I thought I knew what I wanted

I thought I knew what I wanted out of my weight loss journey. Lose weight. Right?

Now, I’m not so sure. And it’s a bit scary.

Let me start by saying that (a.) I’ve lost 23 pounds (yay!), and (b.) I took my kids to the bakery after the library and bought something for the first time in 3 months (huh, wha?). (And then [c.] later went to a friend’s house and proceeded to have chili….and sour cream… and with my SECOND helping of chili added the mac & cheese topping that I abstained from the first time.)

As I think about my current stage in this weight loss journey I have stumbled on an uncomfortable truth – one that sent me running (OK, driving) to the bakery.

Fact: Losing weight will not solve every problem. 

Fact (addendum): After losing the weight, you will still need to address those other problems. They didn’t actually go anywhere while you focused on weight loss.

Losing weight WILL:

  • make me feel better, stronger, healthier
  • lower my odds of several nasty diseases
  • help me look better in the clothes I already own, and therefore be more confident

However, losing weight will NOT:

  • make my kids stop complaining about putting away their laundry
  • clean the kitchen or pay the bills
  • make other people around me instantly healthier (i.e. make other people around me make healthier choices just because I am)
  • make other people see things my way… (hmmm, what’s this one about?)
  • solve global warming, political unrest or other existential issues

I’ve had this nagging concern – OK, fear – since day one of the “diet”: What if I don’t like how this ends?

But I didn’t understand then that the nagging question wasn’t even about diet or weight loss.

I knew that only PART of the struggle of dieting was going to be the actual dieting – the watching what you eat part.

I’ve done Weight Watchers before in my life – this is the third time. Each time it works tremendously well for what is was designed – losing weight.

Each time, I guess, it doesn’t work well at figuring out what else is going on in your life and how to address those challenges.

Issues beyond weight loss – challenging jobs, healthy relationships, being an active & thoughtful parent, moving homes or changing jobs – these issues don’t go away just because you’re rocking it in losing weight.

I realized that I’m using my focus on weight loss and attention to my body and watching what I eat (all good things) to block out thinking about all other nagging issues floating around.

I think most people can typically rise to face a great challenge. If you make weight loss that challenge, many of us can rise to face it. Tackle it. Win.

What happens when we’ve “won”?

I don’t know. I really don’t know.

But I need to find out. I’m more than halfway to my goal.

Any ideas?

I welcome your ideas in the comments section. And I’ll write more when I figure it out.

3 thoughts on “I thought I knew what I wanted”

  1. I’m not sure what “won” means here. Reached your goal? It seems to me that your are likely winning all the time at having reasonable goals, and allowing yourself an occasional treat but getting back on plan again.

    I agree that we will never be able to fully control what others do. We do our best to do what we can with good intentions, but respect for others choices. I try to give myself credit for that.

    1. You are so right. Sometimes we think that hitting one goal (i.e. lose 40 lbs) is all that matters and there’s no “winning” until you hit that one goal. I completely agree that we need to think about all of the other times we are “winning” by staying on track day after day and doing our best. Thank you!

      1. Absolutely! Do give yourself small rewards along the way. You deserve them. It sounds like you’ve done so well already.

        I try not to think only about the total weight loss goal, but significant ones along the way, like “Wow! I’m finally back in the 160s.” or “This shirt fits again.”

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