I have to go back three years to find a picture of myself that I like. I know that the longer this weight stays on, the harder it will be to take off. I know that. I also know that when I lose this weight I will have more energy and be better able to do all the other things that right now keep me from getting exercise and losing the weight.
Actually, that’s not really a fair statement. It isn’t all those worthwhile activities that keep me from losing weight, it’s me. I’m the one who makes grand statements of taking a long walk every day before we start anything else, but then plans meetings or other things to supercede those plans. I’m the one seemingly unable to make myself a priority.
My weight is becoming a big obstacle for me. Sometimes when I look in the mirror I’m blown away — I can’t believe I’m so fat! I start comparing myself to my friends: they can still keep up with their children, they still help out at school and church, they babysit for their friends when needed, but their homes are cleaner than mine and they still manage to maintain a healthy weight. I know that it’s unfair to compare myself to someone else, that I need to focus instead on just being the very best me that I can be. (I am not the best me that I can be, I have a lot of room for improvement.) Academically I understand all of that, but during the course of the day it happens and it makes me feel like a huge failure. (Dad and Liz are coming down for a visit in two days and all I can think about, instead of all the things I do for which they are proud, is how disappointing it must be for them that I just can’t keep my place clean and organized and that I have put on so much weight. Even though I know they’re just interested in seeing us and they are the least judgemental people in the whole wide world; even though I know I’m just projecting my own disppointment in myself.)
It’s hard to choose myself over helping out at the school (on the pta or in the classroom.) It’s hard to choose myself when my friend needs my help. It’s hard to choose myself when I have the opportunity to teach a lesson. It’s hard to choose myself when what my family wants to do is different. Over the past couple of years, the weight that I gained when Paul was unemployed and we considered making cookies “living it up!” has stayed, because I have filled my time with everything except me.
This is not some grand proclamation that the next time you see me I’ll be skinny, or that I’m finally going to put myself first. I’m not. The reality is I can’t justify putting myself first because it seems so selfish when compared with many of the other things wherein I spend my time.
But, … my health is also important. And it’s time that I at least put myself on the list.