It's not about the weight...

It's about you.
I am going to type out why so many people fail at weight loss.
And by fail, I mean...fail to lose it and keep it off.
Or fail to lose it period.
It isn't about the weight for most people.
Although they think it is.
For people for whom the weight is simply a manifestation of an overeating habit...
They eat less, lose the requisite poundage and whap.

For people who are obese, or morbidly obese...and it isn't a simple overeating problem..
such as eating an extra hundred calories a day for quite a while.
But food was used as an emotional crutch to avoid facing deeper issues.
Until they figure out what issues they are dealing with and even deeper than that...what caused the issues in the first place...and find a new way to deal with those issues...
I don't think weight loss will be successful.
Because just like a hinky golf swing...or any ingrained habit...
if you don't replace the bad habit with new habits.
If you don't even know why you are doing what it is you are doing...
How can you make a different choice in similar situations in the future?
Like a woman who keeps picking crap heads for husbands...there is something in her that gravitates towards abuse.
And until you figure out what it is in your psyche that is causing the stimulus/response...you will keep doing it....like a rat getting a hit of heroin in a lab study.

Or say you simply stop using food.
A lot of people who lose weight and don't deal with their emotional baggage will simply switch addictions...
take carnie wilson...
she was large...wanted to change that and got gastric bypass...
and when she couldn't eat anymore she became an alcoholic.
Then she gave that up and is now 212 pounds...again.
I would guess because she hasn't done internal work.
There is something lacking that she will continue to try and fill with substances...food or alcohol.
Until she gets to the root of the problem.
I know that for years I tried to let certain things 'go'.
I tried straight up forgiveness....and then realized that I needed to do what it took emotionally to let things go.
That took a long time, and there are still moments that will surprise me with residual anger.
Now, in the meantime I was working on different aspects of my life.
How I dealt with confrontation, how I dealt daily with stress...
But weight loss was my last big hurdle.
It took me a while to be able to give up my coping mechanism...food.
To do that, I needed other coping mechanisms in place.
Emotional mechanisms.
No amount of gum chewing or crocheting was doing it for me.
I needed tools in my emotional tool box.
I needed to talk myself down from anxiety.
I needed to be able to set limits with those around me.
and not back off when I felt pressured.
I needed to feel confident in my ability to handle what life gave me without resorting to food as a fix. And I did that.

I read things about this elusive goal being outside of yourself...and I remember thinking that way.
Thinking that once I got skinny I would be happy.
Or once I had this or that, then my life would be perfect.
I think lincoln had it right....
People are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.
The weight loss will not make you happy.
You make you happy by making your life what you want it to be.
By getting your mind right.
By being grateful...cultivating a grateful attitude.
By being positive..
and by digging up residual issues that are leaving anger and bitterness inside, and killing them once and for all.
They do you no good.
weight loss is a byproduct of getting your priorities straight.
When you decide one day that life will be better if you can move around in it without nearly having a heart attack...that living is more important than food.
That feeling emotions is better than stuffing them.
That living a life that may be complex, complicated and painful but beautiful:
is better than being afraid of taking chances, hiding behind your wall of fat and feeling dead inside.
A living death is no way to go through life.
Living takes courage.
But it's worth the effort.
Eating your way through heartache is no way to deal.
And the destination isn't out there, it's inside yourself.
When you decide..
And I mean DECIDE
to lose weight,
to go to school,
to learn to play the piano,
to make new friends,
to do hard things...
you are learning who you are.

You are fully inhabiting your body.

It's not about the weight.
It's about being fully alive.

(Did my exercise....still got that streak going..food was good...)


Rettakat said...

Sooo well said!

Ms. M said...

You are absolutely correct! Excellent post... very well said.

Sheilagh said...

Christine, you have been in my head again!!!

Excellent writing


Anonymous said...

hmmm. I perceive a theme happening in the blog-sphere. :} Deb

Karen Butler Ogle said...

Food will always be a battle for me even though I BP surgery and have been success. The only reason I've stayed success is that I knew enough before surgery to get myself into therapy before and stay in it afterward. I KNEW there were issues. People sometimes would rather pretend they can't help their overeating rather than make up their minds that they will find the issue and fix it and then determinedly do something about their weight. Confronting issues is HARD and it is like Allan said, it takes some strength of mind and will to take it head on and fix what is broken.

Jane said...

You're right Christine--a life of obesity is in many ways like a living death--at least for me. Obesity is complicated, and that old cliche "it's not what you're eating, it's what is eating you..." is so very true.

Melissa said...

Excellent post as always.

Roxie said...

I think you've got it right on, Chris. Great post.

Patrick said...

YES - Decisions decisions decisions, we can look upon them as these daunting undesireable ordeals. Yet, they only appear that way because we don't look at them with teh proper attitude. When we shift to a will-do attitude and apply that to a decision made, success is inevitable.

Have a Great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Your blog is such an inspiration, thanks for posting that.

Ellie said...

Beautiful words. You are 100% right, it isn't about the weight in most cases. You have to cure the sickness, not just the symptoms (like weight).

Knowing that you need to understand yourself and fix your shortcomings is half the battle of weight loss.

Red Shoes said...

You @ 146...

WOW!! ;o)

Keep up the good work!!!


jo said...

Okay, so you have a web cam in my home? My calorie intake has been okay, but I've been hitting comfort food hard. I blame it on stress and vicodin. Guess I really haven't learned that lesson after all. (I am down a few pounds, thankfully, though.)

For me it was never about getting skinny, though. I kinda/sorta have a goal weight, but it's not set in stone. Don't even know what a size goal would be. For me it's always been about good health. So maybe I am okay, except for the recent comfort food. Just needed a mild reminder about that--but it was already in the back of my mind.

Yes, another idiot comment from me, I blame it on the drugs. You, more than any other blogger, reach my brain, my thoughts, and really have me pondering things for awhile. You are so gifted.

Putz said...

yes so so gifted and a scream to boot

Christine said...

ditto mr. putz...ditto

Robin said...

As always so much to think about. I am reading something else that has my mental gears turning. Between my book and your blog... well, my poor ole brain is just TURNING AND CHURNING. But, I do think JOY figures in here. Once I get a handle on this I will write about it. We have to find our joy. It isn't in other people. It is in ourselves, but we do allow other people to take it from us. Like I said, I don't quite have a handle on it yet. But I am working on it...

Laurie said...

I'm new to you via Helen's shout out. Love your progress!

The New Christine said...

Here's to inhabiting our bodies!!! Living hurts sometimes but so did dying . . . Living is worth it! ♥

Onward and upward. (downward?) Thanks for checking in on me. :D

Me, Only Better said...

Woot! Good advice!

Hanlie said...

Funny, I was just telling my husband about Carnie Wilson today at lunch. You are so right! I know that I haven't hit that point yet where I can trust myself enough to actually inhabit my body full time and knuckle down to do this, but I also know that I'm getting there slowly but surely.

Thank you for reminding me again that I CAN get there!

julielopez3 said...

I loved this point in your post. weight loss is a byproduct of getting your priorities straight.
That is so true!

Beginning Anew said...

Oh yes! I knew if I dug through your older blogs, I would find more answers! (and more questions) Thanks again for another great post!