More than two years ago, I wrote my very first column for Post Grad Problems. In that piece, which is still my favorite I’ve ever written, I mentioned that I had lost sixty pounds over the course of about a year and had about fifty to go. A super personal thing to reveal to the online masses, sure, but my weight is a significant part of my identity, so it was a necessary evil to share if I wanted to be authentic.
Since then, it’s been an up and down battle; I’ve fallen off the diet wagon, gained a little back, lost a little, and hit some annoyingly long plateaus. But in the last six months or so, I’ve gotten my shit together, worked my ass off (literally and figuratively), and almost reached my goal. In fact, I’m so close that I have an appointment in the few weeks to see a plastic surgeon about removing some extra skin that can’t be fixed with exercise, and jacking my boobs back up to their rightful position. The finish line is in sight.
But as I face down the end of this exhaustingly long weight-loss journey, I’m finding the last few pounds the hardest to lose. Which, given the sheer number of pounds I’ve already lost, is absolutely infuriating. I know there are all kinds of physical reasons that could be causing those stubborn fuckers to hang on because I’ve read literally every article about this topic on the internet, I honestly believe it’s more mental than anything else.
So I had to ask myself: why is it that the last bit of anything is always the hardest part? In my case, I’m talking about weight loss, but the question could apply to any one of life’s journeys. Well, I have a theory…or else I’ve been leading us all down a dead end road here. My guess, or at least the conclusion I’ve arrived at for myself, is that the journey is actually less scary then the destination. Sure, the journey is hard and it is definitely more work, but it’s also a known factor. I know what I have to do to arrive at the end point, to achieve the goal. But then what? What happens when I get there? That’s the scary part.
I’ve been overweight my whole life. And while lots of people make excuses for why they are overweight, I’ve used being overweight as an excuse for everything else. I didn’t get that promotion at work? It’s because I’m fat. That guy didn’t like me back? He’s obviously shallow. I’ve always believed that as soon as I was “skinny,” life would be perfect. But now that I’m almost not-fat and my life isn’t even close to ideal, I no longer have my default excuse for when things don’t go my way. Instead, I have to actually start taking responsibility for those things – and that’s way harder than eating a salad with chicken for lunch every.damn.day. But as long as those last few pounds cling to my ass, I can cling to them as the reason things don’t always go my way.
So now what? How do I move past this mental hurdle and drop those last few pounds? The answer is that I have no fucking clue. I’m not ready for that level of self-reflection… particularly if I can’t do it with a giant hot fudge sundae to assist. So instead I made an appointment with a plastic surgeon that required a large non-refundable deposit in the hopes that money will motivate me. I’ll figure out all that other stuff later. Whatever works, right?.
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