Dec 27, 2017
The longer I live as a fit/athletic person suffering from obesity the more I learn about this disease.
It wasn’t until I tried living as a skinny person did I come to have a much better understanding of the true picture. You see, I’ve been an overweight, fluffy, fat, big boned, manly, obese person most of my adult life, and although I’ve shed the pounds, I have not shed the disease.
My name is Mike, and I suffer from obesity!
I’ve never been to medical school, and admittedly I’ve just recently taken an interest in this subject, but I have a lifetime of experience that I am trying to figure out.
As a New Year’s Resolution in 2016 I decided I was tired of being fat and I fixed it. The funny thing is, I made that same resolution in 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012... you get the idea. So why was 2016 different for me? I wanted to find out how to convey that mindset adjustment so that others can benefit. I figure out it was “management”.
Since 9/20/2016, I have declared that I won, because I was no longer Fat. I hover in a weight range that keeps me around 18% body fat- a stat that while I can improve, I’m actually quite proud of. I can go run 13 miles with little preparation, or I can run a 5k right at 21 minutes. I workout at least weekly, often times more. I’m a huge success! I can score an “excellent” on my Air Force Fitness Test, any time, and day. I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished but that pride breeds contentment. Contentment gets in the way of wanting to push a little harder, or is it something else?
I’ve found that if I divert all of my energy into getting fit, working out and eating right I can have success. Well, success if you’re strictly judging me as at a fit person who used to be fat. The truth is that other areas of my life started to get neglected. Being a great employee takes focus, being a great friend takes focus, being a great parent and husband all take focus. Any area with great success takes great Focus. With only so much focus to give, I need to find a better balance.
For the month of December my attention was needed in some of the areas that temporarily were second and third place behind “FatDag”. As I tried to keep all of the balls in the air, I realized I just can’t do it all, and therefore a new term has emerged into my vocabulary. “Managed Obesity”.
I quickly learned that, even today, I can and will overeat if I don’t manage my intake. I do not naturally crave the foods that are good for me. I’ve made great improvements, but the introduction of Weight Watchers Freestyle™️ has taught me quite a bit. In a month where my focus was needed elsewhere, my WW plan changed as well. It was the wake up call I needed.
Although I am fit, it is solely because I’ve managed to focus all of my attention towards controlling my behavior.
At the first introduction to Freestyle, months before it was publicly released, I began to sweat. As I looked over the list of Zero Point Foods, very little from the list excited me. As others in the room cheered and applauded, I began to internally unravel. Rather than adjust to the new plan, I secretly protested. I stayed in my routine and ignored the point deficit in my tracker and I couldn’t care less about 180 of the now 200 Zero Point Foods.
I don’t handle change very well, and that’s when I figure out I’m still obese living in a smaller body. My mind and body craves fat, sugar and processed foods. My favorite foods can be ordered by number and delivered through the car window. I’ve found a way to make it all work - yet this freestyle concept was anything but freeing to me!
I’m not mad about the change, I’m quite thankful actually. It’s forced me to look deeper into my journey and get honest with myself. Knowing that at a moments notice it could all unravel at the sight of #5, reminds me that it was the proper management, not a lifestyle adjustment, that made me successful. As long as I took the time to manage my obesity I could keep it from being visibly apparent.
I’m tired of just managing it. I want to naturally live it. Living as a fit, healthy adult is amazingly fun! I don’t ever want to give that up, but I have other goals in my life that I’d like to accomplish as well. Those goals are going to require intense management for awhile. The same intensity I used to lose the weight, can be used in other areas of my life. I’m hopeful that with this new plan, entering 2018, I can move away from managing this full time and into just living it. It’s going to take me adopting some solid eating foundations which will give me more time to manage some of the other areas of my life. If it weren’t for the offering of these foods at zero points they would never have made it onto my plate.
The one thing that I’m confident in, is my ability to prioritize. Regardless of where I focus on improving myself, the common theme is that I am and always will be the priority. It takes a steady balance and by recognizing it, it gives me the Freedom to adapt.
So here goes - FatDag Freestye!