The “After” Myth

DURING

After.

It’s here.

In my first post, Before, 3 years ago, I said “I’m not to After yet, but I’m closer to After than to Before.”

I now weigh 117 – 120 pounds (depending on the day), and standing at 5-foot 6-inches, that measurement means that After is very, very here. But, before you congratulate me, dear readers…if I have any…and dear friends and family who I know follow this blog… I have to come clean with you: I don’t feel like I’m at After. I’m terrified of being at After. And, I don’t like that After is here.

After5 2

The tagline of my blog is “uncovering myself one pound at a time.” For most of this blog, I’ve spoken strongly about how my relationship with food and myself was what caused my weight struggles. I stand by that. The thing is, the symptoms have resolved faster than I’ve been able to treat the deeper disease. I’ve lost the weight, but I’ve failed to uncover and learn to truly love myself in the process. Truthfully, I have no idea who I am without “needs to lose weight” being one of the primary parts of my identity.

This is why I have not been posting…because this blog is not about weight loss…it’s about life gain. I could not bear to post here about the beautiful things one can gain in life by learning to love yourself while, in the background, hating myself so hard while the weight melted off. Progressing on the outside while regressing internally. Because, that’s the truth, readers. The last stretch of this weight loss hasn’t been healthy OR happy: it’s been agony. It’s been sad. It’s been an exercise in mourning.

After2 2

I’ve gotten so good at putting on the happy face. At “smile, nod, yes, thank you, I have lost a lot. No, I’m not trying to lose any more; you don’t need to worry.” I’m very good at this script, but it’s been such a lie, readers. The truth is my body melted away, and I stared at myself in the mirror not understanding why I couldn’t love the skin I’m in. Why? I thought After was the goal!

But I made a mistake.

A crucial mistake.

I forgot that the number on the scale is only a number. Only just a number. It’s not a before. It’s not an after. Getting that number to a certain set of digits is not my After.

I’m not at After. There is no After – happily ever or otherwise. There is only today. Just today – During.

After1 2

I tell you this now not to discourage you but to hopefully prevent someone from making the mistake that I did and associating After with a number. I weigh 120 pounds and still struggle with my weight. Losing weight does not mean you no longer struggle with your weight; I wish I had truly understood that. I still struggle with food. I still struggle with me.

Looking at the picture I put first in this post, I have to pause. I look at me … past vs. present. That is me. All of those pictures are of me. People say they do not recognize the girl in the other pictures. I’m here to say: that girl is me.

Don’t look at her as an abomination, because enough people, myself included, did that already.

Don’t congratulate me on no longer being her; I still am her. And doesn’t she deserve to be?

Don’t tell me I look better; I don’t. I look different.

Don’t speak of her as if she is a poor, piteous person. She’s not.

She’s me.

She’s standing right here, and she is fucking strong.

After3 2

There. Is. No. After.

There’s no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow of weight loss because the rainbow has no end.

There is today. There is now. There is during. There is life.

I uncovered myself one pound at a time; now, I must REcover myself…I must DIScover myself. And that…that is the new goal. Not numbers. Not sizes. Not inches.

Me. I am the goal. Finding. Loving. Being.

Can anybody hear me?

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1,798 thoughts on “The “After” Myth

  1. What a STRONG message and inspiring post. Seriously. I did so well going from 234 pounds to 159 and still struggled every.single.day. I still thought I wasn’t good enough, I still had my issues, I still didn’t think my life was better. It’s amazing to me that people who lose tons of weight don’t talk about the psychological issues that come with it or how hard it is to maintain once you get there. After losing all that weight, I fell into a depression and gained it all and MORE back. Dealing with the mental part is the hardest. Kudos to you for being so honest and writing this amazing post.

    • Thank you, Becky. I wanted to tell you that you are a phenomenally strong person — it comes across in how you speak here. You are looking back at your path with the right pair of eyes. You’re seeing the big picture, and that is so tough to do. I wish you all the best on your journey with yourself. Fuck the numbers (man, look at me swearing twice in one post). Life is happening today. Now. This moment. Live it.

      • I began by using Weight Watchers. I was a Weight Watchers member for years and then switched to using MyFitnessPal last summer.

      • Lisa, thank you for sharing your story. If you don’t mind my asking, how long did it take you to drop the weight with weight watchers?

        Becky, that’s awesome! Good job!

      • I lost different amounts of weight in different time periods. For instance, I lost the first 50 pounds quickly – in about 6 months. I lost the next 20 slowly. Then, I maintained/gained about 5-10 pounds for a year. I lost the last 50 pounds in about 7-8 months.

      • Such an inspiring story, My Fitness Pal has a lot of motivation and support there and a maintenance topic which I am not there yet, so I haven’t checked out. It may be of help to you. I do understand you though, while I used to be underweight, I was never happy with myself, now overweight I am not either. I am sure being a healthier person you may find a new way to enjoy your life.

      • Thanks for the honesty, Lisa. I’ve lost 140 pounds and feel similarly. I appreciate this post a lot. Keep living life.

    • Well said Becky , I wrote my blog DaughterBeStill because I also became thin and fit, looked great and still was terribly insecure and codependent for approval. I entered and escaped the Bulimia trap thru prayer , but I still had to deal with the deep rooted fears from a violent up bringing. I learned thru MORE diligent prayer during an emotional break up, that there is a source of dignity and power that we are born with, as children of God, that is waiting to be tapped into and that’s why this blogger, Lisa’s words : “Don’t speak of her as if she is a poor, piteous person. She’s not. She’s me.She’s standing right here, and she is fucking strong.” created a big lump in my throat, followed by tears welling up and then laughter , because I see our Father, God working somoene, showing her that she is of great worth and the LIES she once believed, are melting away. We are Daughters of Deity..and we have a right to feel lovely in our bodies. Becky you lost weight before , you can do it again…just bring God with you, even more than before, in your journey..He will open your eyes to what sabotaged it before, and you will gain a mighty testimony that God is needed each moment, and helped you, which will help others.

  2. This is a beautiful and powerful message. I find your words so genuine and I can relate! While never overweight, I struggled with anorexia in the past and recovering my weight was the easy part–recovering/discovering myself is something I am still working on 10 years later. In fact, not having food/weight to worry about every day was a challenge because then I really had the deeper issues left to work out. But, you are right, the girl in all those picture is amazingly strong! So onward to the next phase of your journey!

      • Congratulations on the rediscovery of yourself and wish you much success on your life’s journey!

    • Kate: I understand those deeper issues…Im 52 and just now understanding what it feels like to be genuine, stong and true to myself. I created a blog to help people with eating disorder issues figureout new wasy to process the LIES that feed into our brains, based upon much research into the spiritual world as we perceive it around us – with cool teachings from “Sweenborg”…I tried to make it entertaining any thumbs up, posts or sharing would be appreciated…I am also trying to understand Anorexia better because I was focused on Binge Purge stuff , and being too thin, but excessive weight loss, is an area that I am looking to learn more about….But , Im approaching a publisher and I’d appreciate anyone visiting my site and giving feedback.. to show them that someone is interested besides myself!!!

  3. Great post! Have you thought about seeing a psychologist to help with recovering and discovering yourself? I’m a clinical psychologist and that’s what we do–we help people recover and discover. An eating addiction is an addiction. Alcoholism, drug addiction, and gambling problems are similar. There’s a reason why addictions develop and that reason doesn’t just go away when a person loses the weight, stops gambling, stops drinking, etc. Anyway, I just wanted to say props to you because you really are a strong person to 1) have the discipline to lose the weight in the first place, 2) have the insight to know that you need to recover and rediscover yourself, and 3) have the guts to admit that everyone else (that’s really scary!). With these strengths, I know you can do anything you set out to do!

    • Hi there,

      I know you meant well with your comment, but this somehow just rubbed me the wrong way. Throwing out labels like addiction without even meeting someone doesn’t seem helpful. As someone who works with people who need help as their job, I think you should choose your words a little bit more sensitivity.

      • I completely agree. I read that comment and my it definitely rubbed the wrong way (and I too have lost a significant amount of weight).
        I think the point of her post was that she was the same strong and disciplined person regardless of her weight. Sierra says in her comment “props to you because you are a really strong person to have the discipline to lose the weight”. This comment places value on the “after” person while devaluing the “before”. The beautiful point of her post is that they are in fact the same. Her worth and value as a person is not based on the weight loss.
        And agree, author please do not assume overweight = addict

      • I don’t mean to be rude, but I agree with the clinical psychologist. When you are over 100 lbs overweight (morbidly obese), you do have a problem. You are just as good and just as strong as anyone without that crutch, but you do have a problem. Addictions are ways to hide pain with something that comforts you and drugs, alcohol, gambling, and yes…food. Food is my crutch, my comfort and I have been fighting it for many years, knowing I not only need to uncover or peel it off, but I make excuse after excuse over and over. I love food and I turn to it for love, for comfort and for the endorphins that help me to cope. I don’t care about the part that says I don’t look as pretty as I could, or the part that says I can’t go shopping. I have many friends and family members that love me for the way I am now and I don’t think that would change with weightloss. However, I do know that my weight has kept me from playing with my kids when they were younger, taking vacations to places where I would have to walk a lot and feeling aweful because my boyfriend would probably love to do certain things. I have never questioned whether I would be better in anyway, but the bottom line, is I would like to find the will, the strength, and the love for myself that would make it possible for me to lose this weight, because I have tried many ways. I even had a gastric sleeve and managed to lose 65 lbs which was only about one third of what I needed to lose. I have now gained back about 35 lbs of that weight back. I am so disgusted but I need to find that layer of what it is I am protecting with this weight and peel it away. I will still be me, I will still be a good and loving person, but I still am not sure I will love myself. I tend to love others much more than me. Can’t even put a finger on why, but I know that food gives me comfort because I do love it and I can control it, but I can’t control that I don’t love myself enough to get healthy and get thin so I feel good about me, so I can move, so I can go places I would really love to go, so I could get the knee surgery I really need, but can’t because I need to be thinner for the surgeon to do it. I only wish I had a clinic psychologist that gets it and who can help me to get there.

      • I agree with what you are saying…This writer seems to know what’s going on and these comments area bit condescending sating the obvious..and feeling respected is key for recovery…not being spoken down to

    • From personal experience, a counselor or such is a good idea for everyone. I started seeing one at Lighthouse and the transformation, thanks to the right facilitator for me, has been remarkable. Also listening to Eckhart Tolle talk about not searching for yourself in the future makes alot of sense. Well wishes to all.

  4. This is beautiful. As someone still in the “before” mindset with a body that looks much like your “before,” I needed to read this. I think it’s so hard to love the body you’re in and love the person within the body while still working to lose weight and get healthier, because there’s that thought if you DO love and appreciate yourself and your body, why change? Thank you for your post. I saw it on the WW boards just at the right time. I have been struggling and hating myself a little and not seeing the big picture and what is really important. ❤

    • “Why change?” is a good question.
      For some, the answer truly is: don’t.
      Don’t lose weight. Don’t change. Be done. Even if others have different opinions.
      I changed my weight for a lot of reasons; a lot of those reasons were really bad reasons.
      I’m really REALLY hitting the “why change” question NOW because the answer is now “don’t.”
      It’s not healthy for me to lose more. Health can’t be my reason.
      I can fit into designer clothing; I can ride horses; I can hike and climb and do all the physical things I couldn’t before.
      So….now, why change?
      Wrong question.
      Don’t change;
      Discover.
      Don’t become;
      Be.
      Question:
      Who am I?
      Who do I discover?
      Who will I be?

      • yes yes yes keep pounding that message out there…it helps take the focus off the weight and I need that becuz i have so much to lose.LIVING is NOW.If i got into a car wreck and died today i am pretty sure[I would hope] that people would not stand around and talk about how much weight i had to lose…they would point out that although being 130 pounds over weight I hope they would define me by more than than…much more.wanted to say OA over eaters anonymous gives you a sponser for free.They do pound into you that overeating is a disease and for me that gives it too much power…

    • I don’t know if I’m expressing this well, so forgive me if I’m not, but I think it’s because you ARE valuable and right and good as you are that I would hope you can live as long and healthy a life as is reasonably possible. You are still YOU whatever you do, whatever you look like or however fast you can run – and some things may help you enjoy you avoid painful sickness, and let your family and friends and the world keep you around a little longer? That’s what I wish for my own family and friends who do things that can improve their health.

  5. So eloquently put!!! There could not have been a better time for me to read your post then now. I am on this journey now!!! Thank you for your inspiration!!

  6. Hey Lisa, I just wanted to say, that, of course since I haven’t seen you in person in years, the girl in the photographs at the top is the girl I remember. She’s the girl who I looked up to and thought was awesome and funny and smart–and everything I’ve seen and read of yours since then has only proven that to be more true. You are who you have always been–and that’s amazing.

  7. Some times the reprogramming of the internal message and self perception can use the help of a counselor to look more closely at the intimate side of oneself. To better understand where the hurtful self image originated so one can gather that part of self up and bring her up to speed on the present journey. Include her in. Make her feel a part of the whole you.

  8. I’m worried about you. I have been for some time. I worry that you are not treating your body kindly, and doing what you need to to keep it healthy. Not “thin” – HEALTHY. I worry even more that you are not tending to the mental side of things. You are so much more than weight loss. You are so much more than a weight loss journey. You have so much more to offer the world than a number on the scale.

    In truth, this post frightens me for you. I can’t celebrate your weight loss, because you say you did it in an unhealthy way. I can’t celebrate you being at goal, because your words imply a fear of food. I want you to be happy, and healthy, and I think the mental side of this is truly the most important part. Please love yourself, because you are worthy of love. Please be kind to yourself, because you deserve kindness. Please know that you are strong, and intelligent, and have so much more to offer than just your weight. You were amazing before you started trying to lose weight. You were amazing while you lost it. You are amazing now. None of that is tied to a number on a scale.

    • Without going into too much personal detail, I can only say, please know that the emotional and mental health side of my life is not being neglected. I waited to post this post until I was on a path of healing and wholeness. Until I COULD celebrate my weight loss because – dammit – just because I made some mistakes doesn’t mean I have to gain it all back, start over, and do it differently. I can choose to embrace today, right now, not gain it back, and instead, focus on shifting to a more healthy mentality. Do I have uncomfortable days? Yes. Absolutely. I get anxious, afraid even…and that is uncomfortable, painful, difficult. It has not escaped my notice nor am I neglecting to address it. That’s all I’m really comfortable saying here on my blog.

      So, I appreciate your concern. I do. I know that you care; I’m fairly certain I know who is posting. I’m working on the loving myself part. That’s the step I’m on: loving myself. I’m not doing it alone. I’ve got a firm support system. But I’m also not going to duck my head in shame about my weightloss just because I wasn’t entirely healthy the whole time. I don’t want to gain 50 pounds back and “lose it healthily.” I want to just keep it off healthily – transition my mind to healthy.

      If that takes away from the accomplishment side of this, so be it. This isn’t about accomplishment for me anymore. It’s about my life – my today life. I don’t want to spend any more of it on this accomplishment of losing weight. I want to go hiking, ride horses, travel to France, have babies… And I’m going to do all of that now.

      • I can certainly celebrate your health. And I am glad that you have things in place to help you get to a healthy mentality. Not for one second do I think you should dick your head in shame over anything at all. Never. Absolutely not. Shame is not a productive emotion.

        I don’t mean to say that things take away from your accomplishments. You have accomplished a lot. I just worry for you. And I am glad to hear you are tending to your overall health – no details needed; you certainly don’t have to justify yourself to anyone.

        I hope you continue to have a happy, healthy life during which you experience all of the things you have dreamed of.

      • You have done an amazing thing, you have had an experience – reached a goal – and reached a new level of life – would the before person have done all those things you are now planning to do?

        Maybe.

        It is hard to live a healthy life in an unhealthy body or with an unhealthy mind. You can’t improve all areas at once in all ways.

        Typically when we focus on one area we pay less attention or neglect others. And sometimes that neglect of one area is the byproduct of developing new habits in another through repetition while you focus.

        Keep your past successes and continue on – maintain the areas you have achieved while evolving others in the same way.

        Don’t give up doesn’t just mean don’t quit – it also means don’t give up gained ground. Keep your victories.

        Again you have had an experience and affected change in an area of your life where you reached a set goal.

        Congratulations.

      • Thank u for your awesome post – I have been big and then slim for all of my life and if u find the secret to learning to love yourself, instead of being repulsed every time u look in the mirror, then please share – I am on my journey to changing my lifestyle and I have changed my relationship with food, but it’s the self loathing that I can’t get past – even when I was extremely thin I still had the same attitude – hopefully my mental health will improve too xxx Thanks again – U r an inspiration – Cheers Charelle Rogers

  9. Amen, lady! I’ve struggled all my life. Sometimes a little heavier, sometimes a lot heavier, sometimes not heavy. But I am still me with a fluctuating visible attribute. I am not that one thing that has described me and taken up so much space in my head. Soldier on, sister! Soldier on!

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  11. What a great point of view! It’s so easy to think about the goal being a number…it’s not…the goal is improvement in quality of life. If you’re only losing weight to achieve a number then you’re only dealing with half of the situation!

  12. Lisa, I am so proud to be your husband, and love and support you…YOU…with all of my heart. You know that it has always been you that I have wanted to be with, you I was attracted to, and you that I wanted to marry. I may not have been here for the whole of your journey, but I am excited and feel fortunate that I get to share your life gaining journey with you.

    You inspire me in ways you can’t imagine. I am also proud of how many others you have just now reached out to and helped so they can gain life rather than only focus on losing weight.

    Okay, I’m going to stop being sappy now. Love you 🙂

    • I don’t even have words to respond to this. I love you so very much,and I am so blessed to get to call you my husband. I can’t wait to continue to “gain life” with you. Thank you for this… it’s left me speechless and teary-eyed. I love you.

    • Yeah, this is not weird at all – husband and wife talking on a blog website, he he he. I almost cried too.

      Lisa, you’re amazing. Will, self-restrain, and balls. And I mean, a lot of those. This is the first time I read something that is written by you and see you for the first time as well ( I know now why your big-nosed shoelace-long singer is so happy 😀 ). Your life philosophy is getting more mature than it was not a long time ago, I am sure of it. Being example and an actual help on the way to others’ happiness – an incredible and altruistic goal by itself.

      Kev, catch you later, bud.

      Be happy, guys, continue supporting each other like you do, don’t waste time on irrelevant things, life is so short!

  13. Such beautiful heartfelt sharing, coming from authencity and power. This is the message that needs to be spoken over and over and over. It is not numbers on a scale, it is not degrees attained where, it’s not how many likes on facebook….there will always be just this Now. That is all there can ever be. Stepping into the process of re-membering yourself, reclaiming pieces that got stuck behind somewhere for any number of reasons as you are doing, by its very nature results in coming to the present, and in this presence we find courage, humility, compassion and wisdom are already present. Beautiful sharing Lisa.

  14. I think we all have a hole in our heart that only Jesus can fill. Only he can fix that ache in us. Wishing you well and hoping you find your happy! Outside, in nature, is a marvelous place to search!!

  15. Thank you for sharing! I so understand that thought of “After” it’s been 9 years for me of losing over 100lbs and I struggle a lot to this day. It’s a daily struggle. Thank you for your empowerment.

  16. Reblogged this on I sing a song of myself and commented:
    This is…so wonderful. It’s a profound sentiment and I know so many who stuggle with this problem. “I lost the weight, but now what? or ever, “I feel worse about myself”. Truth is, we buy into a lie when we think that changing our body alone will be enough to change the thoughts and feelings we have about ourselves. That’s the easy, quick, to-good-to-be-true mix. That’s the “I’ll change the outside but avoid the inside” mix that screws us over in the end. We are never, ever, able to ignore the inside. Nor does the inside sync with the outside. When we avoid confront our deep, true selves, and our deep, true issues, they linger. They fester, and grow. And then we’re in a position where we are what we wanted to be physically, but mentally, spiritually, we are angrier than before. We are still lost. We are unhappy, unsatisfied. We thought we hated ourselves for what we looked like- but don’t you still treat yourself as a monster when you refuse to look inside? We get so scared to confront ourselves, we believe that we are, deep down, unworthy as we are. And no amount of physical transformation changes that, not really-not for the better. Because we are more than bodies. And the more we expect the outside to cover up/fix what’s inside, the worse we are. Don’t be afraid to turn in- you’re no monster, no matter what you’ve believed or been told about yourself. Sit down. Be with yourself. Be quite and still and present. Stop running from yourself. Stop trying to constantly manipulate and change yourself- what is so bad about you? What are you running from? What are you covering up? What are you yearning for? I’ll give you a hint- it’s not a body. Nor can it be achieved by one. Be gentle with yourself. Be kind and patient. And- be present. It’s easier said than done, but maybe reading this blog post will help you the way it helped me tonight.

  17. I love this so much! As someone who as struggled with an eating disorder and weight fluctuation, your words hit it home. Thank you for writing this. It inspired me. And- it put an end to the negative self talk today! I’m sharing this everywhere!

  18. You are so right. If you love yourself, there is no point where you are not yourself. And you have deserved to be loved and respected no matter your size. I’m struggling with this myself and it doesn’t have anything to do with my weight. Could I lose some? Yes. Is that the most important thing I need to work on? Not even close.

