Get Going/ Health and Fitness
Kristin Booker • June 18, 2012

Let’s Talk About It: How Important Is It to Drop Emotional Baggage With Body Fat?

A photo of one damned good article. Marie Claire July 2012 issue.

Engaging title, yes? Ok, so let’s discuss.

Class, if you will please open up your July 2012 Marie Claire to pages 94-96 and read “What I Miss About Being Fat,” by Sarah Elizabeth Richards.

Go ahead, I’ll wait here.

Ok, so I felt compelled to write something after reading this.  I LOVED this article. You know the reason you haven’t read too much about me dropping 71 + lbs lately? Two reasons: one, because I’ve hit a plateau; and two, because I’ve been feeling somewhat self-conscious about it lately.

I think we’ve all been programmed to perceive weight loss as a magic bullet that will shoot straight to the heart of all your problems. When the weight is gone, it’s common thought that all your inner turmoil goes with it: suddenly, you’re thinner, happier, more confident and a walking testament to all that is good about fitting into skinny jeans in our society.

Except that’s not really the way it works. Let’s be honest: how many of us lose the weight and drop our emotional baggage at the same time? Show of hands? Because I  know I didn’t exactly accomplish that.  I’m down almost an Olsen twin and I’ve still got hangups about bathing suits, dating and whether or not I want someone to see me in a fitted gym top. Sometimes I can feel very exposed, which is something I gained weight to avoid.

I’ve also had to adjust to everyone’s insistence on me starting to date again. I can admit that I’m definitely warming to the idea, but the prospect of getting out of the sweatpants in my head and into the lingerie of my dreams is still something I struggle with. Just being brutally honest here.

Me, in fitted workout gear. This is about as revealing - and scary for me - as it gets.

You know what I don’t want to hide? That sense of accomplishment from being able to do a Core Fusion Boot Camp class or a SoulCycle workout without wheezing or crying anymore. I cried in my friend Danny’s spin class recently because I remembered what it was like to get on that bike for the first time, unable to do anything but not pass out.

That smile on my face, that nod of pride at my triceps, the results of mornings working out when I’d rather be in bed? HAPPY to talk about that all day long. The rest of it will catch up eventually. I did get rid of all of my larger clothes recently..but I kept one pair of sweatpants for indoor use only.

Anyway, I would love to hear from you. Have you ever lost weight and been a bit freaked out by the attention? Do you think we put too much emphasis on losing the weight and not correcting the underlying problems? Sound off below! Let’s talk about it!

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3 Responses to Let’s Talk About It: How Important Is It to Drop Emotional Baggage With Body Fat?

  1. Meredith says:

    First of all, you look absolutely amazing, and congrats on doing the super hard work to lose the weight! I think Also, I think it makes perfect sense that there is some emotional work to be done when you’ve lost weight, because we all know that how you look isn’t anything you’d want to base your personal happiness on. Because, really, we are all more than our bodies. That being said, as you work to get your body healthy, it stands to reason that you’d want to make your mind healthy too. I don’t know which is hardest, but I am loving the fact that you’re talking about it publicly!

  2. Emily says:

    I totally related to this article too and it was a relief to read it. I recently lost a lot of weight (and still going) but I’ve lately been incredibly self-conscious about my appearance.

    Here’s the thing: I actually felt more confident after I lost the first 10-20 lbs then I do now after 75. I should be thrilled but I’m not; instead I see is this stubborn paunch that’s taking forever to go away. And the compliments I get feel less like positive encouragement and more like searing reminders that I’m still a work in progress. I actually find them really depressing (seriously, where’s the sense in that?!).

    So it helps to hear we’re not alone. I agree with Meredith – you look wonderful!

  3. Caroline says:

    Congrats on feeling and looking awesome! Spin class is an amaxing thing and really can make you feel like a million bucks!
    I read this article In Marie Claire this morning and at first my thoughts were “this is the girl that has always thought herself HUGE when she was a size 6…and made me feel like a complete fatty in a size 12.” Then I took a step back and realised that we all have our baggage and “body hates” and they are all fueled by different things. I wish this writer was able to feel proud about eating better and feeling better and then let the emotional side come along instead of be held back by her embarassment. her description of things does sound a lot more like she lost 150+ with everything sagging…that hasn’t happened to me and I think that description would be some things that emotionally would keep heavy women from trying to gain a healthy lifestyle and weight.
    I have about 40lbs in the last 6mon through a nutritionist, but I don’t really have a problem being proud of my body. I feel like it is a return to where I should be! I have 30lbs to go to get to my goal weight and for the first time in my life I feel like it is a reasonable and maintainable goal.

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