This blog is an accounting of my personal journey to find fitness. All the content on this blog should be read as a biographical piece of literature, not a medical resource. I am a physician, but I am in no way giving medical advice or establishing doctor patient relationships with my readers. I am simply keeping a diary. If you are starting a diet or exercise program or require medical evaluation or advice, please see your own family physician.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

WAKE UP! GET UP! Do something!

Hello Everyone!  I made it home from Orlando in one piece, despite the GI bug and the lightening storm and the fatigue from 6 amusement parks in 9 days. It was a wonderful trip. The kids had a blast, despite being sick for a few days. We arrived home late Sunday night, early Monday really, around midnight.  The kids had slept on the plane, despite the turbulence, but were still really tired yesterday when time for school. We made it through the day yesterday anyway.

Unfortunately, my allergies are hay-wire and I have a really sore throat. That's ok, I'm making it. But, I have to be careful when I get overly tired as I tend to get sick. That combined with my breathing issues means no workout for a few days for me. Maybe tomorrow if today goes well.

The good news came when I weighed yesterday. I weighed in at exactly what I weighed the week before. Really good news considering the trip and I know I am retaining some water just from the travel. That means that in the next day or two as I shed that extra fluid, I will be down a pound or two. That means I went on vacation for 9 days and didn't gain any weight. In fact, I will likely have lost weight. Really good news. I know in the past I have easily gained 10 pounds on a vacation. This means I have learned something.

I know I wasn't perfect with my eating on the trip. I didn't manage to track everyday, although I tried. But we walked and walked and walked ALL DAY. And I did make some good eating choices. Plus, I just plain cannot eat as much as I did before. That's good news. It is just another testament that what I'm doing is working and I have made true lifestyle changes. It was so nice to be able to get on rides and not worry about fitting or seat belts buckling.

It really was a great time and a great trip. I'll try to find a few pics I can post although most of them are of the kids, naturally.  I am sad to say that I must now have a rant.

It was absolutely unbelievable and frankly disgusting to observe the numbers of people on scooters at every park we visited. Some of these people were morbidly obese. Some of these people were not. The vast majority of these people looked obese and lazy. They didn't seem to have any medical reason to be riding a scooter.  Now I realize that you can't always tell, but it was ridiculous. These people would motor everywhere.  They would park and get on rides and seem to walk just fine. They would motor up to the front of every line. This is bull. If you are too lazy and too obese to walk around the park, you shouldn't be there. The best thing you could do is WALK around. You might find you feel better.

These were not older people with obvious arthritis. Some of these people were younger than me. They were just fat. I found myself getting more and more irritated. What is wrong with our society that it has become so common place for people to be this overweight. I don't think that obese people should be treated badly, but REALLY, riding your scooter into the food line to order a double cheeseburger, fries and a shake is irritating to me. Maybe if you got off the damn scooter and walked a little and ordered, perhaps, a single cheeseburger even, you might be able to MOVE.

I am by no means saying obese people should be judged. I am still fat. But at least I am making an effort to be healthier. I shudder to think what some of these people will look like in 10 years, assuming they live that long. I saw several whole FAMILIES who were obese and all riding scooters, some of them with small children in their laps.  What are they teaching these children? It just plain made me ill to think about.

I am almost afraid that our society has gotten so used to the idea that most people are obese that it is ok now to be obese. Again, I don't think that obese people should be treated unfairly. I don't think making fun of them helps anything. Lord knows I suffered being a fat kid and teenager, and even sometimes as an adult.  BUT, it isn't ok for your health to be obese. It isn't. It will kill you. It will kill me. It will kill my kids if I let it happen to them. Anyone who doesn't think so is fooling themselves.

Can you be fit and fat? Yes. I feel like I am. I walked and sometimes ran all over the place, carrying a huge back pack and sometimes a kid on my shoulders, that's like 60 pounds. No shortness of breath, no trouble at all. But, you are kidding yourself if you think a fit and fat person is as healthy as a fit and normal weight person. Being overweight increases your risk for all sorts of problems from heart disease to diabetes to cancer.  And that is why I am determined to change my health and my weight.

Should you judge someone on their size? NO. But, you can judge them on their actions. Riding a scooter because you are too lazy to walk is embarrassing to all of us fat but fit or fat and trying to be fit people.  It just solidifies the idea that thin people have that fat people are lazy and disgusting and eat all the time. I hate the fact that people look at me still and see obesity. I am obese, but I won't be forever.

I refuse to be this way forever. I will be healthy. I will do something to move toward that goal. Every. Single. Day. I just want to scream at these people, "STOP IT! WAKE UP! You are killing yourself. You are killing your kids. GET UP! Do something!" But, of course I can't.

Instead I'll keep the focus on me. My behaviors. My family. My exercise. My diet and MY GOALS. And maybe by example someone will notice. Maybe they will see it CAN be done and in turn they will get off the damn scooter and move. Are you with me?

