Saturday, July 9, 2011

Eye Opener

Last night my dad called me and told me he was in my town. A couple of months ago he went from a recovering real estate agent (meaning he's been trying to survive ever since the real estate market bottomed out) in Florida to becoming a trucker trainee. Yes, at 50 years old he has switched careers to be a trucker. That in itself is something to be admired, I think, but needless to say I was thrilled to hear he was here. I've seen him last two years ago after my first daughter was born, so he hasn't seen her since she was a baby, and of course he's never met my youngest daughter. The truck stop they'd stopped at for the night was only about 10 minutes away, so I put my shoes on and went to pick him up.

Over the past year he's told me when we talked on the phone how he's been trying to lose weight and get in shape. Keep in mind this is the dad from my overweight side of the family. I've never known him to be anything but big. Happy, wonderful, loving, but big. The last time I spoke with him he told me he was at 216. My first thought? "I can not BELIEVE my dad weighs less than I do." My husband has always weighed more than I have, so I had that small little vanity point. But my dad now weighs LESS than *I* do? Hearing it over the phone was one thing. Seeing it was entirely something else.

I'm so very proud of him, as I know that this is something he's also struggled with his entire life. But let me tell you, guys, my motivation has been kicked up a notch. I shouldn't weigh more than a man (okay, granted there are some men out there who weigh 125-130 pounds, but we're not counting them here). Even more than that, when I think back to my childhood and all the times I was hindered from doing something with my dad because of his weight (rollercoasters, etc.), I vow to myself that I WILL lose weight, if for no other reason than so my daughters and I won't have to limit our fun activities simply because of my issues.

I'm going to go downstairs right now and play with my daughters and my awesome-looking dad, but for those of you still keeping at it over the weekend--what was a huge eye opener for you that motivated you to get in shape?


  1. Thanks for the inspirational story!

    My biggest eye-opener was my annual physical last year, when my doctor said that she wanted to put me on a teeny-tiny dose of a statin to lower my cholesterol. Yes, it was a teeny-tiny dose. And yes, we'd worked on diet and exercise modification for five years before she wrote the scrip. But I'm only 46, and the thought of being on a drug for as long as I've already been alive...

    In six months, I lost 10 pounds and lowered my cholesterol enough to avoid the drug. But I need to do better than that!

  2. I have a couple eye openers all from my dads side of the family. The only memories I have of my Aunt are ones where she is sitting in a chair and having everyone else do things for her. That lack of activity eventually put her in the hospital because she got so large and could not take care of herself. It also was one of the causes of her death, she had developed cancer and because of her size they could not do any type of treatment.

    My Grandmother on the other hand did not have a weight problem, heck she was always super skinny, but she did have a problem with her legs. She never moved or exercised and it eventually led to her spending the last few years of her life in a wheelchair in a nursing home.

    This leads to my father, he has always had issues with weight, he even did a surgery and lost tons of weight was doing marathons and than gained it all back. He now has Rheumatoid Arthritis and several problems with his muscles and joints. I have seen the pain and suffering that he goes through to just walk through the house let alone a simple grocery shopping trip.

    I have watched these family members suffer for most of my life and do not want to go down the paths that they have. I have to take charge of my actions and change my lifestyle now to prevent this from happening to me. This challenge has been a blessing and has put me on the path to success.

  3. My Mom is really ill right now and they are looking at whether her illness is hereditary or not. She is on a diet and exercise program to help lower her need for a possible liver transplant. This is mostly due to her obesity and her unhealthy eating (which I have a problem with too). So Mom has inspired me to lose weight, change my eating habits and try to get more exercise in. She is constantly showing me new meals she has created, new low cal snacks she has found etc. I am so proud of her. :)

  4. I think the eye-opener for me was when I saw a story about airlines asking overweight customers to buy two seats on a plane. And it wasn't like they told you ahead of time. No, they pulled you out of line when you're boarding and said, "can you please buy another ticket, because you are too fat for your seat."

    I thought... please, God, let that never happen to me. But if I flew more often, it might. So I need to get a grip on this. It's honestly not that there's anything preventing me. I just don't want the pain. So my new motto is "bring the pain." I know it's going to hurt. And it's going to suck not to be able to eat whatever I want whenever I want to eat it. But it's going to be worth it in the end.

    Thanks for the great story, Ashley. As someone who's always been the biggest person in my family, I shudder to think what my dad would say if I weighed less than him. :)

  5. Last year on a mini-vacation with the monsters, I could BARELY get the seatbelt on for a ride. It was humiliating to say the least.

    I'm happy to say that yesterday we took the kids to an amusement park. After losing 40 pounds so far this year, I was able to walk everywhere without keeling over AND rode several rides with them, no problem. We had such a blast as a family, riding together... It would have killed me to miss out on that because of my weight.

  6. Watching my parents deal with health issues related to weight or family history...woke me up. Dad with the diabetes (and he was never fat), his heart problems and then Mom with lung problems (hasn't smoked in 50 years), her arthritis, and she is overweight.

    I danced with death four years ago with my personal heart problems...all of these things combined to get me moving. Yes, I want the weight loss, but what I really want is to move with freedom and without hurting!

  7. Great post, Ashley! And so cool about your dad. My dad has always been trim and fit, and very careful to eat a healthy diet and exercise. At 88 he is still going strong, walking two miles a day and taking care of business. He's a real inspiration and role model for me.

  8. Let me just say that my husband is a over the road truck driver and in his experience there are lots of new truckers over the age of 50. Lots!!! It's not a easy way of life though and you need to take care of yourself. It's awesome that he's taking control of his weight now as it's easy to let how you eat and care for yourself go while on the road. I've weighed mroe than my husband who is 6"1" and 142 lbs for about 8 years now since the birthd of my last son. My drive now is joining this bunch of ladies and knowing it's a team effort i've got to be serious this time and wanting to get down to a size i used to be about 10 years ago. A size 8!!

    Perhaps you'll see your dad more if he can get by your way often enough. My hubby gets to see his parents because he gets by there way often enough too.

    Lisa B

  9. Size seems to skip around in my family. My father has always been trim, but his mother was overweight. My mom is overweight but her mother was always trim. I was always overweight but my brother was always trim. Oops! Until he reached 40 and had a job where he had to wine and dine a lot of clients.

    I've had a couple of wakeup calls. Last year my doctor told me I had fat growing in my liver! Yikes! And she put me on more pills. I WANT off those pills! The second wakeup call is my father has degenerative arthritis and needs a lot of assistance getting around. I need to be healthy and in shape to help him, and maybe my mother, too, someday.

    This challenge is just what I need to keep accountable.

  10. My biggest eye-opener? Realizing I had a closet full of clothes I liked, but couldn't wear because I am too big for them. And worse, having a few items behind those other clothes that I love, but was then 2 sizes too big for them at the time. Now I'm way more than two sizes, but I also fooled myself into believing I wasn't as overweight as I am because I can still buy certain clothes in size Medium--it's those numbers that betray me! *g* Now I'm working hard to lose all of the weight I gained on top of the pudge I'd carried around for years.