There’s two sides to every story, or in this case, situation. For the first time, ever, I feel like I’ve officially been on both sides of this, and I feel like it’s time to sit down and talk about it.
Life Right Now:
Life right now is different. I don’t really weigh myself, I don’t workout at a gym, and I count my calories “intuitively”. It’s just where I’m at with life, and I’m okay with it. I don’t weigh as little as I want to, or as little as I was, but it’s how it is right now. I spent a good portion of my twenties weighing every aspect of my being, in order to either mentally drain or personally celebrate myself. It was hard, and once I got a full time job it became harder. I started to realize that the number on the scale didn’t really have a spot in my head. I needed to worry about 74 other things, I couldn’t stress the weight loss. Overall, that’s been great. I’m conscious about what I look like and how I feel, but I try to positively impact my self thought process, so we’re taking a step in the right direction. Since I’ve been on this journey, I’ve been all over the board. I want to let you in on a secret. Those of you who are defined by your weight and those of you who love someone who is defined by their weight, will never see eye to eye. (okay, so not really a secret) I think it’s important though, as someone who is/has been on both sides, for me to share some insight on how I feel for those on this journey.
Those who are defined by their weight:
I have spent many nights in your shoes. It’s been almost four years of it. I know that the number on the scale is something that helps you find your zen. In this crazy world, that number brings you peace. Why? Because it’s something you can control. I understand that you want nothing more than to fit into the mold set out by society, because you feel like life would be easier. I also understand that you have vowed to continue until you reach your goals. I want to tell you three things to keep in mind as you go through this journey.
1. If you aren’t loving yourself in this process, you’re going to destroy yourself. I forgot to love myself for three years, and now it’s silly to me because it’s something I will have to work to heal for the rest of my life. No matter what number the scale said, I wasn’t good enough, or successful enough. It’s completely fine to have a goal you want to accomplish. It is not fine to punish yourself if you don’t reach that goal. This is a journey.
2. One day at a time. You’re going to have days where leg day is so successful you can’t walk for a week. You’re also going to have days where you are afraid to ruin your progress on sixteen Doritos. There’s not any weight loss plan that will help you “lose the weight” in one day. (And if they do, then run in the other direction). This is a journey. Each day is different than the one before. So if you eat your birthday cake, don’t be sad, because when you wake up the next day you can start all over. One day at a time.
3. Your only competition is you from yesterday. It does not matter if Sally spends her Friday nights with a pitcher of beer, three cheeseburgers, and an ice cream cone, and doesn’t gain a pound. It does not matter is Sally wears size 0, if she can wear a bikini, or if she got 235 likes on her selfie. Sally is not your competition. Sally is Sally’s competition. So why are you putting her on a pedestal to praise her for living? You should be tossing yourself up on that pedestal for kicking some ass in the gym. If you have a crappy day, it’s not Sally’s fault, is it? So why is she the one who you base your success off of? Sally might be cool today, but who says you can’t be cool tomorrow?
Just always remember, person who lets the scale define them, that this is a journey. Maybe, MAYBE, the scale defines you today. Maybe it won’t forever. At some point, your journey might change. Remember though, there’s a whole crowd of people who love you, regardless of that number. Maybe, you should think of them, and how silly it is that they love you no matter what you weigh…. Oh wait, that isn’t silly, is it? It’s NORMAL to give love, regardless of a pants size or a scale reading. Give that love to yourself, and not only others…
To those who love someone who defines themselves by their weight:
Let’s be really honest for a second. Sometimes it’s draining to be with someone who lets the scale dictate their lives. I know there’s a lot of boyfriends out there who have physical pains watching the tears stream down the faces of their girlfriends as they look at the number on the scale. Dylan told me plenty of times how hard it was to watch my struggle and not be able to do anything about it… Let me tell you the good and the bad here…
Dylan endorses a fitness company, which results in him weighing himself daily. I have been there, for like four years, on Dylan’s side of the tracks… In this case, it’s not my battle & not my war. It’s not my choice to control his scale habits and it’s not my choice to tell Dylan what to do on his weight loss journey. I could tell him from experience, what I feel would be great for him in terms of that damn scale, but it is NOT my place.
You know what IS my place? It is my place, as someone who is LOVING someone who weighs them self to measure progress, to SHOW Dylan my love and support regardless of how much I THINK he needs to step on the scale. (Lately, my support has been in the form of waving to him from the warm bed as he goes to take a brisk morning walk) I will never tell him “no”, or “bad”, or “wrong”, for taking each step of his journey the way he is.
It’s not your job to tell someone you love that they’re wrong for how they feel, or wrong for what they do. Honestly, presenting your loved ones with reassurance and support is SO easy. It takes WAY less effort to say, you are kick ass, than to tell them everything they’re doing wrong. Also, when you present frustration, I promise you, something in their head says “They are mad at me for getting on this scale, I look at the scale and see I’m not making progress, this is connected, and I have failed”. In your head, you’re mad that they feel like they need to check their weight “one more time”. In their head, your just another voice on the opposite side. I’ve lived it, I know it, I have seen it, I do see it, I recognize it, I understand it. Trust me guys, I’ve spent a little time in this world.
Listen, at the end of the day, you can’t fight their battles for them. These battles can be WON, if you become their number one sideline fan. I can not stress this enough: constant pressure is already on their back, all the time, from themselves. Adding pressure, whether in the form of frustration for them weighing out their food, or from anger because they want to weigh themselves before they hop in the shower, will never help them. The only time that you should be anything other than supportive, is if they cross the line. If a person’s weight loss is detrimental to their health, then you are no longer their support, you are their lifeline. If not, then you wave those pom poms and help them celebrate their victories. Weight loss may be someone’s “today”, and all they need is love and reassurance, so that it may not completely define their “tomorrow”.