Saturday, October 17, 2009

That's NOT How I Roll!

Okay - this might tick some folks off but hear me out. (Please.)

I had to go to the store this morning to pick up a few things. Now, I do my best to avoid grocery stores on Saturday morning. And, I especially make a point to avoid WalMart on any weekend day. But, I found myself having to get a few things. And, against my better judgement, I headed to WalMart to get them.

I had made it to the second aisle when my cart got a person on an electric scooter throwing it into reverse without so much as a glance. Within 5 minutes, I counted 7 - SEVEN - motorized scooters on the grocery side of the store. Every one of them was a WalMart-provided scooter. And in every case, the person riding them was obese.

Now, before you think that I'm another person hating on fat people, understand that I am overweight. I've got another 80 pounds to lose. At one time, I had lost over 140 pounds. But, I wasn't smart enough to keep the weight off. Now, I'm on that journey down the scale again. I've worked with overweight/obese people. I fully understand their situation. Perhaps better than most of the people they will encounter throughout their lives.

However, I also fully understand that riding around a grocery store on a motorized scooter is not doing anything to improve their situation! IF you truly need a scooter for any reason other than you weigh too much and that makes it tiring for you to get around a store, you will own your own scooter! You will need it all the time. Not just when a store provides it to you. There are many, many, many legitimate reasons for using a scooter/wheelchair. Being fat is not one of them.

"But my knees..." Yeah, well let me tell you about knees. I had knee surgery for a torn cartilage. I was 100+ pounds overweight. AND, I was taking a medicine that was causing problems with my legs. I could barely get around. The pain was unbelievable. But I never used a scooter. I'd go to the store and walk as much as I could while leaning on a grocery cart. When I couldn't go any further, I'd sit down and then either continue shopping or pay and head home. Every day, I could walk a little farther. And each time I did, I'd feel so good about myself that the strength of my spirit added to the strength of my legs.

"But my back..." Yeah, well in order to make your back stronger, you need to make your legs and abdominal muscles stronger. Riding around on a scooter accomplishes neither of the things that will improve your mobility.

"But I get out of breath..." Yeah, well the only thing that is going to improve your lung capacity and ease your breathing is if you get up and move. I'm not saying you need to run a race through the store. (However, some of you drive the scooters like there's a prize at the end!) But walk at a steady pace using a cart for additional support. Increase the amount of time/distance you walk on every trip.

"But I get so tired..." Yeah, and how are you increasing your endurance by not pushing yourself to do something? You know why the muscles shrink while in a cast? It's because they are protected and not used. If you are riding a scooter and not at least trying to walk, your fat is acting like a cast on your muscles. You'll never get stronger or be more able to carry your weight if you don't start doing it!

"But..." But = BUTT. There's the equation for the day, folks.

Again, if you need a scooter and have one prescribed to you by a doctor, I'm not talking to you. But if you think you need one and that WalMart is providing the scooter to you (as opposed to providing them for injured folks or elderly folks who need a scooter but, I'm sure, have trouble finding them available), I'm talking to you.

Get up, get moving. You'll gain pride and strength every time you do. And along the way, I bet you even lose some weight.

So, how do you CHOOSE to roll? Remember, it's a choice of a lifetime. It will, in the end, define who you are and what you can do.

I choose to roll on the power of my own two feet...not that of an electric scooter.

No comments: