“You look amazing!” “You must feel so good!” “Wow! I didn’t recognize you!” These are comments and compliments I get every day. And yes, I do feel incredible and so much more healthy, most days. But there are some days that are not so, I don’t always feel incredible and some days are so hard. It’s the frustrating part of weight loss no one talks about.
I’m about half way through my journey. I’ve lost about 35lbs and my goal is another 35 or so. We all hear about how it takes work and effort and it’s real determination and self control to achieve health and weight loss. We see the side by side comparison pictures and woo and wow. It’s hard, it’s work, and it’s major effort. But we all know that, no achievements or goals take no effort to get there. That is commonly known.
What isn’t so commonly known is the day to day behind the scenes, those days when you are still on the journey and not quite done yet, but everyone still expects you to be so thrilled with where you are at.
This past week was the Jewish holiday of Succos and each morning we go to the synagogue. Typical dress style for synagogue wear is elegant-dressy. The first day I went to get dressed and excitedly pulled a new dress I had for myself. I put it on and it just didn’t quite feel comfortable yet. Now that I’ve lost weight I find myself much more critical of the way I look and it’s so hard not to look the way you want to in specific items. I know I’ll get there, but that feeling of “I haven’t done enough” is crushing. And yes, I do know I shouldn’t be hard on myself and celebrate my achievements but in the moment when you want to show off your new look, it’s hard to not be critical.
Ok, dress one didn’t work. On to my backup – a dress I had and loved and misplaced so bought another. For some reason this one was cut wrong and didn’t fit me. On to dress three, a long dress, nixed, since it felt to casual. Bring on outfit four, a pencil skirt and top. Top is huge, OK, bring out a different top, top is too small, OK, bring out a cardigan cover. Cardigan is HUGE and swallows me. Last and final outfit was the skirt with the big top tucked in so it wasn’t as baggy.
Day 2 of the holiday was a similar scenario. Dress after dress after outfit was discarded on to the pile on my bed because they were either too big or didn’t sit right. In those moments I felt exactly the same way I did when I decided to get healthy. I didn’t like the way I looked. I felt immensely fat and couldn’t look myself in the mirror. In those moments when you have worked so hard yet still don’t feel comfortable in your own skin you wonder if it was all worth it.
I was out for lunch on one of the days of the holiday and I got chatting with my hostess and taking about this. She’s going through this journey herself and totally understood me. And agreed no one talks about this.
What’s even more is everyone expects me to feel golden. All the time. “You look amazing you must feel so good”. Well here is the 100% truth. There are days I feel really good and days that I just don’t. And it’s OK. I want to feel and celebrate my achievements but some days it’s just not like that. And you know what? It’s OK as well. A journey to health and weight loss are just that. A journey. It’s not always a smooth ride, there are bumps along the way and sometimes you need to take a detour. But as long as you stay the course you’ll reach your destination.
I know that over time, especially as I get closer to my end goal this feeling will recede, but these days it’s very real. It’s that part they don’t talk about. It’s not all sunshine and roses.
So here is my word to anyone out there working this journey. Hats off to you for starting the trip and if the ride isn’t smooth, know that it is normal. And there are so many others struggling with you. And you are amazing and will always be amazing.