Losing Weight for the Wrong Reasons?

I feel numb, as if too many of my posts from last week were commercialized and we (myself and you the reader) haven’t sat down and simply “chatted” recently. This won’t be a long post or a fancy post, but it is something I’ve been thinking about as of late and would like any feedback you may have to offer.

What are the reasons you first lost weight? Or want to lose it now? Or any other version of the question.

When I first lost weight, it was partially because I went to a health fair and I saw how much fat was in my body. I also went to an exhibit on Bodies and saw the way fat will reconfigure organs and cause damage. Like this image below, only the actual bodies.

I was scared. I was in my young 20’s and I didn’t want to hurt myself.

Actually, that’s a lie. I tell people about that time in my life as the first time I lost weight, partially because it was the first and only time I lost weight a healthy way and for the right reasons.

So, let’s go back to the beginning…

In middle school I was fat. Not growing child fat, but growing depression fat. There were some serious issues going on at home and I didn’t really feel safe talking to anyone about things. Long story short, I was a cutter and I ate too much. What defines too much? At 10 years old I could order a value meal at a fast food place, super size it, eat the whole thing PLUS another sandwich and not feel full. I could easily eat an entire large pizza on my own and not feel full. Needless to say I gained weight quickly.

Toward the end of middle school I made new friends and things perked up in life. I started to eat better and wanted to be outside more. I even planned to try out for track and volleyball for high school.  I didn’t make volleyball and took a nasty fall the first day of 9th grade and had to skip trying out for track.

Life still wasn’t perfect though, so I would play a “game” with myself. How long could I go without eating? Wouldn’t you know it? I could go days on end without eating! Finally something I had control over, something no one else had any say over in MY life! I was never diagnosed with an eating disorder, but my friends did turn me into the counselor. I convinced her nothing was wrong. I bruised easily, was tired and irritable all the time and my hair was falling out. Of course I could convince just about anyone this was all due to typical teenage growth concerns and hormones.

I lost weight as a brand new teen in order to be more popular. I decided I wasn’t pretty so I could at least be thin.

I’d love to tell you how in the last 15-ish years I’ve learned to overcome such silly ideas. Maybe in another 5-10 I’ll have an answer. The truth is, I still want to lose weight to be popular. I want to lose weight because I have decided I’m not pretty so I can at least be thin.

I want to lose weight because OBVIOUSLY that’s the only reason any boyfriend ever broke up with me or girls didn’t invite me to their parties/lunches. The thought maybe I wasn’t kind, or caring, that I wasn’t smart enough or driven enough or didn’t have the same values is too much for me to deal with so I convinced myself if I were just THINNER or if I wore MORE MAKEUP then those boys wouldn’t have stopped loving me. Those girls would regret not including me. Even if I don’t want them, I want or need them to want me. Why? I don’t know.

I want to lose weight because I CARE what other people think. I care if I look like a “fat” trail runner. In the past I cared if people look at me and the guy I’m dating and think “she couldn’t have done better” or I care when the guy I’m with is hot and I worry people think “why is he with her”. I know most people don’t think this way, but it’s what I worry about when I’m unhappy with myself.

I wish I could tell you I want to lose weight for my health, or to perform better, or help my leg/ITB feel better, or anything of the sort. I wish I could tell you I embrace my body the way it is and the way it will be in the future. All I can say is, I wish I didn’t look at weight loss as a contest. I wish I didn’t want to lose weight to be more popular. I wish I didn’t believe people are valued in society based on their outward appearance.

At the end of the day, I’m not heavy enough to be a GOOD weight-loss blogger and I’m not thin enough to be a GOOD motivational fitness blogger. I don’t have children or a live-in significant other. I’m not a student. I don’t follow a special diet. Here I am in limbo. Slightly overweight. Slightly overworked. And slightly trying to eat right and be fit. Nothing at all special.

Maybe it’s my amazing ability to be average…to be relate-able…that keeps you all coming back?

More wishes? I wish this was ending on a more positive note, but some things in life aren’t positive…some things in life are a work in progress…

5 thoughts on “Losing Weight for the Wrong Reasons?

  1. You really shouldn’t care what people think. I do to though, I think a lot of people do, just no one will admit it. But it is good to know that caring about what other people think is not healthy thinking, it gives you something to work on. With that being said, I see nothing wrong with wanting to lose weight to look good and feel pretty (which you are). I have heard a lot of people say, “I don’t care what I weigh, I just want to be healthy.” I admire that, but I also know that deep down they want to be a certain size just as much as I do. Why are people so afraid to say that?
    When I started running, it was to lose weight. I wanted to lose weight because I was fat and no one would date me. Plain and simple. And I continue to work at my weight and maintaing happy weight so I can wear pretty dresses and do the things I think are fun. You and I are very similar bloggers, I’ve got nothing special going on over there on my little page. You at least have readers! But I like to think the people who do visit my site are interested in reading casually and feeling like there is someone out there just like them.

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to leave me a comment and such a long and nice on too. Writing something like this was scary, but not getting any feedback was making it even more difficult. And you’re right, I’m not alone, there are other bloggers like you who are also similar age, non married non kids and all the other stuff. BTW I’m sorry for all the knee stuff you’re dealing with, I know I was and am a mess over my leg so I can only imagine how much it sucks for you.

  2. I’ve left your post open on my screen all day to try and come up with a response. I’m continually horrified by the time and energy we (mostly women) waste on obsessing over thinness, but I’m at a loss of what to do about it.

    Let’s keep doing what we do, and strive for the day we can be satisfied with the good work our bodies DO, regagrdless of how they look.

    You are brave to write about this, Julie, and I am proud to know you. Keep your chin up, and I’ll see you on the trails.

    • Thank you Wendy for taking the time to write a comment, even if you weren’t sure what to say. I appreciate knowing people are out there reading and caring. I’m sure you will see me on the trails very soon. I’m slowly making my way back there.

  3. Pingback: Throwback Thursday: Most Popular Posts of 2014 | ROJ Running

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