"It isn't what you have, or who you are,
or where you are, or what you are doing
that makes you happy or unahppy.
It is what you think about."
I have lost significant weight in my life, only to gain it back (and then some!). For the last four years I’ve been hauling some major weight… but to be even more honest, I survived some depression, and gained weight through that too, which coincided with our engagement and wedding, buying a house and moving two apartments into said house, becoming doggy parents, and processing the loss of two friendships that were once a major part of my life. So, yea, that was a super weird and stressful time in my life… both the happiest and darkest. What do you even do with that!?
Since then, my brain has become well, or better, I guess. I don’t struggle like I did. Our life stressors are less. Both Hubster & I have improved career circumstances. We are more settled. And we’ve smoothed out some of those newlywed wrinkles (we don’t fight over the same things, as often or as chaotically, which is an improvement!). We’re good. And we’re committed to continued goodness (and at least growing through any other hurdles). So, I’ve felt ready to work on my health. And still, I have anxieties about making public goals or commitments about “weight loss” or “regular” exercise, because what if I fail? Could I survive another spurt of weight gain and low self-worth?
Then I met a lady who was self-loathing after gaining back the 75 pounds she had previously lost. I instantly related to her feelings of regret, guilt, disappointment and shame. As usual, I was able to see her problem in a much more simplified way then I could ever see my own almost identical situation. She really resonated with me. I found myself thinking about her, those crocodile tears and flushes cheeks as she confessed her most private feelings… And then the release she felt after saying it. What about her and that moment kept coming back to my mind? The conclusion I came to was simple. The bottom line is: your journey is your journey. You are where you are because you are supposed to be.
And even more profound, if you’ve done it before, you can do it again. So this lady and me, we know we can lose weight because we’ve done it before. Rather than focusing on the regret, the shame and the disappointment of gaining it all back, let’s flip that sitch. WE CAN DO IT AGAIN and our proof is that we’ve done it before. Truth is, like lots of other people who struggle with their weight, there are deeper issues there for me. Intellectually, I know how to lose weight: make better food choices, cut calories, drink water and move more! But the application is a struggle. And the illusion of thinness dissolving internal/emotional deficits really is a social construct that has thousands of women on a hamster wheel, chasing a lie. Being skinny will not change your life. It changes your body. That’s it. There, I said it. For me, I have to work on my heart, my mental health, my overall wellness first. It is the most important because when you are truly well, your habits and your body will follow. Where we must cut back calories to be thin, we must fuel and feed our soul to be whole and well as a person (P.S. I know so crazy mixed up skinny people and I would not trade places with them for a million dollars!).
I’ve given all of this weight stuff and whole mind-body balance/wellness stuff more thought than I ever thought was humanly possible. I’m a very emotionally available person, which makes me empathetic and sensitive and vulnerable and honest. And I’m proud of that. I care about people, and I care to keep the right people around me (most of which have listened at length to this kind of processing from me!).
In short, what I really want to say is that we humans, especially women, need to be kinder to ourselves because we are sooooo much more capable than we remember when we are stuck in our struggle. Whatever it is you’re struggling with in your life, give yourself patience, kindness, and support. It took me over four years of immense struggle to look back and say it was worth it, and I feel more well now than I did before my decline! Look for the evidence in your life-proof that you can do it for the first time or again because you’ve done amazing things before!
In hopes of amazing,