Lessons From The Zoo

Last Friday my family and I took a trip to the zoo. I realized how sheltered my two year old is when during the entire one hour drive there he kept saying, “Animals – pantry – cookie?” Because, yes – we occasionally have animal cookies and he thought that’s where animals like giraffes and elephants lived – in the pantry. But enough two year old stories or I may bore you to tears!

Once we got there, we had a great time walking around and looking at all the animals. No matter how many times I see the monkeys flying around on their ropes, or the majesty of the elephants I’m amazed.

Two funny things happened that made me think of you – my blogging friends.

First we saw the hippos doing this:

And then we saw the monkey doing this:

I immediately thought of a blog post. The hippo lays or floats around most of the day – rarely moving except to eat. The monkey is in constant motion, and even seems to eat on the run.

I realized in my morbidly obese days that I was the hippo. I not only kinda had the shape of a hippo, but more importantly, I had the attitude of the hippo. I didn’t lounge in my pool, but rather on my couch. If something needed attending to I waited until I absolutely had to move to do it. I sat, rolled around, and ate.

Once I lost weight I was much more like the monkey. I got busy, and active, and looked for ways to move. And my body changed drastically. Not only did my appearance change, but my outlook on life changed as well.

I felt strong, I felt capable, I felt like I could do or try anything – and I did. The great thing was I didn’t just feel those things after I lost all 158 pounds, but rather I felt stronger and more capable even after I lost just a few pounds. It was an incredibly uplifting feeling! I never want to go back to being a hippo!

Have you had that feeling? How does it make you feel as you change from being less active to more?  Diane

39 thoughts on “Lessons From The Zoo

  1. Marcelle says:

    Fantastic entry once again Diane…love the way you can relate your weight loss ( ours ) to a simple situation like visiting the zoo…and you are so correct as well…

    Just wanted to let you know I have decided to change my blog, less weight stories and more about my life in Germany etc etc…Healthy lifestyle will be included but not the main topic – I need to find balance in my life now…I know the rules, I have all the tools…
    I run a online group where I will continue my weight stories and tracking…
    Although I will be changing my blog I will be here visiting everyday as usual as your entries keep me motivated.
    Thanks for that…xx
    .-= Marcelle´s last blog ..Balancing MY Blog =-.

  2. WaistingTime says:

    I started exercise to lower my cholesterol. I was skinny a the time and didn’t link exercise to weight because it was not an issue in that moment. Later in life, they became more connected. But I also grew to enjoy and appreciate exercise for what it did to and for me. I like the energy. I like being stronger and fitter. I have stayed a consistent exerciser even as my weight has yo-yo-ed and I have struggled with what I eat. And now that I have a shoulder injury it kills me that I cannot get back to my routine:(
    .-= WaistingTime´s last blog ..I Need an Intervention =-.

  3. Diane says:

    Now here is a funny thought -the biggest animals ( giraffes, elephants, hippos) are all herbivores. Vegetarians. The fastest( cheetahs, lions and other big cats) are carnivores- meat eaters. No real point with this , but it’s something I always think of when I go to the zoo.
    And two year olds seem to make every outing a surprise and a joy- it looks like you all had fun !
    .-= Diane´s last blog ..Easter =-.

  4. Emergefit says:

    I will spend all my days now, thinking of zoos as pantries where we store our animals — from the mouths of babes….

    Having been both hippo and monkey, I’ll take monkey every time. It is actually central in my motivation; to never go hippo again. Life is so much better in the trees, and I mean that literally. It was just a few weeks ago that I commented here about tree climbing as a for of exercise….

  5. Ashley says:

    That’s a great analogy. It’s funny, because I thought I was pretty confident before I lost weight, but the fitter I get, the stronger I feel … in every respect! 🙂
    .-= Ashley´s last blog ..Our first Easter =-.

  6. Amy S. says:

    Ha ha!! I love it! That is sooooooo spot on, Diane! So spot on.. It’s so true! I don’t ever want to go back to being a hippo ever again.. no no… It’s a monkey life for me too!

    ~ amy
    .-= Amy S.´s last blog ..Just for fun! =-.

