Worthy of Weight Loss

Anyone who has ever carried around more than, say, five or 10 extra pounds knows that years of hiding behind excess weight can take a huge toll on your psyche. Tune in for just one episode of The Biggest Loser and it becomes abundantly clear that there’s a reason why these folks have ballooned to twice or even triple the size they should be…and it’s not because they simply have a larger appetite or slower metabolism than the average person.

It’s because there’s an endless list of emotional issues that go hand-in-hand with gaining and losing significant amounts of weight, and this week I think I may have just uncovered one of mine.

In my first year on Weight Watchers, I shed 80 pounds. Just like that. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy — I followed the program religiously and worked out at least five times a week — but the weight was falling off my body and I was enjoying the ride. I was basking in the compliments and delighting in smaller, cuter clothes, and it seemed like everything in my new healthy, active life was falling into place.

But then in my second year on the program, everything stopped working. The scale stopped moving, I became bored with my go-to meals, and there were days when heading to the gym was just another ho-hum chore on my To-Do. As my weight first began to plateau, all of the emotional issues that had fallen by the wayside in my first exciting, life-changing year of weight loss starting to resurface.  My old fears and insecurities came flooding back, and I knew there had to be reason I hit a wall the second my mind started playing catch-up with all the physical changes to my body.

I don’t feel worthy of success.

And, more specifically, I don’t feel worthy of weight loss.

My self-deprecating thoughts don’t end there. I don’t believe I’m good enough, talented enough, or smart enough to build a lucrative career, and I still, after nine years with my boyfriend, don’t feel worthy of his love. I know it’s ridiculous, but these nagging feelings of inadequacy are a side effect of 20 years of being the fat girl hiding in the corner, trying to remain unnoticed and genuinely believing that I wasn’t as good as everyone else.

I was fat, and they were not. They deserved happiness, and I did not.

But no more. I’m tired of brushing off compliments and assuming I’m not good enough to do anything. Being my own worst enemy has become absolutely exhausting, and frankly, I’m tired of finding new ways to make myself feel inadequate.

In the last couple of months, something has changed. I have a newfound motivation and commitment to finally achieve my personal weight loss goal (100 pounds) and start landing assignments in my favorite magazines, and the best part is that I am finally acknowledging just how hard I work, just how far I’ve come, and just how much I deserve to succeed.

Every time a negative thought creeps in — I won’t be able to finish my first 5K, I’m not talented enough to write for newsstand magazines — I’m making the conscious decision to ignore it. If I can make the effort to live a healthy lifestyle, then surely I can make the effort to tell myself when I’m being stupid.

I credit all of this with the fact that the scale is moving again. Well, that, and the fact that I am officially in love with PointsPlus!  I’m averaging a little less than a pound per week, and as of last weekend’s weigh-in, I am just shy of once again being within 10 pounds of my goal. The last time I reached this point, I ended up gaining about eight pounds back…and then gaining and losing those eight pounds over and over again for a year.  The time before that, the same thing happened.  I get thisclose to my goal, realize just how close I am to — gasp! — actually being successful, and immediately let my efforts start slipping.

Clearly I am more than capable of losing weight, and I’ve come this far already…so it’s pretty obvious that there has been something else standing in the way of losing the last 10 pounds.

And I think her name is Jennifer Nelson.

Whatever your goal is — lose 20 pounds, fit into your pre-pregnancy jeans, run a 5K, or finally try that Zumba or Spinning class — you have to realize that it’s going to be hard work. I know everyone’s looking for shortcuts and instant gratification these days, but unfortunately, when it comes to your health and physical fitness (or anything else for that matter), there is just no such thing as a quick fix.

But guess what? You are worth the effort.

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4 thoughts on “Worthy of Weight Loss

  1. Welp. I haven’t hit a plateau, because that would imply I’m trying to lose weight. I’m half trying, so I half succeed. I keep saying next week will be better, but when I don’t see the loss I want (a gain?!), I get frustrated. It’s weird, because, like you, the first 70 lbs was faster and seemed easier. I would not be too surprised if it was mental stuff.

    This comment was not helpful, but just me talking out loud. Haha. Thanks for sharing your journey!

    • Hi Felisha,

      Great to hear from you, thanks for commenting! I totally understand what you mean. I feel as though I had been half trying (and half succeeding) for quite some time. And then when I wasn’t getting the results I wanted — wonder why? — I’d just keep getting more and more frustrated and sabotaging my efforts (can we say binge eating after less-than-stellar weigh-ins?)

      Not to sound like a walking cliche, but I’m starting to see how attitude truly IS everything. I kept telling myself I’d never reach my goal, and guess what? I never reached my goal! So now I’m trying to be a little kinder to myself.

      It’s really hard, but if you can convince yourself that you CAN do this, it might make all the difference. 🙂

      Best of luck, and please do keep me posted on how you’re doing!

      Jen

  2. Stacey

    Hi, I just happened to come across your blog and I find you inspiring. I’ve just crept into the overweight category recently. I’m 5’10 and 185lbs, not too bad but it’s hard for me to hear ignorant work colleagues make jokes about my weight gain. Seeing your blog has mad me determined to focus on going to the gym and reaching my goals, not for others, but for myself and because it’s achievable. I see what you have done and I know i will reach my goals too. Btw I think you are a beautiful girl in your before and after photos. Keep smiling 🙂

    • Hi Stacey,

      Thank you so much for reading, and for your kind words! 🙂

      I’m so sorry to hear about your colleagues. If you’ve never had a weight problem, it’s difficult to understand how hurtful weight-related “jokes” can be. I endured years (and years and years) of relentless teasing and bullying about my weight, and if there’s one thing I’ve learned since then, it’s that the only person you can control is yourself. So I’ve made it my mission to focus on how I treat myself and my body, and ignore what anyone else has to say.

      You absolutely CAN do this. Just take it one meal, one workout, one decision at a time, and you WILL get there.

      Please do keep me posted on how you’re doing, and feel free to comment any time. I’d love to hear from you!

      Thanks again!

      Jennifer

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