Hey, y’all. If you follow me on social media, it will come as no surprise to you when I say that I have been on a health journey. I use the term “health journey” specifically because that was the motivation. I wanted to be healthier and I wanted to feel better. Weight loss just so happens to come with that, as there is a positive correlation. Losing 100 pounds (and continuing on this journey) is one of the best decisions that I’ve ever made. However, I’ve also learned some hard truths from losing 100 pounds. That’s what I’m going to discuss with y’all today.
Three Truths I’ve Learned From Losing 100 Pounds
I’m Valued Differently (Higher) After Losing Weight
Have you ever realized that society values those of a higher weight differently? If you haven’t, it’s likely that you’ve never been a victim of weight-based discrimination.
I’ll give you a perfect example. When I was in college, I had an industry professional that I deeply respected tell me that I was “the brightest student he had ever mentored”. I was over the moon. That compliment was then followed by, “However, it would be advantageous for you to lose weight, as your weight might cause you to have a lack of job offers.” I inquired as to why. He responded: “Because you could be perceived as lazy, which I know to be false.”
I was heartbroken (and for those reading, he was wrong).
Through weight loss, I have experienced more compliments, kind words, and encouragement than ever before. Words of affirmation = my love language, thus I personally appreciate them. That said, please be cognizant that all that lose weight might not feel this way. It could be hurtful, triggering, and/or induce an experience that is unwanted (i.e. binge eating, body dysmorphia).
To all that have encouraged me, I thank you from the bottom of my heart and feel as if I couldn’t have done this without you.
That said, I do want to remind you that I have the same value now as I did then. I am the same person.
Love and valuation should not be contingent on weight.
Please hear me when I say this: you were worthy then, you are worthy now, and you will continue to be worthy.
Losing Weight Didn’t Take Away My Internal Struggles
On my other blog (JCP Eats), I have been very open about the fact that I have survived two eating disorders: a life-long stint with binge eating and bulimia while in my undergraduate career at Centre College. These experiences actually inspired my entrance into the food writing world, which forever changed my life.
I would argue that you never overcome disordered eating; rather, you only learn how to better fight those internal demons.
Weight loss didn’t absolve me of these struggles. In fact, it heightened them. Why? Bodily changes induce dysmorphia — at least in my case.
If you choose to go on a weight loss journey, please realize that it involves more than physical well-being. Mental/emotional well-being are equally – if not even more – important in the success of this journey.
Please take care of yourself, consult a medical professional if need be, and be kind to yourself each day.
It truly does make all of the difference in the world.
That I’m Stronger Than I Even Realized
I wanted to binge and I didn’t — I was strong.
When I did binge and still chose to love myself — I was strong.
I first started walking and could barely complete .25 mile without being winded — I was strong.
When I accomplished things that my mind told me that I couldn’t do, such as walking 12 miles in one day — I was strong.
I fought my inner demons — I was strong.
When I went to therapy for my eating disorders — I was strong.
My body has persevered, I have persevered, I have climbed mountains that I would’ve been scared of even a year ago. I was strong and I. Am. Strong.
And you are, too.
I consider myself to be weight-neutral and body-positive; all bodies – no matter their size, appearance, or ability – are equal.
I also believe that a weight loss or a health journey should only be for you.
If you will live your best life by continuing to gain weight, gain! I support you.
If you will live your best life by maintaining your weight, maintain! I support you.
If you will live your best life by losing weight, lose! I support you. This is where I am.
While there are hard truths to acknowledge when losing weight, there are also a plethora of fantastic experiences. The intent of writing this article is not to discourage you from losing weight; in fact, in my personal life, it has been such a blessing. However, there is a stigma in discussing weight loss (especially for men) — and I’m here to both confront and dismantle that stigma. The conversation surrounding weight loss should be inclusive and contain all relevant details.
Remember: I am only a DM or an email away. I am here – and more than willing – to support you. In fact, it would be a privilege to do so.
Did you enjoy reading “Three Truths I’ve Learned From Losing 100 Pounds”? Read my other blog posts here.
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Fabulous photography provided by Angela of Strawberry Lane Photos.