As I've had a little time today to relax and think about the direction of my life re: weight loss, I came to the realization that most of the time, I am pretty happy and content despite my obesity. There are drawbacks, of course, to being this fat: health risks, sore knees, fatigue (which seems to have lifted dramatically with the arrival of good weather), slowness, bigger clothes. But most of the time I feel like I am doing what I want to do. I'm living a life I want to live. But then I wonder... am I just *forgetting* how much better it used to be when I was 50 pounds lighter? WAS it that much better? What would be different, fundamentally, on a day to day basis if I weighed 50 pounds less?
I would still be doing all the things I am doing now. Would I take up running, or play some new sport, or wear a bikini if I weighed less? Would I spend my time differently? Would my family love me more? Would I be happier? What would change? Because frankly, if nothing would change, there is no reason for me to lose weight. Maybe that's part of the lack of motivation to work *hard* on weight loss.
Upon reflection and re-reading some of my old posts about how different my life was after losing 100 pounds, I've come up with some answers.
If I weighed 50 pounds less:
I would have more energy for everything I am currently doing, and would not need to rest in between as much.
I would be able to skate with my daughter again.
I would feel better about how I look when I am going out in public.
I would be in more photos with my family.
I might be able to get off my blood pressure medication, or at least reduce it.
I would fit into a lot more of my clothing instead of having 80% of it in Rubbermaid tubs in the garage and having to wear the same things week after week.
I would be proud of myself.
I have wondered if I could accomplish most of those things just by getting more fit. If I was biking and lifting regularly like I used to, I bet my stamina would improve, even without much weight loss. If I was stronger and more toned, I would be proud of that and feel better about myself.
Of course, there are sacrifices, too, living at 50 pounds lighter. I've lived them.
I can't eat the things I usually crave.
I can't use specific foods to "connect" to loved ones who have passed on.
I cannot use food to cope with sadness, anger, or stress.
I cannot *often* use food to celebrate and socialize... at least not on the level I like to.
Social engagements with food can be more complicated.
Loose skin. Sagging, hanging, loose skin and flab.
Dealing with people who get jealous, try to sabotage, or tell me I won't keep it off.
All of these, good and bad, are things I experienced when I lost over 100 pounds.
Here is what I think would be the most different for me... the thing that would make the biggest difference in my personal life, aside from possible health improvements. If I weighed 175 or 185 pounds, I would not have to hide and be embarrassed when I see someone I haven't seen in a long time.
I so dread seeing friends sometimes, and it shouldn't be that way. People who I met when I was between 175 and 195 pounds never even KNEW I used to weigh almost 300 pounds. I didn't bring it up; I liked being a normal person and it was almost like I was incognito... a formerly fat person mingling with normal weight people and fitting right in! I loved that. For whatever reason, I made lots and lots of new friends the year or two I spent 80-100 pounds lighter. And I only told two or three of them about my weight loss.
Since I regained this weight, there are some friends I haven't seen. A couple moved away; some were in groups and activities that I had to drop out of when I was unable to participate for 2 years due to my foot and tendon issues. Some I just stopped hanging out with although we stayed in touch over the phone and online. And now, when those people come back for a visit or I run into them in a store, it is really embarrassing for me. I see it on their faces. They glance at the obese woman coming towards them. Who is that? And then they look at my face and there is a flash of recognition and surprise, which they try to quickly hide. But I see it. I know it because even if you're not judgmental it can be shocking to see a person you knew as thinner, enrobed in folds and layers of fat. And I really hate that feeling, and I hate avoiding friends because I want to avoid the embarrassment of this.
Aside from health, that would probably be the one thing that would be the most different if I lost weight.
Now the question is, are the rewards enough to drive me to work hard enough to do this? Or are the sacrifices I'd need to make *too much* for me to handle, or want to handle, long term? I guess that is the tipping of the balance that, physical limitations and emotional issues aside, lead each and every one of us in this battle to either long term success or failure after failure.
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