  7. Pam says:

    Yep, I can definitely relate to the hippo today. As long as I don’t start feeling like an elephant, right now I will take it….after all, elephant pregnancies are two years long!
    I do love your analogies!
    .-= Pam´s last blog ..Weekend Ups and Downs =-.

  8. PhluffyPrincess says:

    Yes – feeling lethargic and not wanting to be particularly active is definitely how I felt before getting started. I showed my father your blog as an example of a family who teaches their kids nutrition and living a healthy, active lifestyle. He swore up and down people don’t do that “in real life.” Thank you for being such a wonderful example.
    .-= PhluffyPrincess´s last blog ..Right now….I really dislike my father. =-.

  9. 'Drea says:

    Great lesson from the zoo. I think it’s cute the association that your two year old made.

    I feel so much better about myself now that I’m more active in just about all areas: confidence etc. I’m such a proud *monkey* now. 😉
    .-= ‘Drea´s last blog ..I’m My Own Heroine =-.

  10. Erin says:

    I just got my zoo pass at work today, and my son will be so excited when I tell him we can go this weekend to celebrate his birthday.

    I love feeling like a monkey – I’m go go go all the time and it’s much better than coming home from work and flopping on the couch like I used to! 🙂
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Weekend Warriors: The Empire Strikes Back =-.

  11. 266 says:

    Great post! I agree that moving more and increasing my activities levels (embracing my inner monkey) has gone a long, long way to helping me on this process!

    Nonetheless, don’t forget that the poor hippo is a perfect version of itself – lol!
    .-= 266´s last blog ..Gooooooooal!!! =-.

  12. Fran says:

    I love the comparison between the two animals, so true.
    And I’m happy that I’m more like a monkey these days than a hippo.

    Being active makes me feel better about myself and gives me confidence about myself. I haven’t been exercising much the past two weeks but feel like I’m back on track since Saturday and it feels good!
    .-= Fran´s last blog ..A day in my life: Monday April 5th 2010 =-.

  13. Leah says:

    Had to grin, because when we watched the movie Madagascar I used to tell my kids I was Gloria (the hippo). 🙂 We always got a good laugh out of it.

    However, your post and observation are so true. I have a post brewing on this exact thing.

    I was once a hippo, I have noticed so much more energy and willingness to do things that require activity now that I’m a bit lower in weight and have regular exercise habits.

    Great post!
    .-= Leah´s last blog ..I Finished The Run =-.

  14. Carla says:

    When I was pregnant, I used to “jokingly” call myself a beached whale, because that’s how I felt. I ate whatever I wanted and got very lazy, and gained too much weight. So it was exactly like your hippo analogy!

  15. Sonya says:

    I was in our community theatre production of “Annie”…I would have NEVER NEVER auditioned to do anything like this a year ago…I amaze myself! IT WAS A BLAST!

  16. Siobhan says:

    Beautiful picture of your family. 🙂 I realize that one of the biggest differences between now and when I didn’t have a weight problem was how active I was. Can’t wait to get back there again.
    .-= Siobhan´s last blog ..great expectations =-.

  17. JourneyBeyondSurvival says:

    Being bipolar, it’s hard for me to completely discount a hippo’s take on life when compared with a monkey. But that is from a mental health standpoint. It’s obviously not healthy for a human to run themselves ragged on the run. That’s what I was thinking about the monkey.

    However, this does not apply to you or to the monkey’s you were writing about. Only to me.

    So, funnily enough, what comes to mind about being MORE active is that I am more relaxed in my own skin.
    .-= JourneyBeyondSurvival´s last blog ..A Leetle Squirrley Here =-.

  18. Jen-JensFitnessTips.com says:

    Being more active means being alive and healthy! I hated those times of my life where I just layed on the couch in my emotional turmoil. I did something about it. Going from hippo to monkey really changes a person. Active is the way to be!
    .-= Jen-JensFitnessTips.com´s last blog ..Tip #74: Yoga Crane =-.

  19. Debby says:

    OMG I am SO the hippo! Well, I don’t flick my poo with my tail…I might if I had a tail though…hmmmmm

    I loved the analogy. I’m trying to move my body more now and I’ll think of that rolly polly hippo just laying there now when I want to sit.

    I shant think of monkeys though. They’re evil little scary creatures.
    .-= Debby´s last blog ..Well crap =-.

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