Wednesday, March 7, 2012

For Maren - Fattitude.

I'm taking Maren up on her suggestion to write a blog about self-worth and fat. 

She wrote a post about finding the body love while still being fat and wrote it quite well...   Also Myra's response post got me thinking. 

"Joy in the Journey" is a phrase I've heard a thousand times over growing up...   and then in the music world, they tell you that the practicing has to be just as satisfying as the performance. So here we are... Fat. In transition. Can we find the happiness in that? Sure thing! 

I don't believe that being happy, while fat, means that you're not going to change or that you've become contented and complacent with your size. I can love my body and still work on it. As Maren said, we are more than our fat. We are complex people with varying interests and challenges. 

If we have to be sad because we're fat, then I could logically conclude that being thin is happiness and that's just not true. The baggage (emotional) that we carry along with our fat baggage needs just as much work and processing in order to be happy people. 

I've said it a few times... My dad lost his weight too late. He can't really enjoy the benefits of being thin. He still hurts. He's lost a lot of muscle. He's replaced so many body parts. His health is STILL affected by his years spent above 500lbs. I suspect that he thought he'd be happy when he lost weight... and it became this magical place in his mind "lost weight" or "skinny" or "thin." A place where there is limitless energy and recaptured youth and rainbows and puppies and the occasional slice of pizza. 

Well... he's lost weight. He's thin. He's spend the last 2 years in and out of hospitals, bed-ridden. He's still struggling to be a happy person. He's struggling to enjoy life. He still has a short temper. He still says mean things. He still has money problems. He still gets frustrated when he can't do things or when he needs help. He still likes to spend the majority of his time in front of a computer or a television. He doesn't go outside much or get very physical. He lost weight. But he isn't happy... He's still on that journey.

I believed that if Dad were thin, things would get better. I really did believe he would be happier, more kind, more patient. Now I know better. Thin doesn't mean any of that. Thin means carrying around a lot less physical weight - which has a plethora of positive benefits, if you can take advantage of them. 

Don't get me wrong... I love my dad through and through. He's a tough nut, but when you get past the shell, he's all softness. I'm a complete daddy's girl - which makes it harder to watch his health decline and see him turn into a confined ornery old cuss. 

My family in 2005? I was still in high school. In this pic, my dad had already lost about 100-150lbs. And the tall guy in the back... yeah... he's not standing on anything, he's just 6'7"
Achieving a certain weight does not mean you'll be happy and that problems will be solved. Happiness is based entirely on how you choose to view your life. 

I wrote this as a response to Myra's blog.. 
One must enjoy the practice as well as the performance or one will spend the majority of the time miserable. Eating right and exercising can be challenging AND fun... not just something to endure until we're thin - because if we haven't learned to be happy by then, the problem isn't weight, but attitude.
And I think that's the most succinct way I could say it.

Big Fat and Happy Love,


  1. I love your response, and I wholeheartedly agree. Let's face it, if someone is completely miserable by eating well and exercising, how long can they keep that up? Sometimes it's a challenge to find healthy foods that you like, or exercises that are fun for you, but it's doable.

    It can and should be a positive experience!

  2. I think enjoying the journey and being happy on the journey makes you continue. I think if you're not happy with what your doing and enjoying it then you won't continue x

  3. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on this topic, it really helps me solidify how I'm feeling about my own journey. I think it's so easy to get wrapped up on just reaching this goal weight and everything will be happy days and confetti ... but that's not the case unfortunately. There has to be an emotional change, and that can come at 500lbs, 250bs or 150lbs.

  4. I also replied that you should make a blog post out of that. Kind of spooky! But then great minds run in the same channels :-) Take care.

  5. What a touching post about your Dad. I'm so sorry that he can't enjoy the many benefits of losing weight. You are so right, that it's not weight but attitude that is the issue. I know for me, at 61, I've done damage to my joints that can't be undone. Yet I can still enjoy other benefits from losing weight. And a lot of them are emotional... like feeling a sense of accomplishment, self-respect; and hope and expectancy that some things will improve. Perfect and like they used to be? No, but I still have a lot to be thankful for.

    I loved what you said about the practice needing to be just as satisfying as the performance. What a great way to explain it. I get that! :-)

    1. I can only hope that he's feeling some of those emotional benefits as well. I know a lot of his eggs were in the Lose weight = happiness basket and it's made him kinda depressed. This is excellent fodder for when I go home this weekend... I'll ask him about it. He'll probably cry while he's talking to me about it. I love that he does that. He's a very sensitive man under the gruff. :)

  6. Okay, I'll bare it all. There was one other point I almost said... and it may or may not play into how he's feeling. It is THE biggest thing I struggle with. That I wasted so many years, and didn't do this sooner. The regrets. The guilt. The idea that "if only I had done this sooner", and how it might have been better. What my poor choices did to those I loved... see why this could be giving him some depression? I've made peace with it, for the most part, and choose to focus on my blessings. But if I'm not careful, it will come back and try to drag me down again.
    If he is a sensitive man, then I have to think that he has had similar thoughts.
    But I've decided to choose joy. To make the last years the best I can. To go out with a blaze of glory, like a shooting star!! Okay, sounds goofy. But really, the most powerful thing we have is our attitude. It can totally transform our experience! I am in a wheelchair right now. My goal is better mobility. To be the best Me I can be. To love, to give, to enjoy this gift of life. And with the abuse I did to myself for so many years, every day now IS a gift, and I can choose to feel thankful, or not. So now, I have new habit: every morning and every night, I start and end the day thinking of something to be thankful for. And know what?? It powerfully affects my attitude for the better. :-D

    How blessed your Dad is to have such a loving daughter.

    1. I'm going to recommend your blog to him this weekend. :) He just got a mobility scooter... and I hope that helps improve his quality of life.

  7. I really enjoyed this post! I am new to your blog and just followed. I want to lose the weight before it is too late. I feel sorry for your dad. I think I know a little of how he is feeling.

    1. Welcome, Paul! Thanks for reading! I'm glad you're joining the weight loss revolution! :)

  8. Attitude is a choice we make as well, right? There are so many things we think will make us happy. In the end, I think it has a lot to do with gratitude. Being thankful, regardless. Choosing to be grateful in our circumstances right now will bring joy. Discontentment makes people grouchy and not many people want to hang around those who can't stop complaining.
    So, if I choose to be thankful for my body, even though it is still 100 lbs overweight, I can experience joy.
    My humble opinion! :)

  9. I love this post. Love it. I quoted this today on my blog. Hope you don't mind.

  10. Kudos to your dad for losing but you are so right, that's not always what it takes to make us happy. There are reasons we are overweight and those issues have to be dealt with in order not to put that fat suit back on for protection. Love your post:-)


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