Weight Is Never About Just Weight

The journey to weight loss can be both physically and emotionally challenging. As the holidays and new year are approaching, here's some life lessons to keep in mind.

Life’s lessons I’ve learned along the way.

Three years ago, I started out on a journey to lose weight. I had been overweight my entire life, and had made multiple attempts and approaches to getting fit and healthy. It took one “a-ha” moment to get me into the mindset of making changes. I worked really hard for almost a full year, and made the accomplishment of losing 100lbs.

For five minutes, I was a "success story" in my mind. Even though I wasn’t at a “goal weight” yet, people were so wonderful and supportive. The attention I received from people often made it uncomfortable at times, since I was completely out of my comfort zone.

As with all things, you have to keep at it to be successful. Over the past few months, I had gotten a little more laid back with my food journaling and planning. Weight was slowly creeping back. 

I want to share a story with you that happened this summer. While at the gym, I ran into a person who I had not seen in months. He jumped on the treadmill next to me and we talked for about twenty minutes. At the end of our conversation, he said “so, I see you’ve slipped a little...let yourself go, but don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll get back into it.” I was mortified. Rather than retaliate with a comeback, I wanted to crawl underneath the treadmill.  He wasn’t telling me something that I didn’t already know. I wish that I was able to just walk away and brush it off.  Instead, I allowed that comment to absorb every ounce of my being. I’m sure he thought he was offering motivation or constructive criticism. I found it hurtful and shameful.

These last few months have been especially difficult and challenging in this journey.  I was physically working, but emotionally tired from that comment.  That was my mistake.  I gave someone’s negative comments too much power.  Learn from my errors, because self destruction in this manner is just wasted energy and time.  These are some key points that I have tried to focus on:

  • It’s a daily battle and can be rather overwhelming at times. There may never be a “finish line” for me, but moving forward in this journey is most important. Don’t allow the comments and criticism of others ever make you doubt yourself or wonder if this is “as good as it gets." We are all worth fighting for our goals and dreams.


  • Listen to the roar of your cheering section. They are there because they love us for the people we are, not the people we are hoping to be. I’ve spent a lot of time keeping them at an arms distance because I thought I could do it all on my own, it was "my problem." Ask for help and lean of them for support when necessary.


  • Allow yourself to take a compliment. Whenever someone would say, “wow Karen, great job”, I would often answer “Thank you, but I still have a long way to go.” I still do that. It’s hard to embrace your strides and goals when you are always focusing on how much more you have to do.  They are our milestones, no matter how big or how small. Shame can be very powerful and difficult to navigate. If we hold it in and allow it to grow, it can overtake any progress or positive strides we’ve made. I once considered not going to a gym class because I was trying to avoid someone who I had not seen in a while. I was afraid of what she might think when she saw me. I am trying very hard at letting down those walls and not keeping everything in. Find just one person that you feel comfortable sharing these feelings and thoughts with. Sometimes it helps to just verbalize what you are thinking or feeling.


So my journey continues. I have the tools (meal plan, my trainer John Moljo, gym schedule) in place. I’ve incorporated new classes such as Kettlebell Inferno (see previous blog about this new local exercise company) to change up my routine. There will always be roadblocks along the way. Unleash those inner warriors and challenge them rather than being overcome by them. 

Life is short..don’t spend time trying to blend into the background. But rather, embrace the spotlight at times and smile for the person that you are. I am more than just a number on a scale. I cannot change anyone’s opinion or perception about me, but that is okay. 

Wish me luck..we all deserve our silver lining.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Dawn Petersen November 28, 2012 at 01:06 AM
I met Karen a few months ago at the Kettlebell Inferno class, and impressed me then with her incredible dedication to improving her health. Then I heard of her amazing weight loss, and I was even more impressed. I will continue to be part of her cheering section as I strive to match her in class. I am behind her all the way (or actually in front of her at most classes)! Keep working!
Larry Caamano November 28, 2012 at 01:11 PM
Awesome story Karen. Going through my own personal weight loss journey, people haven't said negative comment like that to me. There are people that have caught me when occasionally indulge on something and make comments to how I should eat or workout. I either leave my comments to them or just don't say anything. I use that as fuel to work hard and show them the end results. Never let anyone's comment take you down, as I know it is natural, I say to myself and sometimes I do mention to them can they be in my shoes. Do they have the will and dedication to go as far as we have gone to reach the desired goal weight? I press on, amazing job Karen and I hope we can talk and share our own experiences.
Karen Johnson November 28, 2012 at 10:35 PM
Thank you so much for all of the amazing comments! We all have our personal battles to endure, and it's often easier to give up than to keep going. However, The process is often just as important as the finished product. I continue to take the good with the bad, and learn from it. I truly appreciate your feedback!
Dr. Friedman November 29, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Keep up the amazing work! Hardest thing about exercise is not the exercise. It's getting out of your own way. If your able to over come the mental roadblocks which usually have nothing to do with exercise its more than half the battle. Its life style changes that count, which means changing the way you think and connect with the tool of exercise. Surround yourself with like minded peep's. Their are one million reasons, 999,999 excuses and only 1 for CHANGE. It takes a tough person to continue to choose the one, and that's the hardest, because it's for you. Great Job!
Steven Ircha November 29, 2012 at 10:12 PM
You have to know that some people are just naturally insensitive. Some others view life as a seesaw. They don't feel high unless they put you down. AVOID BOTH! But as you can see from all the above comments, lots of Love here at the Patch.


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