Thursday, August 19, 2010
Losing Weight and Finding Health
Losing weight is not all fun and jellybeans. Although there is fun to be had, there are no jellybeans. There will never be any jellybeans. Today someone asked me if I ever felt bitter about being denied certain foods, having to always be vigilant about what I eat, forcing myself to exercise even when I don't really want to, and just generally having to fight my way through each day. My answer was "no". I think that answer surprised her much more than it did me.
There was a time in my life when my answer would have been a resounding "yes!" All of my previous attempts to lose weight felt like punishments. I told myself I was a bad eater, a lazy sloth, a hedonistic pleasure-seeker oblivious to all the rules and conventions of thin society. I told myself I deserved punishment for that overindulgence. As you can imagine, none of those efforts were ever particularly successful over the long term. This time, things are different.
I have been reading a number of other "weight loss" blogs and have noticed a common theme. The most successful individuals have all written about the difference in their commitment "this time around." My conclusion is that we just know when the time is right to make the change. What makes this occasion different from all the others is that we are no longer setting out to deny ourselves precious comforts and pleasures. This time, we are actively seeking new pleasures and new experiences that will redefine us. We are not simply losing weight, we are finding health.
Every person who takes on the challenge of losing weight and finding health is to be commended. Those who are successful should be lauded and feted and celebrated as heroes. But there are a certain number of individuals who impress me and inspire me in ways I will never be able to fully express. These people began their journeys as morbidly ohbeast individuals, but have left so many hundreds of pounds behind them they are able to complete marathons and triathlons. They not only found their health, they were able to achieve things profoundly above and beyond their weight loss goals. I am humbled. I am intrigued. I am envious. I am deeply grateful. Thank you for showing me that such things are possible. I accept the challenge.