I went to a bridal shower on Saturday and ran into some people I had not seen for a while. One of them grabbed me in a hug and screamed about how I looked "amazing" and "What was I doing?" and wanted to know more. I wanted to climb in a hole and die.
First of all, I am huge. Literally. And despite my weight loss, I am still huge. For about a minute, these type of comments are like water on parched ground but the next minute those words turn to ice and make my heart cold. Something about comments opens up this box where I feel hurt and young and brand-new.
Second, (and this is where my tiny violin is going to get a workout), with obesity, you live in a comment-free world as an adult. Rarely, if ever, does someone comment on your looks, your clothes, your hair, your presence. If ever. But suddenly, you lose weight and it opens up this Pandora's box. I hear things about my hair, my skin, my body, my weight, my face, my eyes, my personality, my energy and on and on and on. Suddenly, it is like I have opened myself up for revision and reduction in all kinds of ways. And that smarts just a bit. I do not have any barometer for what is a typical amount of feedback on your looks from people. So, every comment carries impact. Maybe it does for everyone. I just feel new here and unsure of myself.
Really, it boils down to the fact that this weight loss is intensely personal. (Then why am I writing on a blog about it? Good question, folks!) Again, I am still huge. I am barely a third of the way to my goal. I don't even begin to look "normal" yet. And I am doing something that I have wished and wanted and hoped and begged and pleaded for MY ENTIRE LIFE. So, I think it is no surprise that comments make me a little weird. Send me into a weird head space. For so long this journey has been private and so very agonizing for me. And I have never been able to hide it. And I can't hide that things are changing too. Everybody gets to see and gets to say what they want.
Just be gentle.
I liked that post a lot. Mainly because it made me reflect on my own experience. I was a little different in that when I am losing weight I WANT people to comment. When I haven't seen someone for a while I am hoping they will notice all the hard work and dedication I have put in. I found that when I first started crossfit the comments would come, but only from people I hadn't seen for a long time and they saw me at my heaviest and then saw me after I'd been doing crossfit for a year or so.ReplyDelete
Since then the comments have stopped (unless we post something about winning a challenge or something like that). I liked those comments and I used them as fuel or "proof" that I was headed in the right direction. After working particularly hard for a time period I would get frustrated or down because no one would notice and it wasn't like I could take off my shirt and strut around the pool because I still didn't have a six pack and I still didn't have really defined arms.
It was during that time that I realized how personal this journey of fitness is. It really is for me and my betterment. The only comments I would get from people were of their PERCEPTION of me or what they remembered of me, maybe not even of who I really was at that point. They could see first me at a time that I was 220 lbs and feeling good about myself cause I just lost ten pounds, but the next time they see me I am 210, but feeling terrible about myself because a month earlier I was 200. But the comment I get from them is "Hey you look great, what have you been doing?"
Well not working out and eating terribly what have you been doing? :)
Anyway, that realization helped me to put their comments in perspective. I once watched a crossfit commercial where one of the crossfit games athletes that is stacked with muscles, a six pack, and 6% body fat talked about how fitness was a lifelong journey. That really struck me that if he can be in that good a shape and still be striving to improve that I should have the same mentality.
Since then I take the same approach. This is about me getting better each day and all though there may be ups and downs my general trend line is headed in a positive direction. Now when people comment, I appreciate it, but I neither seek for nor put much weight in what they are saying because this is my journey and they are merely observing one data point of an entire database filed with decisions of whether or not to work out, whether or not to turn down the food that sounds good for the food that is good, etc.
Fitness truly is a life long journey.
Love ya sis!
Love it, Brock. This is exactly why I am writing about this. Because your perspective is so fresh and good. Helps me to change my focus. That's what I want.ReplyDelete
eden, I have been thinking about this post since i first read it (about the same time brock commented). My thoughts keep coming back to it and for that reason I thought, for what it's worth, i'd share them with you. Many years ago i had a friend, who struggles with weight, tell me that she never felt deserving of weight loss or to be "skinny". That as soon as she started losing weight she didn't feel worthy of it and so she'd put the weight back on. I think to lose weight is also to become vulnerable. And in those vulnerable moments the demon inside your head wants to tear you down. This last year I have learned so much from the letter grandpa jesperson wrote to uncle john that they shared with us. We all have demons in our head it's just a matter of which voice is louder. If slowly we work to strengthen the nice, kind, loving voice IT WILL get stronger and you can more easily defeat that demon voice (which ultimately is satan). you are worthy of health, fitness, and weight loss and anything else you desire. Even if you feel like you still need personal convincing of that worthiness you have to "fake it til you make it". Meaning, you tell yourself you are worthy and stand up to those demon voices even if you feel like you aren't. You still may not always win but the effort of standing up will still strengthen it over time. If someone gives you a flattering comment and has noticed you've lost weight you accept it and enjoy it and feel ok to give yourself a pat on the back. You are worthy of it. If you gain weight and slip up, that ok. Don't let the demon talk to you or tell you aren't' deserving and that you are lousy or should just give up. Tomorrow is a new day. And tomorrow you will be a little bit stronger because of it. I feel so strongly about these ideas because i have seen it work in my own life with different things i have struggled with. Love you eden! You are worthy!!ReplyDelete