The Magical Thinking of Weight Loss

Medium.com recommended an article to me called Straightloss: the Impossible Heterosexuality of Losing Weight. I clicked the link, started reading, and then nearly stopped, thinking that it wasn’t really for me. But I like to read and hear other perspectives, so I kept reading, and I’m glad that I did.

There are many ways I am not like the author of this article–I am not young, or single, or queer, or female, or part of “Fat Twitter”, but there were still a number of things in the article I could relate to, because of the one way that I am like her. I’m fat, too. And one thing she talked about in the article is something that’s been on my mind a lot lately–what happens if I actually manage to pull it off?

She talks in the article about going to Weight Watchers meetings and hearing women share their “healing fantasies” about how awesome their lives were going to be once they’d managed to lose weight. These fantasies not only involved them becoming completely different people, but their weight loss would somehow have similar effects on other people in their lives, and their relationships with those people would be completely transformed (all for the better, of course).

I’m trying hard not to let myself get caught up in any magical thinking. One thing will be different if I lose the weight–I will weigh less. I will be smaller. Sure, that will directly affect other things, which will also change. When I am smaller, I will have the opportunity to travel more because I will fit into a standard airplane seat. Losing weight will not make me wealthy enough to afford a week away at a luxury resort in Bora Bora, nor will it make me look like any of the guys in the brochure.

As the saying goes, “wherever you go, there you are”. I should have an inspirational poster with that hanging up somewhere. Losing weight will make my life better in many ways, some of which I’m sure I can’t even imagine now. But it isn’t everything. I’m trying to keep that in mind as I work towards my weight loss goals. There are other things about myself that I need to work on that have nothing to do with my weight. There are aspects of my relationships with people I care about that I need to work on, and they have nothing to do with my weight, either. I need to be working NOW to create the life that I want, and not waiting for it to just magically all work out once I’ve lost weight. That’s not going to happen. That’s not how it works. Wherever you go, there you are.

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