Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Not ready to be a poster child

As I've mentioned before, I'm in love with my pedometer. I wear it every single day, and I depend on it to encourage me to move. It never lets me down. Usually, pedometers suck. They're usually incredibly unreliable. You could walk 10 miles, and your pedometer will tell you that you've only take 875 steps, but the vibrations from riding in the car make your readout look like you just completed the Boston Marathon. Irritating!!!!

The one I've been using for the past year is actually very different. It measures very accurately, has a jogging strap so it doesn't fall off and can even record from a purse or pocket. Because I hate having anything digging into my muffin top, I often let it dangle upside down from the jogging strap (it measures upside down too! Cool, huh?).

Consequently, people in my office started asking me what I was wearing. I shared my enthusiasm. I also let people in my "active living" and "healthy eating" groups know about them. As a result of my unintentional saleswomanship, at least 30-40 people have purchased the model I have been using. Those people sang the pedometer's praises so loudly, that there is now a mini Omron pedometer-wearing sub culture at my university.

My university is really trying to promote wellness. To that end, they invite all full time faculty and staff to come to health-related presentations. That's the reason why on Friday a photographer showed up at my office door. She said that she heard that I was known for pedometer wearing (interesting thing to be "known" for) and that she was hoping to take my picture. It would be put into a PowerPoint presentation for one of the wellness presentations.

I paused to consider: My full body picture, blown up to about 3X bigger than life size, on a massive screen in front of a few hundred people. I was suddenly filled with terror. I didn't want to leave her hanging, but I definitely wasn't comfortable, so I had a coworker stand in.

My sister was completely ticked off when I told her about it. She said that it's a repeating pattern in my life that I step back from opportunities, especially opportunities for recognition. I disagreed whole-heartedly, but afterwords, I wondered, is it true?

Mental list:

I skipped my induction into the Jesuit Honor Society, I skipped my graduation ceremony for both my bachelors and masters, I "lost my voice" when I was supposed to sing on stage in high school, I decide against going for my PhD or joining the Peace Corps.

She's right. Most of the major decisions I have made in my life, I have at least subconsciously made with safety in mind. Whenever I consider doing something new, I also consider how weight will influence the way I am perceived and my ability to succeed. This was a very sad realization for me.

It's stupid to wait to live until I'm at my goal weight. True, I will gain confidence as I progress, but why hold off?

Nevertheless, I'm not ready to be a poster child just yet.

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