Monday, October 1, 2012

When I Grow Up

Remember this?  When Do I Have To Grow Up By?  No?  Go back and read it then.

The main idea of the aforementioned post has not really changed in the two years since it was written.  The only thing that has changed is the number of job possibilities that have newly sprung into my head since that time.  Yes, there’s more now.  It doesn’t help me in the least.  In lots of situations limits provide us with freedom.  There are no limits here.  I wish there was somebody you could pay to pick two or three of the choices in your mind and just say “OK, these are your only choices.  Pick one and shut up.”

One of my newer job revelations is actually something I’ve been interested in for a very long time.  It just never occurred to me that it could be a career.  For years one of the things that has almost always been on my mind is physical appearance.  I do know how shallow that sounds, yes, but hear me out.  You’re lying if you say you’ve never been concerned with your own appearance.  Losing weight, diet, nutrition, cardio, weights, all that has always been a preoccupation of mine.

When I became a Zumba instructor I realized how much I enjoy helping people get into better shape.  A few months later I decided that I would buckle down and stop silently complaining to myself about the changes I wanted to make and do it.  That’s what Dave has always told me.  Any time I would say how I wanted to run a mile in ten minutes or how I wanted to lose thirty pounds, he would tell me to stop talking about it and just do it.  It seemed kind of mean at the time, but it was good advice.  Especially since I got to use it on him later on when he complained that his chest wasn’t big enough.

Not long into my Zumba classes I had a few people asking for help and advice on losing weight.  So I told them what I knew and had read and sent them on their way hoping to have helped.  However, as they thanked me and turned to leave I wondered if I should have added “but I’m not a professional!”  Why would I want to say that?  I don’t know, so that maybe if my instructions didn’t work they couldn’t quite blame me?  No, I knew that my advice was actually good and I don’t think a certified professional would have given much different gospel.  I just didn’t feel like I had earned the right to dispense it.

Around the same time as my classes started I decided to stop talking about it and do it.  My goal was to lose thirty pounds in six months, a goal I felt was reasonable.  Five pounds a month is a little more than a pound a week and that’s not considered unhealthy.  I had already prepared myself that it wasn’t going to be instantaneous.  Results were not going to be obvious but that they would come.  And they did.  I recorded my measurements each month or so and only weighed myself about as often.  Daily weight fluctuates with water and, for women, cycle and I don’t think it is mentally healthy to weigh yourself daily, nor is it safe for your scale after you fling it through the window and into the street.

I won’t get into the little details, but I used what I knew and somehow manifested some will power and I managed to lose twenty two pounds.  However, the inches lost far outweighed the weight loss.  I lost 38.5 inches total from my body.  That’s more than three feet of space.  To me that’s just astonishing.

I wanted to be able to help other people achieve that.  I looked into becoming a personal trainer and dietician.  There wasn’t really any official schooling involved.  All you really have to do is buy the books, study, and take the test through ACE or AFAA.  Yeah, it’s not cheap but it’s much more affordable than a four year degree.  So for a while that was what I wanted to do.  Then of course my mind changed because of what was going on.  I went back to writing and thought perhaps that was the path for me.  I really hate how indecisive I am.

When I got pregnant in June of this year my fitness and weight loss goals obviously had to be put on hiatus.  A lot of people might consider pregnancy and the state right after giving birth to be a huge setback in a journey of weight loss.  I am fortunate enough to see it much differently.  I see it as a fresh start, which is exactly what I needed.  Right before I got pregnant my attention and determination had waned considerably and I stopped doing what needed to be done.  I had a brief surge in my motivation and it is reflected in my June measurements as they were my smallest to date, but then I got pregnant.

If you’ve read my posts then you know when I get pregnant I start getting all kinds of ideas about doing things that I can’t while pregnant.  Running being the most prevalent.  This time around it has extended to burlesque dancing.  Definitely not something you want to see a pregnant chick doing.  I feel that this is kind of like that, but not really.  This is something that I’ve thought about before, the only different is that I want the formal education that goes with it.

Recently I read a pretty popular article on MSN and Huffington Post.  That article stated that by the year 2030 that 50% of Americans are projected to be obese.  That’s half, yo.  HALF.  That’s like one out of every married couple.  Does that scare anyone else?  That said to me that healthcare is going to be an even more stable field to work in firstly.  With the fat comes the disease; high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, joint problems, all manner of debilitating health issues. 

I know I won’t be part of that 50%.  That probably sounds arrogant, but here’s why I say that:  I won’t be part of the obese 50% of Americans because I won’t allow myself to be.  That’s why I am so confident in saying that.  Moreover, I won’t allow my kids to be in that number either.

That number petrified me when I read it and it inspired me to want to help beat that number back even more.  Half the population being fat is simply unacceptable.  I told Dave all this a few nights ago and he said something to me that pushed me more, though I don’t think he meant it to.  He said “I know what your thing is now.  Your goal.  You are waging a war on fat.”  I can’t help but think he said this to make it sound a little frivolous and stupid, but he was right.  There it was.  Never able to really put it in words (Shocking, I know) Dave was able to.  Sean, our roommate, made it even better when he said that it was a good war to fight.  It’s true.  Someone is going to have to battle this.  Really, it looks like half of the country is going to have to battle it, but someone has to guide the resistance.  Why not me?

I know how to lose weight.  I can tell you how, but I can’t make you do it.  That’s the hard part.  I’m going to be reading and researching and studying all this anyway, why not do it for a living?

As for writing, I can still do that.  See?  I just proved it.

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