I’ve been fat almost all of my life. So being fat is a large part (d’oh) of who I am; however, I’m not JUST fat. I am a lot of other things too. And those other things play into how being fat affects me physically and mentally.
The point I want to make is I get so tired of hearing people say that they are dieting/trying to lose weight, not because there is anything wrong with being fat, but for their health or because they think they will “feel better” or because they can move better if they are thinner.
Except most health benefits don’t come from weight loss, per se. The health benefits come from being more fit and making healthy food choices (if you have food allergies or intolerances). Weighing less does not magically make you enjoy exercise if you have always hated it. Weighing less does not make you more fit, either. It just means you weigh less.
If you diet, and don’t take into consideration the specific allergies and/or intolerances to food that you have, you may be thinner, but you won’t feel any better. And not providing your body with the fuel it needs is not going to make you feel any better either – in fact, your body is going to start fighting back – hard.
Part of “feeling better” comes from that self-righteous glow of “succeeding” on your diet; you know, that honeymoon period before the plateau (if it is simply calories in, calories out – then why do we plateau?), before your body says enough. Then the crash of guilt and self-hatred for your “failure” sets in – because if you just had more willpower, or if you weren’t such a horrible person, you would be able to lose weight and keep it off. No. 95% of diets fail. It is the diet that fails, not you. So while you may “feel better” for a bit, it’s illusory. You are doing yourself mental, emotional and/or physical damage. Like drinking or drugs, in the long run, the high is not worth the misery and damage of the crash.
You will also be putting your body through the stresses of yo-yo dieting, which is going to make you feel less better.
Ditto with WLS.
And the other thing I hear is, “I used to be able to run everywhere”, “I used to have so much energy”, etc. Okay. Well, here’s the thing. You used to be a lot younger too. So many people seem to think that losing weight will somehow bring back how they felt when they were young. Sorry. Your age is part of who you are too, and losing weight is not going to turn you into a 12 year old climbing a tree. Get a grip.
You want to be able to do more? You can’t get younger, but you can get stronger! In fact walking around carrying your own weight, you’re already pretty strong. Be proud of that. It may not be easy, but it can be easier if you want to work at it.
And fitness does not mean that you can (or have to be able to) do 100 sit-ups, or chin-ups, etc. You can have a goal of being more fit — just a little more fit than you are right now. You don’t (and you can’t) magically become Super Fit Fat Person by killing yourself at the gym. You don’t have to hurt yourself to become more fit. In fact, I strongly agree with the concept of “No pain, means no pain”.
So if you feel your fat is keeping you from doing something or making you to feel a certain way. Take inventory of all of yourself; be realistic about what you want to be able to achieve, figure out what you truly want to do – if you hate it, it isn’t going to work for you, and then do what you feel is right for you – all of you.