You know how folks talk about having their “come to Jesus” moment?
Here, I blog about having your “come to fitness” moment.
It’s the point where I gave up the pills, gave up the diets, gave up the “cheating,” the junky food, the emotional eating, the stress, the struggle, the self-defeatist mantras… I gave it all away, put my nose down and got to work.
I don’t think everyone’s “come to fitness” moment is the same. I was 330lbs – I had a lot of things I needed to realize before I understood that the way I lived would, without question, determine the efficiency [and, for me, the appearance] of my body. Others might just realize that if they’re going to keep that pooch at bay, they’re going to have to cut something they love orrrrrr run an extra few miles each week. Both are equally important, and equally okay. The important part is that we all realize there’s no shortcutting or cheating your way into better health.
Much like how your Grandma probably told you to “give it over to God,” you gotta give this thing over to fitness. Nothing else is as sustainable as lacing up your kicks and heading out the front door.
I remember mine: it was right after I’d moved all my things into my new place in Miami. I’d been working out for 6 months, and not lost much weight at all. I’d let three months lapse since I’d last worked out, and sure enough… I’d gained 10lbs back that I’d originally lost.
What the hell was I doing wrong?
Never mind the fact that I’d stopped working out. That mattered, but it didn’t matter as much as the fact that however I was living, I was living in a way that made me gain ten pounds in three months… and I couldn’t identify it.
That evening, I’d went to the store and came back with a 3-liter of pineapple pop (it’s pop. this is not up for discussion.), a buy-one-get-one for goldfish crackers, and a bag of verona cookies. None of those had anything to do with anything. I just wanted ’em.
The verona cookies were gone that night. In fact, I think I polished off the bag while I was putting the groceries away. The pop, I drank up during the entire next day… with the goldfish.
…and I had the nerve to wonder about ten pounds in 3 months. If I was actually going to the store on a regular basis, I might’ve gained even more.
Food was my source of happiness. I didn’t really go anywhere, and I didn’t really do anything. I just sat at home and ate. Folded up with my daughter. That’s it.
The breaking point, for me, was the moment I threw the goldfish bag in the trash… right on top of the 3-liter and the empty cookie bag. That was hard to see. I didn’t know why I was doing it at the time, but I knew it was wrong. I vowed to change from that point forward, but it was incredibly difficult and I didn’t understand it. I didn’t understand why I wanted to do this, but my body couldn’t cooperate. Wouldn’t cooperate.
It wouldn’t be until a few months later that I’d finally get it.
A series of… unfortunate events would happen to me, back-to-back-to-back. And, on the night of the final foolish event, I just so happened to be baking muffins with Mini-me. While receiving the devastating news, I walked over to the stove, yanked the muffins out of the oven and put them in the refrigerator… half done. I didn’t cry. I didn’t sob. Really, I didn’t do anything. I just folded up into a ball on my bed and laid there. Of course, Mini-me came over and laid with me, but bedtime was coming. She couldn’t stay there forever.
That night, I didn’t get much sleep. I didn’t get any sleep. I thought about those muffins all night. Thought about. Didn’t eat them. Really, I didn’t eat anything. I talked to my dear friend Mally, who worried about me having the energy to keep up with the baby. I told her I didn’t have an appetite, that I just felt too broken to eat. She begged me to go to the store and at least get some veggies to eat – something light on my stomach – and I obliged her.
I went to the store, bought some frozen veggies – I didn’t have knives to chop up anything major, so I considered the pre-chopping a benefit – and some chicken. I even remember calling a friend to ask her how to cook it. Most of my early meals were variations of the same combinations – veggies, pasta and chicken.
Before I knew it, 50, 60, 70, 80lbs were gone.
My come-to-fitness moment was a series of points in my life where I simply realized that I couldn’t live the way I was living anymore. I couldn’t be happy through food – my happiness would come from actually leaving the damn house. Chasing my kid around. Things that I couldn’t do in the state my health was in. I couldn’t run. I couldn’t dance. I couldn’t, as I’ve said before, even stand myself up without having to grab something to help pull me up. It wasn’t even about getting skinny – I wanted to live, and I couldn’t do it as the un-fit me.
So, tell me: when did you have your “come-to-fitness” moment?
(And, please, don’t feel bad if yours isn’t 900 words. You don’t even have to feel bad if it’s 1,900 words. Share, and share alike. 🙂