Saturday, July 02, 2011

Don't Judge a Book...and All That

On Thursday, I wrote a blog post about my feelings of self worth in regards to my weight loss.  I told you all that my idea for the post came from reading other blogs about the same topic.  While that is partly true, the real reason stemmed from an email I received two days before. 

It was the first negative email that I had ever received.  I had planned on brushing it off - giving it no time....but it really started to bug me.  I decided to write the post on Thursday, but had no idea I would get another email from her.  Here is the original email...

"I found your blog a few months ago while looking for blogs about weight loss.  I saw that it was listed on Shape Magazine's website as one of the most motivational weight loss sites.  My question is, when does the motivation come in?  No offense, but since I've started reading your blog, it's been nothing but you talking about eating too much or not working out.  The worst part is, then you brag about how you're not going to "dwell" on it and move on...yet you never move on.  It's failure after failure.  You don't even seem to care that you keep gaining weight.  How exactly is this supposed to motivate people to lose weight?  I understand that everyone has set backs, but you seem to talk about them more than any other blog I've visited.  What gives?"

Of course, there was no name signed on the email.  I only assume it's a woman by the email address, but I could be wrong.  I could have responded with a big F**K YOU - but that's not how I roll.  This person, regardless of their hateful way of saying it - was on to something.  I was a little shocked by it though.  For months, I've been feeling like my blog is nothing but downer posts.  I kept telling myself that I needed to change things - I was sick of reporting about set backs.  I was so tired of going up and down a rollercoaster of losses/gains.  I NEVER for one second thought I was bragging about it, or not caring about it.

Thus, that's what lead me to write the post I did.  I wrote it, got my feelings off my chest, and moved on.  I wanted and needed to make a point that revealing my setbacks wasn't something I was proud of - but feeling ashamed or disheartened only made things worse.  I try to stay positive, if I don't, I will start to doubt myself and give up.

Yesterday, I get another email.  I see it's from the same email address and think "Oh no, what now?" 
This is what I read...

"Yeah, it's me again.  I read your post yesterday about self-worth.  Let me start out by saying I'm sorry.  The last part of the post, I knew you were talking to me.  I didn't mean to sound like such a bitch in that last email.  I have been fighting with weight loss for ten years now.  I try something, it doesn't work, I give up.  Every time I give up, I feel like more of a failure - turn back to food - and then feel even worse about myself.  Pretty much what you were talking about with the vicious cycle thing.  After reading your post, I feel different.  I've been trying to lose weight again for a couple of months now, but I've only lost about 3lbs.  Every Monday, I tell myself that I'll have a better week, but by Wednesday I'm tired and hungry and give up for the rest of the week.  I guess I took my anger out on your because you were telling my story, but you always seem so damn cheerful about it.  I just couldn't understand how someone could have such a big setback and then the next day be back to their happy self.  It just didn't make sense to me.  Then you explained the part about not giving up being the most important part and things started to make a little more sense about why you write what you do. 

Since reading the post on Thursday, I've been reading your old blog posts from last year.  I realized I judged you too soon.  You have done amazing things, and should be proud of everything that you've accomplished.  This year sounds like it's been pretty rough for you.  I couldn't imagine going to school, working full time, raising a family, and trying to lose weight, but you did it.  I now know that I was supposed to find your blog for a reason.  I had to see someone failing.  Well, not failing, but having problems.  I had to see that I couldn't give up.  I guess I had to be told that if someone else can accept their mistakes and learn from them, maybe I should too. 

Wednesday, I had given up again for the week.  For dinner I ate a whole pizza.  Thursday morning, I got up and read your post.  As soon as I finished reading it, I decided to go and get on my treadmill.  I was on there for 30 minutes.  I've never ran before, but I made myself run for 10 seconds every five minutes.  By the time I was done, my clothes were soaked but I felt great.  I then made myself a healthy lunch.  Since then, I've been on track.  I've eaten well and worked out two more times since.  It's something I haven't done in a very long time, especially on a Thursday.

I wanted to write back and tell you I'm sorry, but also to say THANK YOU!  You have given me a new outlook on my weight loss and now I know that I can't give up.  I have to start over every day.  You helped me understand and for that I will always be truly grateful."

Do you have your Kleenex's?  I know I needed one after reading that email.  I've received several emails and comments praising me about my accomplishments - but never about my failures before.  Who would have known that by admitting my set-backs, I would actually help someone overcome theirs?  It's amazing to me.

I had planned on emailing the person back - still don't know her name (I'd like to, if you're reading this).  Then I thought, I'd much rather share the information with everyone else.  Hopefully my mystery reader doesn't mind me sharing it....nobody has to know who you are - even me, if you'd like. 

It goes right along with my favorite saying "everything happens for a reason".  Maybe my lack of success the past six months has been so that I could reach this one person.  If so, I'm OK with it.  Now, I have to strap on my motivation cap - and start turning things around for myself.  The original email had a lot of truth in it...I have spent a lot of time talking about my set-backs and not near enough on my successes.  Now it's time to start sharing the good stuff.

Let's kick off some "good stuff" with reporting that I did 28 minutes with the new EA Active Trainer yesterday, and burned off 204.7 calories!!  I LOVE IT!! The system comes with a heart rate monitor and movement there's not even a way to slack off!! If you're not doing the exercises right, it doesn't register it.  By the time I was done, I was dripping sweat!  It actually had a lot of the same moves we've been given for boot camp - but throw in some running, mountain biking, and basketball (simulated, of course).  It was a full body work-out...and every part of my body felt it when I was done.  I will be doing this program every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for the next nine weeks.

Oh, something else.  Here's the link to my interview for winning the contest.

I'm looking forward to turning things around - and here's to a more positive, successful future.

Till next time.  ;)
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  1. I think you are very inspirational and no matter what your posts are about, they are always honest and open and from the heart. You are human and you struggle like the rest of us. Keep it up girl! I don't comment on every post, but I do read every one of them. You rock!!

  2. Wow! What a wonderful exchange -- that's real communication. And how rewarding for you to know that you impacted someone so powerfully.

  3. This is so great.. thanks for sharing it all with us! Way to go to that reader as well! I think sometimes our bodies also need time to adjust and we fluctuate back and forth before moving further down on the scale. The last 6 months I've lost nothing. I have failed, failed, and failed. BUT- I have moved my body more and as a result I haven't gained weight either. I think this is important and teaches me and my body that I can eat normally (I overeat and eat too much sugar typically) and move my butt. This is good stuff as far as I'm concerned. Way to go to all of us that keep trying!


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