Sometimes I think there are two kinds of people in this world. There are those who always keep an eye on their weight and are ready to take action as soon as they enter a weight range that makes them feel uncomfortable. They notice when they gain a few pounds or that their pants feel slightly tighter than usual. And rather than just hoping it will go away they alter their diet, start going to a gym or (more likely) increase the amount of time they already spend at the gym. I have quite a few friends like this.

Then there are the people like me. The ones who never seem to notice that they gain weight until they are 30, 50, 100 pounds overweight and suddenly it seems too late. And to make matters worse, we expect that we can make very few changes and still see dramatic results. Or in my case, if I do notice the scale go up a few pounds, I figure that I can just keep eating the same way and the weight will magically fall off. Wishful thinking, I know.

I just wonder what it is that makes some people grab the bull by the horns and decide that they need to change and then actually do it. I was talking to my friend L about weight loss recently. She said that a few years ago she had seen some pictures of herself and didn’t like the way she looked. So she joined a gym, changed her eating habits and lost 20 pounds in one year, which is pretty admirable. Another friend of mine decided out of the blue that she needed to lose weight. She had one session with a personal trainer, followed his exercise instructions faithfully and lost 8 pounds.

And then there is me. Not to discount the experience of my friends but I actually really need to lose weight. It’s not just a vanity issue. Well, it is a vanity issue but it’s also a health issue. I get winded from going up a flight of stairs. And although my physical tests have so far come back positive, I also have three grandparents with type 2 diabetes and two parents with high blood pressure. I really don’t want to end up like them. But mostly, I hate the way I look and I hate the way I physically feel. So why haven’t I just buckled down and changed already? And more importantly, why didn’t I stop this earlier? If I had taken notice and decided 4 years ago that I needed to change then I would have thirty pounds fewer to lose. It would still be a challenge but not quite so intimidating.

I have to wonder if part of the explanation is based in how I was raised. My friends who have lost weight grew up in households where unhealthy snacks were either limited or non-existent. I grew up in a household with a never-ending supply of chocolate chip cookies. Of course, I can’t blame all of my habits on my parents because they certainly never encouraged eating fast food or adding mayonaise and cheese to everything. Either way, the point is that now I am finally changing my habits. I am starting to go to the gym regularly (although I’m starting out pretty slowly) and I have finally accepted that I can’t survive on meat, cheese, and carbs and expect to be thin. It’s good to know that I’m on the road to becoming the kind of person who finally stands up once and for all and does something to change their situation.