Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The other side

I almost didn't share my weight loss story.

Not because I was afraid to admit I ever had a weight problem. Not because people will be watching to see if I gain it back. Not because it meant I really should share how much I have weighed through the years. Not because I think there are 100 other character qualities more important than what a scale says.

Those were all reasons, but they weren't the #1 reason.

My #1 reason for reluctance was that even though 66ish% of our population is overweight or obese, there is a much smaller population that deals with the other side of the unhealthy eating coin.

Those that no matter how small they get, they will always see themselves as fat.

Those that no matter what the number on the scale, they will always feel that they need to go smaller.

Those that no matter how few calories they consumed in a day, they will always feel it was too many.

Those that no matter how many miles they run in a day, it will never feel like enough.

Those that are more scared of body weight than they are of death itself.

And for those people, I almost didn't share my story. I knew that even though my high weight was unhealthy, and I took healthy steps to get to a healthy weight, that discussion of weight loss may trigger others into a downward spiral of unhealthy habits. Start reciting a script in their head that they aren't good enough. That they need to try harder. Restrict more. Exercise longer. I know, because I've heard their stories of how they may have started with healthy changes until it became an obsession. A jail.

And now, at moments, I can feel the same pull. I can look in the mirror and see so much imperfection, probably moreso now than I did 35 pounds ago. I have conversations in my head that I would rather not repeat (since they aren't true), but that leave me feeling exhausted, unworthy. I get sucked in when I see ads for the newest exercise or food that promises to leave me sculpted. Perfect.

But I refuse to give in to those thoughts. I call them out. I recognize them for what they are. Lies. I have reached healthy, I don't need to see a lower number. I don't need to see a six pack, my imperfect stomach will help keep me modest. I point an accusing finger at weight loss ads that never would have caught my eye before but now promise me paradise. Promise me never ending happiness.

But thinness doesn't fill the soul anymore than a a huge bowl of ice cream.

We were created for more.

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