Monday, February 27, 2012

The Golden Ticket of Weight Loss

The Secret to Loving Your Body Isn't Losing Weight

A friend shared this link with a group of us on Facebook and it really struck a chord with me. After leaving long, rambling comments about it, I realized a blog post should be dedicated to my thoughts on the subject.

The article has some very true points. We do think things like, "if I could just lose 20 lbs [insert guy's name here] may notice me." Or, "If I can just lose 50 lbs I'll be happy with my body just the way it is."

We as human beings aren't satisfied with what we have or are. We continuously try to "better" ourselves. Whether it's for personal accomplishment or for vanity, there is always something we want more of - more weight to be lost or another rung on the corporate ladder to climb, it's always something.

I feel a little out of the norm, but at my heaviest I never had terrible, life consuming thoughts about how horrible my body was. Of course I hated being morbidly obese. It was uncomfortable. I missed out on a lot of things. But I always accepted it as how I was and didn't dwell on a guy not liking me or being passed up for a promotion because of my size. Of course I had moments where I was depressed about my size, but overall I didn't stress about it on a regular basis.

Now though, now I feel like my insecurity about my body is worse. What, the what? Yeah, it makes no sense. Girl loses 115 pounds. Girl gets more insecure.

I'd like to point out here that perhaps the reason I have the tendency to be MORE insecure is that I wasn't really living all that much life at 355 lbs. I hid behind my weight and the angry, tough girl persona I took on. (This could be a whole blog post all in itself).

The article is right - weight loss is no golden ticket to happiness. You have to choose that on your own. BUT I do not agree with this loaded statement:
"You may have lost weight—and that's great for a lot of reasons—but you are likely the same person with the same outlook, same personality, same level of overall happiness."
I'm challenging this statement with my own bold statement: I am NOT the same person I was 115 lbs ago - or even 90 lbs ago. I also have a completely different outlook and I KNOW my (actual) happiness level is way higher than it was when I was 355 lbs (or 329).

I'm not saying "I lost 115 lbs and now my life is all flowers and butterflies." There are a lot of things that are HARDER now (Read: learning how to deal with new found attention from the opposite sex). But overall I am a happier and more content person than I was as a morbidly obese 20-something and to say I am the same person I was at that point in my life doesn't give credit to how much growth we have to do as we lose a significant amount of weight.

The final point of the article - that exercise breeds confidence - I do agree with. The fact that I could go out yesterday and run 9 miles? THAT definitely makes me confident that I can do anything I put my mind to and gives me a feeling to WANT to take care of myself.

If I never lose another pound? I'll figure out how to accept and love my body. But if I were to stop exercising regularly? There is nothing that could replace the confidence I feel from a good workout.


Anonymous said...

Sometimes it amazes me how alike we are in our thought processes. Of course, I have not accomplished nearly what you have. However, my feelings and thoughts have mirrored a lot of yours. I've never lacked for confidence because of my size. When I did lack for confidence it stemmed from really thinking that I was too lazy to accomplish something.

I completely agree that the pursuit of something like a healthy weight changes your perspective on so many things. When someone does it for the "right" (isn't that loaded!) reasons, it can be transformative not only in body but in the soul.

The benefits of exercise are so much more than just losing weight for me, too. I really believe in a runner's "high." I also believe that the setting and meeting of fitness goals only serves to further confidence and self-worth.

Katrin said...

I just found your blog. It is so true about how you see yourself when you lose weight. I have lost 80 lbs and have about 12 lbs to goal. I still see myself as 80 lbs ago. I also started a blog recently, which is totally out of character for me. You have achieved a major accomplishment. Congrats

Sarah said...

I went through exactly this. I lost weight. I thought life would be easier. And I realized it wasn't. I struggled for a bit after I lost 80+ lbs., but things got better. I wish I could say I don't struggle any more with self confidence, but that's not the case. What I do know is that I am living a great life filled with wonderful friends and creating great experiences with lasting memories. Thank you for sharing :)

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