Yes, But How Do You Feel?

Pain au chocolat

I’ve written before about how I’ve had struggles with my weight and that I worked really hard to lose about 25 founds in the second half of 2017. I’ve stayed pretty close to that weight since then and I’m proud of that, but I’m trying to focus on something other than the numbers.

When I was a teenager I was overweight, at one point I was probably about 35 pounds overweight and I didn’t like how I looked or felt. I don’t remember anyone at school every saying anything about my weight. I didn’t fit in for a lot of other reasons. The only person I ever remember saying anything negative about my weight was my doctor. He may have been concerned about my health, but that’s not what he told me. Instead he said “If you don’t lose weight, you’ll never get a date.” Yep, that’s what he said. 

In losing the weight and keeping it off over the past year and half I’ve probably focused too much on the numbers at times, but I’ve also found myself focusing way more on how I feel. I have more energy, I get sick a lot less often, my knees are clearly far happier when I run without that extra weight, I just feel better. Exercising and eating healthier make me feel physically better.

It also helps me feel emotionally better. In addition to the mental health benefits of exercise, and the fact that exercise and eating healthier are good for clear thinking and creativity, I like looking in the mirror and thinking, “good job.” I had to buy a lot of new clothes in the past year because of losing weight and I’ve become a lot more comfortable buying things that fit properly instead of on the baggier side to hide my true shape. That might be vain, but I don’t really care. 

It’s important to feel comfortable in your skin, regardless of the shape that skin is covering. I didn’t. Part of it was absolutely my shape, but it was also that I couldn’t enjoy life as much as I wanted if I had no energy or my knees hurt when I ran. 

I’m doing a lot to take care of myself these days, including exercising, eating healthy, meditating, being grateful, seeing appropriate health care providers (who aren’t dumbasses), and taking some medication for that pesky depression thing. While I’ve never been a heavy drinker, I’ve had no alcohol, that’s right, not any alcohol, since I admitted to myself last August that I was depressed. Every single one of the things I just listed is to not only get me / keep me healthy, but to feel good. 

Lots of things can make you feel good in the short-term, but I’m trying to focus more on enjoying the short-term while keeping a clear picture in my head of what I want in the long-term. I want to feel good today, but not at the expense of feeling like crap tomorrow or next month or next year. I’m still going to have that pain au chocolat that my wife bought me for dessert tonight. I’ll feel good about it tonight and because I eat healthy most of the time, a treat of flour, sugar, butter, and chocolate is just fine, and won’t make me feel lousy tomorrow.

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