Then let's get busy!


  1. Welcome back! How great you can go on vacation and not gain, even lose, weight!

    In my most fat days, I once (the only time) rode a scooter at EPCOT because of excruciating back pain. I was horribly embarrassed knowing that my fatness was the cause of my pain and disability. At least I got to kind of enjoy the park. Never again.

  2. I saw all the obese people at Sea World in San Antonio but they were mostly walking and some seemed to be doing better than me in the extreme heat. I do see young obese people riding the scooters at the grocery store that look perfectly capable of walking around. My friend who is 82 years old has waited for over an hour to get one of the scooters because of this. :(

  3. I've noticed that since I've lost 70 pounds when I see people who are extremely obese it's like flashing lights warning me to never be in that place again! I'm still obese, 223lbs but my goodness at one point in my life I was 16 and 350lbs. Just take the anger from these people and use it to fuel the fire in your own life. You're doing great!! We will both eventually get to where we want to be!

  4. First, congrats on a no weight gain travel experience. That is remarkable and no small feat. Kudos to you. Wonderful, too, that you enjoyed your increased stamina by carrying the kids around and hoofing it everywhere.

    Scooters: I know I, too, observe more obese people now while I am in my journey to get fit, than I ever did before. This is a long journey, sometimes hard, but long and slow to get fit. It amazes me, too, when I see obviously obese folks gorging on burgers fries and the like. It saddens me actually, because I was in their place and ignored my health, too. But, I am not anymore and you know that. But it took me way too long to get to this point. I don't understand why I waited so long, perhaps I was just waiting for magic to happen (you went to Harry Potter World, right?). It is a hard, but very important insight to look at yourself and see who you really are: obese and out of shape. I am guessing most of the scooter types you saw have not given themselves a good hard look. They are ignoring their own truth. The truth hurts. The fact that they are killing themselves is something they are ignoring too.

    To me we counter the obesity epidemic by speaking out and to folks who are not where we are yet, with compassion, but also with the insights we have learned along the way. You are a wise doc who has gained much insight in your own journey. You are in a position to hit a home run with some of your patients. I hope you do, and they listen.

    Here is to a more scooter free world!

  5. I really try hard not to judge the obese people in the scooters (especially at the grocery store when they are putting CRAP in their baskets), but my husband is not so kind. And while I never got to that point, I certainly had an ugly shopping cart for many years. I like that you wrote "judge them on their actions" - and I agree with that. Also, I do (unfortunately) think it's becoming not only more commonplace, but more acceptable to be hugely overweight like that. Sad, very sad.

  6. Congrats on your vacation weight maintenance. Great job!

    I also have to say that I see more and more obese people everywhere in today's world. There is no doubt that it is an epidemic in our country. And as you say, I also now see more scooters, but around here, I haven't see anyone riding one who isn't obviously morbidly obese with the possibility of having physical disabilities. It makes me sad and scared--because there for the grace of God go I.

    When I was a kid (olden days), there were far fewer obese people. In fact morbid obesity was a rarity. I never want to get to that point, but I know that for people who are in the throes of compulsive overeating (in a food obsessed society), it's hard to stop the upward spiral of weight, even though they are desperate. No one wants to be morbidly obese, with the depression, immobility, illness, and isolation, which becomes a lifestyle, but answers are so often elusive. I know that feeling of desperation, without hope or answers. I wish there was a way or a program in our country to help make everyone healthy, free of charge. But it is such a complex problem that no one answer is going to fix it. Bless all of us who struggle with weight, and may we all find a lasting road to health.

  7. Wow!
    Glad you had a good time - despite all the stuff going on!

  8. Welcome back and congrats on no weight gain!

  9. Pretty wonderful to get back with no weight gain. Great job! I think we can just hope that something will "click" and the obese will turn themselves around as you and I have and start trying to be more fit and to eat more healthfully. I did my share of "eating in secret" so that I wouldn't feel judged by others for choices that I knew were unwise.

  10. Maybe the people who are over weight see it as a way to get to ride SOMETHING. When I was at my biggest I got kicked off of Space Mountain because I was too fat. Maybe the scooter was the only ride they could go on.

    I am kidding of coarse. I do think that just because you have a scooter you shouldn't go to the front of the line though. You should have to show some form of handicap credential.

  11. Congrats on managing your vacation. I love those walking vacations. That baseball trip we took to St. Louis, Cinci, and Louisville inspired me to get the standup desk because I couldn't stand going back to sitting all day long.

  12. I'm with you. I've had many, many days where I wanted to ride a scooter around wal-mart, or Target. And I've been in severe legitimate pain too. I also went on vacation about a month ago, and forced myself to walk the boardwalk of Atlantic City - instead of riding around in a taxi. So, it can be done. (oh, I lost wight doing it too.....)


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