  19. This is gorgeous. Thank you for writing it. Using the “wrong” terminology, I’m still a “before,” even though I’m not dangerously overweight. I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired of how I look but am scared to death of actually losing the weight because of this very thing – I don’t know what “after” would feel like and I hate the thought that I’d still be me, just thinner. I’m very happy with myself in other aspects of my life, don’t get me wrong – it’s just that “needs to lose weight” has been part of my identity for over 20 years and I have no idea what scary demons I’d find to obsess over if the weight was not there to take the blame. I still want to lose weight for my health and my children, but this post both fills me with joy and with dread. Thanks for posting.

    • Thank you for sharing this as it has opened my eyes a bit more to something going going on with me personally: having to focus on stuff outside of my weight IS scary.

  20. Thank you so much for sharing these words. I can so understand and relate to what you wrote. I’ve iost and gained back 115 pounds and then lost 80 and are half way back on that loss. Your right that the number isn’t the end. I’m working on accepting that this is something that will always be there for me. I need to embrace it and love it his part of me. In this moment as I write this I see that I can choose it in the same way I chose having breast cancer which turned out to be the best transformational experience of my life. So here it is…. I chose my struggle with food so let the loving begin.😄

  21. Thank you.
    I’m in tears after reading that. I’m at the beginning of my weight loss journey, I have a long way to go and some days it seems impossible.
    This blog entry is so much more inspiring than any before and after photo, than any “thinspiration” out there.
    Thank you for reminding me that this is ME. Right here and right now IS me, and I’ll still be me whether I stay at this weight or drop the 80lbs I want to lose….and my insecurity or unhappiness with myself won’t just disappear with the fat.
    I’m going to bookmark this and read it again and again so I don’t get too caught up in changing only my body, but all of it.

    • I’m so honored to have you read my blog and so glad it has helped you in your own life journey. Thank you for commenting and sharing part of your story with me.

  22. This is what I would tell this beautiful soul (and DID just now in a comment on her blog)….

    To the beautiful soul who so bravely penned this post. I would offer to you to consider that “Befores” and “Afters” are simply snapshots of a weight loss journey. As a free professional health coach, the first thing I share with my clients is that reaching your healthy weight, is NOT the destination — it’s just the beginning of a whole lifetime of optimal health.

    Even before my clients begin the weight loss part of their Journey Toward Optimal Health, I encourage each one, as I encourage you, too — to think about your WHY. Understanding the simplest, most immediate response is, “Because I want to lose weight and gain health,” I pursue them to push further by asking, “yes but WHY?” For example, what freedoms do you achieve when you reach your healthy weight? What will you do then that you cannot do and enjoy now? How will YOU getting Healthy affect the people you love and cherish the most? Think about it for a spell. Really DREAM about it. Have a conversation with yourself (the old, unhealthy self…. what would you SAY to the leaner, HEALTHIER You?)

    The very personal responses I receive (as they should be b/c we’re all so beautifully unique and complex) include things like: I want to be around to celebrate life with my now infant child (birthdays, lost teeth, learning to drive, getting married, having children of his/her own…); I want my grandkids to know what it means to play with Grammy (not just sit on the couch with them — but go back up the hill to sled over and over and over); I want to fit into the world — literally (airplane seats, bathtubs, restaurant booths, go-carts); I want my outside joy and health to match my inside joy and health; I want to get off some of these medications; I want to run and hike and play and love and not get winded doing the things I love.

    Do the things you love. Cherish that you CAN. I encourage you to cherish NOT that you’ve “lost the weight” but rather, than you’ve gained health. You’ve gained health in your body and I encourage you to gain health in your mind, ABOUT the health in your body. Be proud of your accomplishment and live it every day.

    Many people find it challenging to accept their new body. You may find this article helpful: “How to Accept Your New Body by Alexandra Miller, RDN, LDN: http://www.donnasmaldone.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/How-to-Accept-Your-New-Body.pdf

    A book I think you may really enjoy is by Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen and it’s called, “Discover Your Optimal Health” here (or at most bookstores): http://www.drwayneandersen.com/bookstore/discover-your-optimal-health/.

    Live healthy. You deserve it!

    Love, Donna
    ——–
    Donna Smaldone, COPE Certified Independent Health Coach
    Villanova Nursing School Center for Obesity Prevention and Education (COPE)
    Healthy Eating, Sleeping, Weight, Motion, Mind & Balance
    email: donna@donnasmaldone.com
    cell/text: 518-744-6811

  23. Thank you for sharing this. My daughter is on a journey very similar to yours. She has always be bigger. But I was hell bent on raising her to love herself no matter her size. I wanted her to know she is beautiful & strong, regardless of what society (or anyone) says. I wanted her to have a strong positive self esteem. And she is all of those things. She is very proud of who she is. But at the same time, she is just beginning her journey, five months into it. She is losing the weight in a healthy way. When people ask her if she’s on a diet. She tells them, “no I have made a lifestyle change.”
    My fear? She may hit the same wall you did. She may feel she left herself behind. She may feel that even though she had lost the weight, she’s still not happy.
    I am saving your blog so she can read it. Thank you so much again for sharing this and for being so honest.
    Continue your journey. You are a strong young woman who deserves whatever you want from life. You will rediscover you. You’re already on your way there. You were able to post this on your blog, and tell everyone how you have truly been feeling about your weight loss. That take a strong and courageous person to do that.
    Much love and happiness to you. 🙂

  24. I completely understood this and related to it I lost weight I also had a style change with hair my friends kept saying I didn’t look like me but inside it was the same me. I still find I hard to buy clothes buying big dresses etc I stilm have another couple if stand to lose but I really related to this

  25. Thank you for your post!! I shared on my FB page “RoKit Fitness”
    There needs to be more of this! After photos are great, they have their place, goals have their place… but your message. Your message is what truly matters!!! I love it. It needs to be spread like wildfire!

  26. Thank you for this post. I am two years out of a bypass as of April 3rd and I have lost 143 pounds but have gained back twenty while fighting depression and anxiety. Feeling like giving up the fight. I do not want to fall backwards as my top weight was 330 and my body has been so damaged by the stress of all that weight for so many years. But like you said I need to find me in all this, to learn to love me no matter what the scale says. It is so hard and makes me want to cry daily but your story has given me hope. Thank you again.

    • Hold on to that hope. I also struggle with weight and depression and I have to say fighting the depression is more important. I was 140lbs (down from 200) and very depressed. I am now 210, but I am winning the struggle against depression and also feel better than I ever have in my life. Part of it is I’m not focusing on the weight, even though I can’t help but still worry about it, but I am focusing on making healthier choices, things that I can do for a lifetime. Found ways of exercising that are fun and fulfilling (currently Taekwondo) and trying to make good, healthy choices about what I eat and really listening to my body. I’ve discovered strange things about myself by actually listening, such as sometimes calcium can help with a depressive day and I am much happier when I make sure I get enough protein. I wish you luck with your struggle. I am still learning to like myself after a lifetime of hating myself but I know now that fighting my weight is not the solution to loving myself.

  27. I read your post with great interest. I, too, struggle with the battles that go with weight, acceptance and all of the emotional issues that come with obesity. And you are absolutely right when you say that there’s no satisfaction in reaching your goal. The reason for that is that you are actually craving something else that weight loss (and nothing from this world, to tell you the truth) will never satisfy.

    We were designed to crave God – and only a relationship with HIM (not food, not attention, applause or anything else) will satisfy that longing. There is an after, friend. It’s found in a relationship with Christ.

    “Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. (‭Proverbs‬ ‭31‬:‭30-31‬ ESV)

  28. Reading this has me in tears. Your words are so honest and incredibly true. My struggle has always been more with me than my weight, though that is how it manifests. Kudos to you for finding health, I hope you enjoy discovering, loving and being you.

  29. Wow! I don’t respond to blogs or articles until now…what an insightful, strong, and needed explanation. I struggle to find me..this hit home in such a good way. Thank you.

  30. I am going thru the same thing. I am no where near my weight loss goal but I’m on the road to learning to love myself and enjoy life. Self worth is so important. And it’s a daily struggle for me. Great movie to see if you haven’t, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Was very inspiring to me.

  31. Heck, yes, I hear you. Because you’re speaking the truth, telling it how it is. Because it isn’t the destination, it’s the journey – and the journey is never over. You can lose the weight, but if you don’t address WHY while you lose it, all that baggage stays with you and you go right back to the start.

    So yes, yes, I hear you. And thank you for putting this so eloquently.

    May I also link, please?

  32. Thank you for how candidly you write. I have lost 200 pounds and our struggles are so similar. Concluding the weight “loss” journey can be terrifying in itself – losing the weight was a way for me to have control over at least that one part of my life. Without the need to lose, I – at times – would gain 10 pounds just to be able to prove that I could regain control and lose it again. Control, self-identity, awareness or the lack thereof…all of it is wrapped up in the progression of “before” to “now”. It is so hard for someone who has never lost a significant amount of weight to understand and your post highlights a huge piece to the journey that is rarely acknowledged or discussed. Thank you, again.

  33. I hear you!!! Still struggling myself with adjusting to a 128 pound weight loss. It’s a neverending process and I’ve found that non-weight related goals are so important in maintaining the loss. There are a lot of myths centered around the idea that there is a magical happily ever. Thank you for laying right out there that it’s not.

  34. Wow- someone has finally been able to put into words what I have been feeling. I have recently lost 126lbs and while I am over the moon, it feels odd not to be the girl ‘who needs to lose weight’. I don’t feel this, I don’t feel any more pretty than I did when I was heavy and to be honest, getting to ‘after’ had been a big disappointment and anticlimax. I thought I would feel amazing etc and I don’t. I have thrown myself in training and it has become my new goal.

    While I certainly don’t regret losing weight at all, my before was a strong woman and body- who had three kids and raised them, worked, looked after hubby and a home so I hate to think of her/me as weak because she/I was anything but people see me at that size as something that is awful etc which is sad in a way.

    Your script that you have become so good at sounds identical to mine – made me smile to know I’m not the only one had a script lol!!

    Thanks for your words- they have rang so true!
    Xxx

  35. Truly appreciated your message today and more importantly your journey and your honesty. Your words touched me deeply. I saw some of my heart in them. I’ve always been acutely aware of my weight and have never been ok with it. Even when I was at weights that I would now be thrilled to be at. Why can’t I love myself? I know I’m not beautiful but I am definetly cute and with some effort can be pretty (outside). Inside, I’m strong, willful, compassionate, loyal and committed. Why can’t I translate that into beauty? Where is the disconnect between reality and the image in the mirror? I’m going to follow you. I think we are both on the road and with continued effort and perseverance we will both arrive at our destination and like what we see when we get there. Thank you again for sharing such an intimate part of your soul. I think you can help others to do the same. You did with me.

  36. Beautifully said. I am working on a shift away from “dieting” towards intuitive, mindful eating, and it’s not easy after 30 years of “before” and “after. ” Thank you for your beautiful post.

  37. as a psychologist I love this article. It’s true that the transformation doesn’t end when you hit a goal/healthy weight. It ends when you mentally feel like the new healthy you. Thank you for sharing.

  38. This is what I needed today…
    After living hard core with an eating disorder for 20+ years, recovery has been hard. Learning to love who I am even while I work to lose weight a healthy way has been HARD! Harder than I ever imagined. And of course healing deeper issues with food are challenging…we have to face good daily.
    Thank you for sharing this! It has inspired me deeply.
    Xx

  39. Many people create false self-identities through their hobbies, a cause (personal or not), their career, their family role, their problems, etc. This is natural. But as you so well stated, take that identity away – whether because they finally succeeded at reaching their goal or choose to quit, and many people become lost. It is so easy to get lost in our self-made identities, it becomes our self-fulfilling destiny. Standing outside yourself every so often, forgetting the body you inhabit, the space you fill, all the things that you think define you, while hard to do, is extremely helpful in keeping things in perspective. Your left with only your brain, your thoughts. If we could just transplant our self thousands of miles away every so often to an unfamiliar land, where no one knows you, where you have NO identity other than the one in your head, then it becomes clear, we are not only our best supporters but our most effective enemies. Perspective and objectivity – two things we have such difficulty holding onto on a daily basis.

    Be consumed in being the best YOU – which can take many manifestations – the physical body is just one of them.

    Good Luck and thanks for posting your thoughts.

  40. I hear you! thank you for posting this because it has helped me to solidify a thought that’s been in my mind for a while, which is why do I have to wait until after to be happy with my weight loss. I wanna be happy right now. And I am happy right now. But there’s this whole goal hanging over my head.

    who says I’m even going to live to make my goal? I have an upcoming scan in August to see if the cancer that they found in the stomach that they removed is in the stomach that they left. I need to enjoy the during.

  41. Amazing account. Really struck a chord with me. I am ‘during’ at the moment and needed to read this now. Thank you x

  42. I can truly relate to this. After losing 135 lbs I am on the other side, the after and I feel exactly the same way. It’s not over, I am not a brand new person who left all those scars of over eating behind. I am a person who no longer has food to hide behind and stuff my feelings with. I get the same comments as you, I wouldn’t recognize myself 4 years ago either. I am so proud of the changes I have made but I never knew how hard this side would be, learning to love my body, myself. Thank you for sharing.

  43. Jesus Christ, woman, You just hit me in the teeth. The stomach. The very pit of my soul. You are strong and wonderful and a fierce warrior. Don’t even know how I came across this blog, except maybe fate…?

    Know this: you just helped me and so many others in a way that we couldn’t do ourselves. In exchange, I am sending you love and grit. And so much gratitude. xoxo

  44. Great message!
    My weight has been off for over a decade, but I still see the size I WAS in the mirror, despite having to gain weight at times. It’s all about our perception of ourselves that is the biggest problem!

  45. Lisa, awe inspiring message but can I say that there is an ‘after’. It is the goal you’ve achieved & that achievement is what should inspire you to keep going & now maintain the weight loss one day at a time.
    I am also at the beginning of my journey & have yo-yo’d for years but it has also taken me that long to change my mind set. I’ve always been proud of the person on the inside, it’s just the skin/body that my personality lives in that I’ve always wanted to change.
    Turning 43 this year, I finally realised that this is going to be a never ending saga if something didn’t change & that the inside person was the only one who could actually make that change. I wasn’t just going to blink & all of a sudden see the person I want to see in the mirror.
    So be kind to yourself & believe in the knowledge that you’ve already stated, that you are the same person who was in the first photos, the same person who could laugh & enjoy life & the same person who was proud of her personality. The only things you’ve taken from that are food & excess weight & they are just trivial.
    You had the strength back then to do something about the weight loss, now you still have the same strength to keep it off & enjoy life!

  46. This made me cry. Not because i feel sorry for you or for me but because this is why i can’t do it. I want to love me where i am. I don’t want to have to change to be worth more. I don’t want people to look at me now and think how much more i could be without the weight. I want to stand up now and demand to be counted EXACTLY AS I AM. I’m still me on the inside, I’m smart and creative and very successful. I’m well respected and well liked why should i change? They want to wrap it up in a pretty package and go away so they don’t have to face their own insecurities in me. They want to lable me and put me in some category so that they can stand to the side and point out why and how I’m not like them, but I am. We are! That’s the point, we ARE worthy now, changing the outside does not make us more worthy, because we are already enough. I fear that i will lose myself if i lose the weight, almost like I’m giving in and agreeing with the world that there is something wrong with me as i am and i won’t devalue my struggle that way. I don’t know how to do both…

  47. I Never. Comment on things. But This is the most amazing post i have ever seen on the internet ever. This is powerful and honest and more of what the world needs. If the rest of the world had the strength and boldness it took to post this publically; the world would be a much better place to live. I cannot thankyou enough for sharing this.

  48. I have never been over 180 pounds in my life- including two pregnancies. But I have never been my biggest fan either. My issues with my body have never been about weight, but I have had a lifelong acne battle. I know what it is to look in the mirror and loathe what you see. I applaud you for getting healthier. I understand your struggle and need to find yourself. It is a struggle I deal with daily. My biggest goal is to start accepting my husband’s compliments when he says I’m beautiful. I want to feel beautiful, even with all of the scars on my face and neck, even with the constant battle that is acne elimination. Thanks for this post. It hits home to many of us.

  49. This blog post is EVERYTHING!!! Everything. I’m not at my “after” yet, but I’m getting dangerously close to it. I struggle with mourning the loss (of weight, bad habits that I misinterpreted as comfort, the “me” I was “before”) and the thought of after scares the shit out of me. But you are right. There’s no after, only now…..Thank you!

  50. I totally understand!! I lost 140 lbs, and I have about 100 to go. I hit a plateau when my divorce finalized and then I lost my job of 28 years 5 mos. after that. I am struggling to lose the rest now. I think I’m afraid as I reach the end of my goal, I will expect everything to fall into place magically, and I know it won’t. Then what will I have to blame my unhappiness on? Yes, I totally get it. I would love to hear more from you. But let me say this: You ARE strong!! You will figure it out. And you have people who obviously care about you. Keep posting!! 🙂

  51. Reblogged this on Epilepsy & Babies. and commented:
    I found this so inspirational. too much emphasis is placed on being visible beauty and although I’ve never felt comfortable in my skin I never really did anything about it until we were told I had to lose weight for IVF.
    I’m now thinner than I have been in years and so close to being the right weight to start our first IVF cycle.
    I’m going to use this to remind me that no matter how much I lose what I look like doesn’t mean anything, it’s my personality and outlook that matter. I’m enjoying being thinner but what I’m really proud of is that I found myself along the way. I remembered who I was and what I enjoy!

  52. Thank you for writing this. It gave voice to so much of what I have felt, and even things that I didn’t know I felt. I am finally beginning the work of mourning the loss of my previous identity as “the overweight girl.” I will always struggle with food and myself, but I think that last 50 pounds will be easier to conquer now. I wish you continued success, blessings, and serenity.

  53. One of the things you are is a great, insightful powerful writer. Don’t stop doing that. Your words have been very thought provoking…..I don’t think there is an “after” for anyone. My issues have been very different, but as I removed one obstacle (in your case weight) another showed up. That’s part of the experience maybe! You have learned, about yourself, that you have incredible tenacity….don’t stop. Use that to confront the next obstacle. May I suggest to you that you look into doing the “Landmark Forum”. You will be empowered and enlivened. You will look at those demons and own them. I did it one year ago, my son did it…..both of us would tell you that the experience put us back in the driver’s seat of our own lives…..mastering the personal issues that were defining us. Good Luck to you!

  54. Incredible, I think you have truly opened my eyes and made me rethink everything that has ever been said with people trying to reach this goal. You truly have changed me…. Thank you.

  55. Came to you via Facebook. What an extraordinary post. Those of us who have lived in After bodies most of our lives will agree with you. Finding a way to inhabit After with strength and peace, that’s the true project. I wish you so very well.

  56. So very, very true! One of my biggest fears about losing weight was that I would lose myself. It’s been a struggle but I’m doing well and staying positive. Thank you for this reminder.

  57. I can relate. I’m about 2.5 years after my after. I have accomplished a lot of life stuff since then. I’m not the same low weight that I was at the supposed after, but I’m at a reasonable weight for me. And I’ve become much more comfortable with myself. Sometimes I eat healthy, sometimes I don’t. I focus onother things. Things that are more fun or interesting or productive. There are other goals out there. Other activities. Time will help you accept your new size and hopefully move past that losing weight phase until you don’t even think about it much any more. It’s liberating. Take care!

  58. Wow. Your post is so true and honest. I lost 80 pounds only to succumb to self loathing and gain it all back plus more. Now I don’t even know who I am anymore. I feel like I keep punishing myself for no good reason. My relationship with food is not a healthy one, but I don’t feel like I belong at an OA meeting either. Perhaps one day I will find whatever it is that will make me okay with myself. thanks for sharing.

    • I’m not able to keep up with responding to everyone, but I wanted to respond to your comment, because I think a lot of us have been in these shoes. I lost 120 pounds…but technically, I’ve probably lost about 1,000 pounds, because I kept losing, gaining, losing, gaining. Up and down like a yo-yo. I’ve been there. I’m still there, honestly: the scale still moves for me – sometimes in a scary direction.

      Your post reminded me of something I wrote about a while back – something I needed a reminder of today – one of “the lies I tell myself.”

      So you don’t have to go digging:

      Lie #5: Gaining Weight = Failure; Losing Weight = Success.

      Truth? I might need to write a whole blog about this one, too. This one is the biggest pitfall to every diet I’ve ever tried (and there have been many). The truth is that my successes and failures are NOT determined by a number.

      Let me say it again very clearly.

      If you’ve ever given up, thrown in the towel, and walked away from a diet – You Have Not Failed

      If you’ve ever gone on a binge – You Have Not Failed

      If you’ve ever gained all the weight back PLUS some – You Have Not Failed

      There is no such thing as failure in a weight loss journey. There are ups, downs, and straight lines on the scale; each of them is only one thing: A Number.

      Likewise, success is something far apart from a number. Success is when you decide to try again. Success is when you go to your weigh in even though you really don’t want to. Success is when you run in the rain.”

      You say you don’t know who you are anymore.
      I can answer that one for you: you are you.
      You’ve always been you.
      You will always be you.
      You are you going through a time period called “right now.” Right now isn’t who you are. It doesn’t determine who you are. But you do have a choice to make: can you decide to make “one day” be “right now?” Because, I have to tell you… you will always always only have “right now.” I encourage you to grasp it as firmly as you possibly can.

