Life-Changing Losses and Those That Aren’t

Ten years ago when I lost 200 pounds it made a profound difference in my life. It was shocking how much of a difference it made to me, my outlook, my physical well-being, my mood, and my state of mind. You could literally have taken a big black marker and drawn a line across my life right at that point, with everything being divided into “before” and “after.” If you talk to me about things that happened before, there’s not much good or happy there, definitely none that isn’t tinged with regret or unhappiness to some extent. Almost all of the happy and good things that have happened in my life have been after. I’ve said before that a lot of this had to do with my own hangups and self-hatred, and I will stand by that statement. However, what this has meant is that when I hear people talk about how losing weight “won’t change your life, you’ll still have the same problems” blah de blah, I really don’t think that’s true. Or…I think that’s very dependent on how much weight you have to lose. Losing 200 pounds is a life changer. It changes everything.

Well, now I have a different perspective. Last fall I endeavored to lost 50 pounds that had crept on in the last 2-3 years. I lost it, and I’ve been keeping it off since January. But this was not a life changing achievement. Absolutely not. It’s been remarkable to me how different achieving this loss has felt in my head. It’s been such a non-game-changer that I haven’t even bought new clothes. I took in a few things here and there, but mostly I’ve just gotten more comfortable in (or back in to) the clothes I already owned. My mental picture of myself hasn’t changed at all. I didn’t think I looked particularly bad 50 pounds ago, and I don’t think I look particularly magnificent now. I feel like I look the same, even though several people have commented and mentioned that it was clear I did some hard work and they can see the change in me. I did work hard, and I can see a bit of a change, but there was no massive life change this time like there was when it was a much bigger number.

So I can now see why people say things like, “It won’t change your life/make you happy. You’ll still have the same problems/issues/etc.” It’s not JUST that they are big downers and naysayers. It’s that, depending on how big or small the loss, your life may not change at all. The only thing that’s different is I am much more comfortable in my non-stretchy clothing. My outlook and happiness levels have stayed pretty similar. And my mental picture of myself (you know what I’m talking about – the thing I see when I look at pictures of me that nobody but me sees) hasn’t changed much. I still zero in on the things I don’t like, I still think my face looks fat or my arms are wobbly or whatever. Just like I did before. Jus tlike I guess I always will.

This morning’s weight: 183.5

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