I read an article a few weeks back about women who became seriously depressed after losing a significant amount of weight. I don't know why I was reading it because it wasn't particularly happy reading but now I am thinking about it again.
Most of the women indicated that while they were overweight, they tended to attribute EVERYTHING that was wrong with their lives to their weight. If they had a bad marriage, or a crummy job, or a hard time making friends, it was blamed on the weight. After the major weight loss, they assumed that all the other problems in their lives would automatically be fixed too. Surprise surprise, losing weight isn't the magic wand that makes our jobs fabulous, our friends numerous and our husbands turn into Mr. Romantic.
After that article, I got curious. What DOES change? What doesn't? How do we keep our expectations reasonable? Is there one thing (non health related) that you are just positive that weight loss will fix?
Actually, the weight loss journey has made an impact on several things with which I struggled. The most significant one is that I almost always allowed the needs of my husband and children to take precedence over my needs. So, for example, I would plan to go for a walk after dinner, but my husband wanted me to help him with a work project. So, I would push the walk back and help my husband. Then, one of my children might need help with homework. Anyway, you get the picture. Now I'm learning to balance my needs with those of my family and force them to plan better. I tell them when I will be available and when I will not be available. It was a tough transition for us all - I felt guilty, they resented it. But now, things are much better. I feel much more appreciated, they tend to be better organized with their needs, and forcing my needs into the equation helped me feel better about myself. I also feel more confident about taking on challenges.
October challenge - 10/02/2015 - 11/01/2015
Wedding challenge - 06/09/2015 - 08/09/2015 - Not successful. =(
Biggest Loser Challenge (12/29 - 03/16) - Not successful. =(
Trainer boy challenge #3 (11/11-12/11):
Not successful. =(
(Trainer boy challenge #1 completed 09/11 - down 23.2 pounds - starting weight 239.8) (Trainer boy challenge #2 completed 11/11 - down 23.4 pounds - starting weight 216.6)
the notion that being "thin" or at least "thinner" will all of a sudden make a person HAPPY is a recipe for disaster! It might make situations more bearable, give a bit more self-esteem, but if you can't be happy at whatever size shape fitness level, etc., being thinner won't do it either.
that's why i say BE HAPPY yay!!!
One thing I know being thinner will fix: Not being taller than 6'2 MEN when I sit down because of the giant caboose! hahahahah
Now: 171 - nope, 165 now!
NOPE -- 162 now! Holy crap i've lost a PERSON!
"People often say that motivation doesn't last. Well, neither does bathing - that's why we recommend it daily." - Zig Ziglar
This is a very good topic! I have never really been at a healthy weight. I've always been chubby and self conscious about it. I'm hoping that once I have lost a significant amount of weight I will gain some self confidence about the way I look. I would like to play more sports, I did more as a teen that I just haven't been willing to try in years since my weight has increased.
I've always thought things would be better after losting weight because like Jen, I've always been overweight and self conscious about it. I don't expect it to change things like getting a better job or something, but I do feel like I'll feel better about myself and have more confidence with myself. Mostly that's what I want from losing weight. This is a great topic though!
New Clothes Goal:
"What have you done today to make you feel proud?"
I always think that if I lose weight things will get better but they wont unless I work on them. There is a reason I am over weight. I had a screwed up childhood and it made me very insecure and have alot of anxiety issues. So that is something that isnt going to "be fixed" with weight loss because those issues are still gonna be there.
But I hope that it makes me less insecure and less fearful to speak my mind and put my opinion out there are try new things because even if I look stupid people wont think that I look stupid because I am fat.
"Being fat is hard. Losing weight is hard. Maintaining weight is hard. Choose your hard."
I could have written LaurieDawn's post. EVERYTHING else used to come first, even the dog's needs. Loosing the weight brought a whole lot of new issues into my life, but facing them head-on (which I NEVER would have had the confidence to do when I was huge) has been a catalyst for me. I have new found importance and respect that I never had before. I am important, and I am loved.....and I really didn't know that or care to "push" any of those issues before. I just quietly sank to the bottom of whatever barrel was open that particular day. I am 110% better now than I was 9 months ago.
"wrap your brain around the idea that this is for the rest of your life" (thanks Jillybean!)
Christmas Gift Goal - 170 pounds (which will be 100 pounds GONE!) - 17 to go!
I wonder if it's kind of like post-partum depression, or the post-wedding blues ... you work up so much for this one activity, and then bam, it's not all it's cracked up to be.
LaurieDawn and Quadcrew, I totally think you hit the nail on the head - setting aside that whole martyr-mother role and putting your own needs first. I had to do that too, I've referred to it before as making sure all my duckies are in a row.
