I think about weight loss a lot. And by a lot, I mean probably about the same amount that a boy freshly entering puberty thinks about sex. Yes, that often. It’s actually sad to admit. I would think I was completely insane, but just being aware of how crazy I am proves I’m NOT crazy, right? (Surely you can’t actually be insane if you’re aware of how totally crazy you are?!)
Something I’ve really been working on is being okay with myself regardless of my weight, jean size, or amount of dimples on my booty. That’s hard. To me, it is way harder looking in the mirror and accepting myself, flaws and all, than it is to pass up some doughnuts. And this girl loves her doughnuts!!!
It finally occurred to me why the weight “melted” off last time and won’t budge this time. (I’m a serial dieter.) The last time I lost a significant amount of weight, it was because I had become completely disgusted with myself. I viewed deprivation as a sort of welcome punishment for previous bad behavior. While exercising, I’d visualize running into people I hadn’t seen in ages and them being both impressed and green with envy of my perfect body. It pushed me through a 30 pound weight loss in a matter of just two and a half months. It worked like a charm.
It worked so well that I took it on as my identity. Every conversation, whether at work, the grocery store, or a party ended with me giving weight loss and exercise advice. Everyone wanted to know my “secret” and I ate that shit up. Oh, I have so much great information I must share. So I started a Facebook page. And a blog. And decided to make it official and become a personal trainer. I became a weight loss success story – that was my identity. Everywhere I went people were telling me how great I looked and when I was tempted to go back for seconds, those compliments would ring in my head and keep me from a second and third trip back to the kitchen. When I was tempted to skip a run, I would remember what an “inspiration” I was and would lace up and hit the pavement.
Once my fifteen minutes of fame fizzled out, I was just a thin girl. It’s what was expected of me. It was “easy” for me to go for a run because that’s just what I did. It was easy to skip seconds or dessert.
Except, it wasn’t.
I was still the fat girl, just in a smaller body. I still loved all the food that had put the weight on me in the first place. Once I had settled into the smaller body I thought just one doughnut wouldn’t hurt. Of course, it wouldn’t But, I could never eat just one doughnut. Remember, that’s how I got fat in the first place! I didn’t change my way of thinking, I only changed my body. I didn’t learn how to deal with food or the fact that I absolutely loved it and wanted to eat lots of it! That was my big fat mistake.
Allowing “Weight Loss Success Story” to define me was a big fat mistake. The only thing worse than failing, is failing at being a success story. I felt like the lottery winner who filed bankruptcy. “Success” was right there in the palm of my hand and I couldn’t hold onto it. What do people love even more than a success story? A fall from grace — and I fell hard, right on my big fat ass.
What I’ve learned from my big fat mistake is that losing weight isn’t success. No matter how many inches or pounds I lose, no matter the size of my jeans or how I look in a bikini, I will always have flaws. I will be someone’s ideal while simultaneously being disgusting to someone else.
The only way I’ll find true success is by accepting myself on every level. I know from experience that if I can’t look in the mirror and appreciate myself right now, I won’t be able to do it 30 pounds from now either. Oh sure, at first I will. I’ll be real proud of myself and throw on a bikini and think, “damn, girl, you look good!” But then 3 seconds later I’ll find a dimple, or bump, or some other undesirable non-flaw to decide I hate. Self-doubt will creep in and I’ll have “just one” doughnut to make myself feel better and the next thing you know I’ve gained it all back. Again.
Don’t get me wrong – this girl needs some tough love. I’ve tried that love, peace, and happiness crap before and all that does is trick me into thinking that sugar + carbs = love and I deserve LOVE, dammit! What I really deserve – what we all deserve – is to find that happy medium where we treat our bodies with respect and accept them as they are and be okay with the fact that self-improvement really is okay. For a while I was stuck thinking, well, if I want to lose weight that means I don’t accept myself, right?
What about self-development books? The majority of the time people don’t read those because they don’t accept themselves. They read them to be better. To learn. To grow. I can love my body and still want it to be the “best” it can be. Right?
Well, I plan to make that my new journey. I may not lose 30 pounds in the next two months. But I plan to lose this twisted way of thinking. I plan to lose self-doubt and gain self-confidence. I will learn how to fit exercise into my life without planning my life around it. I will learn to eat what I want and stop when I’m full. I will learn to stop saying, “well, I already blew it today, might as well polish off this pizza and start fresh next week.” I will learn that set backs are a part of life and glorifying “busy” won’t make me less busy. I will come to terms with the fact that there will never be a perfect time to start being cool with myself.
I will have good days. I will have bad days. There will be doughnuts. There will be salad. And there will be much, much more because there is so much more to life than bikinis and tiny jeans. This girl is going to do it and get it right this time. This girl is going to learn to love herself at this weight, and a few pounds down from now, and maybe a few pounds up from now, and several pounds down from now.
I invite you to join me on this journey. Although I have a feeling it will be a bit bumpy, so buckle up, bitches! Let’s do this!!
Chrystal Getz is a working mom, wife, certified Lifestyle & Weight Management Specialist, and aspiring writer. A mid-western girl who has been transplanted to the east coast, her hobbies include sarcasm, over extending herself, working out and occasionally blogging. She’s a straight shooter who loves to motivate people. She doesn’t believe in diets and fads, but rather hard work and moderation. (Seriously, who could give up chocolate and beer?) Her realistic approach isn’t for everyone. Only those who are looking for results.