Unless you’ve actually been morbidly obese, there’s no way to know the truly hellish consequences that come with it. The physical health aspects of it are easy to point out, but it’s the non-stop emotional and spiritual beating of everyday life that take the greatest toll. It was during a recent moment of reflection that it really dawned on me how much different my life is since I started my journey towards health a couple years ago. Things that once were an emotionally devastating struggle, I normally don’t think twice about now. I’ve compiled this list simply to give some perspective that may allow you to understand some of the struggles faced by those who are losing their battle with a healthy lifestyle. Soooo…..here we go!
1.) Tying your shoes…..on top!
Think tying your shoes is no biggie? Try it with a watermelon in your lap. For years I wore sandals or dress shoes simply because tying my shoes was a sweat inducing workout that completely wore me out. When I did wear sneakers, tying them had to be done while sitting with one leg propped up on the opposite knee, which meant the laces were always tied on the side. One of my first weight loss goals wasn’t a number, but simply to be able to tie my shoes like “normal” people.
2.) Trimming your toe nails
Think tying your shoes is hard……yeah. Give this a try.
3.) Playing with your kids
One of my greatest motivators stemmed from one my deepest pains. I was the Dad on the couch that always said “maybe later” or “it’s too hot right now”. Nothing will ever wash from my memory the constant look of disappointment on my children’s faces.
4.) Anything Outdoors in the summer
When you’re overweight, you sweat. A LOT! There were many days when I felt like I needed a shower after simply going outside to check the mail or get something out of the car. If you don’t carry extra deodorant and a change of clothes in your car all summer long just to avoid the embarrassment of looking and smelling like you ran a marathon on the way to a meeting, be grateful!
5.) Eating in public
Imagine this: You see two people in a restaurant eating the exact same double cheeseburger and fries meal. One has an athletic build, the other is 100lbs overweight. Trust me, whatever just went through mind, showed on your face and every obese person you’ve had that thought about, saw it, felt it, and wanted to go crawl in a hole and hide. We are well aware of the “that guy should have ordered a salad” look. It’s hurtful, please stop!
6.) Wearing White
Remember the sweating problem? There is a reason most obese people prefer darker colored clothing. It hides sweat rings! Oh, and the whole “lean over your plate when you eat” concept…..you guessed it…….don’t have the option of doing that either. It’s either wear darker colors and carefully balance your spoon, or just wear your napkin like a bib.
7.) Running, of any kind.
The next time you feel the need to judge an obese person who “yells” for their child to come back instead of chasing them down in a store, consider that it’s possible they physically CAN’T DO IT! When I played Rugby years ago, I was given the nickname “T-Rex” (Big Head, Little Arms reference from the movie Meet the Robinsons) because I couldn’t “reach” out for ball. Truth was, I was afraid to! I knew that if I fully extended my arms while trotting across the field my torso would be off balance and I would fall.
8.) Wearing a seatbelt
Seatbelts aren’t the most comfortable devices in the world, regardless of your size, but when it constantly rubs against your stomach and locks from the pressure you put against it, it is excruciating! Though I personally never had one, I’ve talked with several people who have had seat belt induced anxiety attacks.
9.) Sleeping in a dry bed
Sleep apnea, night sweats, back pain….. it’s a long list. For many years, I lived on 4-6 hours of sleep a day simply because I couldn’t get comfortable or stop sweating at night. A/C on, ceiling fan one, and another fan blowing directly on me was the only time I could get some relief. One of my greatest victories was when Bryn and I “downsized” from a King size bed to a Queen, and had room to spare!
10.) Cleaning and Picking things up
Dirty sock on the floor? Just bend down and pick it up……if you can. This task ranks right up there with tying your shoes. For years, if it was below waist or maybe knee level, chances are I was going to have get creative. Luckily for me, I was blessed with children who were always by my side and willing to help. Not sure how I would have made it without them!
Well…..the list could go on, but you get the idea. Obesity isn’t just a physical ailment, it’s something that comes with incredible emotional baggage. Hopefully, you’ll remember this list the next time you see someone who is struggling with the journey to a healthier lifestyle. As I’ve said before, a successful health journey starts in the heart, not in the gym.
A good health journey also requires proper nutrition. To learn more about the pharmaceutical grade supplements I personally used during my journey (and still use), CLICK HERE!