existing or having its specific nature only by relation to something else; not absolute or independent: Happiness is relative.
Have you ever heard the term, "It's all relative?" I have a couple friends who used to use this phrase almost DAILY! It was typically inserted in a joking manner after some "weight comment," pointing out the fact that my friend WISHED to be my weight, I wished to be a different friends weight and even she wished to be the weight of yet another one of our friends. For each of us - the next step down was our "dream" even though the one currently living in it never saw it as so. (...and YES, I created my own cartoon with the help of Microsoft Paint :)
The past few weeks I've personally started to grasp this concept of "relativity" with the only person under the scope being ME. With the formula described in the definition above, my weight loss would best be summed up like this:
CURRENT WEIGHT + (GAINING or LOSING) = STATE OF MIND
The way I view my CURRENT WEIGHT is typically dependent on one variable which is whether I am currently GAINING or LOSING weight. Let me elaborate...I started in February 2009 at 342.2 lbs. In one year, through healthy eating and exercise I was able to take 122 lbs away from that number. At 220 lbs I felt like I was on TOP of the world, everything was new: new body, new sizes, new activity levels, new foods, new level of self esteem. I loved my flabby, yet shrinking body. I felt proud looking in the mirror at a collar bone that was never visibly viewable before. It was as if I had redefined the word "skinny" in my life to fit the weight of 220 lbs. It was relative. Although by health standards 220 lbs is by no means "skinny," as a matter of fact, 220 lbs is still very much so OBESE. But for me, 220 lbs was a milestone I had reached that brought a sense of accomplishment and self worth unlike anything else. I was losing weight and feeling great and 220 lbs was that relative DREAM come true!
Since then I lost an additional 12 lbs...YIPPEE!...but WAIT, hold the party! After that I GAINED 15 lbs back! *insert violin music here*
Now I look in the mirror and all I see is a bloated face, swollen eyes, double chin, flabby arms and an ever growing belly. Tighter jeans, less energy and the undeniable sense of failure.
BUT HOW can this be? The FIRST time I reached this weight my numbers were dropping and you would've thought I just fit into a brand new size 2 pair of jeans. This time around however, I'm gaining and it's as if I never dropped a single pound. You know, they say the "mind is a powerful thing" and the human mind has the ability to block out traumatic events - it's as though mine has just TOTALLY forgot about the first 100+ lbs lost and how I used to look, discrediting the fact that it ever really took place.
Due to this bad case of "memory loss," it's left me embarrassed and ashamed enough to avoid my blog, facebook, friends and anyone who may even begin to MENTION a peep about this supposed "weight loss." Afterall, what testimony and encouragement could I be - surely that 15 lb gain is enough to make any observer turn around and think twice before looking to me as an example.
A close friend of mine said to me last week, "A blog on failing, now that'd be a good blog!" I kinda laughed it off at first, but it's so true. People want to see that you are human, you are prone to err, you aren't perfect nor will you ever be. When you look at the image of someone who is supposedly "flawless," all it does is bring out more of your own imperfections, causing a person's self-esteem to plummet.
I think part of the reason we go through trials in our lives is so God can use us to help someone else who may be going through that EXACT same thing at a later time. So that we can pour into the life of someone else from the perspective of "I've been there," and them be able to look and see HOPE on the other side. Now don't get me wrong, there are "self-induced" trials, God-induced trials, "other" induced trials and ones that are flat out caused by the devil - but whichever trial we may find ourselves falling in - EACH has the potential of being turned around as a learning experience that causes us (and others) to grow as people.
My "self-induced" trial of re-gaining some of my weight back has truthfully been NO FUN...but I already see how my failures have in a round-about way encouraged others. If all I ever do is "boast" about my success and deny my failures - people will never learn the TRUTH and REALITY of this lifestyle change. Others may find themselves disappointed and discouraged when they don't steadily lose week after week because I've portrayed a standard that I myself am not even obtaining. Not only that, but I'm taking note that there are seemingly A LOT of people around me right now who have found themselves in the same rut of gaining and/or struggling and I'm starting to realize I can join in on the pity parties, OR I can be positive and again lead by example. I can confess my weight gain, acknowledge the areas I've went wrong, forgive myself for making unhealthy choices and not allow those poor choices to hold me back from working hard again.
I actually just responded today to a friend who I talk to on facebook who has also had a rough two weeks and told her that just like the scripture that tells us God's mercies are new for us each morning...we have to realize we start with a CLEAN plate with no junk on it every day! We cannot stay in the dumps because we added a bunch of junk food and high calorie items to yesterday's plate - we have to look at what's set before us today - A sparkling, clean, empty plate waiting to be filled with what we choose to put on it! Today I can choose to put clean, healthy, beneficial foods on my plate and have a good day!
I wanted to include an article from an old Biggest Loser newsletter that I've kept because I think it tells it best for those of us who recognize this IS a lifestyle change and there WILL be moments when we go up in weight, it's not always going to go down.
Throws a Curveball
When you realize that what you're doing is really a lifestyle change and not a "program" or diet, it will empower you like never before. Making this transition in your thinking means there is nothing to quit. You can't quit a lifestyle like you quit a diet.
Injuries, illness, job issues, family commitments all come and go and constantly change. And a program or diet is easy to lose track of when a big life "trauma" comes along. But if you're focused simply making healthy choices most of the time none of these obstacles will hold you back. Sure, you'll have to adjust your approach and try new things. You'll experience setbacks and have to regroup. But that's life. And it's always within your grasp to live it healthfully if you choose.
Verse of the Day:
Matthew 18:21-22 (NIV)
"Peter came to Jesus and asked, "Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Up to seven times?"
Jesus answered, "I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.