Is it Worthwhile?

People ask me if I feel better having lost so much weight and the truth is unless I really think about it I don’t really feel better. For me, it is becoming a long journey and I haven’t lost the weight quickly so I got used to being in a slightly slimmer body as the weeks progressed into months.

Now, what does this have to do with the title? Well, you hear people say ‘life is too short, eat the way that makes you happy’ or ‘I would rather die young and happy than live to 100 eating rabbit food’. It comes down to is it worthwhile to put so much effort into losing weight and being healthy?

At 145kg’s I would tell you that I felt fine, I didn’t have any major health issues and I’m still functionally mobile as in can go for walks and hikes etc. If you felt fine and I’m happy why would somebody need to make such drastic changes?

Obviously, now that I’ve lost a hell of a lot of weight and I think about how I was 15 months ago I feel better than fine, I can actually go running or jump around like a fool without feeling winded.

When you have been obese your entire life you don’t know how you can feel when the weight is gone, how you don’t feel self-conscious about sun tanning and you don’t even realize how great a shag can be.

You think everyone feels the same, well at least people around you in the same socio-economic level as you, but drop a few kilo’s and feel how it is to go for a long walk or lose 35kilo’s and see how it feels to take your shirt off at the pool then you realize what it means to ‘feel healthy’.

It all comes back to is it worthwhile to change your life? I phrase it like this because when you are trying to lose a lot of weight a diet or a quick fix is not going to help in the long run so you can never go back to eating and be the way you used to.

If all you think about when losing weight and becoming healthy is what you have to give up it puts you into a negative mind-set and after a while, you ask yourself is it worth it? I did think that a lot when I started, and hell I ask myself that question even today and probably will tomorrow.

I’m not going to try to tackle the health benefits of getting to a good weight based on your body type or even how apparently physical activity boosts your endorphin’s and gives you a natural high, to try to explain why it is worthwhile.

Instead, I’m going to tell you about the weekend I had 2 weeks ago. My best friend and his girlfriend had a free room in a holiday apartment in Sea Point. Sam and I decided to tag along as who wouldn’t want to stay in a hotel for free?

We all get there on Friday and pack all our crap out and I get to work since I still had to do a few hours of work before my weekend began. After a few hours of work, some Indian food and craft beer was enjoyed and we had a relaxing evening at the hotel.

Saturday rolled around and we started with a walk on the beach for about an hour and ended up going into the city to try some craft beer. Couple hours later we are sitting by the pool, playing some putt putt and having a few beers. For some reason, I decided I wanted to sun tan, took my shirt off and lay down on one of those lounges.

We ended up spending a few hours there and then decided to go for dinner with some other friends at a great pizza restaurant. Now the reason they are great is not only because everything is good on the menu but because they have salad burgers (no bun everything in a salad) and half pizza/salad meals.

Sunday was a bit different, I couldn’t sleep so ended up going for an 8km walk seeing the sun rise and got some incredibly good coffee, later that day we all went for a walk and then ended up sun tanning at the pool again.

So far this sounds like a typical weekend right?

Well not for me, yes I would go for walks on the beach but not for more than 20 minutes, oh and me sunbathing that simply would not happen. And did I mention I didn’t even get drunk the weekend or put on any weight?

I never really thought about how I have changed until I thought about that weekend. Normally I would over do it on the Indian food and beer, perhaps go for a quick beach walk and ya sitting at the pool having some beer (ie getting sloshed) was the norm.

For me the worthwhile-ness came together that weekend, for me being self-conscious about my body has always been an issue. There are probably no photo’s of me shirtless on Facebook or actually ever taken (other than when a baby). The long haul has been worthwhile because I took my shirt off not caring what was underneath. I spent the weekend eating good healthy food, drinking great craft beer and had an incredibly good weekend.

My body is nowhere near where I want it to be, I’m still obese, I’m still 30% body fat. It’s still going to be a long way till I’m lean and will start getting the real health benefits at being a proper body weight.

Thinking about that weekend I feel better than fine, I feel better than I did at 145kg’s so yes it is worthwhile.