Thursday, June 25, 2015

Weight Loss and Happiness,

   A WW friend recently posed the question - do you think losing weight will make you happier?  I've been thinking about it a lot, and the answer for me is: no.  And yes.

   I try to be positive, but I'm also realistic.  The fact is that losing weight won't solve all of life's problems.  A jerk boss, an obnoxious neighbor, a crazy family member - losing weight won't change any of it.  It won't solve money problems or keep your spouse from bad behavior.  It doesn't give you more hours in the day, and won't help with an ever-growing To-Do list.  Expecting that your whole life will be different and better if you could just lose the weight is unrealistic, and a great way to set yourself up for disappointment.

   I have a friend who suffers from anxiety and depression, and when he was really in the thick of it would tell me how it was hard to think clearly because of all the noise in his head.  And I have always liked that phrase, because for me, my weight problems have created a lot of noise in my head.  At the weight I am, and have been for much of my adult life, simply navigating day to day life creates lots of tiny stresses and worries that accumulate into a constant dull roar.  There are things I have to think about that most people don't,

   If I'm going somewhere I worry about the seating and if I will be able to be comfortable. Will there be a lot of walking or standing?  And if so, will there be places to sit and rest? Am I going to hold people back because I'm slower and tire more easily?  Are there weight limits for certain activities that look like fun?  Will there be people who stare or make comments, or maybe snap a picture to post somewhere at my expense?

   It's exhausting.  So I'm working to change it.  Because losing weight and getting to a more "normal" size will solve a lot of those problems and worries.  I don't even have to get all the way to goal weight to experience relief.  The noise in my head surrounding these issues will quiet down and eventually go away.  I may even have the mental and physical energy to deal with some of the other types of issues I mentioned earlier.  At the very least, just moving through and engaging with the world on a practical level will be easier and less stressful.

   So for me, losing weight won't solve all life's problems.  But it will solve a lot of them.

   And that will make me happier.

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