  59. Yes! you spoke to me so deeply here. I can identify completely, only I’m still in the “before” stages, even though it’s all “here” and “now”.

  60. I just stumbled across your blog. I’m going to go back and read all of it, because you are an inspiration. I love that you say it like it is. You don’t make excuses. From what I can see, not having read any other post but this one. You are you. You know what you want, and how you want to be and you are making the changes to get there. Life is a journey, and the only way to take the journey is to grow and growth means change. Kudos!! You are Living Life! Loving yourself takes practice, as with all things, the more you practice it, the better you’ll get. All the best.

  61. Wonderfully said. I was never obese but I have been overweight and out of shape. I finally decided to do something about it and I lost 20 lbs (I’m 5′ tall so that’s very significant), but then still didn’t love myself. It was never enough. As a result, I started packing the pounds back on, regaining most of it and losing much of the fitness I’d developed.

    I’m now trying to lose weight with a new mindset: rather than thinking I need to be thin to be happy, I’m working on viewing a healthy lifestyle as something I deserve, an act of self-love, a way of respecting myself. Because I’ve been there, where you are, and I couldn’t make it work for me because I didn’t love myself. The “now what?” loomed and i felt like I’d gained nothing from losing. I couldn’t love my past, overweight self; how could I love my current, thin self? Afterall, like you pointed out, past and current are the same self, regardless of body.

    I congratulate you on your journey thus far, and wish you luck on continuing it. Just because you’re at “after” doesn’t mean it’s over.

  62. I can hear you, and you are beautiful. I say this having only glimpsed your pictures briefly, but taken your words to heart.

  63. I hardly have words right now. You could be writing my story, as I am right there with you in your struggle. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this with the world. You are a beautifully strong and inspirational woman. Wishing you love, luck, strength and joy as you continue your journey.

  64. THIS…this…THIS! WOW….found your blog through someone posting on FB. Seriously, I have been going after a # for years now. I am close. Closer than when I started, but I have wondered how I will feel when I get to the ‘after’. I don’t know what it will feel like to not want to lose weight or need to. I have been on this journey to lose for about 12 years now, and I have lost about 100lbs, but not without it’s bumps(gaining) along the way. I don’t know what I will even look like at my ‘goal #’. It kind of scared me because I wasn’t sure who I would be…but your post reaffirmed I will know her, because I am her. I am her. I will look different, and I can be proud of what I have accomplished, and continue to daily.

    Pressing on each day…thank you for sharing your experience.

  65. I have no words. This post is eye opening, inspirational, sad, truthful, so many things all in one. YOU are amazing and I don’t even know you. Thank you for sharing this, I found it through a link on FB and had to share myself. Congratulations on discovering something many people would probably not be able to put in words.

  66. This breaks my heart. Will we ever just *be*? It’s so hard to escape from our brains. Solidarity with you, and love to you, as you were and as you are.

  67. Yes I really, really hear you. I have lost and gained weight a lot. I have both loved and hated the attention and comments the weight losS brought. I love your spin on it. You are you, then, now, and now is the only time. I’d love to keep hearing your journey. What is your blog?

  68. I’m at “after” and have been struggling with this new place for every reason you described. Thank you so much for putting this feeling into words! And I’m also very protective of the “before” girl who lives inside of me today. The letter you wrote to that picture of yourself really moved me.

  69. Pingback: Weight loss, gender identity, transition, and self-love | Queering the Nerd

  70. Lisa, I admit, I’ve never read your blog until today. I haven’t read anything else other than this one. However, in just reading this ONE post, you have summed up my life for the past 4 years after losing 108 lbs. There are so many things we are left with once we’ve reached that “magical” number that seemed to matter – so many things that are left unsaid. But, those of us who have halved our weight know without saying.

    I hear you.

  71. Thank you! I am just beginning, again! I lost 150lbs before and because I had not been able to deal with “me” I gained back 100 of it. I think the fear of that happening again has left me defeated and feeling like why bother trying again! I so desperately need the weight off for health reasons, but that never seems to be enough to motivate me, even though I live with chronic pain because of it. Who am I without this wall of food, it’s all I’ve known. Thank you for reminding me to stop focusing on the weight and scale and start focusing on my emotional health. Congratulations on your journey thus far!

    • This blog is incredible – I will be referring to this as I continue on my own journey. Thank you. And Candace, you just wrote my story.

  72. Thank you for sharing this post; it was something I very much needed to read as I am thinking this week about my own struggles with weight loss. You beautifully expressed something that is so difficult to explain about why losing weight is much more of an emotional and psychological challenge than a physical one for me. I’m deeply appreciative of your willingness to open up your journey to others.

  73. Wow! I am so glad that someone has finally written something like this. Thank you

    And yes, I hear you loud and clear 😘

  74. I love this article. I’ve been on my “journey” for the past 8 months. I’ve lost 50lbs. I feel better in my own skin. I am proud of myself. However for me it is still a struggle as well. I still haven’t figured out why I tend to overeat. Besides the fact that I love food. It has not been easy and I suspect keeping it off will be no easier. The one thing I know for sure is that I was letting life pass me by. I was an observer instead of an active participant. Now my girls are keeping up with me instead of the other way around. I’m planning activities instead of having “another lazy day”. I love being outside instead of praying for rain or snow so I didn’t have to take them out. I’m a better parent and a better spouse. I’m a better me. But, it’s the me I want to be!

    A side note. My favorite comment from people is about my husband and marriage. The comments “oh your husband must be so happy now”!

    My husband has always loved me no matter my size.

  75. I literally have tears running down my face…..I can relate to everything you said because I feel you wrote it about me. “After” for me is just the beginning of my new struggle. Thank you for putting words to what I’m feeling.

  76. Good for you for making such a big change in your life, and even more so for realizing that the struggle never stops. My wife and I each lost enough to go from “Obese” to “Normal” BMI, and we constantly fear becoming part of the statistic of people who loose weight and then gain it all, and often more, back. We’ve been maintaining for about three years now, but we never had a moment where we said “YAY! We’re done with our diet! Where are those Oreos?”

    Good news is, as much as we are still both very conscious of how we eat and our level of activity, loosing weight is no longer the thing we think of most, and after a while we found other things to fill that hole, which is important. It’s like at first there was food, and that filled a portion of our lives, then we left food behind and that space was filled with “loosing weight”, now we fill that portion of our lives with friends, family, each other, going out, and generally doing things we previously we’re too lethargic, or frankly too embarrassed, to do when we were overweight.

    Thank you for putting into clear terms what we’ve tried to explain to people who ask how we haven’t gained all the weight back, there is no “After” only “during”.

  77. There is only here and now so I try everyday to show myself lovingkindness – it works some days and some days it doesn’t. Oh well onto the next day the next moment. I only have this present moment here and now to BE ME, love me, love this vessel (this body) i feel love for this body that does what i ask it to do and try to have love for it when it cannot do what I ask of it. There really is no BEFORE or AFTER there is only NOW – how do I feel about myself today-find something to love if it can’t be it all. And then in the next moment find something else to love about yourself. Because this is YOU no matter your size, number on a scale or idea of what you THINK you look like. I try to look at myself and see love, I am love. With the self love others are more able to feel your love. LOVE LOVE LOVE the miracle of love.

  78. You are so very brave and you are absolutely amazing. Thank you for sharing this difficult part of weight loss. People need to think before they speak.

  79. I can relate to pretty much all of what you shared having lost over 100 pounds a few years ago and still struggling to find my way. If you aren’t familiar, you should check out “GoKaleo.com” or maybe her FB page https://www.facebook.com/gokaleo?fref=ts
    You may find some very helpful insights, friends and information there. Best wishes!

  80. Pingback: Repost: The “After” Myth | Leave A Compliment

  81. I think I heard you loud and clear. Its kinda funny because I think you have already discovered yourself. Your writing tells more than you know. Accept who you are. Your beautiful either way. I love the message of your post. I wish I had the discipline to get my weight down to 120 again. I don’t think I have the best relationship with food. Keep writing. I would live to read more.

  82. I love when you said, “I uncovered myself one pound at a time; now, I must REcover myself…I must DIScover myself. And that…that is the new goal. Not numbers. Not sizes. Not inches.”

    As a person who struggled with weight and fluctuated with diets, I have finally come to a resolve. That resolve is to love my body unconditionally. Yes, I do love to workout but I do not and will not put my body under unnecessary stress. I found that when I truly started to love me that my whole outlook changed and weightloss was so much more than the physical. It was more so about the emotional and spiritual part of me that needed attention and once I took my eyes off the scale, I began to see myself for the beauty that God made me.
    I don’t have a weight loss goal, I’m just loving me and enjoying walking and Zumba and encouraging my fellow peeps along the way!

  83. Thank you! I am on the long journey (as I have been so many times before) to being healthy. I am overweight and know that I need to be healthy, especially for my 14 month old daughter. I am scared out of my mind of going back to my old weight and that isn’t helping. I so appreciate you reminding me that it is just a number, and that during this journey I have to find myself and love myself. I hope I am as brave as you are when I do get to my AFTER. I know I can get there. Thank you so much!!

  84. After losing 80 pounds people would speak about me when I was heavy so negatively right to my face. I would always respond “same person on the inside”. For better or for worse we are must learn to love that person from within if we want happiness.

  85. I enjoyed your blog and can totally relate. I have spent my lifetime focusing on trying to lose weight with obvious success and repeated failure. I have sacrificed many opportunities to discover who I really am and what I am capable of because of where my focus has been. Life as I would have liked to experience it has passed me by. I am 60 now and still pursuing the challenge of weight loss. I don’t know how to escape the roller coaster.

  86. Thank you thank you thank you for putting the perfect words to my journey.

    I am down 235 lbs in one year and now suppose to be in maintenance.

    I keep looking at this woman in the mirror and asking who is this?!?

  87. Finding myself down 235 lbs in the past year.

    I keep looking at this “new” woman in the mirror and wonder who is this woman looking back at me?!?

    I’m still me and always will be but….you are right it is about re-discovering me.

    Thank you
    Thank you
    Thank you !!!

  88. Wow, Becky, it takes a lot of courage to be so honest and vulnerable. I recently came to the discovery that I don’t feel worthy of love and it shocked me when I understood this constant feeling of not belonging and comparison and negative tapes that play in my head. With a lot of prayer, therapy, and community I pray I will feel whole and I pray the same for you. I’m not sure if you read any of Brene brown’s work but it has been really helping me and might be worth taking a look. Best to you. Annie

  89. Loved to read your story and I wish you everything you need. Try to live in the “now” and enjoy all the things you can do. I dieted from 15 to 70 and still am fighting and very much morbide obese.

    I realy hope you win it from your thoughts and : “Be Happy” lots of love from the Netherlands.

  90. Thank you Lisa for this brave posting. I also went through major weightloss some years ago – lost about 90 pounds in about 6 months’ time, and could not find myself afterwards – I did not know where I belonged, my body was alien to me, I still felt like an outsider. And, after the very stringent diet I followed, I gained all the weight back again once I started eating off-diet. This year, after about 5 years back at my ‘normal’ weight of 292 pounds, I have at last found the courage to once again embark on reshaping myself – but this time it is by following a better, more sustainable lifestyle – giving my mind time to adjust to the new shape as I go. I realise I will always have a struggle, no, intense relationship, with my weight. But it is very heartening to find that I am not the only one that feels the way I do, needing to rediscover, and reshape my mind and body as I go.

  91. Dear Lisa, I have read your blog (which I saw on Facebook) and now I am sitting here, wanting to say Thank You for sharing your words. I definitely hear you! And you inspire me. Your words have openend my eyes and more than that. So again, thank you. I wish you all the love in the world!
    Evelien (The Netherlands)

  92. Yeeeehaw……congratulations on starting the true journey…..you have already taken the hardest step. Just keep going……..hugs girlfriend……..

  93. Lisa, I read this feeling you were talking as if you were me. I’m not hugely overweight but afraid of losing me if I do manage to reach my healthy target, health issues abound : (
    Thank you, you’ve made me realise who we are is not our outer bodies but our minds. You are strong, with a beautiful soul, live well and enjoy each & every moment x

  94. This made me cry so hard- I also lost weight with Weight Watchers. I started at 229. I’m smaller today- not 120 for certain- but I definitely put a lot of value in the number on the scale, the number on the body fat monitor, the number of people who ask how I did it, and the number of people who say how good I look.

    Thank you for sharing this. Much love to you.

  95. This is so well said…. I am the same person inside at 135 as I was at 235. I am still loving and caring and kind but it’s just that I HAD to lose weight to love myself. Not true at all because I am still struggling. I don’t have pity for the Before Cindy…I am proud of her and think she’s a strong lady! Just like the After Cindy. I just need to remind myself daily that it’s not about the weight. Never was.

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us!

  96. Hello beautiful 🙂 My friend sent me a link to your blog entry. It’s probably because she’s known me since we were 12 and she’s seen me struggle with my weight ever since. We are almost 33 now. I talked her ear off last night about all the changes I’ve made recently and about the start of my own weight loss journey. I’ve been finding myself in the last couple years after leaving a 10 year relationship that I held most of my identity in along with what you said “needs to lose weight”. It’s been exciting and I’m finally starting to see the inches and pounds come off yes but I also feel more healthy from the inside out. I just wanted to tell you this post touched me and pushed me even further as today I’m having a good struggle day. I think one thing you can do now is inspire people. You have a lot to learn like we all do but you also have a lot to teach! #effyourbeautystandards movement has really changed my life. Check it out if you haven’t!! Much love and light to you on your journey sister.

  97. I love to read things like this because it’s actually really hard to google people in similar situations. I’m in the process of losing a lot of weight, about halfway through my journey and while I’m fairly sure my head is in the right place, there are days when I walk past the mirror and don’t recognise myself. I don’t recognise my thighs when I’m sitting down, my wrists when I type and even more so this new me which seems to want to exercise. People suddenly feels it’s ok to talk about how fat I was before and how good I look now compared to then. Well yeah, probably but let’s not forget…inside I’m still that fat person who is insecure and can’t take a compliment so when it’s said to my face it’s really hard. It makes me more paranoid that they were actually looking at me before in disgust and that makes me feel worse. I’m dealing with it day by day and on the outside everyone assumes life is wonderful but on the inside it’s very odd. I’ve changed in so many ways and it’s just all about my head catching up with my body. I’ve no idea how I’ll be at target if I’m struggling now only half way through. Thanks for posting this, I wish there was a facebook group somewhere for support on this issue. Maybe you should set one up? Seems like there’s a lot of people in your shoes right now x

  98. I came here yesterday to read your blog following a fb share, and was so moved and touched I stayed to read through the many heartfelt replies that your words evoked in others. Many of those folks expressed what I was thinking and feeling-both empathy (been there, still there, it’s hard), concern (I know how important good therapy is for helping us think through and work through negative “infinite do loops” we get into), and admiration for your self-awareness (wow, I’m 55 and it took a LOT more life experience and just plain TIME for me to SEE this in myself and begin to work on it.-in fits and starts.)

    All of those “conversations” have been in my mind running in the background for the past 24 hours. Your words gave me the next gentle “push” to acknowledge what I need to do in my own effort to truly see and accept ME -who I am , right now, not with “changes pending” and not waiting until I “arrive” a some place to let myself really SEE myself because it will be easier, better, ok.

    …so THANK YOU for your courage and bravery to “put it down on paper” and make it real. You have made it real for so many more than just yourself and that is such a powerful way to affirm to me that I AM SEEN…you put in words what I have felt and reacted to for years but never really been able to articulate. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.

    Here’s a small gift back to you, I hope, that I discovered this morning on Brainpickings (http://www.brainpickings.org/2015/01/19/pema-chodron-the-wisdom-of-no-escape/) from Buddhist nun and teacher Pema Chödrön. They are from of a series of meditations in her book ” The Wisdom of No Escape and the Path of Loving-Kindness”.

    “The problem is that the desire to change is fundamentally a form of aggression toward yourself. The other problem is that our hangups, unfortunately or fortunately, contain our wealth. Our neurosis and our wisdom are made out of the same material. If you throw out your neurosis, you also throw out your wisdom.”

    and

    “This is the process of making friends with ourselves and with our world. It involves not just the parts we like, but the whole picture, because it all has a lot to teach us.”

    I know I can’t love myself until I make friends with myself…thank you for being part of helping me see a next step I can take.

  99. I hear you. I will be reading this again and again just to absorb all of the wisdom you have just shared. Thank you. I really needed this right now. I think I have always sabotaged my weight loss efforts because I am terrified that I will get to the “after” and still not be happy. I think I will focus on the happy instead of the skinny.

  100. Reblogged this on Alternate Realities and commented:
    This is an amazing transformation with an amazing realization. When I lost 90lbs to get down to my high school weight, I was thrilled. But I was miserable. Now that all of those pounds have come back and my life is balanced and I am truly, blissfully happy…. am I less of a person?

    Being overweight again has diluted my joy of being engaged. It has plagued me every time I look in the mirror. But I remember that when I was 130 pounds…. I was miserable. I was self-destructive. I was not who I am. I didn’t love myself more. In fact, I did things that intentionally hurt myself both physically and emotionally.

    Remember that who you are is not a number on the scale. Strive to live a healthy life. Push for self-love, not some arbitrary size. Be yourself. Love yourself. Rediscover and redefine your idea of sexy. This woman is an inspiration to me and this post should be shared. Bravo!

  101. Thank you for this. I reblogged it, but I just wanted to add– you are beautiful. Inside, outside, you are beautiful. You are worthy. You are an inspiration. I was an after. And now I am back to before. I never learned the lessons that you are working towards. I never really loved me or resolved my issues with food. Now, I’m back on the road to being healthy and truly loving myself. Thank you for sharing your journey with the world. I wish I could give you a hug!

  102. Beautiful post. I’ve struggled when reaching the “after” in many areas of my life – weight loss, career, relationships. I’m constantly trying to remind myself that there is no finish line, it’s really just the journey. Thanks again for sharing!

  103. What an amazing message!! Thank you!! I also struggle year after year with my weight, sometimes I succeed sometimes I don’t when I do, the comments piss me off!! You look so amazing!! That’s like saying, “thank god, I can be seen with you in public again!” At least that’s what I hear! I always say “congratulations!! It’s so challenging to loose weight!! You’re such a strong beautiful person!! You can really do anything you set your mind to.” Because this is what I like to hear!! Recognition of my efforts, and reguardless of the weight loss, YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, and you can do ANYTHING!! If I ever got down to my goal, I’m sure I would have the same issue. It’s been a struggle my whole life, so if I ever achieved it, I’m not sure what I’d do. I’ve blamed my weight on why I’m single!! If I ever got to my goal weight, what would be the reason I’m single?? Am I ready to deal with the answer??

  104. Well, dealing once again with “a number,” it does seem like a lot of people _are_ hearing you. (Never, ever, in my life have I had to scroll soooooooo far—and have to keep on scrolling and scrolling—through comments.)
    But never mind us. There’s only one single person who needs to hear you: YOU. (Are you hearing…?)
    Life is a progression. There is no final “After.” Instead, we go through continuing series of them. One after another.
    Equating who we are as something separate and totally “other” from our physcial body is an incredibly nut to crack. I can (sometimes) get it in theory, but never have been able to in practice.
    Keep on keeping on becoming/seeing/hearing who you are. You’re so worth getting know—especially by your ownself. (You get that I’m talking about _you_, not your physical form, right?)

  105. yes, so this. Im struggling with the ‘after’ too as I dont think my journey will ever really end. Thank you for making me think of the now.

  106. OMG! I have been trying to put into words this very thing. I was “after” a couple years ago. And I was terrified. And I thought I failed because I gained some weight back. Turns out I had to face the demons through some amazing life coaching and eventually lose my “identity” in a couple ways. And through that I found myself.
    THANK you for this. It really helped me bring into tight focus the reason I indeed feel peaceful, though I am not at any sort of a preconceived goal weight. My life is just good in so many unexpected ways. Many Many virtual hugs

  107. What a beautifully written post. Thank you. I went from 225 down to 165, but have been slowly gaining again. It’s so hard. So incredibly hard and the temptation to try anything drastic, even if it is unhealthy or harmful, is strong. Especially when you’ve been That Girl Who Lost The Weight and now everyone expects you to keep going. The pressure is insane. I need to get back to a healthier lifestyle, but it all seems overwhelming. And even at my smallest, I don’t think I was ever necessarily happier than I was at my biggest. This post has reminded me to keep going but also to remember to try and love myself where I am and be happy in the moment. It’s not something I’ve ever been very good at, but you’ve given me the courage to try again. Again, thank you.

  108. Wow. Where have you been all my life? So much truth here!!
    I lost a lot of weight but still hated myself. Eventually, I gained it all back. I’m just starting to get back to focusing on myself. Thank you for posting this.

  109. Oh wow, you nailed it so hard! Hell yes, you are strong. And you’ve said what a lot of women in your position are feeling, but not daring to say out loud. I had similar struggles when I hit my own “after-not-after,” and while it gets easier over time, it’s still no picnic (if you’ll pardon the pun).

    But your radical honesty with yourself and with the world means you’re going to be just fine. Whether or not you believe it right now. Great essay. Well done. Thank you.

