I was having a conversation with a gym member recently. She expressed to me how depressed she was after losing a ton of weight (50+ lbs). I am so curious about this because I have had the exact opposite effect as I’ve lost weight. As I have begun to lose weight and gain my life back, my attitude has changed and gotten so much better. The excess weight carries a huge burden, and it’s not just physical! They are very much emotional burdens…in fact, I would almost say it’s more emotional than physical.
With every pound I have gained over the years, I got more and more depressed. My self-esteem felt like it had been flushed down the toilet and I have just felt terrible about myself. But, as the pounds (SLOWLY) come off, the negative self-doubt and ounces of crappy self-esteem have begun to start falling off too. I feel like I have literally begun to shed a mental, physical and emotional body armor.
That armor is one that holds you back from LIFE.
When you let it go, you begin to discover who you really are.
Let me say it louder for those in the back - when you let it go, you begin to discover who you really are.
Once that happens, it begins to beg the question, who am I, really?
The answer I have found, is very much a moving target.
It develops every single day.
This, my friends, is awesome! It means that I can change, and I don’t have to be stuck where I am today.
While that answer is still in development, right now I know that I am a strong woman, a mother, a wife, a friend and a leader among other women.
Is that really enough? Sure, for some it is.
For me, I want more. I believe there is more out there. More successes to achieve, more weight to lose, more self-empowerment, better self-esteem, and more strength to gain (internally, externally, physically & mentally).
I know you’re thinking it…but what if I lose the weight and go the other way?
What if…with every pound I lose, I dip into a deeper depression.
What if, as you lose the weight, you begin to literally mourn the body armor that you are now shedding?
What if your physical journey is hindered by the FEAR of losing that second person you have created over the years with the excess food and lack of activity?
This, my friends, is a fear of losing the ability to not care about your health. I won’t say all the time, but MOST of the time, when we struggle with our weight, it is because we do not care enough about watching what we eat, or taking the time to prepare food that has a bit more health value than something more convenient.
Here is the great and amazing thing though, when we finally make that decision to turn things around, we earn the right to say ‘Yes! I DO care about my body. I care about what I am putting into it. I care about what I do with my body.’ …and how about, ‘I care about myself.’
Aha moment yet?
Gosh, it hit me right in the gut when I started putting all of these thoughts on paper.
Back to the gym member, we had this very conversation! Yes, she simply mourns the ability (and is in fact depressed) about not being able to NOT care for herself. WOW! There is so much honesty and self-revelation in that statement that I had to take a few deep breaths before I could on with the conversation.
What if we all thought this way?
What if we all said, I don’t want to get healthy because I don’t want to be depressed about losing the ability to not care about myself?
Honestly, it is hard for me to even put this on paper because the thought of NOT changing myself to make it better for fear of depression is so backwards to me!
But as I began to reflect on this more, it hit me:
What if...this is why so many people struggle to lose weight.
What if...the reason our society is so overweight and out of shape is because they are scared of the ‘what if’?
That is super hard to comprehend.
We have to do better. We have to encourage and empower others in ALL walks of this journey. That is the only way we are going to see just how amazing life can be, on the other side.
I'll be writing more about this soon, but in the meantime, does this resonate with you? If so, drop me a comment below and let me know what you think.
Love and light ~ Laura