In the last year I've had a change in status. According to all the medical tests and indicators, I've moved from "obese" to "overweight." This is not a distinction without a difference -- in the medical community there is morbidly obese, obese, and overweight and each nomenclature comes with certain characteristics.
For almost all of my life, I've been chubby, fat, overweight, a lard ass, chunky, thick, tall for my age and big-boned. "Big-boned" is my personal favorite because I'm really not big boned; I possess a medium frame by all accounts, thin wrists, narrow shoulders and narrow feet.
Last year my husband and I decided to change. It is not easy; every day is a new battleground, particularly for me. My husband has lost probably 80 pounds and has significantly reduced his A1C and his tryglycerides. He is still a Type 2 diabetic.
Like my bad knee, some things cannot be totally fixed or cured after years and years of wear and tear on the body. But we've applied the principles of "kaizan" to our lifestyle, and we make small, positive incremental changes all the time. For example, we are trying to eliminate all white potatoes, so I've learned to like sweet potatoes which are lower on the glycemic index.
Halfway there. Not there yet.
I've lost about half the weight I need to lose; I'm down forty pounds from my high weight. I've been at the same weight for about five months now, though I am in better physical shape due to a weight-training program. I am not perfect -- I make good choices about ninety percent of the time.
Then I have those days, like yesterday, when I drink a real Coke (what I call my "Emergency Coke," a full-blown cane-sugar laden 12 ounce Coca-Cola in a glass bottle from Mexico,) eat seven pecan shortbread cookies chased with a handful of crackers, and still feel unsatisfied, and not really sure why I did it.
In this context I want to talk about Chris Christie, because I am Chris Christie and I feel his pain.
Chris Christie appeared on David Letterman's show last week and got the best of the Hoosier host. Letterman has made verbal mincemeat out of the New Jersey governor for years.
In the midst of some awkward banter between the two, Christie pulled a jelly donut out of his pocket and quipped, "I didn't think this was going to last this long."
The bombastic governor is noted for his mouth, and the media picked this up and soon pundits all over the digital spectrum discussed Christie's weight and possible fitness for the top office in 2016. Even a former Presidential physician Dr. Connie Mariano (served late in the term of Bush the Elder, all of the term of Clinton, and some of Bush the Younger), went public with concerns about Christie's size.
Without your own Come to Jesus moment, nothing happens
Is all this concern about what is a private health matter for Christie justified?
Yes, I believe the concern is justified because Christie could possibly experience premature death in office. While not every overweight person will experience the consequences of obesity such as high blood pressure, diabetes, heart attack or stroke or even premature death, the general public has no way of knowing if Christie is solid muscle from a rigorous training program and not all fat.
Here's some information about obesity from the BBC.
However, I do want to add a caveat. All of the public scrutiny given Christie is irrelevant until he comes to a point where he has no alternative but to change.
One Meal at a Time, LeNore
Being fat is not a choice. Let me say that again, being fat is not a choice. There will be readers who are cluck-cluck-clucking at me; people who say that every time you open your mouth it is a choice.
Have you ever met someone who could eat anything and any quantity of anything and still be bean pole thin? I have a cousin like that, and the cliche says that he "has a hollow leg."
We shared the same overweight grandfather who, when his wife nagged him about eating too much would look at her and said, "One meal at a time, LeNore."
To those of you who are thin and believe that all fat people lack is discipline, I have news for you.
First, let's look at the log in your eye.
You may advise me on anything but that or select the biggest challenge in your life, the one that affects you the most that you've never been able to conquer. Conquer it for life and then we'll talk.
Frankly, it is the exact same principle as getting advice on raising children from the childless.
For me to lose a pound, I have to show extreme discipline and exercise a great deal. Then to keep that pound off, I have to do better than that. It is not easy. If it was easy, there would be no overweight people.
I'm not blaming genetics, or my metabolism or transfat. I acknowledge my problem and I know I am the only one who can do anything about it. You being thin has nothing to do with my discipline.
There's Always a Plan....
What I am saying is this: unless Chris Christie is willing to give it all that he has, every second of every day, no amount of judgment or criticism is going to help him. And even when he makes that commitment, there will be days when for no reason whatsoever he falls off that wagon and has no one to blame but himself.
That is unfortunate for him, as it is unfortunate for me. And it is damn hard.
I guarantee you there are situations in my life that would have been fruitful, easier, or had completely different outcomes had I not shown up in my Mrs. Doubtfire fat suit. He may not become president of the United States because of this.
When interviewed this week, Christie said, "I'm struggling, and there's always a plan."
I believe him. I always have a plan and for the rest of my life, every hour of every day I will be struggling and working on my plan.