It doesn't make it all better
So what happened? Why did I just give up? Don't I want to reach goal? It appears that I don't really care anymore, that I gave up giving it my all and I'm just floating along, staying in the 170's, not really giving my weight loss much attention.
A few weeks ago a friend that I walk with on occasion asked me, "Isn't your life a lot better since you lost so much weight?" My immediate response was "No! It's not." Then I told her some things were better, I can breathe easier and my knees don't hurt. I don't get tired as quickly. I have a little more self-confidence. However, overall, I still have the same problems I had at 240 pounds, and I still had those same problems when I was down to 152 last year.
My job is still a job that I don't exactly look forward to each day, but it is a job. My marital problems are still here. My husband still gets grouchy when he's tired and he's tired a lot. I'm still afraid of the same things, becoming one of the morbidly obese and being homeless. I still don't think I'm smart or pretty. In a nutshell, I'm still the same person just in a healthier body.
My friend was shocked that my weight loss didn't solve all my problems. I was only telling her the truth, even though she's trying to lose a hundred pounds and this was disheartening to hear.
Maybe because I know it won't solve all my problems I've made reaching goal not as important to me as it was last year. I still want to reach goal, but for different reasons now. Now that I know it won't fix everything I need to look at in an entirely different light.
I want to lose weight so I can comfortably wear all the size 10 clothes in my closet. I'm back in a size 12. I want to lose weight so I can remain healthy and continue to be active in my old age. I have no intention of moving into an assisted living home in my 80's. I want to travel and not be in a wheelchair.
The reasons for getting to goal are different now. I know it won't make my job more fun or less stressful. I know it won't make my husband happier or my marriage better. I can't control these things, but I can control me. I can control how I handle things, what I put in my mouth, my health.
I think Sheryl said it best in her post last week when she wrote about her struggles at being at goal. The last few paragraphs really hit home for me.
I suspect this is why so many people gain back all their weight and then some more, just like I've done many times in my life. I expected a different outcome when I lost a lot of weight. I expected life to be wonderful and everyone around me to be as happy for me as I was for myself. It just doesn't work that way.
The bottom line is that reaching goal doesn't make it ALL better. It makes some things better, but a lot of things stay the same or only get slightly better. That's okay, small positive changes in life are still good. I just have to expect less, accept that this isn't really a life-altering event to weight 155 versus 175 or 135 versus 175. My life will still be pretty much the same, just a thinner, healthier version of me.
So it doesn't make it all better, but it's a little better and sometimes, a lot better. That's still a good thing.
An afterthought: After I posted this I realized some people might think that what I'm saying is that losing weight isn't worth it. That since it doesn't fix everything then why bother? That's not what I meant.
It fixes a lot of things, but basically you'll still come out on the other side the same person with a lot of the same problems. Some things will be better, some will go away, and you might even have an entirely new set of problems. It's still a very good thing to lose weight.
The other thing you might think is that I'm seeking compliments when I say I'm not smart or pretty. I know what I am. I'm average intelligence, average looks. It's okay, I've accepted it. Somehow I thought losing weight would make me better in all areas of my life. Obviously, I was wrong on that account, but again, I've accepted it.