There is a joke I like to tell people about my weight. It’s my little way of saying “I’m just big boned!” I always say that in addition to storing food, I am also storing fat so that my body will have something to live off of in hard times.
Now, while, it may be a cute little self-deprecating joke, what it really hides is my growing uneasiness about my weight when looked at in the light of preparedness.
I have thought about this essay and started and restarted it for several weeks now. Frankly, embarrassment has been the source of my writer’s block.
But looking around the prepper community, I realize that I am not alone, and by writing this essay, I hope that others will be inspired to join me on my journey.
So bear with me, as I bare you my inner struggle in an attempt to help others come to the same conclusion I have. I hope that you or someone you know will be able to get something out of my experience.
All of my adult life, I have struggled off and on with my weight. Last year, as I was working on getting my food storage and reading and learning, I grew more and more uneasy with the state of my health.
Don’t get me wrong, overall, I am quite healthy (meaning I haven’t had to see a doctor for anything for at least several years), but I have begun to fear lurking, undiagnosed problems like type 2 diabetes.
I began to fear what would happen if I was dependent on medication to live or if, when called upon to perform, my body just wouldn’t be up to the task.
I began to feel hypocritical when I was talking about preparedness knowing that if a real WROL situation arrived, I would be in deep trouble.
I would talk about the discipline it requires to work on acquiring food, and delayed gratification when you had decisions to make about where to spend your money. I had not been practicing those principles in other areas of my life.
Now, I’m not going to reveal my actual weight (I’m just not up to THAT much embarrassment), but I will share with you, that when I finally had my “come to Jesus” moment, I was about 100 lbs overweight.
Since that time, I have lost 40 lbs and have stalled. Recently reading the book One Second After by William R. Forstchen has re-ignited my desire to get this under control once and for all.
For those of you that haven’t read the book (which I HIGHLY recommend that you do…), the larger population dropped like flies at the beginning of the crisis.
The lack of diabetes, blood pressure and cholesterol lowering drugs, combined with incidents of heart attacks from exertion that their bodies just weren’t used to, took its toll pretty quickly.
I have come to realize that being prepared also includes preparing my body to be in the healthiest condition possible. This is not a weigh loss journey, it is so much more than that.
I want my body to be strong and healthy. I want to be an asset, not a liability to my family. I don’t intend to use any type of fad diet, I just intend to use simple math (Intake minus output) to create a sustainable lifestyle for myself.
In addition to cutting my caloric intake, I intend to exercise and strength train. Luckily, my husband is a health fanatic, so I’ve got expertise close to home should I need it!
I intend on working my way up to being able to run a 5K and taking 10 mile hikes with my 72 hour pack. These are lofty goals indeed for me at this point, but if I can reach them, then who knows… the sky’s the limit!
As shame can be a powerful motivator, I have created a page on my website to track my calorie intake, exercise output and weight loss updates for all the world to see.
I guess it will be a diary of sorts. I am going to put it all out there! If you see me or talk to me, I ask you to ask me how it’s going.
You are my motivators! If you intend to take up my challenge, please email me and share your journey with me.
In the end, those of us that try to be prepared for upcoming hardships are in this together. Here’s hoping that we are all healthy when the time comes!
by Suzannah Byerly