I lost 72 pounds and my mom died. They say that money does not buy you happiness, because value does not come from things but from your own worth. Well, “fat” is a thing. When you lose it there is no magical transformation in your life. I do not know why we have been buying this lie that has been peddled for decades, but it is a myth. What is it that we really want once we are skinny? What is the change that is being imagined? Love? Money? Success? Happiness/Self-esteem? None of those things come in a size.
Does losing weight have an affect on your life, yes. It, like money, buys you a sense (sometimes false) of security. An idea that we will be free from bad things. So why do we need security? Simply because we are insecure. We hold no guarantees in life and that makes us a bit loopy in our thinking sometimes. I choose the word loopy for a reason; because most of life is just a cycle of one thing leading back to itself. Fear begets fear, love begets love, insecurity begets insecurity and so on.
Being thin can be likened to the fantasy of winning the lottery. Of course we all imagine all the good that we will do, the promises of good will, the things that we could then achieve, the wonderful things that we can possess and give. However, it is often the case, so much so that they have reality shows about it, that winning the lottery doesn’t change the way people spend or save money. Being thin will not change what you posses or what you give.
I have seen weight loss that in fact brings out the very deep burdens of a person’s soul. Infidelity, lust, selfishness, depression, arrogance, anxiety, mental illnesses of all kinds…
The physical accumulation of fat does not facilitate low-self esteem, low self- efficacy, depression, happiness, or any of the other mentality. Fat does not biologically posses the components to change your thinking in negative or positive ways. Fat does not cause, nor loss of it cure, who we are.
Ask someone who runs everyday, eats clean, can wear a size extra small and then gets diagnosed with cancer. The critics of this post may have valid points about health and wellness and I certainly don’t disagree; energy potentially goes up, certain illnesses can be thwarted and managed with a “healthy lifestyle” and other advantages come with losing weight. What I am challenging is the socially created core value of losing weight being a fix for joy; the false notion of happiness that scrolls through Instagram, television, movies and inundates our daily lives. This lie has become ubiquitous with the idea of being happy.
So as cliche as it is, it is time to break this cycle. To stop thinking that your body today is not okay because you are not as thin as someone else, real or not. You are real. Health begats heath, so if you want to try to create health in your body where you can, then it is important to have a healthy mind. You have to look in the mirror and tell yourself that today you will not fit into a size 00 jean and you don’t need to. That today you will touch your skin, smile in the mirror, shake, jiggle, bounce, flex, wrinkle, sag, stretch and be okay with all of it. Once that happens, once you begin to embrace the “now you” it is much easier to begin a journey to a “new you”. Everyday will be different. We have no control over tomorrow and when we begin to accept this we are more inclined to freedom from judgement over our potential.