Alphabet Soup is a series of posts in which readers and I explore the words, concepts, and ideas that help on the path to weight loss/maintenance. Please join in with your insights!
I’ve learned a lot about loving myself over the past few years, primarily that love of self shouldn’t be tied to eating healthy and exercising, and it can’t be tied to a size or a shape or weight or bmi or any other physical attribute. While I’m great with having goals in all those measures, I have value and am worth loving at any size or shape or weight. I wish I had fully realized that earlier in my life.
I wish I didn’t sometimes still lose sight of it now.
I spent a lot of years in “when I…,then I…” land, putting off doing things until I’d lost some weight. I had a wonderful, magical click! moment of clarity a few years ago as I was taking a goal weight celebration ride on a jet ski along the gulf coast. As I breezed along on my first ever jetski ride, a couple on a tandem ski passed nearby. Both were significantly overweight, but they were out there laughing and having the time of their lives. They didn’t wait for some distant goal weight to have fun. I did, and I missed a lot of rides.
Anne Lamott says it so much better than I can: Oh my God, what if you wake up some day, and you’re 65, or 75, and you never got your memoir or novel written; or you didn’t go swimming in warm pools and oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life, of imagination and radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? It’s going to break your heart. Don’t let this happen.
Holding on to hurts, slights, and transgressions (mine or someone else’s) will only hold me back. As Malachy McCourt wrote: Resentment is like taking poison and waiting for the other person to die. Let.It.Go.
For most of my diet-y years, I made the process a mean, miserable, soul-sucking experience. (Gee, I wonder why I struggled so much?) Fortunately, somewhere in the early stages of my latest weight loss journey, I figured out that I could have fun with the process by making up games and silly challenges. As the Yiddish proverb goes: What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.
I haven’t said it in a while, but lifting weights completely changed the weight loss process for me. I saw results in the fit of my clothes long before I saw big losses reflected on the scale. I also saw the results in my posture, my attitude, my confidence, and my ability to deal with stress. I gained strength and toning–inside and out!
I suppose I should stop there. I think I’ve covered the most important L-words for me, but there are a couple more I might explore later. Unless one of you beats me to the punch. Your insights are welcome and appreciated!
Wishing you all a lovely weekend!