Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Inspiration - Caelen

As I have mentioned, people always ply me for my reasons I lost weight. I always say there were many things that just piled up like the pounds and finally I made the changes. One of the biggest things that came to bare, in fact, the most important one, was my nephew Caelen.

What I am about to say I have never told anyone...

When Caelen was born nearly five years ago I was instantly in love. He was this perfect person with all of the potential in the world and I wanted to be a part of that. I didn't know how the next several years would unfold and that I would get that chance - I just saw that the opportunity was there.

But what I also saw was the embodiment of my failings.

I was celebrating my 32nd birthday. I had fully expected that I have would have kids by then. I am the oldest and the only daughter - by rights I am supposed to have kids first, I had not.

I had to look no further than the mirror for all of the truths of why. Yes, there was the weight. But there was the distaste I had for myself that made me unattractive to anyone. I was shut-off emotionally from family and friends, never mind romance. I was wrapped in my cocoon of fat.

When I look back I realize I was more afraid of losing weight and being attractive than I was of dying from obesity. I didn't want a man. I had and have, spent my whole life around sick and failed relationships. I still struggle with the concept that love and coupledom can work. Though today, substantially stronger than any other point in my life, I am at least willing to take the bumps and bruises that come with trying.

Caelen has made all of this possible. As he grew I slowly came to see I was setting an example. He loved me, he wanted to emulate me and I was being an ass by using the , "do as I say, not as I do" crap with him. No really kid, you eat the blueberries, I'll be over here gorging on Oreos. No really kid, go over and get your toy, I can't get my fat butt off the floor to do it without getting dizzy.

Caelen was about 18 months old and moving like a shot when the evidence began mounting that a fat auntie wasn't going to work in his world. He was simply too active, eager and hopeful to be held back by me. It would still take me a little over a year to decide to do something about it.

That first day, July 18, 2006, as I vowed to actually change this time - I stood watching Caelen sleep on my bed. He had outrun me that day. It wasn't in a dangerous situation, but it easily could have been. At that point we were going more and more places. He was having fun and learning.

And I could see him quietly watching me. I knew that the question would come some day, in fact I was shocked it took as long as it did. But about 3 months into my weight loss he said, "Auntie, why are you so fat?" By that time he was 3 years old. There was no malicious intent, he truly wanted to know. Thank god I had made the change and it was working or it might have hurt. But by that time, I, for the first time in my life, was being totally honest inside and out. No more crapola, I told him the truth.

"Baby, you're right, I am fat. I have eaten too much for a long time. And the food I have eaten hasn't been good for me. Now I am eating things that are good for me, like fruits and vegetables and I am going to lose weight and feel better." Probably more than he wanted to know, but I have never tried to keep things from him, I wasn't starting now.

Since then we have had frequent discussions about nutrition. How sugar is for special occasions and how important making the right food choices is. He remembers everything you tell him, so I try to stay away from finds in the latest research. That way, if something changes, I don't have to read him the report explaining why. :)

So, Caelen was one of my original inspirations. I wanted to be able to outrun him. I wanted to be able to get off the floor. I wanted to be able to ride horses with him. I wanted no limits on what he and I could explore. I don't ever want to have to turn back from something he should be a part of because of my short falls. I want his world to always be what it has been from the beginning - full of potential.

Friday, we are going horseback riding and swimming and quite possibly on a butterfly hike on Saturday. Thank you Caelen, I love you.

Yours in health, Kate


  1. That's just an awesome post. I am still amazed about just being the cool auntie inspires me to be a better person and role model for Ben and Abby.

    I never realized that I could love someone unconditionally before I met them. And to have them love me back is amazing.

    Caelen is very blessed to have you in his life. Have a great time together!

  2. Thank you! You are an awesome auntie. I take much inspiration from you as well.

    We are going to have a great time, thank you!