Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Life and Loss: Does Our Weight Really Matter?

As I ponder the loss of a dear friend this week thoughts race across my mind and heart. Adding to the jumble was the news of the death of a fabulous local sculptor. The two losses combined and helped forge my feelings and thoughts on where our weight rates in the grand scheme of things.

I suppose the answer could be "not at all," but in truth, that is not accurate...

While the number on the scale is not important in and of itself, the idea or concept behind that number does indeed have some merit...if only as a measure of where we are relative to where we want to be.

My friend Faye moved away a couple of years ago due to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. We pledged visits that never came to pass and so Faye has not seen much of my physical transformation. She would be pleased at the result, not because of any aesthetic or societal reasons...although she was truly a Southern Lady and of quite a delicate build...but because she recognized that our physical body reflects the condition of our mind as well as her desire for ideal health for all her loved ones.

It would be easy for me to drown my sorrows in gallons of ice cream...and indeed I lifted a pint last night...but thankfully, the demon of food addiction seems to be tamed and I have awoken today quite satisfied and not needing, nor wanting, to start my day with sugar just because I ended yesterday that way. Not so long ago I would not have been able to say that.

The point behind today's ramble is that I recognize the purpose of life is to live it. Our weight only matters in how it allows us to, or prevents us from, living it to the best of our abilities.

When I was over 300 pounds I was so addicted to food that it consumed my life as much as I consumed it! It colored my world, invading my thoughts, affecting my vision both literally and figuratively.

Now that I am of "normal" weight and I am free of that prison I can see that other things can still keep me from living my best life if I allow it to happen. Whether it is watching television, working too hard, worrying about other people and not paying attention to myself...if these things keep me from experiencing joy and contributing to the best of my ability then these are not health activities either.

Just like we must eat to live, we must also make money to pay the bills and we must take care of our homes and our families. For many of us, we have pushed our own lives and feelings aside...or down...with food...smothering our fears with gravy, drowning our sadness with hot fudge, burying our worries with chips...

We deserve to break this cycle and emerge from the prison that we have created and learn to express our feelings and live our lives...which is more than paying bills and tending to others. First and foremost we must take care of ourselves...until we do that, we will not be able to give the greatest gift we can to our friends, our children, our spouses, our communities...and that gift is US.

Each of us is unique and that is a good thing. Let us remember to let our unique light shine in the world. No one else can glow in the same way we can...and we do not serve the world by trying to be just like another. So, let us lose weight not because we "should"...but because we truly desire to be our best selves and because we know we deserve to be healthy and energetic...

Don't worry about the number on the scale. Decide "where you want to go"...in other words, what do you want to be able to accomplish in this life that perhaps you cannot do right now because of your weight and health?

  • Decide who you want to be
  • Focus on that goal and become that person on the inside.
  • See yourself doing those things you dream about.
  • Take small steps to achieve that dream every day.
  • If you fall short some days, remember that is just part of the journey.
Love yourself through this process and you will succeed. You will lose weight if that is your goal...and you will be able to keep it off. Like me, you may toss back a pint now and again, and realize that you can do it and not have it result in a week or month or year long binge.

To your healthy, energetic, slender body--you deserve it!

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