Perpetuating The Myth
So hey, here’s a weird thing about losing weight — once people notice, everyone wants to know what The Secret is. And you would think that all I’d want to do was sing from the heavens all the things that are contributing to my success right now, wouldn’t you? But instead do you know how I really feel?
(Disclaimer: I just looked at the calendar and you know what, there might be another reason for this irritation, but I’m going to ignore that for now and try to explain how I feel like a rational person anyway. If I’m being irrational, I’m sure the anonymous trolls of the internet will let me know and then I will just blame it on biology to make myself feel better. Yeah, that’s what I’ll do.)
First to clarify, I am not irritated at anyone who is complimenting my progress. Sure it feels a little awkward when you are at work and you have multiple people making comments and it feels like everyone is assessing your body and OHMYGODSTOPLOOKINGATME, but since I was actually sitting in my cubicle at work that I had this next epiphany, I’m going to let it slide.
You see, in my professional life I am all about efficiency. I’m always trying to find better and faster ways to get things done. There is nothing that drives me crazier than when people over engineer their work or push paper to look busy and then get praised for “Putting in long hours” or “Really committing to a project.” FULL BODY EYE ROLL, I can’t take it. I am firmly in the camp of Work Smarter, Not Harder and I take a kind of a sick pleasure in taking tips and tricks that others have shared and making them work for me. Why reinvent the wheel, right? Well when it comes to weight loss, I think it is about time that this damn wheel gets reinvented.
We’ve all read a generic article that explains that weight loss is simply eating less and moving more. And honestly I have spent years belittling myself over the fact that I was obviously unable to do either of those things since I had so much weight to lose. But at this point, now that I have lost over 60 lbs, I’m ready to call bullshit on that over-simplification.
I have spent the last 10 years of my life exercising pretty regularly as well as watching what I eat. Sometimes to the point of obsession. I’ve also spent the last 10 years slowly gaining weight and becoming someone who had a triple digit weight loss goal. Obviously this has been a source of frustration. Sure I wasn’t perfect 100% of the time back then, but you know what? I’m not perfect 100% of the time now and now I’m getting results. SO WHAT’S GIVES?
Ah yes, what is that Secret again?
The Secret, I think, is that I kept trying new things. Sometimes it was fad diets. Sometimes it was aerobics classes that made me look like an asshat. Sometimes it was fasting. Sometimes it was eating everything in sight. But I kept trying to gather information about my health and my body. I kept trying to find something that worked for me — because newsflash: EVERYONE IS NOT THE SAME.
The human body is complex, and although there are basic systems and things that we all share, the other factors that go into how our bodies process food, why we store fat, how our hormones respond, what part insulin plays, what type of genetic expression we carry — all of those things are different in everyone of us. ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL. For me, what has given me results is CrossFit and a Paleo diet. Is that going to work for you? Who knows — I’m not saying that this is right for everyone but this is what has been right for me, and my body, at this particular time in my life.
So why do I feel irritated? Mostly, I am irritated that I spent so much time trying to follow this bullshit conventional wisdom. That I though less of myself because my body wasn’t responding exactly the same way someone else’s was. But even worse than that, I feel irritated that even though I know better, I think my answers about The Secret are just perpetuating the myth. When someone asks me what The Secret is, rather than launch into this whole crazy diatribe that I’ve given you, I usually just censor myself and say “Oh I just tweaked my diet a bit and I have a new workout regimen.” I mean, both of these things are true. But every single time the words come out of my mouth I see that thought bubble forming over the other person’s head and it says, “Oh ok, she is now just eating less and moving more.”
And I hate that. I don’t want to perpetuate something that I now know is bullshit. But I don’t really know how to make it stop.
This weight loss thing sure is a trip!
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