I heard Christmas music in Wal-Mart last week. And yesterday, there was a 20-foot Christmas tree near the front door.
Tis the season, my friends. The Season of Food.
I’ve come a long ways from my early days of weight loss and my “Thou shalt not eat __________” mentality. Adopting such a hard-core view was necessary at the time, but through the help of time and my weight-minded friends (particularly the WW 100+ board alums), I’ve learned a bit about discipline and balance since 2005. But food is still a challenge and always will be.
Walking hand-in-hand with that challenge is the way I view and live within my body. I’ve been feeling bulky lately, and when I walk, I don’t “glide along” quite like I used to. I feel more like a gorilla. That’s why I laughed out loud while packing my office yesterday and came across this cartoon:
I remembered I’d posted it on my original website, Lynn’s Weight-Loss Journey, so I went back and read the post that went with it. What I wrote still speaks to me nearly three years later.
When I was 16, I weighed 150 pounds. That was about 20 pounds more than would be considered normal for my age and height, but at a size 12/14, I was hardly ginormous. Yet that’s what I thought I was. Self-conscious, I avoided walking past certain boys in school because I was afraid they’d “moo” at me or call me fat. They did that to a lot of girls who I felt were my size.
My negative body image caused me to make a lot of poor choices when it came to sex and relationships. Although I had some nice boyfriends in high school, the kind who really did like me for who I was, I always felt there was a “catch,” that somehow they were lacking because they liked me.
When I was nearly 300 pounds, this cartoon’s sentiment was most certainly true for me. I always dreamed of “that day” when I’d be 150 again. All my problems would disappear, I’d have self-esteem to spare, and life would be the way I always knew it could be, all because I weighed 150 pounds again.
I’m well below 150 now and problems still arise and I often lack self-esteem, although I admit not to the extreme of nearly 170 pounds ago. My weight, while definitely an important factor in my overall wellbeing, cannot define my life. I am (and so are you) more than weight, and yet I still base a good deal of self-worth on the number on the scale, the size on a tag, and the width of my hips.
How to undo that? Talking with friends who understand weight loss and maintenance, journaling, meditating, and reminding myself daily that I’m OK just as I am right in this moment.
My question to you is this: What do you think your life will be like when you get to goal, or even when you lose 5, 10 or 20 pounds? How do you stay balanced? And has your definition of “normal” weight changed since you were younger?