Terri’s View: I ran into an acquaintance from my old gym. This is where I started my journey, and I got to know the same faces from being there so often. My fellow gym rats literally saw me shrink from almost 300 pounds to under 200 pounds before I left my membership there for a gym cheaper and closer to home. I had won 2 biggest loser contests there, and it was bittersweet to leave the place that had helped me so much in my journey.
Anyway, when I ran into the old familiar face, of course we began chatting about weight loss and working out. He was glad to see that I have maintained my healthy weight. He had been out of the gym for a while and was just starting to get back into his fitness routine. He was still struggling with his weight-loss goals. He told me how great I looked and that he can see how I have changed my life, and didn’t just go on a diet.
He then posed a question to me that I didn’t immediately know how to answer. He asked, “Terri you have been at this a while, does it ever get easy?” That is a tough one to answer. Mainly because mostly nowadays, it is second-nature and doing the right thing does come easy. But there are days I struggle very hard to stay on track and easy is not a word I would use to describe it.
I would never tell anyone who has been where I have been that losing weight and committing to change is an easy road. But it definitely is an easier road then diabetes, high blood pressure and feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. It is easier to shop in regular stores, to fit into plane seats and to play with your kids.
Many things like grocery shopping and eating out are second nature to me now, as I know what I need to do to make the right choices. It has gotten easier over these past 3 years. This is just my life now. But to ask me if it ever gets easy is like asking an alcoholic if it’s easy to walk past a bar. Some days you can just breeze on by without a second thought to that martini, chocolate chip cookie, cigarette or whatever else you call your vice. And some days you struggle. But you always keep your eye on the goal, forgive your slip-ups, and start anew the next day.
To answer my friend’s question, I would have to say that it gets easier but not necessarily easy. Nothing worth having is ever easy, is it?
Ed’s View: You always have these choices: to start your mornings at 6 a.m. in the gym, to work out 4 days a week, to pass up foods that I know aren’t good for me. Knowing the right choice makes it easier. Continuing my education within this lifestyle change makes it easier. Seeing results makes it easier.
Let’s face it. We’re all human and have temptations surrounding us every day. Even items that are low-fat can lull us into a false sense of ease, so we learn to read the labels. But what makes it easy is this: the feeling I get after a great workout, pushing myself to do the extra 5 minutes on the cross trainer, and walking by the food that would stop me in my tracks when I didn’t care.
I can do things I couldn’t do at 300 pounds. Instead of sitting on the side and watching, I now can participate and have fun.