Playing the “For Life” Card

Posted: July 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

Have many times have you heard someone (yourself, a family member, a friend, whoever) play for “for life card”?

Basically, it is what it is. I was born this way, I was built this way, no matter what I do I can’t change it, I’m this way for life.

That was me. Straight up, sit at the table and lay my cards on the table and what do you have? The fat for life card.

july 7 001I clearly started out early, the little curly blonde haired girl with her hand in the alphabits. Always just a little bit heavier than everyone else and then it spiraled out of control the older I got.

Everyone used the “oh she just hasn’t grown out of her baby fat yet”

Newsflash people, at 17 it’s not baby fat anymore! it’s real life fat.

Before photo  I ate like crap, I cleaned my plate… and then a second one, I always had dessert.

But… but… but… I’m active!

And admittedly I was, I played every sport and was put in every activity as a kid and loved it. We spent our summers running through the neighborhood playing capture the flag and riding our bikes.

… but I ate like crap.

You know what they say, you can’t out train a bad diet. And even in “everyday life” you can’t. You get what you put into your body.

Regular skippy peanut butter on white bread… with margarine, huge pasta meals, deep fried seafood, cookies, icecream. You name it, I ate it.

… as long as it was unhealthy. I was a picky eater.

The older I got, the more weight I gained and I just kept on blaming genetics. I was born this way, I’m active so it’s really not my fault.

Until one day I got fed up. Years and years of yo yo dieting were killing me, I was run down, out of shape and miserable.

My wardrobe ranged in sizes from 2 to 12 and you never knew what size Becca would show up when she came to visit because it was constantly changing.


Eventually I got sick and tired of being sick and tired. I’ve told this story over and over again and honestly even I’m sick of hearing it so I won’t bore  you with the details (again).

What it came down to was yes, maybe I will be fat “for life” but you know what, that didn’t mean I had to be unhealthy for life.

Slowly I started making forever changes and they stuck. Now the thought of “old school” Skippy peanut butter makes me gag and I would prefer a giant bowl of roasted veggies with spaghetti squash over a heavy “real” pasta meal.

nov8 020My tastes have completely changed… and in turn (eventually!) so did my body. Slowly but surely the more I fed it good, whole real foods and was consistent with a (sane) approach to exercise my body began to change for the better and I was able to tear up and toss my “fat for life card” in the trash.

I made the conscious choice to stop playing that card and banish it from my life forever.

nov8 003I stopped playing a game of chance and started playing for keeps. It’s crazy to say, but in my everyday real life, very few people know me as “that chick who used to be… you know… fat”

I’m not ashamed, nor do I hide who I once was. I’m proud of my accomplishments and how far I’ve come, but I choose not to let the past define me or my future.

Time and time again I hear competitors say “it’s harder for me because I was obese”.

I honestly don’t ever want to hear myself say those words out loud or even type them in my blog. Who cares what my life was like 6 years ago? That was then, this is now, it’s time to suck it up and not pull that fat card out of my wallet again.

nov23 006Do I have loose skin? Obviously.

Do I have stretch marks? Hell yes

Do I have the genetics to be naturally lean? Hell no

Do I have the drive and the desire to keep pushing myself forward? You bet your booty I do.

And I will. And I do. Every single day when I make the choice to get up and eat healthy food, go to the gym, walk to the store, take the stairs instead of the elevator.

I refuse to play any more card games with my health or my future. Chance, genetics or circumstances don’t define me, my actions do and that’s the only way I want to live.

I break the rules and eat my “bad” Chocolate Cheerios.

july 7 008I get up the day after a figure competition and run five miles… just to be sure I CAN

finish lineI love my family, my friends and don’t waste my time with those silly people who aren’t worth a second glance.


   And you know what… at the end of that day… that’s what matters.

Do you ever find yourself playing the “for life” card… with your health, your mental image, your job? anything?!

  1. Pam says:

    This is such a great post! I meet so many people that just rely on their excuses to not make changes. They think I’m smaller than they are because I’m “lucky” or “naturally thin.” In reality, it’s because I make hard choices EVERY SINGLE DAY. When I stopped allowing myself to be “chubby for life” is when my life totally changed. You said it very well 🙂

  2. Genie says:

    Sometimes I think the ‘for life’ card is legit. Some people are born with limitations, health issues, handicaps… sometimes unforeseen circumstances occur and your card completely changes. There are things that can’t be worked through with a healthy diet and some exercise. I don’t consider obesity a ‘for life’ card the majority of the time (there are always exceptions).

    It does bother me when people play that card, whine about their current state, blame their genetics and/or upbringing, how they ate as a child… I think people should just make the most out of the cards they are dealt…

    Oops, I guess I ranted a bit. LOL

  3. Ann says:

    WONDERFUL Post!! I am starting to be much like you. I no longer think of myself as dieting. I am – like you – trying to be healthy. I also want to cook and am enjoying finding that balance. I make my own bread to control what’s in it, but I do have peanut butter in the cabinet. Which I have…..maybe once a month? If that? I also enjoy my indulgences…..lightly!

    What I do now is look at my fork and think, “is this good for me? is it doing my body good?”. I don’t look at it like “will it make me fat or thin” just how good it is for me…

    It’s a lesson that took me 47 years to make – I have a lot of bad habits I’m enjoying triumphing over. You learned WAY sooner!

  4. allieksmith says:

    Becca… you are awesome and such an inspiration!!!! I love you girl 🙂

  5. Heather says:

    This is why I love, love, LOVE this blog. Your story is so real and SO inspiring.

  6. Yes, yes, and more yes.

    I was a skinny kid, but I got fat. I wasn’t active and I ate like crap. Yep, that will do it! It blows my friends MINDS when they see pictures of me in high school and my first years in college. I’ve also been on other the side — size 2, WAAAAY too skinny. I’m meant to be 145lbs, size 4-6 with muscle it just took me about 10 years (after I realized I WAS fat) to realize it.

    There are weight issues in my family and if I don’t monitor it, I will gain excessively — but I have never played the for life card, because I KNOW it’s for life. It’s up to me.

    Even though I am a new reader — I just have to say you are really SUCH a rockstar!

  7. Honestly, Becca, your post matches the exact thing that comes to mind about how I’ve lived my life…and I’m slowly making progress. You and I share so much as far the way it used to be and who we used to be. Granted, I have a little ways to go before I look as good as you, but…again…the past is thankfully the past.

  8. Amanda says:

    awesome great post – that is all !!!

  9. Klh says:

    I’ve definitely heard it used time and time again! And it kinda drives me bonkers. Granted, some things are for life BUT most things aren’t always and forever…if that makes sense!?
    Happy Friday!
    Katie : )

  10. AntosDoesLife says:

    I could not agree more with you on this post. No one is born a certain way. I hate to hear people say I can’t run, I wasn’t born to do that. News Flash:The neither was I!! I did it through hard work and because I started enjoying it.

    I have realized though that some people are just too lazy to do anything about their life or change the things they don’t like.

    When I went to college I was the same way. I ate like CRAP but that was ok cause I was still working out …somewhat. So when I tipped the scale at 162, I knew it was time for a changes I knew I didn’t want to look like that forever. AND I DID. I did the hard work…which is what people who play the “for life” card don’t do. They take the easy way and cop out.

    Awesome post girl. Glad you changed your outlook and life to break the boundaries set. 🙂

  11. Karen says:

    I have been reading your blog for several weeks now and I’m finally de-lurking and actually posting a comment. This post is amazing and very inspirational! I truly believe that anything is possible with some hard work and determination and you have proven my point.

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