“Would you be ok if you never lost another pound in your life?”
my fitness/nutrition coach asked me during a phone meeting one day.
The initial reaction
Oh fuck. I felt it down into my stomach. I wanted to throw up. I even felt a little shaky and started to sweat a little. I couldn’t even articulate an answer to her for a few moments. Honestly, I could hardly even breathe.
No!! I am not ok. I have weight I have to lose!!! This isn’t my happy weight!! How could I give it up? Losing weight has been my obsession as long as I can remember. Since I was told I could pinch more than an inch. Since I realized I was bigger than my friends and my sisters who were tiny. Since a boyfriend told me that I had a bit of a belly. Since some one yelled “fat girl” at me when was out running one day. Since I was told by a dietician in middle school that cottage cheese and fruit makes a great treat (TREAT?! Seriously?!) Since I knew deep in my core that I didn’t look like the girls in the magazines. Since depression forced me to the only self care I knew – food – and soon I was bursting out of increasingly larger clothes sizes.
I even hired this coach originally in hope that she would encourage (um..make) me to do a figure competition so that once and for all I would buckle down and lose all this weight. That I could finally be ripped (lots of muscles, little fat) and BE HAPPY. I was convinced it is where happiness was. My whole identity was tied to that actually. I planned my days and my life around the concept that being super lean would make me happy.
But is that where happiness is?
Would I be ok if I never lost another pound in my life? (breathe. breathe. breathe.)
I am in a happy marriage with a great friend and partner. My daughter is happy and healthy. I am in good health. I have a good relationship with my family. I have an amazing set of friends (honestly, I am floored by the people I get to be surrounded by). I get to lift weights regularly (I love it so!). My cats are little rays of joy (most of the time!) . I am educated. I am free to make choices about my life. I have regular time in nature. I get to learn things all the time. I laugh a lot. My stress is low. I have practiced mindfulness enough that I take some regularly to pause and appreciate the small day to day things around me in life that are stunning.
It actually bows me over in heart-filled gratitude when I think about how ok I am in ways that have nothing to do with what I weigh.
I don’t know what I answered her at the time. I probably mumbled an obligatory “yeah” as I thought I should.
How I use that question now
I love the journey that the one question took me on. The pause it made me take in my life and continues to make me take. There are days of course when I still get all wrapped around the axel about weight and body image things. This questions helps me pause and take stock of my life and ground myself in the reality of how beautiful life really is when you stop to take it all in. The answer for me is always YES now even if I occasionally forget that.
Its not even that I have given up on all body composition goals as I do still have those. I realize, however, that my happiness in life is NOT tied to the weight on the scale.
I wanna know…
How about you? Would you be ok if you never lost another pound in your life? How does that make you feel? What might that realization change for you?