Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Skinny or Fat Debate and the Aha Moment!

Recently my wife posted an image that from Pinterest that shows an illusration of a larger woman with the caption "Skinny Girls are for Wimps". It seemed to have gotten more than a couple people fairly fired up. The reason she posted it stems from what her and I have been discussing lately. Something that we have seen quite a bit of on Pinterest, and no it's not delicious looking cookies. The consensus of the debate is that no one should make another person feel ugly because of their shape...

I agree that making someone feeling bad about themselves is not a very good approach to helping them see the light or to convert their sinful ways. I do know that when a co-worker has told me that my kid would go to hell since I was not a Christian I didn't rush to the nearest church for my baptism. In fact it did the very opposite... So why would telling an obese person that what they are doing to their body will eventually kill them? Why does showing a tar filled lung of a smoker do nothing to help them quit? In my experience I was finding my happiness in things that were unhealthy for me; food, smoking, etc... 

Let's get back to the image on Pinterest before I start rambling, then the next thing you know is I'm sharing recipes or something. So Nicole and I have been talking about how so many people on Pinterest will post an image of a model, or fitness model and comment on how their ribs show and they should eat a burger. Or their muscles are ugly and that being fat is better than having that muscle. But at the same time if a person were to post an image of an overweight person and say they should cut out the donuts or maybe run a few blocks, everyone would be throwing a fit. When did it become ok to celebrate the lazy and chastise the hard working people? Well, it's not ok and not only do I know it but the people making the comments know it. The people making the comments are trying to convince everyone else that they are happy with how they look. That they are choosing to not have that body because it disgusts them. I know this because I was there, I have done it. Anyone skinnier than me needed to eat more and anyone bigger than me was fat. I did it to help myself feel better, right or wrong, it's what I did. So I understand why they do this, but how do you make the person that tries to build themself up by destroying another's image?

And secondly on this subject. Why are we telling ourselves and others that fat is beautiful? When I was big I knew this wasn't true, I hated my body. My problem was that I lacked the spark and motivation to do anything about it. I just dealt with it by medicating myself in different ways. I remember looking in the mirror and saying I would try to lose weight once I was over 250 or when my belly started to hang over my jeans. Well, neither of these two things did the trick for me. Being overweight isn't even about what is or isn't attractive. It's about what's healthy and living your life. I was having fun with the activities I was doing then, going to concerts and hanging out with friends all the time. But at the same time, life was hard to enjoy when I would literally run out of breath bending over to tie my shoes. That is one feeling I will never forget. I swim, bike, run, lift weights and do all of these active things when at one point I could barely tie my shoes without getting winded. Granted it was mostly due to my ginormous gut getting in the way. 

When you really consider the state of our nations health when it comes to weight, why is it so hard for people to see the problem? You DO NOT have to give up everything you love to eat and do to be healthy. You will have to cut back, probably by a lot, but you still get those things. I could not do this if I just couldn't have the junk food that I love. I limit it to once a week and I am able to manage just fine. If I slip up and have a little more than what I should, I get over it and move on. I don't beat myself up if I overeat I'm not going to instantly fat again. I had to change my lifestyle to become fit but I didn't have to give up everything to do it. When more people realize that you don't have to do a fad diet the rest of your life and that you can just cut back, maybe our country will get a bit more fit.

And finally the "AHA" moment. For me it was my daughter and my wife. I could see the path we were going down and I didn't see much of a future for any of us. We were doing things that would probably make our daughter embarrassed of us at some point. I want nothing more than to be a hero to just one person, and that wasn't going  to happen being fat Caleb. And I also know that I was dragging Nicole down, and she is full of potential that I was keeping her from. So to be exact, my aha moment was my family. Another aha moment was watching the 2008 Ironman World Championship on Hulu. I highly recommend you look it up and watch it. It was one of the first times in my life when I said to myself, "If they can do it, so can I". And guess what, I'm doing it!

Now to keep you up to date on my training and surgery recovery. The past couple weeks were full of breakthrough workouts. Probably mostly because I was constantly pushing myself beyond what I thought I should because I want to be back to normal. I did several double spin classes last week after 3 days of walking. The walking really screwed up my hip and foot so I couldn't have continued with that. Not sure what was going on but I was hurting from walking. Today I did an interval workout on the elliptical and followed it by a quick jog in the gym to test out the legs and see how the belly felt. Well, everything is good except for a little soreness where my 4 incisions are. So I will keep at the bike and elliptical this week and next week I think I should be right back on schedule. Lifting, running, swimming, biking, yoga, the elliptical and all of my good friends at the gym. So I'm pretty happy with how everything has worked out.

I have also been testing my digestion and it seems to be fairly close to normal. I ate some pretty horrible foods this Thanksgiving, as in bad for you, and also went out to eat and drinking this last weekend. Everything went good so I can still enjoy all the things I used to without any problems. So I'm pretty excited about that! I did try a banana again the other night with disastrous results. I had problems in the past with them but figured they were gallbladder issues. So I tried it again the other night and ended up sick all night. So bad that I skipped the gym the next morning, which never happens. No bananas or pineapple for me ever again, and maybe even sweet potatoes. But there are other things to eat that I like. Tonight I am trying Ryan Irwin and Nicole's recipe for Casein Protein and Peanut Butter Pudding. I will let you know how that goes.


  1. Wise thoughts, inspirational words...and one good tasting healthy recipe ;)

  2. I am so proud of you both. You have done so much and are an incredible inspiration to those that meet you and see your enthusiasm. I'm so glad that you blogged this because your message is so enlightening. People shouldn't dislike themselves or others for being fat or skinny or any other difference. They should love themselves and each other for being wonderful people. That bit of respect goes along way in making a difference in life.
    What you said about the AHA moment I remember Nicole mentioning when it happened to you and I admit to being jealous of that motivation you found. I just couldn't really understand it at the time how you did it. I have since found my own moment however now and am on the road of change. If I mess up I don't beat myself up and I learned that from you both. Seeing things in this light helps me to keep from giving up on myself. I love life, why not enjoy living it even more. Thank you!