This post is dedicated to all the women and men who have achieved their goals and have shared their wisdom with me.
Friday, September 3, 2010
Leading the Way
There is a tendency for people who have overcome disadvantage and achieved success to hold on tightly to that success and protect it all costs. In the world of Emergency Medical Services, which is heavily dominated by men, this phenomenon often manifests itself in the form of senior women treating female newcomers with disdain and even outright hostility. Having succeeded in a traditionally masculine environment, women sometimes feel the need to protect their hard-won status with rather unpleasant alpha-female attitudes and tactics. While this behavior might be understandable, it is not admirable.
In the world of weight loss, there is a risk of similar treatment of newcomers. People who have struggled, sweated, tracked, and lost might feel the need to protect themselves from the dangers of temptation, back-sliding, or regaining. Some people may simply want to distance themselves from their fat and unhealthy pasts. Others may have internalized our societal intolerance of fat people and, now that they no longer belong in that category, want nothing to do with reminders of the past.
A person who is just beginning their own weight loss struggle can be a vivid reminder to the veteran loser of their own struggle, their own sagging self-esteem, their own fight to come to terms with over-eating or food addiction. I believe, however, that there is a tremendous opportunity here. Veteran losers have trodden a path through difficult and unfamiliar territory. I see no reason not to leave clues, and signposts, and maps along the way.
I read a great post on another blog, 266, that prompted me to write my own post on this subject. As a result, I am making a vow. When I finally reach my goal, I will be a guide to all the others who follow behind me. I will talk to those people who remind me of where I began. I shall tell them that managed to do it, and so will they. I will offer up my blog, my food diary, my tricks and tips and strategies with the hope that their journey will be easier than mine. I will not hide behind my new-found athleticism. A part of me will always be fat. I will not forget.