think of Miranda Lambert's song "Famous In a Small Town." Anyway, winning that pageant was a big deal for me back then. I NEVER thought I'd be blogging (OK, did blogging even exist 10 years ago?) about losing weight today. I haven't felt pretty in years. Instead of putting my face out there and getting to know people, I kept to myself and didn't make any efforts. My self-esteem had gone down the drain. I was no longer the confident, out-going person I had once been.

Society tells us we have to be thin to be beautiful, to be loved, to be confident, to be successful. It took me a while to figure out that, what was marketed as beauty or success was either fake or unhealthy. Being pretty or as small as I once was isn't the main thing. What size clothes I end up wearing doesn't really matter. It's about being healthy not skinny. I won't lie. The idea of being small excites me but as long as I'm not overweight, obese actually, then I'll be happy. I want to be around a long time, I want to see my daughter grow into a woman, I want to be able to play with her now. Just last year it was hard to do even that. I had no energy. I broke out into a sweat walking out to the car no matter what time of year it was. I felt bad all the time. Now, just taking a portion of that weight off has made a HUGE difference in the way I feel and the way I look.

I realize that you can't put everyone into the same mold and that there are people out there who are large by genetics and are truly healthy and there are people who are small who are unhealthy but for the most part a persons size is indicative of their health. Obesity is the norm these days in America. There are a lot of things at fault but it all boils down to a persons choice in how they live their life. No one holds a gun to your head and forces you to eat McDonald's. You choose that for yourself. Now, you can give me all the genuine excuses in the book but in the end it was a choice. Yes, we live in a world full of instant gratification but it's no excuse. Turn off your TV for 30 minutes, get in the kitchen, and do some prep work for your meals. I broke my finger this week. The old part of me wanted to use it as an excuse to forget the cleanse and just eat junk this week because it would be easier. But yesterday morning, I spent some time doing prep work. Yes, it took me a little longer than normal because of my splint but I did it. My health is more important than my convenience. Typing this post is harder but I had something to say, that I hope helps someone else who is facing the same obstacle I am. It's all about the choices you make.

This all may help you understand why I was sickened by a reality show I happened upon on TLC last night. I'm not sure of the name but it revolved around 4-5 obese girls living in New York City. Now, I am all for women and men loving themselves at whatever size they are and having confidence. What I am not for is glamorizing obesity especially when it's a choice. In one part of the show the girls were at a fashion show during fashion week and while I agree that a lot of models are on the other end of unhealthiness by being too skinny and probably malnourished, I did not like what they had to say. One of the girls was talking about eating a whole chicken with grease dripping off of it, etc. Not healthy in the least. Sounds more like a food addiction. I remember how I used to describe food and think about food all the time. I still struggle with my  views on food. Really the media goes from one extreme to another. Let me also say that I didn't watch the whole show but in one part the girls were being made fun of and discriminated against because of their size and that's not right either.

No matter where you are on your journey, remember, moderation is the best policy and what you do with your life and health is a choice that you make every day at every meal and every snack. I also have to remember that my identity and true worth only comes from who I am in Christ. Without Him I am nothing no matter what the image in the mirror looks like.

For your viewing pleasure (or not):

Peace, Love, and Healthy Living,


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