What a great topic! You all do know that Nice Girls Don't Get Angry, don't you? I've realized that a lot of my fears came from guilt over (unacknowledged) anger, and the subconscious conviction that I would be punished for not being "a Nice Girl." You know, karmic justice and all that. Nice girls put everybody and everything else first, ya know. Then there's all that buried-alive anger that burns, out of sight, just below the surface. I have always been great at denying anger, especially to myself. And of course, since I always put myself last, I had lots of anger. Not only that, even though I would never admit it, I blamed all "those people" for my own self-deprecating behavior! Then I ate over it. Very logical. A friend of mine expresses it as "setting yourself on fire, and hoping the other guy dies of smoke inhalation." Well, I don't always speak up for myself yet, but at least I know this is what I am choosing, not what somebody else is doing to me. Remarkably freeing!
Then there's the ability to reach my own feet. Still a novelty! And fit in more places. I'm a lot more flexible/mobile. I guess the real payoff for these things is that my weight idoesn't slap me iin the face as often, making life harder and making me more self conscious. Probably the most important change is that, now that I'm not using food to numb my feelings, I am finding out what they really are, and what personal weaknesses I need to address, instead of burying them in fat. Each one that I confront, lessens its power and its ability to hurt me. I am getting more functional and psychologically healthy day by day. That is the most important change, and certainly the most far-reaching one.
"Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force." --Dorothy L. Sayers
Well for me it's about being naked and I hope I'm not being inappropriate and if I am, please accept my apologies. The main thing I remember about being smaller because I've never been skinny, is feeling so free when I was nude. I had a confidence that I just don't have right now.
__________________ I don't know the key to success,
but the key to failure is trying to please everyone.
Losing the weight has made a dent, and a big one at that, in every single area of my life. Everything has changed for me. Everything. So therefore, I have changed as well. It can't help but affect you. Yes, I've still got the same values, morals and beliefs, but oddly enough, even those got stronger. Losing the weight freed me up to voice my opinions more strongly, to not be so meek. It even made me think clearer. It's as if this huge weight, (haha) has been lifted from my heart AND my head.
Is my life perfect now? No, of course not, not even close. I still struggle with the monthly bills, a household to run, a job that I don't adore, a stubborn husband, 3 teenaged daughters (no need to elobarate there, I'm sure ), one of whom has been diagnosed with a chronic illness 4 months ago, and so on and so on. But everything is better and easier to deal with having lost the weight. I don't know how I managed to handle things with all the anxieties that my weight brought on for me. I don't know how I managed to get ANYthing done. I was so lethargic and inactive and just down right unproductive. I have so much more energy now, our household runs much smoother. I'm much more on top of things.
Social situations are a breeze now, compared to what they used to be. I hid behind the weight for so long (unbeknowest to me), losing it allowed the real me to come through. I have so much more confidence now. I always felt as if I were being judged for my weight and nothing I said mattered.
Just knowing that I can go anywhere and "fit" anywhere is a huge, huge relief for me. Knowing that I dress just as well as anyone else in any given place is a huge boon for me as well. I always felt so dowdy and unattractive. I felt such shame. I no longer feel that way. My eating habits and inactivity also held so much shame for me. Having those things gone from my day in and day out thoughts can't help but affect my overall mood and the way I deal with my daily life.
I've still got lots to contend with, things that I have ZERO control over, but given the choice of dealing with them being morbidly obese or dealing with them while being a healthy weight - there's just no comparison.
Same here. Losing the weight didn't make me "happy." Honestly, in most ways I was already happy. The difference is that now I'm far happier because I don't have that one huge thing weighing on my mind. I feel comfortable everywhere, I feel strong and athletic, I'm not ashamed of the way I look anymore, and I've been able to inspire other people to make positive changes. Those things are a VERY big deal, but they certainly don't erase the other problems I have in my life. They just make me better able to handle those problems.
Lisa Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible. -- St. Francis of Assisi
When I was working in a youth home, we had a girl who was a little more than chubby, but not so overweight as to be obese. She was very cute, and so sweet, but had some major behavioral and emotional issues from the neglect and abuse at home. She was extremely depressed and shy.
I was so surprised that most of the staff focused so much on her weight as being the cause of her problems (not her psycho-mom and having no social support system that could be called "normal") and suggested that we encourage her to lose weight in order to increase her self-esteem. The rest of the staff looked at me like I was crazy (and obviously didn't know what I was talking about since I was fat) when I suggested that maybe we should help her increase her self-esteem so she would have the confidence and drive to lose weight and accomplish other things in her life that she found important.
Aren't we almost actively taught that being or getting fat MAKES us unhappy and crazy? Not that being unhappy or having emotional problems might have at least played a role in why some people gain weight or at least why they may have additional trouble losing it.
As someone who is relatively well-adjusted and happy despite being overweight and even having health problems resulting from it, I don't see losing weight as making anything happen in my life, besides improving my health and expanding my world and ability to explore it.
I think losing weight can improve a person's outlook on life, only if it's at least relatively positive to begin with. If you're one to wallow in self-pity, you'll find some other reason to feel sorry for yourself in my opinion.
My Etsy shop (currently closed for the summer)