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New Year, New Me…How’s That Going?

Picture it, Sicily…1912…Juuuust kidding!  It was more like Hagerstown, 2011. I’d already spent 28 YEARS of my life expanding my skin suit to the max bearing babies and eating beyond my stomach’s capacity. All while not doing the simple, daily micro-tasks of caring for myself and my future self’s health.

That’s right. I said “simple.” And, I said, “daily.” What are these profound “simple” and “daily” tasks, you ask? Nothing new or profound, I promise…

  • Eat smaller portions
  • Make those portions more protein-filled and  nutritious
  • Move your body
  • Try to improve your faith, your brain, and your relationships – with yourself and others

How you do all of the above is completely up to you! There are books a zillion written on each topic, and experts E-V-E-R-Y-W-H-E-R-E that would LOVE to assist within all budget levels. Need a recommendation? Feel free to reach out.

Back to my story. On Christmas Day of 2011, because I hadn’t done what I needed to do to care for my body, I found myself stuck. Quite literally. I had sat down on the floor to open presents with my then two-and-a-half-year-old, six-month-old, and their father. Like you do.  And when I went to stand up, I couldn’t. (Insert shocked face emoji here, right?!) My legs had fallen asleep after my 400-pound frame had sat for too long. I remember panicking. While completely embarrassed, I army crawled to the nearest piece of furniture so I could pull myself to a sitting position. Then, I struggled to get myself into a seated position and had to wait for blood flow to return to my lower extremities so I could stand up and move around again.

On that day, my kiddos became my “WHY”, my motivation to make some needed changes. I remember bawling to their dad saying, “What if something had happened to them and I was unable to simply stand and help them?” After too many dieting attempts over the years, that was the straw that broke this camel’s back.  I’d rung in countless New Years with “new me” goals and never once had I followed through on them. I’d gotten used to excuses of my family’s “big-boned” nature mixed with “clean your plate”, “eat your money’s worth”, and “massive restaurant serving sizes” as my lot in life. I was behind a quick-fix diet culture eight ball with no long-term how-to tools to help.

My six-foot frame now holds about 215 pounds. Although maintaining a 185-pound weight loss for ten years is considered by many standards a “success”, I’m often reminded of the literal baby steps, daily challenges and choices, and NSVs (non-scale victories) that all added up along the way.

I’m typing this up in early February, sure. However; I think it’s applicable year round. If you’re the type that can decide to make a change and just…do it – WHOA!!! (Like Joey from Blossom would say…) That’s amazing! I guess this article might provide insight into how some of the rest of us live. However; if you’re anything like me (a later-in-life diagnosed ADHDer, elder millennial with a laundry list of things to do and people to care for), you might understand the struggle of sticking with a habit once the motivation dies down and/or the commitment to do something seems a bit more difficult than you thought it would be.

So, if you made a New Year’s resolution and haven’t kept up with it, can I tell you something? IT’S OK!  You have an opportunity every day to try again. For me, it took an initial medical consult, six months of nutrition counseling, multiple rounds of bloodwork, a cardiac clearance, a psych eval (that I still don’t know how I passed), two approvals from insurance, AND a major surgery over the span of 18 months for me to finally implement changes that would benefit me long term.  

Looking back at my 28-year-old self, I can’t thank her enough for everything she did to benefit me. Thanks to the changes she pursued and the healthy habits she began practicing, this 40-year-old body can run with her kids, do Polar Plunges to benefit charities, fly in airplanes without a seat extender, ride roller coasters and elevators without being nervous about the weight limit, wear mid-sized clothing that is available just about everywhere, and YES! – get up off the floor after sitting for a while.  🙂

Thanks to her weight loss surgery in 2013, Chandra Metz has become a spokesperson for health & wellness for the bariatric community.  Chandra created a private Facebook Support Group for those who have had or are interested in having weight loss surgery. She & her husband, Martin, own C & M Lawns and keep busy raising and loving their full 4 kids. 

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