  110. I did a weight watchers type program before my 2 children and was very successful.
    I had postpartum with my second child and put on medication that caused me to gain a lot of weight.
    The dr. that prescribed me the medication (that I am still on) has told me that I need weight watchers.
    I am unhappy with the weight that I am but I am having an extremely hard time this time with counting calories.
    Can I ask what your stratigies you used in your weight loss?
    I need to loose at least 45 lbs. the dr. would say more like 60 lbs but, 45 would make me feel good about myself.
    One of my fears at 39 with so much weight to loose is excess flabby skin. Did you have this problem in the stomach area?
    I just stumbled across your blog. I will read it when I have some quiet time alone. I also signed up to receive updates.
    Thank you for being so open and honest.

    Tara

  111. Thank you for articulating what I have been experiencing. I have finally gotten to a healthy weight but still find myself looking at the scale and anxious because it’s not going down. My mind hasn’t registered that I’m at a very healthy 123 to 126 pounds for my 5’7″ frame. And that I have maintained that for over a year. I still struggle with seeing food as a reward or retreat from an overwhelming world. I work daily to shift my thinking and re-establish a reward system that isn’t food focused. It is such an inspiration to hear such honesty and to recognize we’re not alone in our thoughts and struggles! Hugs and positive wishes of support to you!

  112. I don’t know you, you don’t know me, but we are on this same journey and I feel that I am walking in your footsteps! Thank you for these words, as I will use them to try to help myself deal with the “after”. Know that you have lifted me up today and I thank you, Anne

  113. Wow! I was in tears reading this! I’m on my journey now and your words are so inspiring! I LOVE it! And I hear you. This really touched a part of my soul, and I will remember this through my journey of discovering myself!

  114. So, I read this and realized that I’m lucky…I’ve been struggling to get to my “after” for a few years now but recently I realized that I’m already living my after. The scale is what the scale is and, of course, I wish the number was lower…or my body fat comp was better…but it isn’t. It is what it is. In the meantime, I’m stronger than I have ever imagined I would be, I’m doing amazing things at the gym, I’m hiking, I’m camping, I’m enjoying time with friends, I’m challenging myself. I no longer see the old me in the mirror. I finally see the strong, confident woman I have become. I’m happier than I have ever been…I’m living my after…and loving every moment.

  115. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! I am so glad to know someone else has this struggle. Two years ago I lost 50 pounds and everyone congratulated me and kept talking about it and focusing on it, but I wasn’t happy. I had worked hard but I wasn’t enjoying it…I felt I had lost me in the process of what I thought was trying to find me. Since then I’ve gained back 15-20 pounds and I’m working to get back down where I was numerically, but I refuse to do so again at the expense of myself. I have finally come to feel that I love who I am and the skin I’m in. I would prefer that the number on the scale read less, but regardless I’m happy. I’m more healthy now, physically, mentally, and emotionally, than I have ever been before. I looked in the mirror finally, after months of searching, and finally saw “me” again, regardless of what anyone else sees.

  116. THANK YOU! I’ve lost 60 pounds, 11% body fat and over 51 inches. I can relate to everything you posted here. I did start because of my blood pressure, which I’m happy to report that I have not been on meds for over 8 months now. There isn’t ever an after, it is a struggle every single day. That roll of Girl Scout Thin Mints that I would love to chow on…

    THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

  117. these posts are AMAZING!! very up in your face and that is not meant as a negative statement it is a HELLOOOOO paying attention kind of thing. We forget that people have many different ways of coping with things and sometimes they are very negative ways, my negative ways are eating, and its never things like carrot sticks and celery oh no no no its things like half a carrot cake. I have bought a piece of property and with my brothers help I am going to learn how to build my house, not me paying someone to build it I am physically going to build it myself. I am 50 years old, do I wish I had done it when I was younger? ummm yep but here is the thing, I am 50, VERY overweight and wanting this weight off, but to be able to do something like build a house, something I never thought I was capable of doing, I am very excited to get started. I lost 75 pounds a couple years ago, yeah me right? well yes and no, I did it but clearly the true problem was never dealt with cause I gained it all back, I am a nurse, yep, arent we supposed to SHOW how to live healthy instead of just TELL people the right ways, well between building my house and wanting to be a better nurse I am focused, more water, no white products ie bread, rice, potatoes, sooooo here we go!!!!!

  118. Thank you for your honesty. I “found” your blog on Coffey’s FB. Working with Coffey’s principles, I am learning not to dwell on the “after”. Learning to live in the NOW, and applying the lessons I’m learning are helping me to heal. I wish you peace and acceptance during your journey.

  119. Lisa, this is a truly beautiful post, and has obviously come from a truly beautiful person (inside, as we’ve clearly established that beauty is NOT what’s on the outside). I am very much physically where you were in your “before” pics, but thought that I could not progress towards your “after” pics until I had worked out the mental/emotional/phsychological issues that kept me physically large, and so I have postponed my weight loss push. My issues have always led to overeating, and until I can control that, I feel that weight loss efforts in my personal case would be pointless, another yo-yo ride at best, and we all know how unhealthy that is!

    So I have postponed it all, working on my mental health first, and making some slow but steady progress along the way. And as you said to one of the earliest comments (I have not read all of these, only the top few, there’s a ton of comments here!), the answer of “why change” may come up as “don’t” once I finally get there. I think it will come up as “for my greater physical comfort” eventually, but one never knows. I am finding love and acceptance at the size I am (hovering somewhere just over the 400lb mark), and I never thought that possible before, but it IS. I have men tripping over their tongues lining up to get at me. I have a steady boyfriend of over four years who is quite devoted to me at this size. I have a society which is on the cusp of revolution at the idea of accepting people of plus size. I’m coming to terms with my weight. It’s all very exciting, to be honest.

    You are clearly a brave, strong woman. You have what I would call a lifetime membership in the Order of Fat Ladies, because you’ve been there, you understand it, and I doubt, from your writing, that you will ever be able to forget what it was like. Take it as a compliment, that’s how it is meant. “That girl is me,” you said in reference to your before pictures. And you’re absolutely right, she is. And I’m proud to have met you, even if only via your writing. Thank you for sharing your courage and strength and your skill with words. Your epiphany is enlightening, and helpful to others. My day is brightened by seeing the world through your eyes for a moment.

    Thank you.

  120. This is an excellent, strong and brave post. It takes a lot to go beyond the platitudes to what’s really happening knowing a lot of people don’t want to take the time to hear it. I think it makes perfect sense that you have this situation and I know you’re not alone. I’m sure that the emotional component is responsible for the high amount of rebound weight gain that happens to people who’ve worked so hard. Recognizing and accepting this in yourself is a great way to address it so you can overcome it. You’re definitely strong and brave and I hope a lot of people read this blog because it’s very inspiring and good for people to know they’re not alone.
    I hope that you find the peace you are looking for. In my own experience, Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture) is very helpful, as is meditation, writing/journaling (which you’re clearly already doing) and yoga, which, like meditation, really helps connect your body and mind to each other.
    I wish you lots of luck and I send you hugs.

  121. I hear you Sister. And welcome to the Sorority of Brokenness…I wrote this piece years ago and every shock, growth spurt or cycle of suffering I or someone else close experiences, I pull it out to
    read and remember. For you, dear friend.

    The Sorority of Brokenness
    Welcome to the Sorority of Brokenness. We don’t have Greek letters or even a symbol for our kind
    We populate the world mixing in with the rest of womanhood
    We are at once easy going and indignant, grateful and hopeless, accepting and outraged
    We know that belonging to this club has been worth the cost of all the dues paid
    We have contributed those dues whether handed over gracefully and willingly or given kicking and screaming the entire time
    You have paid your dues like the rest of us
    …. From our heart, broken a hundred times into a million different pieces. Only to be melded back together again with tenacity and intention… to continue to forgive and to love
    …From our mind, which has been broken a hundred times into a million different pieces. Only to be fused back together by our commitment and drive to keep sane and sincere…. to save and to serve
    …Dues from our bodies, broken a hundred times into a million different pieces, only to be glued back together by our need and yearning…to hold hands and walk with our lovers, our family and our friends
    This club will not accept the unscathed, the protected or the inexperienced…no; you never join this club in one piece…this is the Sorority of Brokenness
    Welcome to the club, dear friend
    Atlanta Ferrall 2009

  122. Beautiful before AND beautiful after. I do congratulate you on your hard work to be healthy. Hope the happiness comes soon, too!

  123. I know this. Thank you for putting it into words. I copied what you wrote onto a post-it note for my desk… “Don’t change; Discover. Don’t become; Be.” I have gained and lost a few times in the last 13 years and at a point now where I want to lose again, I am asking myself who will I be if I succeed. You have assured me of a vitally important thing… I will be me.

  124. This is a lovely post. I lost weight and work on maintaining with intermittent fasting. It’s not always easy. I know I’ll have to do it the rest of my life.

  125. You are right. There is no after. There is only today.
    The past is done. We have to let it go.
    The future holds promise.
    But all we actually have to enjoy is today.
    My journey has been different from yours. It included weight loss and exercise, but then it included alcohol abuse and compulsion.

    I’m also on a journey to me. It’s all inner work.

    Stick with it. I have found more enjoy and happiness learning to love myself than I ever could have imagined.

    Anne

  126. Thank you for sharing this thought. I had a very similar experience (supported weight loss plan for a while, then myfitnesspal, lost 86 pounds) When I reached my “goal weight” I had no idea what to do, and in fact my last 10 pounds took a very long time because I was terrified. I had never, as an adult, maintained a healthy weight. Being the “fat one” or the “one who is losing weight” had always been my identity. It took a long time of acting out and trying to figure out who the new “me” was before I started to feel comfortable with myself.

    I still struggle with food, exercise, the number on the scale, anxiety, depression, and my self esteem everyday. And it is great to know I am not alone, but also sad because I would never wish these feelings on another person.

    I read an interesting book about finding yourself in the after. The story is different, but some of the feelings are the same. Not sure if it would be helpful on your journey, but it was for mine.

    http://www.amazon.com/Stranger-Here-Weight-Loss-Surgery-Transformed/dp/1580054463/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1429654174&sr=8-1&keywords=Stranger+Here%3A+How+Weight-Loss+Surgery+Transformed+My+Body+and+Messed+with+My+Head

  127. This theory is true for many situations in life. The fact that you were able to put it into words is applause worthy. I feel that way about becoming a mother. Before. During. After. I am the same person. I morphed into something I maybe don’t recognize now. But I am still me. I am happy for it. I like being a mom. I love being a mom. I see myself in photos or in my mind are frozen images of myself before during and after. My after is now my kids are in school. Not needing me every minute of every day. And this is not the same as losing a lot of weight. But maybe it is. Emotionally. People judge each other. We judge ourselves. We change. We stay the same. You are lovely. You have made changes. But your are the same and that’s ok. It’s great actually. Because you were fine before. And you are fine now. You will sort out what to do. It seems you already are. I think people may feel this in a divorce. Before marriage. During. And after. A death. Coping. It’s brilliant really. Simple. Thank you for the insight.

  128. I hear you and I get it! I struggled with bulimia for over 20 yrs. For most of those 20 yrs., the number on the scale NEVER moved more than 10 lbs in either direction but even 1 lb could imprison me with my thoughts and obsession that somehow there was a “pot of gold” somewhere that contained my happiness. If I could just lose a little more weight, all my feelings of anger, inadequacy, shame, jealousy, worthlessness, etc would somehow vanish too. Those feelings were where my work was and they had nothing to do with a scale or food.
    I don’t struggle with this today, and I can say I TRULY love who I am and even see my eating disorder as a gift that has given me deep insight into pain and healing….perhaps that was the pot? Keep moving forward. Your honesty IS your healing…stay true, life’s a process of learning to love and forgive yourself. Thank you for your courage to be honest. You cracked a door for many others to walk through.

  129. Fantastic! You have summed up perfectly what we all need to know and understand. There is only now. This phenomenon affects all of us to some degree as we go from stage to stage of life…. From kid at home to adult on your own, from single to married, from athlete to exerciser, from mom at home to empty nester. We all should strive to find out who and what we are outside of those labels so that when the label changes we don’t lose ourselves! For better or worse we are the sum of our whole existence. I wish you all the best discovering you! It sounds like you are headed in the right direction. One step at a time. Each step into now.

  130. This is such an amazing post, thank you so much for sharing. It is so generous of you to share the inner struggle of your experience. Too many people are bombarded with just the images of the mold of how to look. Not enough people are guided through the journey of working on both mind and body together as one. Love, love, love your post!

  131. Reblogged this on The Life of a Fat Runner and commented:
    This post speaks volumes to me. I think that she nailed the WHY of why I keep slipping back, and it’s the fear of the after. I struggle with who the Cory who is at his target weight is, I am afraid, a little, of who Cory at 185 pounds would be. Would I even know that person? Would I like them? It’s a scary thing for a lifetime weight loss expert, cause thats what I am, a weight loss expert. It’s the maintaining that I fail at, and it out of fear. I know this… thanks so much for this post…

  132. Wow, powerful and honest message here. I had never stopped to think about this myself. I am on a weightloss journey, and although I have got close to my “dream weight” before, I have never truly felt happy about myself. You brought tears to my eyes because I felt identified by this. Thanks for sharing.

  133. I wanted to thank you for this post. It was honest and hit me at all the right places. More people especially girls need to hear these thoughts and internalize these emotions. Everyone has their own struggles and secret issues and you taking the time and confidence to voice them out loud has helped me greatly -so I just wanted you to know that you’ve touched at least one “stranger” today. I’ve been struggling for the past year with my weight, self confidence, self image and happiness – never thought I would be in this situation I’m in. Thank you for this blog post. It has helped me think about a lot of things that I was too scared to admit to myself.

  134. i absolutely hear you. This is so awesome. I have been there and failed miserably at understanding all of the feelings and why my life wasn’t completely different at “after”. So I am back at “before” and moving through “during “. Thank you for this!

  135. Found this blog through a buddy of mine, and even though I am a guy not yet to “goal” I relate very well to what you’ve written. I am still in the phase where I have a lot of weight to lose to get to a healthy place about 50 lbs) and I am down about 25 from my highest point. I have been very close to my goals in the past and self sabotaged/bs’d my way back to where i started or worse several times. I look forward to reading more about your journey thus far and I will be following along and reading your blog, and going on back thru your posts. This was a very well written article. I wish you success on your continuing journey!

  136. This is GOLD!!! You have put into words what so many of us have/are going through. I can not love this more and will be sharing with many friends. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability.

  137. I hear you and it wasn’t until I lost 100 lbs and still was unhappy that I figured that I had to deal with the rest or end up on my death bed regretting a life I didn’t lead. I applaud your courage and hope that someone, anyone who desperately needs a light will find you.

    • I too am working with the AMAZING Kelly Coffey of Strongcoffey.com. Check her out…She’s changed my life and given me tools to live it with love.

  138. I hear you loud and clear. I am living the same life. I lost over 200 i have also found some again. Because it is a constant battle with food. Food is my drug and old habits die hard. I will forever have to struggle with who i am. I am trying to love me , flaws and all. And i know i can only live one day at a time.
    DAWN

  139. I. HEAR. YOU.

    Wow…you hit the nail on the head! Thank you! You were able to get in my head and say all those things I think and feel but haven’t been a able to articulate.

  140. Thank you for this beautiful and honest post. I just wanted to recommend YOGA as part of your journey. For many, yoga begins as a physical practice, but after time you will find that it truly works to peel away the layers to reveal the beautiful, Divine light that shines from within. You are clearly shining very brightly right now! Sending you peace & love on your journey! ❤ Julia

  141. What a powerful post! So well written. I understand that feeling and struggle with truly loving and accepting myself at any weight. You expressed this so well. Keep up the hard work. I have worked hard and made progress, its a journey.

  142. I have lost a lot of weight. I am terrified every single day of waking up and I’m fat again. If I skip a day of exercise due to time constraints, I’m terrified of not going the next day and never going again. I always say that weight loss is as much in my head as on my body. I’ve been in this body for a few years, but my head is still in my bigger body. It hasn’t caught up yet, and not sure it ever will. I’m a lot older than you are, but you’re a lot smarter than I could ever be. Thank you for articulating what I have long thought.

    • Oh Beryl, I’m with you 100% and working on my head to catch up. At the same time, for me maintenance takes the same amount of vigilance, discipline, and effort that losing the weight did, and it took many pounds lost and regained to learn that lesson. I feel pretty good about food, but I struggle with taking rest days, even though I know they are beneficial.

  143. Reblogged this on The Muse's Darling and commented:
    Oh wow. This is so valuable. I’m going through something similar myself–very, very similar–and I’m experiencing the grief and anger upon getting down 50 pounds. Nowhere near my “after” but closer to After than Before. And now I’ve put 25 pounds back on because I just can’t bear it. I can’t stand the change I’m going through. I have change-fatigue, and this blog post helps me because I can see something now that I couldn’t before I read it: part of my problem is that there is no “tomorrow when everything’s perfect.” There is no tomorrow, there is no perfect. There is only now, whatever that is.

  144. This is PHENOMENAL truth, which is exactly what I said when I shared this extraordinary post on Facebook. Thank you for being willing to share your truth. These are words that so many can relate too. I keep reading what you’ve shared over and over and every time I’m left with a feeling of wanting to YELL at the top of my lungs to anyone who will listen and simply say THIS is THE truth. Your vulnerability is inspirational. I see you. All of you. Thank you. Truly. Your words are life changing. Blessings to you on your journey.

  145. I hear you loud and clear! I’ve been you your shoes, walked that walk, etc. I’ve lost (but prefer to use the word “relinquished” because we tend to want to find things we lose) 220 lbs. Yes, 220 consecutive pounds (not the drop 10, gain 20, drop 20, drop 10, gain 20, thing – but 220 pounds). I still get on the scale, I’ve found it to be the only true friend because it doesn’t lie to you no mater what. Not that a certain number is important, but it does keep you honest. But you are mistaken, you should be congratulated for your victory. People would congratulate me for all the time and I gotta tell ya – I was embarrassed when I would say “thank you”. Why embarrassed you ask? Because all could see was the fact that I allowed myself to get so large that I had to lose (relinquish) 220 lbs. Then it hit me – I didn’t do it for anyone else but myself. If people want to congratulate me, fine, and thank you. I’ve learned so much over the past few years. How to have healthy mind, healthy body, and healthy finances. It’s like a three-legged stool; if one of the three is broken (or missing) the stool falls over.
    Thank you for sharing your story. Just know you are not alone.

  146. I hear you, because I am at the before. And I wonder, if before I can have a during, or after if I should discover first. Because there is little motivation to start when you don’t feel worth it in the first place. Sometimes discovery needs to come first.

  147. What a lovely honest reflection. You might consider the universityofsantamonica.edu where the programs and workshops are about how to align our physical, mental, and emotional growth to create that inner fulfillment you are describing. We can literally shed the limiting thoughts and patterns that have us in the illusion of judging ourselves and others. Congrats on your great strength of heart and willingness to be a real inspiration to others. I see your goodness and beauty.

  148. I totally understand. I went from 257 to 153. I actually got down to 146 but didn’t feel like sustaining that. 153 is most manageable to me and the funny thing is, I struggle cause I want to be 151. 2 lousy lbs and I’ve been struggling to get back to it. I remember when I hated being overweight but I also didn’t weight myself every week. I think about every meal and how I can keep my calories below 1600-1700. I am happy at my “after” but sometimes I think about spending the rest of my life working out 4 days a week and counting calories and it gets depressing. This, by the way, is not meant to be discouraging. I just wanted to let you know that I understand.

  149. Oh yes, I can hear you. I’m so glad to have found your blog. I would like to link to this post from my blog, with your permission. Weight loss and body image issues are so complex and hearing your perspective is both interesting and important.
    BB

  150. I’ve thought about this a lot – I’m glad someone else feels the same! I am nowhere near my goal fitness level yet, but just getting 30 pounds off feels better already. Still, I waited a long time out of stubbornness – I have never not liked myself, and I want to make it clear I’m doing it for ME – not for other people to say, “oh you look so much BETTER” NO. that’s hurtful. I am still me, have always been me, in my body. It’s not complimentary to have ire towards me as an overweight individual but suddenly see me as “worthy” when I’m losing weight/get to a sustainable, healthier weight. It’s all the progress. You’re great, I hear you.

  151. Wow. This is so beautiful and moving; there’s so much truth and power in what you have to say. Thank you for sharing.

    I’ve been working on a blog post on a very similar theme; I’m at the beginning of a renewed commitment to my health and I found myself down the rabbit hole of the mania of before and after pictures/narratives. There was no self-care in that, only alienation and negativity.

    If you don’t mind, I’d like to link to this post when I’m done with my own. Thank you, again, for this beautiful essay. Im looking forward to reading about the next stage of your journey, If you decide to share that here.

  152. I have been heavy and thin and back again. I never understood people who say “I can’t believe I was that person” with disgust. That is you. You are still you. You can be a different version of you.

  153. Yes. A thousand times yes. Thank you for putting into words my swirly storm of feelings about pictures of “when I was fat”…I *want* to love that girl too — IT’S ME!!! Thank you for saying that it’s somehow scarier *now*. Such a powerful post. Thank you.

  154. I’m on the same journey as you (and coincidentally am trying to lose weight also). People dish out the compliments and while I know they are meant to be kind and encouraging they make me think – was I really that bad before? I hope that you get to know yourself more and find happiness & thankfulness in every moment. You are you. You are deserving. You are not alone.

