These chairs aren’t made for sitting (part 2)

And here’s the follow-up to Saturday’s post! It too was originally published in the first days of my blog.

Last week I shared how, many years ago, I got stuck in a bentwood rocking chair at church, and had to push and tug myself out of the chair while a group of ladies watched in uncomfortable silence.  That incident didn’t get me motivated to get healthy and lose weight, and neither did the second incident involving a chair.

The year was 1995, and we were celebrating one of my children’s birthdays.  As customary for the time, we had invited an assortment of friends over for the party, and were enjoying watching all the little children run around and play.  As an obese woman, I tired easily.  Even during my normal daily routines I would often find myself sitting down “for a rest.”  I often rested with a bite of something high fat and high sugar, followed by a bite of something high fat and high salt.  And then to round off my rest, I would return to the high sugar food, just to end on a sweet note!  That birthday party day was even more strenuous than my typical days usually were.  After all, I had made a cake, planned games, cleaned the house, wrapped presents and gotten several little children fed and dressed.

As the party progressed I could feel my energy level waning.  My legs began to hurt.  My back ached from standing around and I just felt burned out.  During this particular party, some of the husbands had also come, and one of my friend’s husbands was sitting in our dining room watching his little daughters play with mine.  I walked into the dining room, which was part of our great room, and began talking with him.  As we talked I became more and more exhausted, so I sat down in a chair.  As I sat down, I heard a soft crack.  I shifted my weight around and looked behind me to see where that unusual sound had come from.  I couldn’t see anything.  But then, he said, “I think you broke the chair.” 

Looking at him in horror, I reached my right arm around to my left side and grasped the left chair arm.  Imagine my embarassment when I pulled and the chair arm came free, having broken right off the chair.  I looked at him, he stared at me and I mumbled something about the fact that they just don’t make furniture the way they used to.  He wisely agreed with me, and we both left the dining room.  I put that chair arm in the coat closet and returned to the party.  Unfortunately, the only thing I could think of all day long was that broken chair.  I told John what had happened and he kindly agreed that it was a manufacturing defect, and not the fault of my large backside. 

It would be about two more years before I started to finally lose the weight.  I kept that chair arm for years as a reminder of where I had been, and where I didn’t want to be any longer.  As I look back on that time, I realize that I wasn’t being honest with myself about how much my weight was affecting my everyday life.  I couldn’t see beyond the physical size and acknowledge that my weight was holding me back in all areas of my life, not only physically.  One thing I often share with people who ask about my weight loss is that being overweight isn’t just a physical issue.  It’s an emotional issue as well.  The physical size is often a symptom of an emotional issue. 

I would encourage you to take this weekend and examine your feelings about your weight and your size.  Then go beyond just the physical and think about the emotional and spiritual connections surrounding where you are.  I believe that all situations and all challenges can be used to stronger and happier.  Write down some of the things that come to mind when you think about your physical appearance, and  then write down an action plan to address one of those issues today.  Don’t be like me and wait until you start coming apart at the seams, make a choice to make a change today.   Diane

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