Wednesday, May 27, 2015

There is No Happily Ever "After"

Let me tell you a little story...
Once upon a time about a gal who (5 years ago) lost 80 lbs.
She was literally destroying her life piece by piece and had enough.
She decided to take life day by day, make healthy choices, and do things differently.
She started losing weight, one day at a time, one pound at a time.
She reinvented herself, doing things she'd never done.
Looking at herself in a different way.
Challenging herself at every turn.
And she made new friends, joined a community of like minded people.
She surrounded herself with supporters.
Her journey continued.
What she found is that underneath the weight she was a much stronger woman, vibrant, and full of life.
She liked it and so she kept going.
See... there's no "The End" or "Happily Ever After" in this tale. There never is and never was.
Talk to any person and they are always trying to lose weight, keep fit, or maintain what they've got.
Weight loss isn't a before and after and then you're done. Problem is the media sells it that way and so we think that way. I learned this in 5 years.

The true part of the tale is that that gal from 5 years ago has since then gained half the weight back.
That must mean she's back to the same routines. Or that must mean she's not active anymore. That must mean she's failed. Nope, wrong again.

Judgement is an easy thing. It's easy to see a fat person and accuse them of being lazy, fast-food addicted PoS. But many of the larger people I know can tell you more about how many calories are in that doughnut and how long they need to exercise to burn it off, than anyone would need to you know. I learned this in 5 years.

Judgement is hard enough for me to tamper towards myself so it's no surprise that it's even harder to reserve judgement towards others. After 5 hard worked years, I've gained half the weight back. I have to live with that.

But to go beyond I have to recognize that  in 5 years I did so much more than lose weight. And if I allow myself to go down the cycle of "you're a terrible person - look what you did or didn't do" I run the risk of falling deeper and deeper into guilt, shame, and eventual depression. Which is a trigger for binge eating and self-destructive behaviors. I learned this in 5 years.

My weight is a measurement of my mass to the gravity of this planet. Nothing more. It's a number that describes 1% of who I am, of what I've done - of what makes me, me.  It doesn't tell you that I love to run and exercise. It doesn't tell you that I eat paleo as much as I can. It doesn't tell you that I'm a healthy person. I've learned that in 5 years.

So why after 5 years am I still obsessed with this number? Why after so much that I've learned do I still feel guilt, shame, and sadness when I step on that scale.

It has nothing to do with the media.
It has nothing to do with a doctor's BMI chart.
It has nothing to do with "being skinny."

It has everything to do with knowing I can do and be more. Being ambitious can be a bitch.

See, the problem with self-imposed challenges and goals is that when you don't meet them you only have yourself to blame. You look back on your choices and rack your brain for data.
How many days did I exercise last month?What was my average calorie count?When did I last have a healthy meal?
When you fail to meet a goal, few of us can really dust off and start again. Being introspective can be a bitch. 

But if I've learned anything in 5 years I've learned this, there's no stopping time. There's no stopping life. The beauty is that it keeps going whether you like it or not. Perhaps that's the glory of being human is that we're forced to recognize that we have to move on, we have to march forward, despite or want and need to push pause. 

I swore I'd never be this weight again. I swore I wouldn't be the "weight loss" person who gained it all back. I swore I'd keep with it. That I'd hit my 100 lbs goal one day. 
And yet here I am. 

shrug Meh, It ain't so bad. 


  1. " only have yourself to blame."

    What if you took blame out of the equation?

    1. Shit, now i gotta do equations!?...

      But srsly :) I get what you're saying Karen.

    2. Blame feels like shit. Stop it! ;-) <3


  3. I recognize the feeling here of wondering how, when it seemed you had figured all this out, that you are here again.

    I lost 60 and regained 30. That original half the weight off is still an accomplishment but it is easy to wonder why, with all the successful losers and maintainers out there, I just can't be one. But, like you, I see the futility of blame and shame and self-criticism.

    1. I hear ya, Jen.

      It's a cycle, a journey, a trek... a STAR TREK, if you will. ;)

  4. This is the post I've been trying to write myself. I know exactly how you feel except I've gained back ALL of the pounds. In September of 2011 I reached my goal of losing 101 pounds and today I'm exactly the same highest weight I started at. There is no after. I can beat myself up about it cause I swore I wouldn't gain it back or I can accept what is and move forward and do #wycwyc. Thank you for putting into words what I've been unable to do. Rock on!

    1. Rock on, indeed! \m/ Thanks for reading!