I follow the boards at 3 Fat Chicks on a Diet, which I fondly refer to as the “fatty forum” and I’ve realized a lot just reading other people’s thoughts and journeys. Quite frankly, it makes me sad. Sad for them. Sad for me. Sad for all of us struggling.
People have an unrealistic expectation for weight loss and it solving life’s problems. People think they’ll lose the weight and suddenly be so happy and have no issues and be able to “live like their skinny friends.”
You can’t. You won’t. You will have issues. Let me repeat that – you can’t, you won’t, you will have issues. You are more than the number on the scale. The number on the scale reflects your numerical relationship with gravity – not your self worth, your talent, your sex appeal, your humor, your purpose, your life.
Starving yourself, drastically restricting calories, taking supplements, working out for hours on end may get you to your goal – but are you going to do this for the rest of your life? Is this sustainable? It sure in hell isn’t for me.
No matter your size you will most likely have spots or areas you don’t like. My 60 year old 5’3″ 110 pound mother has spots she doesn’t like. She works out usually two to three times a day – yes, sometimes three times A DAY. She’s doing a 10k with us in a few weeks. She wants to reach her pre-pregnancy weight. You know – the one from 35 years ago. That sounds crazy, right? It used to infuriate me when anyone would comment on needing to lose 5lbs because let’s face it – I still want to lose 65 pounds. Now I realize that they’re battling the same demons and struggles I am. It’s not the number on the scale that’s doing this – it’s the way we internalize this. Because no matter what the number is we scrutinize. On the scale or in the mirror. We pick. We look for areas to improve. That’s part of being human – always wanting more (or less in our case.) I’d like to meet one person that steps on a scale and doesn’t have a single self image related thought.
You hitting that magic number “goal” number on the scale will not fix the issues upstairs. It won’t fix your relationship with food, because let’s be honest – we’re losing weight because of the relationship we had with food. There will always be temptations, bad days, emotions, challenges, etc.
Two months ago I forgave myself. I gave myself permission to screw up. I gave myself permission to have bad days. I also gave myself permission to stop hating my body. I gave myself permission to eat healthy and normally – without crazy restriction. I gave myself permission to eat when hungry, and work through whatever is upsetting me and making me want to eat.
If I could do one thing it would be to hug my 325lb self and tell her I love her and I’m sorry.
I hope you can do the same.
“Two months ago I forgave myself.”
I love this sentence. I think a lot of times we put so much pressure on ourselves to “be”. Whatever that means – being what you think your husband/boyfriend wants, what your friends are, or what the media tells us we should be. Being human by definition means being imperfect. We should love ourselves for that.
One thing about your post that hit me is I felt a little that you were throwing punches at individual struggles. Yes, we all have our battles with weight and food, but at the end of the day it is our battle and be it right or wrong I don’t think we should be faulted for wanting to fight that battle.
I don’t think that losing weight is going to solve all my life problems, but sometimes it really does make people happier. Wanting to lose weight, to me, means that I do love myself. That I am making a commitment to me to change some things that are not healthy for me. As women, we so often sacrifice for our family and loved ones and we leave ourselves as an after thought. I see nothing wrong with making the statement that I think I am friggin awesome and I’m going to be whatever weight I want to be and I’m going to rock that challenge.
Great post and I’m definitely going to read more.
Thanks for your comment Krisalex!
I certainly did not mean to throw punches at individual struggles; in fact, it was quite the opposite. My point was that no matter your size, like my mom, it’s your own battle and what others think is typically irrelevant. I see her 5lbs as vanity, but they’re not to her.
I’ll have to disagree with you – it make make you happier in the short term, but I think ultimately you still face a lot of the same demon and problems. I actually would equate it to something along the lines of winning the lottery: at first it’s totally awesome and everything is great, but then you get a lot of attention and your old demons are still there – you just get noticed more. Perhaps not people that have only lost 20-30 pounds but for those of us that are going from like 325 to 150 it’s a whole new person. I’ll be honest – I often don’t recognize the person in the mirror now. I never realized how hard it would be mentally to lose the weight.
I applaud you realizing you’re awesome and rocking your challenge.
Again, thanks for commenting. 🙂
Amen sister, amen!
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This is wonderful, I’m sitting at my desk at work all teary-eyed.
Aw, thanks beautiful! You’ve got this, too! ❤
This brought tears to my eyes. I came to you through your liking my page the other day where I wrote about the scale being a small slice of the whole picture. I am so glad I found your site and am sharing it with everyone I can find!
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Thank you very much. 🙂 I certainly appreciate it. This article of mine is probably one of my favorite. ❤
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