What I Really Lost
As I set out to lose my excess weight I never thought about it. I mean, of course I thought about going from a very tight size 26 to hopefully something a bit smaller. However it never crossed my mind that I would lose more important things than weight and gain many more.
Like so may others, I’d tried many times before and always “failed” or slipped back into old habits gaining back the weight and then some. At the same time adding to the feeling I couldn’t do it.
Then I decided this was the last time…I wasn’t turning back. No more excuses, failures or fault. This was my life and I was committed. While I lost the weight, what shocked me were all the other things I lost along the way. Theses were things I never imagined and were more excess baggage on my body. I lost many problems that came along with it.
- My limited clothing selection. With one or two stores to shop at my life was a constant rotation of the same 4 pairs of pants and 7 shirts…yes I know how many. As my clothing selection widened my wallet thinned. No longer was I stuck in “old lady clothes”…I was free to let my clothing choices reflect me and my new-found self-confidence.
- My low self-confidence –although I still struggle now and again. I gained a feeling of accomplishment because I had done something no one, even I, though I could achieve. That in and of itself was something to be proud of.
- High medication dosages. The extra weight meant more medication for my bipolar disorder and other problem. It also meant extra money. My improved physical health reduced my medication and gained a few extra pennies in my pocket each month…to replace those that left when I went shopping.
- My fear of the doctor. I dreaded doctors visits because of the inevitable “lecture” about losing weight especially at my age. Now at a healthier weight I don’t fear the doctor and can advocate for my health on all aspects, even asking for second opinions when something doesn’t feel right.
- The excuse to hide behind my “fat.” Honestly this is most important and the most shocking. My weight was a security blanket that allowed me to hide from the world and retreat into my anxiety and bipolar disorder and solitude even though I hated being alone. As the pounds came off I had to face the issues I was dealing with and learn to be proud of me and my value.
Some people see the weight I lost and some have no idea. The thing that I see most of all is what I gained and not what I lost. I gained me.
I still have struggles…who doesn’t? Not using my weight as an excuse is hard, but I am learning and growing to be more of me more each day. The weight was just the first big step. The same is true of all people who grab control of their health. Whether you’ve lost 5 pounds or 50, or nothing at all, you’ve gained more on your Healthy Living Journey than you have lost.
My journey didn’t end with the weight loss. It’s life. I continue to lose things, fears, anxieties, and much more as I ride the ups and downs on this roller coaster. I’m proud that my journey didn’t stop when the scale hit a “magic” number. I continue to gain more of me everyday.
What things did you lose as you gained your health?