Today I would like to focus on something I'm very familiar with. It is something that I would have never worried about or known about until I experienced it personally. Losing large amounts of weight, especially in a relatively short amount of time, is both a wonderful and turbulent experience. It is not that you merely appear to be a whole new person, you become a whole new person. Beyond that, however, your past experiences and relationships still color your new life in ways that can sometimes be quite unexpected or even stressful.
For me, the most difficult part of all this has been reconciling my self-perception with the new me. Now, as always, my self-confidence fluctuates severely to either extreme. Some days I wake up feeling invincible and beautiful, so proud of what I've done. Other days I wake up feeling like all of my efforts have been in vain, and the things I sought to gain from all this are still beyond my reach. In reality, this fluctuation has always been present. I suppose I naively thought that losing weight would relieve me of this rollercoaster permanently. Instead, it seems to have amplified it. I believe many people experience this. The way I have found to cope with this is a lot of self-exploration and questioning. Sure losing weight and becoming healthier makes your life easier and better, but it is not going to eliminate all of life's struggles. It is not going to ensure that all the things that bring you stress or pain will never reappear. More than anything it has opened my eyes to the cliche phrase that life is what you make of it, and how you react to it. On a daily basis I must look in the mirror and say, "Yes, I look different, but I want to BE different." I no longer want to be the girl who doubts herself or her abilities. I'm capable, more capable than ever, and the obstacles I encounter along life's path should not discourage me from trudging onward. In fact, they should be looked upon as opportunities to test my newfound strength.
Another predominant struggle I deal with is underestimating myself. It's the equivalent of looking at a smaller item of clothing and instantly assuming there's no way it will fit while never pausing to try it on. When you lose weight so quickly, your self-perception can't keep up. Allow yourself to see what you're capable of. Challenge yourself. Take the world for a spin, and marvel at how you won't fall off. But all the while realize that your strength and your capability are not merely a result of your new body and your new life. The person that you've uncovered was there all along; you simply never gave them the chance or believed in them enough to let them try. But today can be the beginning of something new; an adventure you've been waiting your whole life to undertake.
When it comes to relationships I also struggle with processing their implications on my life without coloring them with my personal weight loss journey. When someone lets you down or doesn't react the way you want them to, it's very easy to grow discouraged. To feel at a loss for how the same experiences you once had to deal with as a larger unhappier you are still present in your life. But this should be an educational experience of sorts. All of the things that were once so easily attributed to being overweight and dealing with that are now clearly not because of that. But that doesn't mean that your efforts have been in vain. Instead it means that you've peeled back yet another layer of misdirection. That you're on your way to uncovering the truth about the world around you and how you can make your way in it.
I hope these personal revelations aid you in your journey and perhaps get you thinking along the way to your goal just how you can prepare yourself for the psychological struggles that await you. They are all chances to prove yourself. Chances to be the person you've always wanted to be and now have the courage to be.
Best of luck to you all until next post!
Me last week. Down 127 lbs in 11 months.
“The mind can make a heaven out of hell or a hell out of heaven” – John Milton