I was unhealthy. Very unhealthy. I considered walking around the block a good workout deserving an extra serving of mashed potatoes at dinner and I survived on diet soda. As I fought to become healthy, I had a fairy tale image of what being healthy would be like. I thought once I lost the weight, my world would be better. I knew I’d never be perfect but I assumed life would be easier. Better. Being healthy would be easier after weight loss.
After five years on my healthiness journey, I’m coming to terms with the truth. Losing weight will not solve everything. It will probably prevent diseases and you’ll feel better. Sure you’ll be able to fit into a smaller size. And yes, you may even find yourself doing things you never did before. But along with all that, losing weight peels off physical layers of fat exposing other problems you unconsciously denied. Weight loss is like peeling an onion; you take off the first ugly layer and it exposes a little bit nicer of a layer. But the more you peel, the stronger the odor gets. Weight loss is the same; the more you peel, your physical outside may appear better but the stronger the rest of the emotional/mental struggle becomes.
Weight loss is only part of the healthiness journey, the physical part. What people tend not to talk about is all the other stuff that comes with losing weight. The odor, if you will. The mental fight you go through when chocolate chip cookies are in front of you. The struggle to go to the gym when it’s the last thing you want to do. The battle you have with yourself to transform your thought process.
And when you finally get to your goal weight? The honest and depressing truth is it doesn’t come with a crew of make-up or airbrush artists to hide wrinkles, thigh dimples, scars and blemishes. Goal weight for me means slipping on single-digit size pants over wiggly thighs and dimples on my butt. It means learning to embrace the wrinkles on my forehead and scars on my arms. Models project images of what marketers want us to think we can be but not of what reality is.
Losing weight won’t make you perfect; it will only expose more of our imperfection, leaving us to either hide it all by eating again or deal with the reality of working to love our imperfect perfection.
I choose the latter. What about you?