Expectation [ek–spek-tey–shuhn]: the degree of probability that something will occur; a prospect of future good or profit.
From 1990 to 2004 I knew exactly what that word meant. To me, it meant that when I met my goal weight of 130 pounds, I was going to be living a different life. When I won the dream-body lottery I was going to have a better job. I was going to have more friends. I would be happier, prettier, oozing with confidence; I would be more appealing to other people; I would feel better, stronger; I’d be more respected and admired; I could go on, but you get the point.
Did it change my life like I expected it to? Well, in truth the unexpected happened: Along with the weight, I thought all of my other problems were going to disappear as well. That didn’t happen.
I didn’t land a better job (I waited, but no one offered me one. Go figure). And I didn’t gain more friends. No one noticed me any more or less than when I was heavy. I didn’t particularly see that strangers found me more appealing, either; nor was I admired more.
People in the world had their own problems; they were too busy living their own lives – too busy to fix mine.
Losing the weight did give me moments of happiness, however, once the weight came off there was (and still is) a constant fear of gaining it back so it’s quite bittersweet. The one thing I can honestly say that changed was my health. I do feel better; I do have more energy; I am stronger. Physically, I’m more comfortable. Emotionally and mentally however, I still have some of the same personality issues that I did when I was heavy. I am still shy; I still consider myself a control-freak; I still get lonely, and I still at times wonder why I can’t just accept who I am right now, this second.
When my expectations weren’t met, I had to sit back and figure out what happened and why. Then it became clear: I made the mistake of thinking that if I changed my body on the outside, suddenly everyone around me would see that I was now worthy by completing my transformation on the inside. With the weight gone I assumed people would find me more appealing and want to be my friend. It took 100+ pounds to figure out that what I should have been working on was not my physical health but my mental health. If all of my worth was completely dependent on being a size 6, then I was missing out on the part that was already lovely and perfect: my kindness towards others, my empathetic nature, being an attentive listener, being a loyal friend and a good person.
Years have passed and I feel a little wiser, now. Maybe it’s because I turned the ripe old age of 40 this year, or maybe it’s because I finally cut through the crap. I still have insecurities and fears, but you know what? Working on those things will give me the life I’ve always wanted. Being a desired size is simply a perk of an already fulfilling life. I only wish I’d had this knowledge back then.
Changing my body did not change who I am. In the end, I’m still me. A work in progress; whether I’m 235 pounds or 130 pounds.
Live your life. Be your best self. Now.
What does Memory Lane mean?
It’s a code word used for one of my specially chosen favorite posts over the past year which has been republished to celebrate my one year blog anniversary this month.
Why is this one a favorite of yours?
I love this post because I wanted to write a brutally honest account of what my expectations were before and after I lost all of my excess weight; I wanted people to see that I had unrealistic expectations of weight loss, and wanted to show how important the mental and physical health connection truly is.
Isn’t there some kind of giveaway going on here?
Why, I’m glad you asked that question. Yes! Because I posted a Memory Lane post, you now have the opportunity to win this truly awesome prize:
If you have never worn Smartwool socks, please understand that these are NOT just a pair of socks. They are so much more than that, and you can read all about them from a post I wrote which is located here.
Description: These are a soft lime green color, sized medium (which fits up to a 9.5 shoe size) and are a Ladies sock. They are labeled as a running sock but I use them for any kind of workout or just lounging around. They are particularly great for long walks because they have a wonderful cushion in the heel and the ball of the foot. They sit right by the ankle, which is great if you don’t like your socks to show when you’re wearing your shoes. Retail value of these socks from Smartwool is $13.95
Is Smartwool paying you to endorse these socks?
No. Every prize I give away during my blog anniversary month are things that I’ve carefully considered and purchased with my own cold, hard cash. I’m giving them away to you because they are some of my favorite things and I hope you’ll love them as much as I do (I feel just like Oprah!) Plus, I want to let you all know how much you are appreciated as my readers.
So, what do I have to do again to enter?
That’s the simple part. You don’t have to become a follower; you don’t have to follow me on Twitter or any other social network. All you have to do is live in the US, let me know that you are a reader of my blog by leaving a comment below, and you’re entered. This isn’t mandatory for entry, but if you’ve never left a comment before, I’d love to know how long you’ve been reading!
You will have until 9 PM EST. on Sunday night to leave a comment. I will announce the winner during Monday’s post. The winner will have 48 hours to contact me with his/her mailing address so I can send out these great socks. If I don’t hear back from the winner during that time, a subsequent name will be drawn from Random.org until a winner comes forward to claim this nifty gifty.
Good luck! Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you back here on Monday