Losing weight doesn’t take away feelings of frustration, or disappointment. It’s not a magic bullet and it definitely wasn’t an easy thing to do. Losing weight doesn’t mean I’m a “stronger” person than I used to be. It doesn’t mean I’m more successful than I was before. It’s not that I’m more worthy and ought to be valued more now that I’ve reached this goal.
Yet, now that I’ve lost this weight, I am dealing with a new reality. People don’t understand why I would still need #WW. They don’t get it and they say things like, “Well, you don’t want to lose any more weight. Do you?” I just have to shake my head and wonder why it seems as though everything to do with weight loss is colored by so much judgment.
There is so much societal pressure wrapped up in appearances isn’t there? So whenever I see others who struggle with weight I feel a very strong connection to them. I really understand what it feels like to be so visibly judged. One time I overheard two people making a joke at my expense. They were referencing the fluctuation in my weight, “Is she losing or gaining?” Yeah, that hurt and it made me feel bad. I would readily give up my will to those negative feelings and I would give away my sense of power and control.
I would feel “less than” as if I was somehow not as good as someone else. Which is strange because I was not raised that way. I was a child who came from a loving family who built me up and gave me mountains of courage. This journey to better health has put me more in touch with that part of me. The part of me who believes in herself and who is brave because she is willing to be vulnerable. My weight loss is doing that because it is an extension of self-love and caring.
I am not just one thing – a healthy weight or overweight. Disciplined or out of control. I am a complex person with many shades of all these things. Resisting the label or the box that we all seem to tend to construct around ourselves and others is the thing I have to be most wary of because it minimizes everything I’ve worked to achieve. I am trying to become more fully present and aware of who I want to be and how I want to live my life.
We shall see what tomorrow brings. I will let you know how the first week on maintenance went. As always thank you for reading, for your generosity and support.
There is no doubt that we are living in a stressful world. There is always plenty of bad news, hurt feelings, and depressing images. It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed at each flip of a page, turn of a channel, or click on a screen because we are innodated with constant unyielding information. Know what I mean?
It turns out, the antidote to this crazed harried existence, we all seem to be living, is within the auspice of our own control. Practicing mindfulness is where it’s at. When I started to read a little more about this practice I realized that I have stumbled onto these practices in my effort to get to goal.
The following list names the markers of practicing mindfulness and how they were revealed through my weight loss journey.
- Kindness counts: If it’s true that you write your own story in this life. The narrator of that story needs to have a kind voice. My daily reflections for my progress, throughout my weight loss journey is colored by kindness.
- Drop the judgment: Acknowledge and accept things for what they are. I was talking to a friend just tonight about how it’s exhausting to think about people who zap your energy. I feel as though I’m surrendering my energy and to what end? The judgment doesn’t change a thing, it just lets negativity linger.
- Practicing patience: I’ve had to learn how to wait. There were points in this journey where I’ve felt totally transformed on the inside but it wasn’t showing on the outside. Those were challenging times and I totally understand why so many people give up on the way to goal. Being patience conserves personal power because there is a belief that things will change eventually.
- Beginning with a beginner’s mind: I kept that honeymoon phase of #WW going throughout the journey. It is toxic to assume a point of view that there is nothing new to learn. I opened myself up to the possibility of doing things differently this time around.
- It’s a matter of trust: I believe in me. I have learned to trust my own personal wisdom. There is no magic book, or program, or pill there is only me and I am enough.
- Non-striving: I have always been driven by goals. Getting through graduate school, getting a job, buying a house… It turns out it’s very different when it comes to weight loss. Sometimes being driven by a purpose is not so helpful. If it’s all about the “goal” itself, I would have missed all the good stuff that was happening at the moment.
- Acceptance, the ultimate reality check: once I learned to accept wherever I was on the road to getting to goal I was able to be more responsive to what I needed in order to be successful. There were and are lots of challenges, for example being tempted by candy. I love candy and I accept that fact. I can eat it but then I have to track it. To my way of thinking, this is a form of acceptance.
- Get ready, get set, let go: Being at peace with myself and not fighting the process is life changing. I now understand that things will unfold as they are meant to and in doing so I have made room for change.
I share these thoughts because I want to help others achieve their goals. I do believe that we all have the power to transform ourselves. However, there is not one right path, it’s understanding your path because you are the path.