Your Weight Matters

Your weight matters.

What does it mean? It is a simple enough sentence when you see it there in print before you. But say it to yourself out loud once. How did it sound? Do you find yourself wanting to emphasize on word over the others? Do you add an inflection? Did you mentally add a comma in there at all?

YWM-Logo-in-RGBThe Obesity Action Coalition (OAC) uses this phrase as the title of their membership magazine. It is also the title of a major health campaign that mirrors what the OAC is all about.

Surprisingly enough, up until I started writing this post, I had never really thought about why the OAC uses this phrase. You would think after these years I would have by now. I mean, some of it obvious… plus it’s in their logo. Now it is also the the title for their national convention…more on that in a bit. If you do take the time to think about it, maybe it’s not quite so simple..

I’m not sure what the story is behind the Obesity Action Coalition using this phrase for their member magazine and now their annual convention, which I will get to more about in a bit. I could probably find out if I were to do some checking,  I probably will soon, but first I’m going to try and share what it means for me.

I say “try” because it has a few of them, and as with many things in life, just what it means to me tends to shift. It could shift based on who is asking the question, or in what context I’m trying to share, or maybe just based on how I’m feeling at the moment.

Your weight matters.

Where to start… See, in many ways, my weight has defined me for much of my life, at least in my own mind. From how I saw myself, to how I believed others saw me, it was my weight that I felt was behind it, and even now that I have been living at a much healthier weight for a number of years, my weight continues to define me. Through things like this blog, my health coaching, the radio show, my weight continues to play a major role both in how i see myself and how i believe others see me.

So in the sense that it is my weight, at it’s highest and at its lowest, it has played a major role in making me who I am today. And that matters.

Your weight matters.

I would like to tell you that my weight is just a number to me. But for the most part it is not even that. I don’t know what I weigh now. I couldn’t have told you what my weight was when I was at my heaviest… but for an entirely different reason than I say that now.

No, see, even though I wasn’t as conscious about it as I am now, my weight has most often been more about my health, regardless of the number on the scale. From being on drugs for hyper tension starting in my early 20s, to getting off those meds, getting rid of my sleep apnea, and being able to finish the Warrior Dash as my first 5k race in under 42 minutes.

I’m going to be 46 in a month, and as cliche as it sounds, I feel better now than I did at 36, and on some days maybe even better than I did at 26. My health matter, big time. And so by extension, my weight matters.

Your weight matters.

When I started this blog, it was to share with others what I was going through in the weeks and months leading up to and following my surgery. I had that surgery over 4 years ago now, and I hit my lowest weight over 3 years ago. My weight has been pretty stable for at least the last 2 years now. In a lot of ways, the fact that I had weight loss surgery is almost something I have to remind my self of. I don’t dump, I eat a fairly consistent diet, I take my vitamins on a (mostly) regular basis.

It’s not that I could ever ‘forget’ that I am a post-op, but my life is less about the surgery and more about being healthy. But part of that, be it through this site, my radio shows, my health coaching, or others things I do, all include raising awareness and educating people about the matters that surround obesity. And that is part of why I’ve been embracing the OAC.

They are THE organization that is out there, fighting bias, raising awareness, pushing for changes on the thing that matter when it comes to obesity.

Which brings us back to the whole convention thing I mentioned at the start of this posting. This August (15-18), I am heading to Phoenix for the Second Annual Your Weight Matters National Convention. I know, Phoenix in August… That sounds about as nutty as going to Minnesota in January, right? But that’s when and where it is, and I want to go.

Your Weight Matter Convention Logo 2013

It is going to be a weekend of education, advocacy, strategies, exercise, and yes… A good dose of fun. I missed last year, was really bummed about it and am really looking forward to this year.

The bulk of things are happening on Friday and Saturday with various speakers in the mornings and break-out sessions in the afternoons followed by dinner events both nights. I am arriving early Thursday so I can take part in the advocacy training taking place that afternoon, then mingle with folks I know… and hopefully meet a lot of new folks at the mingle event that evening. BTW, I can still be very shy in situations like this…so if you are there and you see me, please feel free to come say hi. You may be saving me from my own shyness!

Anyways, Sunday morning I will be participating in the Walk From Obesity part of the event. I think It is being done at waaay to early in the morning, but again, we’re talking Phoenix. In August.

After that, I am just going to kick back and relax around the various pools and such, taking some time to relax. The event is at the Arizona Grand Resort, and they have a water park all their own, so yea. I am staying till Monday in order to take advantage of it. If you are also around Sunday evening, let me know, will be looking for folks to hang out with, maybe have dinner, etc.

If you would like to come to the YWM2013 event, check out their website for details… I am embedding the event intro video at the bottom of this post, check it out. If you want to let them know that I sent you over, great. They are doing a contest to get a free trip to the event. I really don’t think I will win it, but on the off chance I do, I plan on using to help someone else get to the event… Will figure out the specifics if it actually happens…but my airfare is already paid for, so maybe they would let me gift it to someone else that could benefit from attending that can’t afford the airfare or something along those lines. I’ll be getting more in to the convention in the coming weeks and definitely sharing my experience there after (maybe even as…) it happens.

Oh yea! Speaking of the walk…two things; first, there is a Walk From Obesity in the works for Minnesota. Not sure when it will be yet, September sometime I think…but I will pass along the info as soon as I know more. Second, I am doing some fund raising for the Phoenix walk I will be participating in. If you are able , it would be so great if you could toss In a few bucks towards my efforts. I have set a personal goal to try and raise $500 for this event and it would be sweet if I could hit that. Just head over to the donation page and you can do a secure transaction, and all contributions are tax deductible because the OAC is a registered 501C3 non-profit organization.

Amazing how three simple words, Your Weight Matters, could turn in to such a long blog post eh? And while I could look back at so many moments in my past with feeling of pain, shame and maybe some regret… And look at others with joy, pride and satisfaction… the bottom line is, my weight, at it’s highest and it’s lowest, has played a major role in shaping me into the person I am today. And so yea, it does matter, and I am ok with that.

And as far as why the OAC chose “Your Weight Matters”, maybe that doesn’t matter. Maybe what matters is what it means to you.

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About Rob

I had RNY Gastric Bypass on April 8, 2009. I went from my heaviest of over 380 down to a low of 188 (for about a day!) before working on rebuilding muscle and such. Now I maintain at about 225. WLS has changed my life in so many ways, including my career as I now tackle nutritional coaching and other obesity education issues and is also a co-host on The Wake Up Call, a health and wellness radio show.