Things change over time, and what better time to reflect on the past than an anniversary. May 17th was my lovely daughters birthday, She turned 10 and she is still excited to officially be a tweenager. May 17th was also marked my 1 year anniversary for maintaining a healthy body weight. After researching what constitutes a healthy weight I took AMA guidelines and added 5 pounds to accommodate muscle mass (since I lift weights). I ended up determining that 155-170 is my ideal range with 160-165 being ideal. I weigh myself daily and log the results. May 16th 2010 was the last time I weighed over 170.
So what does it mean? What, if anything, can be gained by reflecting on the anniversary of this one statistic? Well, being able to maintain a healthy body weight for one full year has some measure of personal satisfaction in that I know that I control me. I am not at the mercy of genetics, or heredity, or fast food, or a sedentary lifestyle, or any of a host of other factors that I might have used to excuse my former obesity.
Ultimately though, I believe that the greater gift in all this is the lessons learned in the deeper reflection of the journey. Even as I would indulge myself in some manner of celebration, the truth is I am better off to temper any joy I may have with the same discipline that got me here. Fortunately, my value as a human being has nothing to do with body weight or athletic statistics or health statistics of any kind. The pursuit of health and athletic statistics could be called my hobby, my past time, perhaps even a calling. In the end, however, most of us have some goal that we are pursuing and all personal accomplishments merit equal consideration.
For instance, when my 350 lb friend tells me "Were all gonna die anyway, might as well be with a full belly.", and then proceeds to celebrate his lifestyle of gluttony and overindulgence by scarfing down 3000 calories worth of fast food sandwiches. He probably sees my pursuit of statistical fitness in much the same way that I see his pursuit of a slow and painful obesity related death. The realization gained is not that I am better at choosing goals, or that he is, but merely that there are many ways to celebrate life, and that my friend is my friend because he has value to me as a human being even if he chooses to celebrate his life by committing a slow and painful suicide through the irresponsible, over consumption of food and a largely sedentary lifestyle.
I guess its easy for me to see things from alternating points of view on this because I have been there, I was clinically obese when I started living an active lifestyle so I know what its like. I would encourage others to pursue fitness related goals, as I have, because I know what a positive experience it has been for me. Yet, I must always be willing to keep a disciplined mind on this matter and be ready to help my friend celebrate reaching his 400th lb which seems to be his goal that he will reach later this year.
When I first dropped below 180 lbs I thought my fat friends were joking that they were kicking me out of the Fat Boys Club. I replied that I will always be fat on the inside and that I would retain my membership. Its been a year now and I'm starting to think they were not joking.