Over the past year or so I’ve fallen in love dozens of times; with a moment, a memory, or a feeling. I’ve fallen in love again and again with the new life that my weight loss has afforded me (ironically also contributing to my lack of progress) and the moments that make it up. Yet, the other night I found myself thinking about the moment of decision when weight loss became real.
It went from being the mythical thing I’d someday do to the thing that I was right in the thick of. It was just as much of a fairy tale to me as falling in love with someone and as much of a fairy tale as getting married still is. It remained a pretty picture in my head with no concept of the physical manifestation of what that would actually look like.
And then the moment of falling in love happened…
I was so taken by the stories of others and the image in my head of my own weight loss that I knew I had to take the plunge. In the book I’m currently reading, The Three Marriages by David Whyte, he talks about love’s first glimpse and how “falling in love comes through an illogical but real glimpse of a future possible perfection.” He says that “the passion and ecstasy of that experience of perfection act as a kind of indelible foundation in the memory that gives the couple a ground on which to build and shelter through all the future troubles that lie ahead of them.”
Maybe, not so oddly, this made me think of my weight loss and the process I’ve gone through.
It’s that time of year where hundreds of new weight loss blogs pop up, usually of the .wordpress.com or the .blogspot.com variety so that the commitment doesn’t cost anything, and people are excited and hopeful for their “future possible perfection.” Mine popped up just around this time of year two years ago, in fact.
After Thanksgiving with my family, including two of my oh-so-lovely and thin sisters, I couldn’t stand myself anymore. I went online looking for hope and I found it in the form of weight loss blogs. I fell in love with the idea of being one of those success stories, being one of those known bloggers, and remaking myself for all to see so that maybe someone else could benefit from my experience. I fell in love with my “future possible perfection.”
I think that this is what made the difference. I think it’s why I stuck around and why I’m still hanging on. I’m also curious if this is the case for others.
Millions of people are tired of themselves and desperate to lose weight but does falling in love with your “future possible perfection” really make the difference? Maybe that’s what I’ve also been lacking over the last little while. I’ve lost sight of the “future possible perfection” and settled for simply being able to stand myself.
I’ve fallen in love, instead, with the moments, the memories, and the feelings of this “good enough” place and forgotten that once burning passion for what could be.
While the idea came from a naïve place that had no concept of what the reality would look like, much like the idea of marriage (so I’m told) when you take your vows, “the passion and ecstasy of that experience of perfection” really did create the foundation for the progress I’ve made so far. I think the reason that “this time” was different for me was that idea of “future possible perfection.”
In essence, I fell in love with myself and what I could be.
I wonder if this is the experience of others as well. I wonder, if we dig deeper into that event or turning point that made us start losing weight, what emotional process we would find at the core of it. Self loathing is enough to bully yourself into changing your habits temporarily but I suspect that falling in love with yourself is required to make the lasting changes.
For those out there who have been successful, those who are still in progress, or those who are still hanging on like me, does this ring true for you as well? What was the emotional process behind the start of your journey?
I’d really like to hear other people’s experiences and thoughts.
I am the queen of self bullying and it has gotten me nowhere. I am still struggling to get over the years I wasted on hating myself. It is a daily battle that I will win.