  155. spot on! I have lost 80 pounds and thought I would be “done”. I too realized that there is no “done”…no end of the race no “now I am at my goal weight and can eat anything I want”. I struggle every day with my weight and with the feelings of self doubt. It is a journey with no end and I wish more people would be honest as you have been!! let’s not even START talking about the extra skin!!

  156. Wow! Thank you for posting this! As someone who decided to go on this journey 4 years ago I too didn’t realize what “after” meant. I thought that would be when I got to my ideal weight, well that came so I stopped exercising and boom hello weight again. To this day I still struggle, I have gained, lost, gained…I try to take it one day at a time but I do see now there is no “after” I am on another cycle of exercising and eating well and I feel great but I know how easy it is for me to fall off this train, so I look at what I can do to keep myself on track.

    I know people mean well when they look at me and say you don’t need to lose weight, why are you exercising? What they don’t understand is if I don’t exercise I won’t feel as great as I do and I will just gain the weight right back.

    Keep your head up and remember no one understand you like you do. I hope all these positive messages help keep you where you want to be.

  157. First, congratulations! What you did took incredible focus and strength.
    I am working through a similar journey, just taking a different path.

    I don’t know you at all, but I could identify with your current struggle. Weigh Diwn has helped me with the heart issues. Just consider looking into it. It could help.

  158. very powerful, and so very wise. Recognizing and naming the issue is,
    i suspect, a major part of learning to live with your relationship to food. I applaud your ability tto articulate the feelings so well.

  159. First, congratulations! What you did took incredible focus and strength.
    I am working through a similar journey, just taking a different path.

    I don’t know you at all, but I could identify with your current struggle. Weigh Down has helped me with the heart issues. Just consider looking into it. It could help.

  160. Thank you for sharing your story and perspective with us all. We can all learn from each other and I appreciate your story. I wanted to share something I learned a while back as well with whomever runs across this. In the book “Psycho-Cybernetics” author Maxwell Maltz teaches what he saw in his patients – that until they could see themselves differently, nothing really changed. I would recommend that book to people wanting to change what they see in themselves, as well as the book “The Big Leap” by Gay Hendricks. These are great tools to changing how we see ourselves, an to believe that things tomorrow do not have to be what they are today. Good luck with the ongoing journey!

  161. You make perfect sense. We live in a culture that is very body conscious.

    The outward struggle that was always there is still there. If you have reached your goal, then throw out or put away anything that has reduced your life to a battle with weight; like scales. Your clothes, and your energy level will let you know if you are falling into old habits.

    Who are you? Why are you here? Where did you come from? Where will you be after you are no longer here? — These are the big questions we all must seek answers for. You have a very positive energy in your writing style. You have encouraged many. I encourage you to seek truth, and walk in peace.

    Thank you for sharing

  162. Lisa, I saw your blog post in my FB newsfeed this evening and I was immediately drawn to reading it. Thank you for being so open with what you are going through on your weight journey. I hesitate to post a link to my book (because I’m not trying to self-promote), but I feel that it would be wrong not to, since I believe that the concepts in my book could help you shift your mindset to one that is more self-loving. Anyway, my book is called Love Yourself Lighter: How to End Your Weight Struggle by Changing the Way You Think. If the concept of ending the weight struggle in your mind by learning how to truly love yourself speaks to you, I invite you to check it out. Take good care, and thank you for sharing your story with us.

    My very best always,
    Suyin

    http://www.amazon.com/Love-Yourself-Lighter-Struggle-Changing/dp/0692325980

  163. I hear you! For so long I have been in turmoil with myself, both trying to love and accept myself and simultaneously hating the body I am in. Thank you for putting a voice to the inner argument that goes on! I wish u all the best with your adventures in discovery 🙂

  164. I love this. You just be you! I can find myself getting really obsessed with eating the right things and not enough and exercising more, but when I become too obsessed, I stop doing the things that make me feel happy and feel like me.

  165. This is an awesome post and something I also struggle with every day. Thankfully I have a brainspotting therapist that is helping me find myself and make a path with my “new to me” self. So much under that weight that just drives you insane everyday and she is helping me uncover all those layers of self protection to get through one day at a time so that I can be free of those things inside that tie me down and don’t let me fly freely. It is so hard and such a process. I admire you for admitting these things freely. So cool to see. 🙂

    Be well my friend. 😉

  166. I hear you! I’m on my own journey and it’s so hard to not think of myself as Before or the “fat me” because I am me no matter what the wrapping. Thank you for your words!!

  167. I hear you. I’m currently on my journey. I’ve lost 123 lbs so far. I started out at 422, and just hit 299 today. It’s really hard not to obsess about the number on the scale, more so than the pant size even.

    I already know that I’m always going to have to count every calorie, or else I’m going to start gaining weight again. It’s going to be a constant struggle….For the rest of my life. Not many people understand that.

    Thank you for sharing your story. I haven’t been following the whole time, but read the beginning and end. I plan on reading the middle too.

  168. I absolutely loved your words! I am going through so much of what you described. I have been the before and after at least 5 times! It’s a definite struggle everyday to remain in the after. I have lost over 100 lbs 3 times and over 200 twice! I never thought of myself as not existing without the need to lose weight, but you have opened my eyes to a new reality! I often think that if I could just love the body I’m in it might stop the roller coaster. I am heading for the after again, this time only 50 to lose. I will try and incorporate some of the knowledge that you have shared. Thanks!

  169. I, too, have spent my life “needing to lose weight.” You are right that’s it’s not ultimately about losing, it’s about finding and acceptance. I always thought being thin would somehow make me a happier person. What I have realized is that the weight acted as my cloak of invisibility. Without it, I struggle daily for self acceptance. Your journey is inspiring and familiar.

  170. Wow! Thank you. I have struggled with weight issues my entire life. I was so looking forward to the “after” but no longer. I am now going to focus on the “during.”

    Thank you thank you thank you.

  171. I hear you loud and clear! I am a nearly 60 yr old fat gal who doesn’t mind being fat–just not as fat as I am now. But the more people make remarks about my weight, the more I could care less. I don’t want to be another person for people who so shallow they can’t, or won’t accept me for who I am–for all of me. I realize this is detrimental to my health but I need to be able to come to a balance with who I am, instead of who others want me to be to be acceptable before I can actually lose weight and want to keep it off. Thanks for sharing your struggle, and your heart. It has helped me to redirect my focus, and that’s letting go of others opinions of me so I can do what’s best for me. May your life be completely fulfilling and full of peace!

  172. You have articulated the true meaning of significant weightloss it’s truly NOT just the numbers on the scale much deeper than that

  173. I found your commentary very powerful. About ten years ago i lost almost 100 pounds. I did a lot of it in an unhealthy plan that could not last a lifetime. Of course the minute i deviated from the program i gained it back…well most of it/half of it…then i tried lapband…lost 75 ish…gained back about 30 of it. This time ive decided i am eating the WW plan and trying to learn to eat in a healthy lifelong way…not to use 25 points at night on foods that hold little to no nutritional value. But more importantly i am trying to learn to want to be healthy…to “think like an athlete”. When i lost the 100 pounds i was proud, yet scared. I felt like a sham…i hadnt been perfect…i still had 100 to lose…and i started feeling exposed. I have used my weight for years as a protection from the world…as an excuse…and i have decided that before i retire i will make sure i know hiw to live healthy and happy. I will feel deserving of a healthy body. I like me…i like the woman i am, the mother i am, the teacher i am. And i dont need to lose myself and become someone else. I dont care what size i am as long as i ddont see obese beside my stats and i can walk for an hour without feeling like im going to die. Great post…great share.., i wish you well as you continue on this road to discovery!

  174. I hear you.. I understand you… I am you! Thanks for beautifully expressingrr the feelings & anxiety that bounce around my brain everyday.

  175. What a great blog. I hear you on your journey to finding yourself. It can be a long journey to recovering yourself and rediscovering who you are. Remember to have the time of your life as you find you…the amazing Being that you are.
    Much love and many blessings on your journey.

    Oceanna

  176. I can only echo this person’s sentiments…
    syren123 on April 21, 2015 at 6:44 pm said:
    This is the truest, most honest, most accurate thing I have ever read on the subject. You, madame, are a rock star.

  177. Can’t remember how I landed at your blog exactly, but wanted to share that I just finished reading the book “It was me all along” by Andie Mitchell. She talks about the same thing you are going through after she reached her goal. I think it would really encourage you. All the best to you in your journey.

  178. I hear you. You’re right. I lost 70 lbs 15 years ago and because I didn’t figure out what you’ve figured out, I put it all back on and more. It was so uncomfortable. I hated the comments well-meaning people made. Every compliment felt like a slam against who I still am. You look SO good really meant you used to look SO bad, thank goodness you finally got your act together. Guys started touching me who’d never touched me before as they made comments about my weight loss and my looks. It felt awful, awkward and uncomfortable. Kudos to you for figuring this out and saying it out loud. Nope, you’re not the only one struggling with this. Who we are has little to do with how much we weigh.

  179. i lost a lot of weight and on returning to my hometown I had people I knew fairly well literally not recognize me. I don’t mean just for a second. I had one guy I had to explain how we had all gone on a group trip (sharing a house) and how I owned a coffeehouse right next to his wife’s boutique, where they came in for coffee 1-2 times a day… He could not remember for probably 5 minutes. People very often don’t see the person behind the fat, including ourselves. I broke my back & have gained almost all of it back and I don’t recognize myself at any incarnation right now. I think people are so visual that it’s hard to accept yourself when you don’t even recognize yourself. I remember having several moments loosing weight when Id look in the mirror and stare at the stranger looking back. I’d make faces & move my face with my hands, almost to prove to myself that it was me. It took me a while, but I started to associate with that “new me.” Im always me, but I couldn’t not change on the inside when my outsides had changed so much. I never got over how much more I was seen by strangers. It made me angry, especially the men who were all of a sudden treating me with kindness. These things are so very hard to wrap our heads around. Now, having gained so much back, the thing I miss the most is how strong my body felt!! I had SO much less pain and so much more energy! I’m headed up that big mountain again for THAT feeling! Hopefully your body has found some physical relief that you can focus on. Good for you for putting these feelings out there!

  180. Pingback: I talk about the 'if only' plague, change and feeling empowered! - Rossell Fitness

  181. wow well done you! I need to lose that amount at least and its a struggle. I tend to lose up to say 14 then get stuck and put it back on. Been gaining and losing the same 14 for years lol
    Wishing you well with your new life

  182. Thank you for sharing your truth. The idea that ‘thin’ isn’t the perfect end state, but just a different state, and that it doesn’t, of itself, cause happiness is an idea that our culture soundly rejects. It’s good to hear it from someone who has been there, done that, and is still searching. Your words make a difference. Thank you for sharing them.

  183. I know exactly what you are talking about. I’ve lost 110 lbs and have been at my goal for about 7 years. It is still hard to love myself everyday. I still don’t love my body. It is still a struggle everyday, but it gets easier. Stay the course. I prefer to focus on how much healthier I am now, not that I am “better” or “improved”.

  184. I hear you. Every single word you wrote resonated with me. I lost 175 pounds in 2006 and could write a book on the topic of before and after. Almost a decade later, I don’t know if it’s any less complicated. Warning: if you thought you had bad self esteem as a big girl, wait until you become thin and then gain some of the weight back. It’s a tough place to be mentally and emotionally. If that happens, remember –as you yourself said–you are still you! Godspeed on this journey. Treat yourself with continued care.

    Best,
    Martha

  185. I so needed to read this. I’m two years post-VSG and hit my “after” so quickly I never really had time to process it before the reality hit. I’m up 30 pounds and feel out of control most days. It never ends. And I KNEW this, and thought armed with knowledge and confidence alone I would succeed. Except…not really. Thank you for putting it into a much-needed perspective for me.

  186. Thank you so much for this…I knew something was not right and you just hit it spot on of my own journey that started 9/22/2014. While the weight has not melted off and I am only 1/2 way to my goal I have been having these same feelings mostly because my weight loss has stalled for the last 4 weeks and I work harder at it now than ever before and I start beating myself up saying I can’t even do it WLS. Even though my voice has starting to come back as the pounds have left I still find it very hard to love myself, accept myself and just feel enough. I struggle everyday!

  187. I hear you! You have a strong voice and an amazing spirit! Enjoy your journey…it is yours and yours alone – no one can dictate the terms to you. You are powerful!

  188. I have been realizing that all of my food, supplements, clothing I wear etc has been shaped by my constant desire to get thinner. What I’ve been learning on my journey is that I need to embrace and live each moment and become healthier to do what I enjoy doing! Not what others expect that I might do! I’ve decided to look in the mirror each am and find one thing, Anything! that I really like about me! It might be my extra curvy figure. It might be my ble eyes. Or it might be my compassionate heart, but there are many things people love about me and I need to love them too!

  189. You are heard – and thank you so much for one of the most powerful things I’ve ever read. You are wonderfully you and you are so many others, too. Thank you for saying what so many struggle to find the words for – just thank you.

  190. My wife tipped me to this post, knowing that you and I have a lot in common. I made the same discovery you made: that the fat guy was also me, and I had to put down my dualities of thought and love who I was as I love who I am. Here’s my story. http://hughgoesthere.blogspot.com/2014/03/new-soul.html

    I also know how scary this time is. When I approached my goal weight, I was terrified. I was sure it would all fall apart as it had before. Then, when I found out just how much my metabolism had changed, and that I had to start eating *more* in order to maintain my weight, I was even more scared. I wrote about that in this post from 2013. http://hughgoesthere.blogspot.com/2013/11/not-listening-to-body-dysmorphia.html

    I reached my goal weight in October of 2011, and I’m still maintaining that weight and still discovering myself. As you know, the latter turned out to be more important.

    Keep doing what you’ve been doing. I’ll keep checking in. 🙂

  191. I feel compelled to share with you a book entitled Idol Lies by Dee Brestin. You can and will learn to love yourself when you come to realize how much you are loved by your Maker and your Savior, Jesus. In this world and in our flesh – we are unlovable for a myriad of reasons. Yours is related to weight. Mine is related to a sense of control/comfort.

    Keep up your good work and keep searching as to how you can love yourself – but look for the cause, not at the symptoms.

  192. I hear you! I feel so blessed that you popped on to my Facebook newsfeed this morning, I don’t know how or why but you did. I to am on a journey that I thought was about weight loss and finding “after ” but I’ve learned ithis about finding true happiness. I lost 80 pds this past year and kept it off for 6 months but then over the course of 6 months gained 20 ugh, 5 pds at a time. I looked back and realized what I did wrong so happy to have reached my goal that I didn’t have a plan for true maintenance, so happy with a new life partner, a divorce, raising my kids and running my business (I am also good at doing😃) that I fell back into the pattern of ignoring my needs and just being. I’ve just lost 10 and back in the cathy zone where I try to balance verses juggle. I’m learning everyday and today you were my teacher. Thanks a million,
    Cathy

  193. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I lost 75 lbs at weight watchers, in a little over a year. I have been a yoyo dieter all my life. I began dieting in 8th grade and I am 71 yrs old now. My life has been one big diet or binge. I am at goal weight and just introduced to THM about 2 mo ago. I have been maintaining my weight loss for about.6 mo but it is a struggle. Actually I find maintenance harder than weight loss. But like you said there is no after. Love today, love the person you are and live for today. Thank you for sharing your story.

  194. Thank you so much for sharing. I’m in the midsts of ‘changing’ my body but I’m also trying to remind myself to love who I am now so I can love the person that will be me later. I just keep thinking ‘love the skin I’m in’.
    This is truly refreshing.

  195. Thank you for this post. it popped up in my FB feed via a friend and reminded me. I need to live in the moment more and not worry about what I WILL do WHEN I loose the weight. As you say I will still be me what ever weight I am, what ever I look like. I need to try and “just be” a bit more.

  196. Thank you for this! It helps to realize I am not alone feeling this same way. I laugh when people pick on the “old” me (Before the weight loss)…but it saddens me that they don’t understand it hurts cause that is ME! I thought reaching this “after” me was going to be a turning point in my life….my new start…a new me! Well I’m after….and it has left me feeling the same….nothing changed…inside. I’m STILL me….I’m STILL that same exact “before” girl….inside! Ugh I wish people heard me screaming sometimes!!

  197. i lost 200lbs since 3/2013. Between exercise and gastric bypass. Your post is so true. I established an identity as the day guy both privately and professionally (I’m an actor). Now that I’ve lost weight I struggle with finding who I am. After two failed marriages and being totally single for the last 17 years, due to the fact that I couldn’t find anyone who was the least bit interested in me, now I am at a reasonable weight. Now, I don’t know who I am as an actor. What roles can I go out for? How do those in casting see me now? I can’t fall back on “the fat guy”..and as a private citizen, I am unclear as to who I am. How do women see me? Do they see me at all? Am I still horribly disgusting and unattractive ? Am I ever going to look in the mirror and not see the the fat guy? I know that I am, at my core, a good, reasonably intelligent man. I’m not rich, or young or socially gregarious. But, I am giving, open, creative and ready willing and able to love. But, I must not be radiating what I need to bring people into my life. And I know it’s that despite losing 200+lbs I am still battling the weight. I understand your blog more that most.

  198. Thank you so much. I keep telling myself this is not a race, because that signifies an end. Then what would I do at the end? So I let myself know this is a journey and I need to enjoy each day and live each day.

  199. Wow oh Wow – so thankful this popped up on my Face Book page today and that I heard you! – feeling like I’ve been doing “ok” on my weight loss journey and also how GREAT I will be (and feel) when I lose the weight. Then completely forgetting that I need to be and live in the moment – I am GREAT now and deserve to be loved NOW (by me!!) Thank you so much for your honesty in expressing what so many of us fear to say – I love your “there is no happily ever AFTER”!! God bless you. ((HUGS))

  200. I can hear you! Thank-you so much for such an honest post! I also just discovered you and I plan to visit often!

  201. Thank you for sharing the truth of No After. I’ve never read your blog before but it showed up in my Facebook feed, and was a perfect start for today. May God help us all to see ourselves as He sees us, enjoy the gift of the present, and learn to travel on life’s journey.

  202. The pot of gold is not your looks. It is that you are healthier, you will live longer and you can do things that you never could do before. Looking good is pleasant side effect.

      • She’s lived her life from there’s a place to get to, and now that she’d there she’s feeling lost. It doesn’t sound as if it’s complete for her. And, of course, there’s nowhere to get to. If she got that, she’d relax about it. It would all be something in the past. It’s a great achievement. We get confused about results – good people get good results, bad people don’t get results. When who gets results are anxious, fearful human beings. Of course she’s right that who she is, who she’s being, is what’s important. I’d love her to acknowledge her greatness. She took on health and wellbeing and was responsible for it.

  203. I hear you, and I remember that. It was awful. And hard. And if it helps, this is what I found that did help: doing things…..any things, and seeing what I could DO. I needed that shift in focus. So that I wasn’t what people saw, I was what I did, who I became through living. Does that make sense? But mostly, I do hear you.

  204. This is the truth. I have lost 50 pounds but it took me almost 4-5 years. While losing the weight I have had a support group which helped me deal with the real issues, food is but a symptom.

  205. Pingback: The reason? Day 2 | The Life of a Fat Runner

  206. Wow. This resonates so well. People, even strangers, treat you so differently after a large weight loss and you wonder why? I was the same person when I was heavy and was overlooked, almost invisible. Now that I am “normal” looking it is like I was accepted into this secret club that I had missed out on for so long. Ultimately it was depressing to realize how much depends on looks and how little depends on who you really are. Stay strong. You are worth it.

  207. Thank you so much for your insight. I have never gotten to goal, always working on it and I think you hit the nail on the head with the “there is no after” As much as I enjoyed your post, I have also enjoyed all the replies to it. I think you have touched more people than you ever thought possible. I am going to keep this going by sharing with some friends who are fighting the same fight. I think I will print it to reread as I continue my journey.

  208. I’m on a journey, and like you, I don’t like the word “after” when I show my progress pictures. Mine is “before” and “current”, because it’s all about the now. Like you said, there is no final “after”. There can be an after —- pounds lost, but we all have a goal and the “after” is probably the hardest part: maintaining and being ok with the current you. Loved your post. It mirrors so much of how I feel in my journey.

  209. Wow…as I lose weight and enjoy living life a healthier way, I am learning similar things. I enjoyed hearing you and knowing I am not alone in the frustration of”wow, you look great!”… Or “wow, you look beautiful.” WE ARE BEAUTIFUL as we are, and it doesn’t take losing weight to be that. But the journey to healthier and more energetic has made me different and I’ve discovered deeper beauty in the getting stronger physically and emotionally. You said it all. Thank you. I am me. Before, and during…And after is when I’m gone, not when I get to my goal weight. Well said…Well taught…Well living!

  210. Well put, and blessings to you on your beautiful journey! What you wrote about being present and not fixating on the after is so keen, so insightful; knowledge reaped from the wisdom of experience! Keep on sharing, this is inspiring and imperative information for people embarking on a lifestyle change. May prosperity and joy be an integral part of your day, every moment, and may you continue to let that loving light shine and prosper ❤ Congratulations, and way to take control of your life! Before, during, and every step, may your light continue to SHINE! 😀

  211. this is a beautiful post. Thank you for sharing it. I really believe that self-loathing and worthlessness are epidemic in this country. So many people walking around hating on themselves. Yet, there are so many simple was for you to rewire your beliefs about yourself. A great place to start is Louise Hay’s: You Can Heal Your Life. Hypnosis is also a wonderful tool to release outmoded beliefs and create a new pattern of being. Best of luck on your journey!

