I was just over at Casual blasphemies where I read this recent post regarding the desire of dieters to get huge accolades for losing weight and it got me to thinking.
“I won’t encourage self-hatred. I won’t congratulate self-abuse. I won’t lead a cheer for obsession.”
Well said. It is always so discouraging to me when people (especially women) around me are so quick and eager to gush over some nominal downward movement on a scale rather than real accomplishments. Tell me about the latest book you read and loved; gush about the latest dance move you learned and mastered; let me congratulate you on getting an “A” on your first Master’s degree project. But stop expecting me to fall down in ecstatic glee when you’ve managed to cajole your body into crying away some weight. That, to me, is not an accomplishment. “Winning” that ever-present and usually female war council of self-loathing by putting out the most self-hateful comment of all those present does NOT somehow grant you a prize. Unless by “prize” you mean “YAY! I hate myself the MOST. Party time for ME!”. Right.
Now here’s a novel thought. Stop focusing on changes in your weight as the only worthwhile accomplishment in your life. Stop thinking of slowly (or quickly) disappearing; of shrinking your space on this planet (not your carbon footprint, your actual SPACE in the world), as being the be-all, end-all and highest reward out there. It isn’t. What else do you have in your bag of tricks? Any neat hobbies? Any great interests? Gotten a good grade lately? Joined a new cause? Because frankly that weight-loss has gotten old, the shine is gone and now you have to give me something actually interesting to congratulate.
It has been a sort of wives’s tale bit of wisdom that after the initial lust of any relationship cools each individual needs to be able to connect with the other in ways that don’t pertain to sex. Similarly, I think that once your weight loss goal is reached (or not), once you’ve lost that start-up glowing blush of novelty that comes with dieting and counting every calorie burned or eaten, what ELSE do you have to fall back on? Are you waiting to get a hobby or find interesting things that you want to do because you want to lose weight FIRST? Why? Why continue to let your body’s size dictate what you can or can not do in such a restrictive manner? Why let the focus on weight-loss become so all-consuming in your life that it is only by applauding your weight-loss numbers that you gain any recognition at all?
I say: break free of those mental chains! You are an adult, a free-thinking human being. You have the CHOICE to live your life as you want and to shape it as you will; adding ways to succeed that don’t involve dropping pounds. If you want to still diet, fine. That is your choice. I am not going to join you. And I’m not going to applaud you. Like that sexy relationship that has lost its luster you’re going to have to show me what ELSE you have up your sleeve. Because those boring weight-loss numbers just ain’t gonna cut it anymore; they no longer rate on my Richter-scale of approval and certainly won’t merit the space you no longer take up.