Reading blogs about the ways in which weight loss/maintenance are integrated into everyday life never fails to inspire me to keep going. And I know that’s why many of you read my blog, too. You expect me to be honest with you about my perspectives on weight loss and maintenance. So with that in mind – the honesty part – today’s blog comes from the center of my life as it is right now.
Over the last month, I’ve instigated some major changes for my life; painfully necessary changes that will take me away from many of the comfort zones in which I’ve cloistered myself since losing weight. But why I’m forging ahead into this unknown is because if I’ve learned nothing else in the last six years it’s that the person I am inside – at any size – is the person most in need of my love and protection.
I believe this is true for everyone, even those of you who have children or other family or friends who you say “come first.” I used to feel that way, too. I used to put everyone and everything else first and me somewhere way down the list. But the only way I could start this path – this time – of weight loss was to accept the fact that if I didn’t acknowledge, value and protect my self-worth, I would be perpetually…in a word…screwed.
Every time I lost weight in the past, I thought when I got to goal, my problems would be solved. And every time I was wrong. This time was no different. I readily admit that I wanted to run away from 300 pounds as fast as I could; leave it buried somewhere in my past. But 300-pound me tagged along, and it was around 200 pounds that I learned that life was what I made of it, obese or not, and I couldn’t run away from 300-pound me, or the me who weighed 139 pounds for five minutes in 1990, or 170 in 1987, or 120 in junior high school. I was all of those weights yet only one person. Me.
When I was 300 pounds, I took comfort in the fact that no one really looked at me – not “that” way, anyway. I didn’t dress to impress, and the expectation of me stemmed usually above the neck. I was smart, I loved what I did for a living (I was an antiques dealer as well as being a writer), and my family loved me for me. Then I lost weight and people DID start looking at me “that” way, and for awhile I allowed the expectation of others to become my expectation: stay pretty and happy because that’s what thin is all about.
Wrong. Thin can solve or prevent a lot of physical ailments, but thin does not resolve issues of self-esteem.
For example, I still apologize excessively, and sometimes I feel I don’t have the right to ask for what I need. These behaviors stem from deep-seeded, long ago issues that I chip away at resolution year after year, the ones that can’t be solved in a few sessions with a psychologist or through ice cream or retail therapy.
And so here I am in 2010, thin and still chipping away at the me underneath.
But, as Martha says, “It’s a good thing.”
I’m not the keeper of the keys, or have all the answers for weight loss, maintenance and life. But I will continue to share here what I observe and know to be true for myself. I will also continue to do my best to stay at this weight because it feels like home to me, which is good because I’ll be moving soon and I need the comfort of the way I feel about myself in this body. We are one, after all, my body and my mind, and while we’re far from perfect, we’re all I’ve got.
From the outside, and even to me sometimes, it seems like I have everything I wanted at the beginning of my journey. But I don’t and that’s OK.
Maintaining this latest and largest weight loss is part of my life, but it is not my life. My life is me, and I’m taking care of me, even though this new path will be bumpy as hell. But it’s with a smile and only a little timidity that I say to the uncertainty of the next few months, “Ready or not, here I come!”
And I promise to take you all with me.