  212. Wow! Girl, you have guts and grit. You do “LOOK” great and you are a true testimonial to the fact that changing your appearance doesn”t change your heart.
    Seek out and find YOU! May I suggest you get the Lord on your side, if he isn’t there already. He Will guide you to the person that is inside your heart. A courageous young lady such as yourself should not only look as great as you. They deserve to feel as good on the inside and out. What a story. Prayers will be lifted up in your honor. You inspire me! Please keep me posted on your progress?

  213. I hear you. Life is the every day. I know now I will never be happy with what I look like but I love what my body can do. That has become enough and I have started to appreciate what I look like because of that. I hope you can get there too.

  214. I hear you because this is my truth!
    I honour you and all that makes you, YOU! I am learning to do this for me too. My my what a journey that in itself is.

    To your journey xxxx

  215. Powerful and inspiring. Coincides with my Facebook post today about how people are fat and gorgeous. Or skinny and gorgeous. It doesn’t need to be either/or. Hope you find your gorgeous. Nobody can do it for you!

  216. I love that you were willing to put your vulnerability out there. It will help so many people. I pray that as your journey continues that you can find a way to love you – just as you are. I don’t know you, but I know that you are worthy of love, and worth treating well.

  217. This is so well written. I was plus size my whole life, topping the scales at over 300 pounds at one point. I lost and gained, lost and gained. My average weight for the last 15 years was around 250 pounds. Without intention, I started losing by getting more active, then I got focused and lost 95 pounds in 15 months by changing how I ate and how much I exercised. People I’ve known for years don’t recognize me. It’s weird. It’s hard that what they see doesn’t match the image I have in my head – the girl who weighed so much more. Like you said, it’s a daily struggle. Something that my 43 years of life won’t change in just a year and a half. Keep your chin up and take it one day at a time. You are so not alone. ((Hugs))

  218. Thanks for this. I hadn’t considered weight loss in quite this way until I read your post. Whatever your struggles with food might be, you are wonderfully eloquent and insightful . . . as I suspect you have always been. Perhaps you can love that. The rest of use surely do.

  219. Thank you for the wonderful truth and the hope. I lost 100+ pounds more than 20 years ago and have, by the grace of God, kept it off. I too discovered the larger me and the smaller me was still me. I have kept it off by finding myself and why using food as a coping mechanism (that may have worked in the past) was now just a destructive habit. It has been an incredible journey full of joy, fear, laughter, tears, good and less good. I have learned that living my life by embracing myself and all that life is makes the journey awesome every day regardless of what is swirling around me. Life is full of love, light and laughter I just need to choose what to focus on. Choice is powerful and attitude is everything. Life is good, one day at a time, one moment at a time.

  220. What a great story, you are an inspiration in the truths you tell. Hopefully you can focus on the health benefits I’m sure you have gained, if not for now, then for the future when you, aahhemmmm, get older!! The ‘you’ will continue to evolve as you grow and live each day. I used to want to lose weight to lose weight and ‘get there’. Now I focus on being strong, healthy and fit. I love the way that makes me feel.

  221. I think this is a wonderful piece with a lot of good things to contemplate in it, but I have to take issue with the central tenet. There IS an After. Ideally, you should integrate the After persona with the During persona so that when you reach The End in terms of weight loss, you are not so lost. I am in therapy. I was before I began my weight loss and I am now that I am midway through the journey (70 pounds to date). I have a long way to go, but I am not losing weight with the belief that once I get to whatever number is The End, I will be Okay. I need to be Okay with who I am now as well as who I was and who I will be. We are ALL OF US ONE PERSON, but we need to be integrated. Only once we understand who we were Fat and who we are Thinner and who we will be Thin will there be an After. There can be an After. You just have to plan to get there as a whole person.

  222. I hear you. You are articulate, honest, and willing to be vulnerable. You can find peace.

    I am a compulsive eater living in recovery, one day at a time. There are a lot of tips for living in recovery on my blog at http://www.lds12steps.com. The 12 steps helped me understand the underlying issues, accept them, and move on. The 12 steps taught me how to apply the atonement in my life, and learn to live myself like the Lord does, and not trade my food addiction for a different one.

    Keep writing. You are telling the truth and by so doing you can bless the lives of others, and yourself.

  223. Absolutely hear you. Lifetime of struggling with weight issues left me realizing that I, too, was fooled into thinking the ‘after’ meant ‘ a perfect life”. In fact, in all of the before year’s, I truly believed that everything in life would suddenly become perfect if only I was thin. Really believed that people without weight struggles had nothing in their lives to deal with… How could they? They were skinny, after all, and I’d always blamed everything wrong in my own life on my weight problems!
    Of course hubby cheated! Who can ever really love a fat person, right? Didn’t get that new job because they thought you were too heavy! Not included in stuff cuz friends figure you’re unable to keep up and fit in properly… The list goes on and on.
    LOTS of self help books and a deep interspective realization of all my positive aspects have finally helped in the overcoming of far too many years of believing in all those negatives I drowned myself in.

  224. Very powerful and so encouraging for those of us who fail to look within! Thank you and Congrats on being YOU and continuing the ever lasting battle of someone finding him/herself.

  225. I want to first thank you for sharing such a naked version of yourself. I can not say I understand or that I know what you are going through as we are different people and different struggles. I can’t imagine the difficulty of sharing this about yourself. Love yourself is such a difficult struggle and I wish you the best on your journey. 🙂

  226. Thank you for posting this. I haven’t known how to express those words myself. I lost 80 pounds five years ago, and for three years I struggled to be happy and trying to find myself. I have now gained 65 back because of this. I thought I was alone and still think I am at times. Now that I am trying to loose it again and this time I am working on myself at the same time. I am not happy I gained the weight but I am happy that I am learning about myself

  227. Your words hit home HARD! Last year I lost over 100lbs training for Ironman which I completed successfully as one of the heaviest on the course. In the last 8 months I’ve put more than 100 back on. There was no answer, no finite amount of work that would lead me to peace. All I found was deep rooted self hatred. I’m trying to find the energy to recommit and I haven’t yet. It’s so very hard. Thanks for your words and good luck to you today.

  228. What a true, moving, and wonderfully written piece. I have not had struggles with weight, but I, too, have lived my life focused on “After:” “after my big trip, things will be better,” “after I’m not single, things will be better,” “after I get a new job, things will be better,” “after this breakup, things will be better.” But in the end it isn’t about changing your external climate as much as it is about changing your internal climate. I took a fantastic trip around the world while hating myself. I achieved a lot of professional goals while hating myself. I am right there with you, trying to learn to love myself, in the now, one day at a time! Thanks so much for writing!

  229. Wow! What a powerful message. Its wonderful to hear you say that it isn’t about being skinny, being a size 2 (or 10! or whatever!), its about you. Loving who you are. Being healthy and taking care of your body is one way to do just that, love yourself. Your on the path and I wish you the absolute best in learning to define yourself as YOU and not a weight. ❤

  230. THANK YOU for posting this. It has given me some much-needed perspective and motivation.

    This is a good read for anyone who is trying to change their lifestyle and take charge of their health. Having read it thrice now, I feel like throwing my $0.02 in (when do I not?)…

    Regardless of her chosen preposition, I have to disagree with the writer on the “I don’t look better, I look different” part of her story. She DOES look better. There is no denying that. I don’t mean that as some superficial esthetic, I mean she looks happier, healthier, more vibrant, and like she’ll live past 40.

    Better.

    As for me, I am at “During”, in many more respects than just my weight. I’ve lost the first 35 of many pounds (I don’t have a goal weight because as she hinted, that is sabotage), my gut no longer hides my belt buckle or rolls over the top of my desk. I’ve got my BP under control, triglycerides are down to at least below “OMFG” levels. I guess if I have a “goal”, it’s to maintain that *without* BP and cholesterol meds. I’ve also made and stuck to the decision to be much more patient and slower to anger and, (bum-ba-ba-bummm!) as of this week, I have quit smoking. There are still other aspects, which I will not discuss here, in which I am decidedly still at “before”, but those are the things I consider to be “next”.

    That’s a lot of “during”, the constant self-evaluation and concomitant loathing have not ebbed for me, nor do I expect them to. I suppose I will use them as a constant reminder of “before”.

    She’s right: There is no after. If you look at lifestyle changes through the lens of some sort of distant goalpost, or finish line, or , you will fail. As I’ve experienced first-hand, you can think you’re at “after” and then wake up one morning in shock at the realization that you’ve arrived at a “before” that was even worse than the first one.

    You can never be done with it. You can never let the compliments of others lull you into thinking you’re at “after”. If there is a trophy to be had, it’s your health and wellness.

  231. I get it Completely
    I was never obese or really over weight but I wasn’t happy with myself. Out of shape and a little more time than I wanted. I started watching what I eat and portion sizes and I starting working out. Gradually I got better and better at it. Stronger and longer workouts. I love working out and being fit! But I don’t like feeling trapped by it also. I have my schedule and I stick to it religiously. Neurotically? I love being fit and healthy- but how healthy am I really? How emotionally healthy am I.
    Am I really carving my own path?
    Stay strong – time to feed and workout ur inner self now

  232. I hear you.
    I am a nurse in a treatment center for men and women (some as young as 12, as old as 65) with eating disorders….they will be exposed to you, in hopes that they, too, will hear you. Please know that you are not alone in your “during”. I have not struggled with my before and after-in relation to a number on a scale, but in other ways that make my “during” just as palpable, painful, and real. As women- as members of the human being society, we are often held to standards that we adopt as our own… often times they have nothing to do with us at all. I hope that your words reach others the way in which they have reached me today. They have reached me. I have heard them. Thank you.

  233. Thank you for sharing – I’m currently at a weight loss of 105lbs from my heaviest weight, physically I feel better than I ever have. I have struggled with accepting compliments from people though. My husband is from Ghana, so we have a sitter who is from Ghana. They are a very blunt type of people – she often says “you were so FAT, now, you are perfect!” I’m in process of learning to separate my identity as a person from my weight. My weight has nothing to do with who I am, who I’ve been, nor who I will be in the future. “Perfection” is not a way I would ever describe myself, physically or otherwise. I still have weight loss goals to reach, but it is not a reflection on who I am. I am not a static being – just as my weight has changed I as a person have changed over the years as well, but I am still ME ME ME!

  234. A very true thing. I guess it’s the same with any life change: six years after divorce, I’m not some sort of re-configured “After” figure. I’ll never be done being after-the-divorce. Everything is after-the-divorce. I’m just me now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Sometimes I can’t even appreciate that there’s been any change unless I look back. But I don’t feel like the me that survived the bloody aftermath of that event was a different person than this me. Not at all. So yeah… thanks. Very well put.

  235. So much, this. I teared up. Thank you. Ive lost almost 100 lbs. I’m the same person. And I’m fine, no I’m not trying to lose any more weight, nor do I feel like I need to answer to you about my body. This post is so spot on.

  236. I needed this. I’ve needed this for a long time. I miss the big me. I miss my 80lbs I’ve lost. I recently gained back 20lbs after 3 years because, frankly, I wanted to. I’ve become my weight loss to a lot of people and that’s not what I am. Gaining 20lbs and suddenly I was hearing, “you used to be in such good shape.” And my thought was “NO, I was never in good shape, I was sad.” At the height of my weight loss I went through the worst breakup ever. Gut wrenching, life changing, heart demolishing , two-years-later-and- im-just-seeing-the-light type horrible. So thank you. Thank you for putting words to what I’ve been feeling for so long. Thank you. People around me just don’t know. I am so grateful you do. I am me and I beed to be healthy because I love myself and if weight loss is part of that, then yes, you will see my journey towards self live on the outside but the change is deeper. That’s hard to aknowledge in this world for people

  237. I love when you talk about how when people look at the old you they look at the old you in disgust and then you say, “Don’t congratulate me on no longer being her; I still am her. And doesn’t she deserve to be?” We all deserve to be and feel and experience and our society too often forgets that! I cried when I read that part because I am so hard on myself as a 200 lb woman at 5′ 4”. But I deserve to be–even as I am. Right now. Years of therapy and you just taught me my new mantra and self affirmation for when I feel down. Thank you so much!

  238. I always have mixed feelings when I lose weight, because I am literally disappearing. There is less of me than there was before. Why should I be happy about that? I find that what helps me is to focus as much as I can on what I can do now that I couldn’t do before. I have two goals right now. My immediate goal is to run a 5k in two weeks. That keeps me out running every other day, and doing muscle building a bit on most of my off days. But my real goal is to hike with my daughter this summer in Vermont. Last year, I couldn’t keep up with her up all those mountains. I’m sure I still won’t be able to keep up with her (she’s 11 and fast, I’ll be 41 and never have been) but if I feel strong and capable while climbing those mountains, I’ll have a better time (an even better time) than I did last year.

    So as I age, I try to focus on having a strong body that can do the things I want it to do. Of course I can’t help but thinking about how I look, too. But the point is to live life and enjoy it. Because that’s what life is, and I don’t want to miss opportunities for fun because I’m not strong enough, or healthy enough, and damned sure not because I’m ashamed of what I look like.

    Keep up the struggle. As my mother and her friends say: Onward!

  239. Wow. Your post made me cry. I struggle everyday with my weight and truthfully it’s not food that is the issue. It’s other health stuff. But, the point is that loving myself is hard. And you are right, screw the after. Live in the now. You are all kinds of awesome. You existed before and you exist now. Inside is where we live. The rest is just the vessel that carries us.

  240. It’s like being an alcoholic – you are always an alcoholic but in recovery. I’m a foodaholic and I’m just starting my road to recovery and recovering who I am and who I was. Trying to love yourself TODAY is the hardest part and will always be. Keep blogging.

  241. This is the truth. I have been so scared to even try to lose weight because I am afraid that I still won’t be happy. Thank you.

  242. I lost 100 lbs and I cannot relate more to this. You lose yourself along the way and almost try to create another identity for yourself afterwards, ignoring the fact that you were the same person you are now. Amazingly written!

  243. what an amazing story. I have been there so many times and in fact this week truly felt like giving up and just accepting fat as my life story. Your blog has inspired me to go and weigh in even if I think the person at the scale looks at me funny. (How many times can I lose and gain over three months never actually reducing the number). Thank you. I can do this!

  244. I have been at this weight loss and fitness journey for more than 4 years starting at age 69. I do not struggle (much) with weight loss. Mostly I enjoy the journey. But I thank you deeply for expressing so wonderfully something that has eluded me. We are all afraid at some level of going back to “before”. You have enriched my life sharing that there is only “before” and “now”

  245. what a beautiful post. you write beautifully. thank you for sharing so intimately. bless you in your new discoveries and may you continue to struggle less and less not only with who you are and who you have become, but who you have been. All of these identities help us in our lives…and of course struggles with weight aren’t the only hurdles that we must face as we continue to become who we will ultimately be. We are of course, as you stated well, all of those people. Congratulations on recognizing that so early in your life. Peace.

  246. I love this!! I’ve lost 50 lbs in the last year, and hope to lose 50 more this next year. But I’m still the girl that started at 260! I will always be her and I liked her just like I like me now!! 🙂

  247. I hear you. And you made me cry and nod my head. I’m glad you have realized that both women are freaking incredible, and I hope you are able to find who you are aside from weight.

  248. What an honest story — thanks for sharing. I’ve lost over a third of my body weight in the last year and I can relate to what you’re saying. I’m still the same person although I am a lot happier in my healthier body. My brain and eyes seem disconnected because I struggle to see the me that people say they see… thin, sexy, pretty… I don’t see it.

    Hang in there and keep learning about yourself and what you like and love and are passionate about. And stay strong and healthy. Learn to love yourself and see yourself as the valuable being you are.

  249. Amazing! Thank you for being so open and honest! Your post hit me in a place I can’t even describe or understand. Just thank you.

  250. I’ve lost 97 lbs and struggle with all of the issues you talk about. It annoys me people comment on my weight. Even the compliments which I loved still made me feel like my value was a size. I’m still me big or small. I struggle now on the other end, instead of overeating I’m so afraid to gain weight I under eat. I’m looking for balance and my worth not connected to my size

  251. Great article. Good luck on the rest of your journey! You understand the problem and that’s half the battle. Stay strong, you’ll be fine.

  252. I hear you! One day at a time. I’m 8 yrs out, still holding strong. I’ve won a battle (losing the weight) but the war with the issues that created my MO still continues…

  253. This. Thank you for being honest. You and I don’t know each other-I realize this, but you just took the thoughts out of my head and put them to paper. We’re on similar journeys. I currently have lost over 150 pounds and have about 50 to go to get at a goal of 200 pounds. And while hitting a goal of 250 was great, it’s also been depressing. My trainers, friends, family, and even strangers are confused why I find it so difficult at times to find motivation that at times I lose. I know the reason why-in the grand scheme, the weight loss is easy. It’s the emotional and mental part that’s hard. It’s the struggle with food. It’s the fear of losing myself. It’s having to decide if today I will love myself or hate myself, both the present me and the 400 pound me, as well as all of me in between. It’s having to heal my habit of covering up my lack of self worth with fat and unhealthy or dangerous choices. I have struggled with why no one understands me. Thank you for helping me see that I’m not the only one who realizes there is no “after” to this journey, and that it’s not really about the weight loss.

  254. You are beautiful, and strong, and if losing weight is a goal then you have accomplished it. But the before is beautiful too. You chose to change. I understand because Iost 80lbs and everyone told me I looked great but I felt like I looked great before I lost the weight- the weight loss was to help diabetes no other reason… Now I am working out for ME because I want to change, not because I want to lose weight (though that is a goal) but because I want to be able to move more and do more. Congrats on your realization, and know that you can do what you set out to do!

  255. When I close my eyes and say “I AM” I am reminded that I am all of me that I have ever been and all of me that I will ever be and I AM the same as all that are closing their eyes and saying “I AM” and all that have not thought to do so. I AM all that there is in the universe and all that there is is the great “I AM”… I AM not *this* body – but I am grateful for the experiences it affords me. I am not the pain and I am not the the pleasure, but they are parts of the experience and the potential of this experience is limitless. Namaste

  256. Wonderful post. And so true. I can honestly say that I am happier person now than I was when I was very thin. Back then I thought that if I could just reach that mythical goal weight, I would be happy. Like those 6 pounds were the reason for my whole lack of love for myself. For reasons that have nothing to do with a number on the scale. Losing weight doesn’t make you a happy person and gaining weight doesn’t make you a sad person. Your weight is a just a a part of you like being blonde or left handed- it is not who you are. Learning to be happy with who you are rather than what you weigh is one of the most important lessons I have learned in life.

  257. Please go check out the book “Women Food and God: An Unexpected Path to Almost Everything”. Her book is exactly what you are dealing with right now. REally what we ALL are dealing with in our lives. I can’t believe how much I’ve learned by reading it! It’s spot on! And so is what you are saying:) Best wishes!

  258. Loved your post. I just finished reading, “it was me all along” by Addie Mitchell. Very similar story. You can also find her on Facebook on the page, “can you stay for dinner?” You should check her out!

  259. My weight watcher leader sent me your article. It is so very powerful. I have lost 160 lbs and am going through what you have described. I would love to email you. My leader thought you might be good to talk to. Yours words really spoke to me. I used to think the after would be just wonderful when in fact it is just the beginning with more ups and downs. My email is christina6871@att.net

  260. I lost weight without facing my self image and food issues. Sure enough, once I landed a demanding job that triggered all my anxiety and depression problems, I gained 93 pounds in about 11 months.

    Now, I lose slower but I am facing these issues. I struggle exactly the same way you do each day. I hear you and you are not alone.

  261. A friend sent me the link to this post today. I am 350 lbs plus and AGAIn trying to figure out how to begin a journey to finding me in the weight. I have failed so many times. I am so happy you found a way to get thinner and healthier and that you are learning so much about you and after. Alot to think on in this post.

  262. I totally understand where you’re coming from. Losing 115# since 10/2006, I still have a hard time excepting compliments( because I never received them before). I’m learning though. I am also an addict in recovery, I replaced food for drugs and found myself to still be in this miserable place in my life. Now that I am in recovery and follow a 12 step program it is teaching me how to love myself. I enjoyed your blog very much. Keep it up👍

  263. Thank for being so brutally honest. So man times people thrive during the process of losing weight and then fail at living a real life.

