Years ago, I read The Weight-Loss Diaries by Courtney Rubin. Blogging and chronicling weight loss seemed so novel at the time (at least to me), and I remember thinking "I could do that. I want to do that."
It's difficult to think about that because that was nearly 10 years ago. And for anyone who has struggled with weight, who has yo-yoed as I have, it is almost sickening to think about the 10 years that have passed me by.
I am not saying that you can't live while carrying around extra weight. I have remained alive and breathing for the past 10 years. I have traveled and worked and fostered. I have graduated college and begun graduate school. I have purchased a home and several cars. But I have also hidden behind the weight. Because sometimes hiding is so much easier than facing things head on.
That little voice is a liar and a bully, of course. Because weight doesn't dictate life or any one person's experience with life. It is only a facet of life. Yet, it is one that takes over.
I compare myself physically whenever I go out. And I almost always become self-conscious, feeling as though I am the largest person in the group and that this somehow devalues me compared to others. I also do this at the gym, as if I am trying to find an excuse to leave or as if I am trying to find someone else who is in the same boat so we can establish solidarity. I'll be the first to tell you that comparison truly is the thief of joy.
There is so much that you miss out on when you compare. I hid from that realization for quite some time, keeping my nose in my text books and spending far too many hours working on papers for graduate school. While I enjoyed everything I was learning (and still do), I also enjoyed that I had a reason why I couldn't go swimming or walking. I did the same thing with my poor, pitiful knees. "Oh no, I can't do that. Bad knees and all."
It's true that I have to adapt with my knees and that school is important. But those things also can not and should not be reasons to skip out on trips to the park, playing in the water, or wearing shorts. Skipping out on so much results in not quite living.
I did this a few weeks ago. I thought I was over it, and then, I met a group of ladies I had only communicated with over Facebook (sans one). We were all selected to be on Jen Hatmaker's launch team for "For the Love." We had similarities and topics to discuss, and yet, I felt out of place at the table.
I went over the differences in my head. I smiled and engaged some, but I felt uncomfortable in my skin and unsure of how to really participate and remain present. No one at that table did anything to cause me to feel the way I did; my subconscious did all the work on that one.
A few days later, I expressed all of this and named it. I've been aware of it since, and I have warred against it since. Comparison is the thief of life and joy, and I will fight against it stealing anything else from me.
But it is still hard. I hate that I am here, in this place of actively trying to lose weight, because I feel like I should already be past this all. I feel like I should already be thin. I get that "thin isn't in" and it is more about being healthy. That's what I want, honestly, but I also want to see the scale dip lower and lower.
The scale isn't the answer, and my worth is not in the number I see flashing at me. I get that. It doesn't mean that I don't want to see it decrease. It shouldn't be the sole focus, but it is important. I get why people say it doesn't matter, but in reality, it does matter.
I'm not quite sure why I am, all of a sudden after six months of silence, posting all of this. It isn't exactly the comeback to blogging I planned. But it is real, and at the end of the day, as much as I would like this to be not true (sometimes), I don't know any other way to be. If I'm not real, I don't feel comfortable, and I refuse to live in such a way that causes me to hide anymore.