I spent the past week and a half working out of town, so apologies for the radio silence.
While out of town, I was working in a hospital setting and had time to do people watching. I love people watching, especially at airports or in the mall. The hospital? Not so much. It's not the best feeling to be in a hospital when the most vivid, awful memory you have is of watching your mom take her last breath in ICU. With that memory comes a lot of pain and sadness. I also remember how helpless I was in that situation. Life became much more precious and the finality of it all jarred me.
I saw people being wheeled in and out of their rooms in varying conditions and became hyperaware of my body and the weight that was sitting on it. Do people look at me and assume I'm sick because I weigh so much? Do they think I'm lazy or non-compliant in some way, much like a diabetic who refuses to give up sugar?
I worked really long hours and was in a chair nearly the entire time, so my legs were swelling and I didn't get nearly the amount of water I normally do when working at home. The physical reminders of my health weren't all bad, however. Walking up and down the hill to the hospital was easy and I wasn't out of breath. My feet didn't hurt, and I wasn't nearly as tired as I would have expected after a 12 hour work day. Those were some definite non-scale victories that will stick with me for a long time. It still surprises me when things like this happen because I'm not used to my body responding how it should. Yet I know I shouldn't really be surprised because I've worked really hard for these results. There are moments where I'm barely hanging onto my sanity in relation to my body and health, but so far, haven't given up. I may stumble every so often (and many more times than I'd like), but as long as I can get up, I'm winning.
I was talking to a co-worker at the hospital about losing weight. She asked several questions about motivation. To me, she's thin and shouldn't even think about weight loss (yes, snap judgement – everyone is entitled to do something for their health regardless of size). But she really was trying to understand so she could figure out how to get motivated.
Finally, I just stated how I really felt:
There's a big difference between needing to lose weight and wanting to lose weight. When you're at a point where you have to choose whether to make changes in order to live the life you want, it's a lot different from wanting to fit into a pair of jeans from a few years ago.
I remember looking at my mom in ICU and seeing her body which had failed her. She couldn't control her disease, but damn it if I can't control how I treat my body. I need to live, and am thankful for the opportunity to get up and dust myself off as many times as I have.
Upon returning home, I stepped on the scale to see I gained 12 pounds. A lot of that was water weight from retention in my legs but it was a shock to see how my body can push back at me with any small change in routine. It's annoying, but it's not going to stop me. This is something that I don't just WANT to do – it's something I NEED to do.