  264. I had a really similar experience several years ago when I started losing weight. I thought I would be happy but I actually felt very scared, and even depressed. I wrote about the experience on my blog: “I realized that the feeling that there was something wrong with me, that I had a fatal flaw that would keep me from ever being loved, from ever being truly happy, went much deeper than my feelings about my weight. The weight was actually a protection for that deeper fear, and when it started coming off I was terrified that I would see — and others would see — the thing that was actually wrong with me. I don’t know what I thought it was. But I was terrified of it.” http://tenthousandplaces.org/2014/04/15/accept-let-go-my-messy-beautiful/

  265. Thank you so much for posting this. It is exactly what I needed to read today. I don’t know why I struggle with negative self-imagine, but I do…and so do many others (regardless of the number on the scale). Your story will stay with me, especially on the difficult days. Thank you.❤️

  266. I never weighed over 135 (I’m over 5’7″) until my mid-30s, when I gained 50 lbs over a couple of years, apparently in a depression and a troubled marriage. I took it all off a few years later–only to add it all again 10 years later when my marriage ended and an injury put me on disability for nearly a year. I took it off again as I recovered from my losses and gained a newer, happier outlook on life. Now, over the last year or so, another disability and other losses in my life, I’ve put on quite a bit of it again. As a lifetime member of Weight Watchers, I know all the nutritional info, all the strategies for dealing with food and life, all the ways to identify when it’s going south. I identify only with photos of me as a thinner woman because that’s how I’ve been the majority of my years, but I, too, even after all that, still struggle with *me* and managing my needs and fears. So, yes, losing weight doesn’t fix that. I wish you luck.

    • But also, congratulations on your weight-loss journey. It takes a strong person to manage that. You clearly have many internal resources that I hope you can credit yourself with. I’ve read only this post of your blog, so best wishes.

  267. Beautiful and important perspective, and thank you for your honesty. I’m an instructor at a holistic nutrition program, and will be sharing this post with my students.

  268. Thank you. I’m 52 years old and have lost 48 to 52 lbs depending on the day, like you. I still battle the mirror every morning becoming aware of how I would tear myself down…every single morning. Now I look myself in the eye and say “I love you! I love you! I LOVE YOU!” Smile & wink and go on with the day. Some days I believe it, some days I don’t. But it’s my way of convincing myself that I am enough, right here, right now. I am enough.

    • Ditto. 50 years old. 50ish pounds down. Get tired of “you’ve lost so much weight” etc. I’m still the same me. Seems weird to look at the “before” and now the “after.” I still feel overweight, even though people are telling me to stop losing (I do still have 15-20 to lose technically). Weird. Wonder when I’ll ever be satisfied with who I am right here, right now.

      • Absolutely know how you feel! At 47 years old and 50+ down, the struggle to maintain my weight and stay positive with all the comments gets old real fast. I still struggle with the food cravings and have given in only to find myself in the same bad habits that got me to where I was in the first place. I don’t think I will every NOT be watching what I eat.

  269. Powerful. Thank you. The after is lonely for me. I don’t even want to totally go there. At 65 I wonder if I will go to my grave feeling that way. Your essay has given me much to dig into here. Thank you!

  270. Wow so well written. From your heart from your gut. I understand the emotions the fear we are still who we are just a bit different. Yes, for I feel the weight is a protection to the outside world. And we have to as you said ” peel it layer by layer” Thank you for sharing and being so completely honest.

  271. i totally identify…i too lost over 100 lbs…but didn’t have the courage and perspective to stay there…and i am up again…and trying again to loose…but not having any luck..thank you for your words.

  272. Your blog hit me like a ton of bricks! I could have written it word for word! It makes me want to tell my story because very few people know it and no one understands it! Thank you!!!!

  273. I hear you, girl! In a PC world where it’s still universally cool to dis the fat girl, where we are increasingly inundated with images of skinny as the norm and to disdain bodies that do not conform to the current air brushed norm, it’s no wonder we have such difficulties embracing and loving the flesh that houses our spirit, whatever size or shape it is. Thanks for sharing your journey thus far, and kudos for recognizing that the “during” is our continuing challenge as humans!

  274. YES!! I can so relate. After losing 130 pounds and being over 20 pounds lighter than I have ever been in my adult life, I too am trying to figure out who I am without the weight loss “struggle” (and realizing the struggle never ends). I look in the mirror and don’t recognize myself. Sometimes I’m proud of how I look, sometimes in terrified- mostly the latter, though because I’m so deathly afraid of regain. I have a long history of being able to lose weight but have always gained it back plus. I’m determined not to do that this time, but I know it will only happen if I can learn to be ok with me. I’m not there yet, but for today I can be kind to myself and nurturing towards myself. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  275. my story is so different but yours still resonates deeply with me. I’m 5’6, 120 lbs and struggle keeping weight on and staying healthy. I inherited a combination of rare disorders which makes it really hard to even maintain my current weight. Working out is fatiguing and constant pain is my norm. I constantly receive comments about my weight and body – everything from “you are too skinny, you need to eat more” and “You should work out more” to “you look so great, how do you do it?”. It doesn’t match how I feel. I eat even when I’m full to try to gain weight, I lose muscle instead of gain it if I workout, I feel like a stranger in my body and the comments all make me feel even further disconnected. Being skinny means I’m not part of the club of “real women” with “real bodies”. Being this weight makes me self-conscious – that women see me and don’t like me. I wear baggy clothes most of the time because I feel this hate from other women. My body is real too. None of us chose our bodies. All our bodies are ok.

  276. No it’s a commitment to your body and sole! I to have made a journey as of 100 lbs. and have maintained since 2013, you always look for other ways to either improve some type of look or just lose another 2 lbs. to prove to yourself you can!!! I bottomed out and was told to gain at least 15 lbs. back. So you and your sole have to compromise and stay balanced ~ That Will give her because your heart never changes its the people around you who do? good or bad you need to enjoy yourself and life as it comes 🙂

    • Although you may be referring to fish, or shoes, when you say “it’s a commitment to body and sole”, I don’t think you are. I think the word you were looking for is “soul”. Also where you say “I to”, the correct version would be ‘I too’.

  277. I can hear you. Loud and clear. And it brings me to tears. I’m here, right with you, in the middle of ‘the during’.

  278. Wow, hits home — though I’m not actively trying to lose weight – several years ago I lost nearly 60 pounds because I couldn’t swallow well. People congratulated me constantly at my weight loss and commented on how “healthy” I looked. I was miserable, I was starving most nights lying awake in bed — and I was worried that something was terribly UN-healthy about me. I thought it interesting that my physical body became so “owned” by all who viewed it — but that is where the connection with most people ended — I felt very alone, afraid, sick and terribly frustrated every time someone commented on how “great” I looked. I have gained most of the weight back, I can eat again — I eat too much (maybe because of 3 years of not being able to eat much), but nobody tells me how “great” I look anymore. Weird stuff.

  279. I’m reading this. Its so true. All of it, at least for me. Thank you for your blogs. But at 60 years of age and being the chubby girl since 9-10, I’m afraid i will never get to know why or how to do what youve done daily. Its so ingrained in who i am. Kc

  280. Wow..I absolutely loved this post of your blog. I just stumbled across it on facebook.
    I began my weight lost journey a couple of years ago as well. I lost 40 ponds and just stopped for awhile. Then I kinda floated on and off. I was at my heaviest 290. I am now 240. But this is the first time I have ever lost weight for myself…for me. I always did it for a dress..occasion or a man. I committed this year to myself…no boyfriends..just me. I am doing ok…but strangle the first couple of months truly broke me…I didn’t like being alone and it scared me that I didn’t know what to do with just me..lol. but after depression a 20 pound weight gain again…I am starting to feel happier..therefore wanting to loose the weight for me…to change my life. I still struggle and have lost most my recent weight gain. Getting to know me…loving me…seriously the hardest thing I have ever did…and is still. I love how you pointed this out in your post.

  281. “No matter where you go, there you are.” You are still the same person just in a different package. Getting healthy physically is only half the work. Your emotional well-being is just as important. Doing THAT work is often much more difficult. It takes courage.

  282. Wow! Thank you for having the courage to share that with us! I sit here and have 100lbs to loose and have been able to understand why it scares the shit out of me, now I have a clearer picture. I am scared of having to find the me that lies beneath, the me that can no longer hide behind the weight!! Thanks again for your honesty!!

  283. You were beautiful before, you are beautiful now and you will always be beautiful. Learn to love yourself inside and out. It takes a strong, courageous, brave and powerful woman to accomplish all that you have. Your future is bright with or without the weight. See that in yourself and take it one day at a time. Everyday is a blessing.

  284. I spent my life in larger skin. In the last 5 years, I have gone from larger 320 to skin and bones 115 and I was never happy with myself and always finding a flaw. Now trying to get back to contentment which is some where inbetween. I totally understand where you are coming from, a sad fact but true. Thanks for sharing.

    • Someone earlier on in the comments made the very important point that, too often, we can use our weight issues as a way to avoid looking at deeper problems. I know this rang true for me; maybe it will hit home for you as well. It applies to all ends of the spectrum. It’s just a lot easier to focus on weight than to look at other things in the boxes from our lives. Because at least, with weight, we can do something about it.

  285. Pingback: How I Feel NOW | Confessions of a Yoga Princess

  286. I have never thought about my weight loss journey like this before. It makes perfect sense and I’m so glad I came across your blog posted on in a weight loss Facebook group!

  287. I lost over 80 lbs on Nutri System 30 years ago or so and got a ton of recognition, attention, and became the “it” guy in my social group..(church)… That only pissed me off. I was still the same person! Why didn’t they “like” me before?? I couldn’t handle what it said about us as a society.. I was too idealistic to accept that people are this way. Now, (I gained it all back quickly), I am focused solely on my own healthy reasons for being fit and healthy. I choose to forgive the world around me, and have grace for the mis-steps that become evident as I once more become the shape that they are more supportive of and comfortable with. This shallowness is so woven into our fabric, and I am as guilty of it as any I know… That’s what I didn’t want to face.. I choose to forgive myself, move into the present of simple, good choices made for simple, good reasons, to be the person that thrives on being present and available to those I care about, without hang-ups or physical restrictions due to poor health.

  288. Yes , I hear you. I hear that inner cry for the Maker: the only one that can fill that empty heart. You are spirit. Our spirits long for a spirit relationship. Listen to that still, small voice of the Maker calling you. Then, as a child aims to please the parent, aim to please your Maker. There is joy in doing that. Just ask me ! Make Him your first love and not self. It works. It really does.

  289. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover. The cover has change but the story remains, a few paragraphs are written every day. The cover only hides the struggle, but your honesty, your love and your courage are the tools that will win that struggle, why? Because you’re fucking strong.
    Thank you, I’ve shared your text with all my friends who struggle with weight. Bless you.

  290. I have dieted my whole life. At 17, I lost 90 pounds but always saw a fat me when I looked in the mirror. I have been up and down over the years. I gained a lot of weight when I had my children and I finally learned to love the fat me. A year and a half ago my knees really bothered me so I decided to lose some weight and after 20 years, finally lost my baby weight. I look at pictures now from 25 years ago and I looked really good but I never believed that at the time. Thank you for your article – I can definitely relate!

  291. I cant tell you what impact this post had on me or the person who posted this, what timing. I’m YOU, today, right now I’m the 5’6 118 pounder. I’ve been a size 2 all the way to tight 14. I’ve been up and down the Rollercoaster ride and have already started some sabotaging behavior the last 2 weeks. Then today I read this and I know I need to deal with this. My question at the end of every diet goal has been WHAT NOW..didnt know that, but this is what led to self sabotage and the cycle happening again. Not this time. Thank you so very much. I don’t know if you’ll ever feel how you touched me today and the difference you’ve made.

  292. You have expressed the AFTER dilemma perfectly. After does not exist. Process is the before, during, and always. There is no end point. And those tricky numbers are just that. Health and happiness and wellness and self-confidence are a constant process. Thank you for posting your journey and the process. Sharing!

  293. A friend of mine posted this on Facebook, at first I was scared to read it, yes a 45yo woman was scared to read a blog post…. why you might ask…. because I have been going through the same exact thing. I’ve lost over 50lbs in the past year and though I may physically feel better, mentally & emotionally I have no idea how to deal with it. I’m still the same person just in a smaller body. I’m scared. I don’t recognize the person starring back at me. Thank you so much for sharing this, it is exactly what I needed to read today.

  294. Thank you for sharing this. I haven’t struggled with my weight a whole lot in my life but I so totally hear you about loving yourself no matter what you look like. I hated myself, and hated how people would treat me based on how I looked. How a person looks doesn’t make them who they are! It took me 25 years to finally love myself and my body even though people would still judge me based on what they saw. I’m so so glad you posted this because alot more people need to hear and know this. Yes it’s good to loose weight and take care of your body so you are strong and healthy but to put your identity on that (how you look) like so many people have……not just women but men too is wrong and I’m glad you have enough strength to post this Because it definitely needs to be said! Enjoy life….thick or thin! Love yourself for who you are and what you want to become. you’re right though, there is no “after”…..there is just the here and now So enjoy it, live it, love it, and don’t let it slip away!!! God made you beautiful inside and out and it’s up you to take care of both and by the sounds of it you are doing a good job!!!

  295. Im the before. Wishing it were different, easy, questioning myself as to why cant i get this under control? Self-condemnation a constant battle. Like you though i know im strong. I can do this! Gods going to help me! He used you to give me hope. Thank you!!!

    • I wrote about this once before, (can find it here), but there is a difference between self-discipline and self-abuse. The line is thin sometimes, but when I find my self-talk drifting down a darker path, I try to ask myself two questions: “would I say this to somebody else?” and “does this empower me?” Chances are, if I wouldn’t say it to someone else, I shouldn’t be saying it to myself. And, if it is tearing me down rather than empowering me, I should definitely not be saying it.

  296. Your story is inspirational and so heart felt. I too have been on a weightloss journey. Funny how our journeys are as different as we are. When I was my lowest weight I’ve been since high school. I actually had a deep breakthrough kind of thought. I don’t want to be too cute. I’m pretty self-confident in so many ways, so how can being cute or pretty be a bad thing? I think of my childhood, and the girls that I saw things that they didn’t really want to happen, happen. How come that happens to any of us? Why did I put on the layer after layer of fat to cover up my cuteness. Not that it doesn’t come through, I know I shine. I do. I shine with an open heart, ready to show the world, the shiny me!

    Shining with layers and layers of fat, is so different than with cute curves. I have layers of fear now, that I’m slowly working through. Before with the layers of fat, it protected me from men who could or would want to hurt, manipulate me or my heart. That fat protected me from getting noticed by guys who were shallow and were into women to be use and abuse for looks alone. Did I mention I shine! I do, I don’t know how long I’ve known that I’m afraid to shine my shiny cute curviness. Fuck! It’s scary. Vulnerability is scary, how can I be me, cute curvy, and feel safe? Does anyone feel that way? Can anyone hear me?

    I’ve been working on making myself strong, learning to protect myself, and also to use my awesome judgment to let some males in. sounds easy, but it’s not. Dating is an adventure… sometimes good, but mostly comical.
    I have a long way to go. I’m nervous about the next step, exposing more of my curves and losing more layers.

  297. Thank you for sharing this! I sooo get where you are coming from! I am struggling right now with loving myself
    Completely. I am so happy and so blessed in my life-yet I am still carrying too many extra pounds. It is a challenge to figure out how to Not Focus on the one thing that isn’t great. I love myself, I am beautiful and confident, but there is room for improvement in how I see myself. So strange to live with such conflicting points of view.

  298. The “after” myth doesn’t only apply to weight loss. Anything we’ve spent time working toward can leave one empty by the time the goal is reached. That can be a downside of goal setting if there isn’t a follow through. Not achieving a goal is much easier. We can say we tried and failed and everyone can pat us on the back and say, “oh, that’s fine, I love you anyway” and that’s that. And some people are cool with that, but you DID IT! But here’s the dirty little secret. Real life is lived in the time in between life events. I think that’s why faith in Jesus is so important to so many people. Because that time in between can be a real bummer. There are lots and lots of afters in life that are more work than anticipated. After you’re married. After you have kids. After the kids move out. After you quit drinking. It’s never “done” – it’s effort – everyday – and it’s work – every day – it can be drudgery or it can be glorious. Be grateful for everyday good or bad. Zig Ziglar has a saying (he has lots of sayings actually), one that comes to mind and doesn’t apply at all but I’ll tell you anyway is “To make a friend, you have to be a friend.” We have to “show up” in lives of others. To get what you want (joy) you have to help others get what they want (joy). Life really can be joyful work. Enjoy!

  299. You are such an inspiration. I had just a small taste of the after dream ,years back when I lost 60 lbs. in 4 months. Everyone treated me so differently. It was almost surreal. I loved it . I hated it. I lost faith in humanity, because of all the false shallow priorities and reactions people had . I let it stop me.
    I was like, “hey, guys, it’s still me!”
    Now I weigh a lot more than when I started that journey.
    It’s not the end. It’s the beginning, in many ways. I wish I had seen that then. Now I struggle in middle age weighing almost 3 times my ideal weight. I am so scared and disillusioned. I want to see my daughter grow up. So far, WW and OA are lost on me. Why am I so impervious, so stubborn? I have declined surgery twice because I knew I’d mess it up and make myself sicker- because I had a sense of what you speak of, but that I couldn’t control myself. I need to think hard on what you say. There is so much wisdom in there. And I am scared.
    Thank you.
    -Stacey

    • My heart goes out to you, Stacey. I can totally relate. I would love to help you. I am a health coach who has ” been there done that” and wants to help people regain their health. Feel free to contact me at loseitforgood1 at gmail dot com

  300. Thank you so much! I needed this today… This whole post is like you’re reading my mind. I’ve lost over 100 pounds and what an amazing journey it was. I thrived in the thrill of my success and was so excited to get to my “goal” weight. Well I’ve been miserable more often than not ever since. It’s been a constant battle with determining how to “maintain” the loss, I’m constantly stressed over the number and struggle to focus on living a healthy lifestyle and the number not mattering. All my problems weren’t suddenly resolved when I reached my goal, I’ve had the same realizations… The journey to self discovery has just begun. All the best to you!

  301. I can hear you! And I want to thank you. Like many people, this is my struggle too. I’ve still got pounds to loose, and I’ve been feeling so stuck lately. I have recently started to uncover some real truths about my being overweight. Not the least of which is how completely misunderstood I feel when people see whatever they see when they look at me and decide that all I need is to stop being lazy, eat well, and exercise. Because this body – THIS body – has been signalling the world that I just need to be seen and loved.

    Once there was a little girl who was lost and voiceless in the midst of so much pain and chaos. And when it became clear that no one could see her, or hear her, no matter how much she talked, or cried, she decided to find a new way to signal for help. A body that would say to the world, “Something is wrong. Please see me!” Except it backfired, and everyone got the wrong message. And she’s been pretty pissed about it ever since. I feel so angry and misunderstood.

    It’s a really long journey. A journey of witnessing ourselves, in our pain, our anger, our grief. After a lifetime of trying to get the rest of the world to see me, love me, understand me, witness me, tell me that I’m justified in my pain and anger, I’m starting to realize how important it is that I begin to do that for myself.

    I’m here, today, with you. In the during. Thank you for sharing your “during” with me, and with all of us.

  302. I lost almost half my body weight 8 years ago, and was finally at a healthy weight. I felt great physically, but I hadn’t dealt with what made me fat in the first place. Unfortunately, I gained it all back, and then some. Your blog is so true and I wished I’d figured out how to be comfortable and happy regardless of my size. Being thin was NOT the answer. I will get there again, and this time, I will work on more than just the numbers on the scale.

  303. Thank you so very much for your beautiful depth and honesty. You expressed what I feel inside but have no words for. Thank you so much for the healing you are giving me just be being yourself! Sending you so much love, strength and joyful rediscovery of all the beautiful yous 🙂

  304. I hear you.
    I’m on my journey of losing one kg at a time (in in NZ)
    I will remember this write up.
    I Don’t want people to make clear how they think about me now being bigger when i get smaller.
    ‘Oh you look so much better now’ …wonder what their thought processes about my image are now when im overweight.
    Good to know to work on that internally while I’m ridding myself of my fat.
    Thank you. Glad this popped up on my feed x

  305. wow! Loved reading this. I have struggled with weight all my life. Lost and gained over and over again. I have been SO close to goal only to suddenly STOP, start eating again, and gain it all back. I started my weight loss journey AGAIN a couple months ago. I have been at this point so many times before and, just like before, I am telling myself that “this time will be different. This time I will keep the weight off.” My fear, of course, is that it won’t be different. I know (and your post brought it to light for me again) that I need to figure out WHY I put the weight on again each time. Because, until I do that, I may never reach goal. Like you, I don’t think I would know who I was if I finally reached my goal. Because I have NEVER been happy with my weight and it would be completely new territory for me. Maybe the fear of reaching goal is what keeps me from getting there. I know that it is something I have never wanted to look too closely on. It’s true that this entire process is a never-ending journey. We are not going to suddenly become someone different once we finally see the reflection in the mirror that matches the image we have had in our head for so many years. I think a lot of soul searching needs to take place. Thanks so much for sharing your story.

  306. kudos to you! Life is learning and accepting and learning to accept- we ALL strive to accept who we are, no matter our size, gender, race, orientation, etc.
    what you have so brilliantly stated and have perhaps started to understand for yourself is that sometimes that is hard, it takes work and is a journey, which does not end. The joy is actually inthe journey not in the end- thank you sooo much for sharing – I hope others are listening 🙂

  307. This is so true. I struggled with my weight, and still do. I look completely different. I still struggle with my self image and healthy boundaries with food. Thank you for putting your experience out there for us to see. Thank you for sharing.

  308. I hear you. I’ve been there. The hardest thing for most of us to do is love ourselves “as is”. It’s a continual process. I wish you well.

