I was suspended in the air like a marionette. The carousel horse at the amusement park had stopped in the upright position, leaving me with a problem. I couldn’t get down. I tried putting my weight on my left leg and swinging my right over the backside of the horse but my leg was too heavy. I tried shoving my right leg in front of me, but it wouldn’t fit. Finally, in desperation, I called to my husband, who was waiting alongside the carousel with our two daughters.
He came over, bringing the girls with him. He immediately saw my plight, and with much effort and a lot of stares from the crowds nearby, helped me disembark from the horse. I was mortified, embarrassed, and surprised. Looking back, I don’t know why I was surprised I got stuck on the carousel horse; after all, I weighed almost 300 pounds.
This was just one of many incidents throughout my ten years of morbid obesity that caused me angst and embarrassment. Every instance wore down my self-confidence and saw me swearing to change. And try to change I did.
After the amusement park fiasco, I tried to lose weight. I joined a reputable program and went to the meetings – twice. I avoided the fast food restaurant drive-thru – once. And then I quit. It just seemed as though I had too much to lose and too far to go.
But I was wrong. At 300 pounds, I did have a long way to go to get healthy. But it wasn’t too far to go. I finally learned that we always have a chance to get healthy until we take our last breath. Even though the carousel horse incident didn’t spur me into losing 158 pounds, it did serve its purpose. That carousel experience stays with me, reminding me of why I never want to regain the weight I lost.
Several years after getting stuck on the carousel, I turned away from fast food, fattening desserts, and sitting on the couch. I embraced low-fat eating, small portion sizes, and daily exercise. It wasn’t an easy journey, but it was the most rewarding journey I’ve ever completed. In just 14 months, I went from a size 28+ to a size 6, and I’ve stayed that size (except for four pregnancies) for twelve years.
No matter where you are in your journey to lose weight and get more fit, there is hope. I understand the feelings of hopelessness that arise from obesity because I experienced them. The trials and tribulations of obesity pale in comparison to the joy and satisfaction I have now as a fit, healthy mother of seven lovely children.
As you take steps towards getting healthy, I’d encourage you to never give up. You are worth every bit of effort it takes to achieve your goals. There were times when I thought, “I can’t do it. It’s all too hard.” But as soon as those negative thoughts entered my head, I banished them, and replaced them with positive affirmations. “I can do this. I will do this. I am worth it.” If I can lose 158 pounds and keep it off for over a decade, then you can lose any amount of weight that you desire. Just one day at a time.