I'm part of a research study on obese patients being screened for weight-loss surgery. This involves going through the charts, reading patient interviews that took two hours. Every day for a few hours all these lives lay open in front of me, lives that are so similar to mine in some ways.
Overweight parents? Check.
Learned to eat to soothe stress? Check.
Felt like dying on the sports field? Check.
Somewhere along the line, I learned to eat well, to count calories, to exercise. I lost weight, gained it back, lost it again. Things I learned along the way:
1. People don't always get fat because they eat too much/are lazy. Genes happen. Environments happen. Its perfectly alright to tell those who think otherwise to kiss your fat ass.
2. You can be fat and healthy. Its better than being fat and unhealthy, or being thin and unhealthy.
3. If you're serious about losing weight, find a diet and exercise that you can sustain for the rest of your life. Nothing else works.
4. Find out who your real friends are. I ditched the person who offered me french fries after I'd lost fifteen pounds. (He also told me in a half-joking tone that I looked 'weak'). Instead, I found a new friend who told me I looked good and offered to walk with me.
5. Don't hesitate to ask. Ask for healthy food, ask for time to exercise, ask for whatever you need. If you don't get it, look elsewhere.
Oh, and for the umpteenth time, its NOT okay to crib about your last five pounds in front of someone who is fifty pounds overweight.