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Does Thinner = Happier? November 25, 2009

Tonight on Biggest Loser, Amanda (while bawling her eyes out) said, “I’m the happiest I’ve been in my whole life.” Ironic and odd, but true. I found myself nodding.

The conventional wisdom says that overweight people (who? Santa Claus???) are “jolly.” But you know, I had a cloud following me around during all of my overweight years. The heavier and less in-shape I was, the more unhappy I was. I’d say that I felt fairly grim much of the time, and had glimmers of happiness now and then.

I can pretty much say that this past year has been one of the happiest years in memory. I’m happy pretty much every single day. I’m smiling like a fool a LOT. I laugh out loud every day. I have some hard moments, but THOSE are the moments in an overall sea of feel-good. I think I must be just zipping along on endorphins or something.

I didn’t do a whole recap of BL tonight but I did watch. It was the 11th week and man was it moving. They kept flip-flopping between the before and afters.It was so moving. You know people have all kinds of disparaging things to say about this show. It’s “exploitive.” But do these people who went from wheezing, unhealthy and absolutely MISERABLE feel exploited?? Hell no. They feel like they’ve been given a second chance at life. And they HAVE.  And from previews of the “Where are they now?” show (airing tomorrow) I do think that more than 50% of them have managed to keep their weight off and stay healthy. I hope I can be one of those people, a year from now.

Speaking of a year from now, one of my newest goals is to qualify to join the National Weight Loss Registry. This is a group of people who have “lost significant weight and kept it off.” You have to have lost at least 30 lbs and kept it off for more than one year. If I can manage to maintain my loss until next August, I will be eligible to join this special group. I really, really want it. And it’s a great “eye on the prize” thing to keep focused on.

Tomorrow is my first WW group’s first weigh-in. I am excited for them, and nervous for them. I hope they get good news. I hope they had a good week. The thing that is cool about these at-work meetings is that everyone starts on the same day, so they are going along all at the same pace. I’m going to give them a big pre-Thanksgiving pep talk, but also remind them to enjoy Thanksgiving without guilt. I was interested to read the WW CEO’s take on Thanksgiving. I think it makes sense and goes along with my “be mindful and don’t suffer” motto.

I am excited about Thanksgiving. SUPER excited. My girls will be coming home, and friends and family will be visiting. We will have a combination of delicious low-point dishes, and some extra- decadent desserts (my girl is making Nutella pecan pie! YOW!). I plan to enjoy myself thoroughly.

I am so thankful this year. I am incredibly thankful. For my health, for my family. I am thankful that I chose to give MYSELF a second chance at life, instead of sinking low when I got that diagnosis. I am thankful to my awesome trainer. I am thankful to the myriad of great friends who have supported me during this journey, and who continue to stick by me. I’m thankful for my new job, which inspires me every day. And for the members I meet who are on the path. I’m just thankful for life. It’s really good.

————-Edited to Add:

I’ve mulled this over quite a bit since writing it last night. And I have come to a different conclusion. I’m not happier because I’m THINNER. I’m happier for two reasons: one, I am fit and healthy (and yes, filled with endorphins). I’m also happier (way happier) because my relationship with food has changed. I’ve been this weight before, and still tortured about food (I’m remembering this now). This is BIG. It’s HUGE. So it’s not about what size I am. It’s that my whole outlook on all of it has changed dramatically. Huh. I’ve never been in this place before, in spite of years of therapy and compulsive-food support groups and a million books read, etc.

So it’s not about being thinner. That just happens to be a coincidental byproduct. It’s more about how I approach ALL of it. Light bulb moment!!

 

 
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