  309. Wow. Wish I had come across you about three or four years ago. Eight years ago, At the age of 57, I began a weight loss journey that ended up in me losing over 100 lbs. I had struggled with weight and self image all my life and I really thought I had licked it this time. Since I had always been the “chubby girl” all my life, I loved being a size 10 and even had plastic surgery to improve the physical appearance. Of course, I loved all the attention, not to mention the clothes! I did stuff I had never done, including two triathlons. Then life happened. Lost my best friend, my dad and FIL to illnesses, ended a 22 year career and moved 1300 miles from all family & friends – all in the course of 18 months. Now, three years into the aftermath, I’ve gained back nearly 3/4 of what I lost. Food is my friend and my enemy, all in one. I hate myself for this, yet know that I’m the only one who has the power to do anything about it. Reading your comments has helped me to realize even at the age of 64, I still don’t really know, like or trust myself. Guess it’s time to grow up. Thanks for your insights and God bless you on your journey.

  310. I hear you loud and clear!! I’ve struggled with my weight and my love/hate relationship with food for 45 years. Serial relapses. I like how I LOOKED when I was at my goal weight, better than how I now look carrying way too many extra pounds. But I never FELT like that person. Never accepted that person. Never quite connected that she could be ME.

  311. You expressed it so well. I have tried to put these feelings into words, for myself, and to communicate it to other people. I am 60 years old, and weighed over 200 pounds all of my adult life. At one point I weighed 300. Today I weigh 180 and am struggling to lose the last 25 pounds to my personal goal. I have maintained this weight for 18 months. While I am smaller and healthier than I have ever been as an adult, I am extremely critical of my body, of what I eat, and of who I am. I am still trying to “catch up with myself”. Thank you for putting it into words.

  312. Thanks for this. It really made me think about what I’m doing and why and where I want it all to go. Losing weight is never, NEVER just about ‘losing the weight’, any more than gaining weight is ever just about too many cakes (for me anyway). Important to remember that, ESPECIALLY when the weight loss regime du jour is ‘working’. Thank you.

  313. Thank you for being brave enough to post this. It is such a hard and awkward subject to explain to people. I know because I experienced a similar experience during weight loss and still struggle with my relationship with my body image and with food, but this has greatly improved for me with the addition of setting goals in my life to bring me back to life. You will rediscover yourself eventually and find happiness about yourself again. The fact that you were able to outright say that weight loss was not a fix-it-all solution to body image problems is the first step. Rejoice in the fact that you are brave enough to write this. You have touched me and will touch others with your story. Best of luck and thank you.

  314. Pingback: The “After” Myth | Can Anybody Hear Me? - I Got You, Boo

  315. What an absolutely AMAZING post. I’m so, so glad that you put those thoughts into words. You’ve obviously done an incredible thing in losing the weight, but you’re also right…it’s not enough *just* to lose weight if you can’t feel at peace, if you can’t like yourself and enjoy your life.

    I really resonated with what you wrote about feeling like you are *still you* – that your body now isn’t better, it’s just different, and it can be tough to feel like other people put down the old you in an attempt to praise your progress.

    I’m actually a coach and I help people who want to transition away from dieting and towards a more intuitive approach to food, and I find that so many people of all kinds of weight – from 100 pounds to 200 pounds and beyond — all those people struggle with feeling safe around food, with not obsessing and really being able to enjoy their lives. So I just want to say that you’ve achieved something amazing, and that it *is* possible to also do the inner growth you’re looking for. Geneen Roth’s book “Women, Food, and God” is wonderful for this if you haven’t checked it out, and I also blog about it.

  316. i don’t even know your name but I hear you. I hear you and I’ve had similar struggles. I am recovering from an eating disorder. I don’t really like the word recover. It doesn’t totally encompass everything I’ve been though and continue to go through. All I can say is you are not alone in this battle. Keep working at it! You can do hard things!

  317. I hear you! For years I had goals to lose weight or be skinnier. I’ve recently changed those goals, for many of the same reasons you discuss here. Now my goals are to be fitter, healthier, more active. My goals are for me because I want to live longer, feel better, and experience more. If I happen to lose some weight while I am becoming fitter and healthier, so be it, but I don’t want people to like me or complement me just because I’ve lost weight. I am the same person and if you don’t like me now, I don’t need you ‘after’! Thank you for sharing this message on a public forum.

  318. Wow! Truer words were never spoken. I’ve lost 50 pounds in the last year or so, that was the goal; but, I never had body image issues when I was heavier. Now that I am 50 pounds lighter “I feel fat” all the time. It’s a struggle to recognize my accomplishments myself and to figure out why that is so.

  319. I hear you and am crying in solidarity with you. Thank you for expressing this! As a yo-yo dieter all my adult life, it is so hard to struggle with the “after” being good and the before being a person of no worth. Well said!

    • Me, too. I’m 62 now and am currently ‘thin’ for the past 13 months or so. I’ve lost the same 50 pounds at least 4 times. Sort of exhausting, I must say. I’ve read that the odds of keeping weight off are less than surviving metastatic lung cancer, which is pretty darn depressing. Someday the smart scientists will have cracked this puzzle, but until then we must all cope with our body issues.

  320. Yes, I hear you! Although, I have not lost a ton of weight. I have actually gained in the process of uncovering who I really am. But the me that I’m uncovering is the real me, a fantastic me and it is one day at a time. Learning to love myself at my heaviest takes everything I’ve got. But it is a beautiful wonderful journey and I wouldn’t trade anything for where I am.

  321. I SEE YOU! I HEAR YOU! 8 years ago I lost 75 pounds. I was at “normal” weight, but I never hit my “goal.” I still felt like my body was the same; bad or damaged somehow. I never viewed it as beautiful. Over the years I gained it all back.

    After having a baby, weight is coming off slowly with breastfeeding. I’m not trying. And I know when I stop it will probably come back. I’m trying, now, to just see myself as I am and accept it. To know that fat is just something I have, it doesn’t define me. It’s nearly impossible.

    I don’t know how to break this in me. The need to be an ideal. I think it’s really society that needs to change. How do we do that? How do we make people accept fat as acceptable?

  322. Great blog. I had not ever really thought about where I am as ‘after’. I am always striving for Better:new goals, new adventures, new adrenaline rushes. I do understand the journey you are going through, I have been on it for 8 years now. Hopefully you discover yourself and enjoy simply being on the path of Life. Time spent experiencing what it is to be you is glorious and should always be enjoyed to the fullest!

  323. this is beautifully written from the heart…you’ve stated what I too have come to realize, I am ME no matter what my scale says, and I am loving ME and accepting ME more and more daily.The journey is beautiful,hard, horrible, courageous and yes,sometimes weak and less than other times, but it’s mine and I love it! Thanks for sharing your storey…it’s about time we ALL get real about ourselves.

  324. This is the first time I have read your blog and I was so blown away by what you wrote; A strong woman telling her truth and speaking a language so many of us know is a rare gift. There is so much of what you wrote worthy of quoting to every woman I know but instead I will share this for others to read. You have touched me today and I wish you continued success on your journey. Thank you!

  325. Having read your post, I now know that you are, and always have been, beautiful inside and out. You are you, and there’s nothing better you can be. You struggle just like all of us struggle, whether it’s with food, exercise, procrastination, drugs, depression and on and on. Thank you for your honesty. You are real, and people love that.

  326. The discovery of self happens when one decides to look at themselves based on the qualities of the person they are. The things that cannot change like personality. Characteristics of one’s self. Not on the outside. It’s not what we are or how we look which most people base their identity on its who they are. Who ever did this post I would like to work with you on this. Let me know. And it’s a journey to self discovery and the great thing is…..you’re on it!!!!

  327. it is awesome what you have done. But if you need more tall ships is where it is. You can cross the world with supportive people who will love, yes you will come to love them, for who you are. And how well you can sail:?

  328. I hear you! Thank you so much for sharing. I honor your strength and your heart. What a beautiful and honest human being you are…keep sharing and growing and being all you are. All the best to you and sending you lots of love!

  329. First, I love you for this and thank you. I have struggled with the same journey although I’ve never been able to put it into words as well as you have today. I’m 5’7 and about 10 years ago I weighed over 215 lbs., I lost about 60 lbs., rather quickly thanks to a little magic pill called ephedra (now banned) and hella exercise. Before the weight loss I couldn’t get a single man to look at me, after the weight loss, I couldn’t fight them off with a stick! Like another reader said, it was surreal. I wasn’t a new person, I didn’t have new feelings, but I did have a different perspective. I fluctuate (still to this day) between knowing what a beautiful person I am and complete self-loathing, and a total disdain for humanity, like, “fuck you, look what I had to do to get you to notice me, and treat me like a human being.” I don’t really feel like a “skinny girl” I sometimes feel like a fat girl in a skinny girl suit. But I have to say that we’re not impostors, we get to see the world from different angles, and how many people get to do that. We have to believe that we are beautiful, that we deserve the compliments, we worked hard, and we can empathize and help others in the same struggle. The way that people treat us on the outside doesn’t define us on the inside, although sometimes I wish it would, but it did made me stronger. Anyway, that’s what I have to say about that. I look forward to seeing what others have experienced. Take care everyone and be well.

  330. Just started following your blog! You hit the nail on the head. I’m not defined by my size, number on a scale or pair of jeans. I’m defying who I am every day by challenging myself to be active and become healthier. One step at a time.

  331. What a fantastic article, which had me nodding my head in recognition at all of it. I bought into the whole myth of how everything would be better if I lost weight and imagined some mythical place where everything would be better if I was a size 10. It wasn’t. I would shun all my “before” pictures (which unfortunately encompassed the first few years of my son’s life) and assure myself I’d never look like that again. Well, what do you know, I never did crack why my emotional state and my eating and drinking are linked and the bigger clothes are back out. At least this time I’ll be focusing more on my mind than my waistline as I try to get fitter and healthier again.

  332. Yes. I hear you. Thank you for sharing this. I’m sitting here crying because I am a heavy person that does not love myself, and I’m unsure I ever could at any weight and this just hit something deep and I’m trying to figure out what it means. Maybe I can do the weight loss after I learn how to love who I am now. Maybe I can learn to the allow the person who stares back in the mirror to exist as he is.
    Thank you.

  333. I am 8 years out and finally learning to love myself. Somedays not so much but I agree 1000 percent. The weight is but the smaller physical part of it and it happens fast. I am just now learning of my strength inside and out at 8 years. It is amazingly slow but I want it to stick. I no longer want it to be about reaching a number. I did reach that number again a few months ago and then I sat there thinking now what? Now I choose strength in myself and my body.
    Good Luck in your journey. You sound like you are headed in the right direction.

  334. I hear you. ((hug))
    The mental aspect is far more difficult to overcome then the physical.

    I’ve lost 138 lbs.

    For three years my battle has been against myself. The scale my enemy. New clothes my reward. But it’s so much more then that, and to those who have never lived this, will never understand. All they see is “Before” and “After.” Not understanding that YOU are still YOU at every size.

    And yes you are fucking strong!!

    No weak person could do what you have accomplished, and I applaud your struggle!!

  335. I have had a Before photo, and I have had an After photo. Now, I am bigger than my original before photo. There is no AFTER…………this is a journey. You know they say that the destination is not the joy but the journey is? The same goes for this thing we call weight loss, healthy living etc etc etc. This is a journey ……..one we have to walk slowly on. There is a reason we became fat, obese, overweight (whatever adjective you want to use) and we have to unpeel all the onion layers to find that. Then and only then can we work on what makes us who we are. We are the women in the BEFORE photos, and we are the women in the AFTER photos. We are still that person, with issues. Issues we covered up before in layers of fat, cholesterol and what have you. We have to be comfortable in the BEFORE skin before we will ever be comfortable in the AFTER skin. Its a journey…………so make that journey worthwhile

  336. Yes, yes, yes, a thousand times yes.

    My life has been over 30 years of before and never quite reaching the after. I have had middles and almosts and continually bemoan my inability to reach the after.

    I really loved this piece. I love your honesty, vulnerability and strength all beautifully and eloquently written with such heart.

    I wish I had found your blog before today, but now I will go and read back through. Thank you for sharing, shining and embracing your beautiful self.

  337. I just stumbled upon this last post; I know nothing of your specific journey, and yet I can hear you in so many ways. I support you being you.

  338. I hear you, sister. I’m struggling closer to “before”, but I’m afraid of the ” after” part. Once you get there, there’s so much pressure to maintain it, so the struggle with yourself remains. What’s the point, then? If I’m not guaranteed better body image and happiness with myself, why bother? But, “after” and “during” have to be better for me than where I am now.

  339. I hear you! Amazing post – going right up to the top of the list of best things I’ve ever read. I’ve struggled with weight issues most of my life – dieted for 3/4 of my life… Our worth is not measured by our weight. Life doesn’t wait for us to hit a number on the scale. We are given a finite number of years on earth – don’t wait to start living and loving and enjoying until you hit a number on the scale. You will miss so much. Thank you for posting this – truly amazing and exactly what I needed. I rarely comment on articles but had to on this one.

  340. VERY WELL SAID! There are so many people who have made this journey, more than once too. . For me it has been 3 times, and each time for different reasons. This last time has been over the span of a year and that is only 50 lbs ( a lot for me) reaching my healthy weight in a matter of weeks now. I wanted to go slow because I needed to learn everything I could about food. What it does to my body, what is healthy, and what works for me, what causes hunger, what foods keep me fuller longer. As far as dealing with stress and food as comfort, I remember all too well the WEEKS of stalls with no loss and thinking I will never put my body or mind through this again! This time my loss was based on health and feeling comfortable. Carrying an extra 50 or so was miserable most of the time– for my back, hip, feet , trying to breath when bending over, lack of energy, having to take medications due to excess weight. Of course compliments are nice and welcome, but for me and this is probably related to age (68) it was my journey to better health. I hope you can find the happiness you deserve for the great gift you have given yourself, and enjoy the freedom your loss will give you. I see you have been hiking, backpacking, and that probably is more enjoyable with a trimmer you. You were an awesome person before the weight loss, and you are still an awesome person. Especially your writing skills!!

  341. I love your truth. I have yet to find my self our love me for me I was thin once and now I’m fat!!!! People say all the time don’t you care? What does that mean care? I hardly look in the mirror only to put make up on and to fix my hair. No photo’s!!!! One day I hope to start to find me but as of now I have 4 special need children who take all of me and there for there is no more me for me. God bless you and keep talking and one day God willing we will find our selfs.

  342. I know exactly what you mean! I thought losing weight would fix all my problems and the truth is everyone has problems. I thought men would look and love me differently then when I was heavy, but the truth is I did not see me different or love myself. The journey just begins after the weight loss ends. I turned to alcohol instead of food. Now just taking it day by day. I am 7 yrs out and have lost 110 lbs!

  343. God came down from His throne to suffer and die personally for you. He loves every hair on your head. If He who created you loves you knows every cell in your body, agonizing just to have a word from you for all He has blessed you with, is waiting to show you who you are. Love you in Christ Jesus.

  344. I hear you. I am proud of you. You have accomplished something most people find impossible, so you are very strong and capable. I hope you can find peace with yourself and enjoy life, you deserve that.

  345. Thank you very much for such a poignant, honest post. I have been before and after and because I too struggled with the unhappiness with me, i am starting the journey all over again. Thank you for having the courage to help all of us who need to learn ourselves During. I hear you. You are beautiful in all of your phases.

  346. You ARE a strong, beautiful girl. It took a lot of courage to say what you did…and a whole lot of truth in it. Enjoy the “now” and know that we are ALL discovering who we are and changing what we need to until the day we leave. Keep going….YOU are an inspiration!

  347. I hear you loud and clear! Thank you for that revelation and inspiration! It came into my life just as I needed to hear it. Thank you!

  348. Hon, let me tell you that telling yourself the number on the scale is just a number and meaningless to the person you are is great for the logical side of your brain, but the emotional side will never be happy with that explanation and keeps telling you different. It is a struggle that some days you will win and some days you will lose, depending on how you’re feeling that day BUT THAT’S OK. It’s ok to feel great one day and not so great the next. I had the opposite experience of you, was anorexic for over 16 years and am now at a healthy weight; but some part of me still tells me that I am a fat slob some days even though, logically, I know that is not so. The key to being ok in the skin you’re in is to love yourself no matter what, whether you’re too fat, too skinny, or somewhere in between. We are all beautiful, all wonderful, powerful creatures that have important and meaningful lives; the struggle is being kind enough to ourselves to believe it. Hugs.

  349. Thank you for this blog. Thank you for your courage…every day. Reading this suddenly helped me to see something about my weight problem that never occurred to me. I need to work at finding me not a smaller dress size. After that what will be, will be. I heard you.

  350. I can totally relate! It’s a journey that doesn’t really end. The weight is just a symptom of much deeper things. I have lost lots of weight as well and struggle with feeling truly connected to people. Many who wouldn’t give me the time of day at 300 lbs now want to be my friend. And those who were my friends have changed and the friendships are fragile post weight loss. When you lose so much weight that you look like a new person, I feel like it causes a bit of an identity crisis. Congrats on your weight loss and good luck on your journey.

  351. Listen, I just came across your blog today. I haven’t had as drastic a change as you. However, three years ago, I found a photo of myself at a work Christmas party. I remember the photo being taken–I felt stunning. And then I saw the real photo–I was the heaviest I had been without having childbirth to blame it on. Granted, I was 160 lbs. but I made a choice that day to never be there again. I lost 35 lbs. it took time and more effort than most people can imagine. My Husband did Ideal Protein, and I went to the initial meeting. A woman looked at me and said “why are you here?” I told her I was here for the same reasons as everyone else, and to support my Husband. People call me skinny mini now, but I still have fat and I still struggle with food. EVERY. DAY. Being thinner has introduced a whole host of other worries. And like you, it takes me forever to lose five lbs now. Keep your head up, and try to be proud of who you are. This process never ends.

  352. I so hear you. I am on my journey at this moment and have lost a total of 68 pounds to date. I have at least another 50 to go. I am fearful when I reach that point as to regaining the weight. I have focused on myself finally after all these years at age 48. I am loving at chipping away one pieces of “not me” one piece at a time. Congratulations on your journey and relearning yourself!! Love this post.

  353. Thank you for writing this. As someone who will not, I think, ever manage to LOOK like an “after,” your post makes it easier to be in the body that is me, which everyone is so eager to whittle down to a body that will look like not-me and will fit their notions of worthiness better. Some days, I manage to feel worthy in the body I have. Posts like yours help.

  354. This is an excellent article. You nailed it. You managed to uncover what the rest of us have struggled to put into words. Thank you!

  355. Thank you so much for writing down exactly what I am feeling. I am still not where I want to be, but am a skinnier me than I was before. However, the more I lose, the more I feel I have to lose. I don’t feel like there will ever be an “after”. When I post pictures, I always say “current”, ’cause “after” doesn’t exist.

  356. Yes, being at peace with the YOU. And it’s not just about getting thinner, but we each need to be happy with ourselves. I struggle with health issues that I never thought I’d have cause I’ve always been “healthy as a horse” and now I’m trying to gain weight, eat what my body needs, and slow down for my body to heal, all the while being at peace with my body and not angry at it. It is me, after all.

  357. Beautifully and skillfully stated, and I thank you. Geneen Roth is the finest writer about inner “weight loss” issues that I know. She has a Facebook page. You might like her book: “Women, Food, and God.” It speaks to the spiritual beings we are; it does not espouse any particular religion or set of beliefs.
    All the best to you. Your courageous honesty will help to carry you to that place where neither “Before” nor “After” will be anything other than terms. ♡♡♡

  358. I am down 151lbs about 11 years now…I struggle everyday to make good choices and get off my butt and exercise. I have been fighting 20lbs for a while now, it does not get easier, you are not your weight. I can so relate!!! xo

  359. I have lost 50 or so pounds towards my goal of losing 100 pounds.Every word you spoke is so true and so powerful.Thanks for expressing all of this.Weight loss is an accomplishment AND it is not a statement on who you are as a person.You were song and gorgeous before,AND you are still that.Also as you said,it is an on going journey.Thanks again!

  360. I love every single word of what you wrote, it is so real, so true, and you never hear people articulating this! It’s like the emporer has no clothes–there is no after! It’s a mirage that keeps disappearing as you get closer! But I hope you will find that a few years down the road, if you continue your focus and curiosity and exploration about who you are, all of a sudden one day you will realize “Hey, I got there–I know myself!” The learning never stops completely, but you will feel a lot more whole than you do now. If you continue working on it. Good luck & peace to you on your journey. You have a beautiful soul.

  361. You are an amazing person it does not matter how much you weigh. People are the same losing weight does not make you happier if you are not happy wirh yourself. I would love to lose weight but that is not who I am. I am a loving, honest hard working single mom who trys to be everything to everyone. Losing 100 lbs will not change whats on the inside and if thats what people look for then they are very shallow. You are honest about your struggle and that makes you amazing and I hope you rediscover the inner you and you become all you want to be .

  362. This is such a great post! Thanks for sharing your struggle and your journey. My ex basically divorced me because I gained weight over the years. He would say I was a different person. I tried to convince him that I was the SAME person, I just looked a little different, but he couldn’t see it that way. I tried to lose weight for years and couldn’t until I met a man who loved and cherished me no matter what I weighed, and as he convinced me that I was worthy of love and I learned to love myself, the weight started coming off even though I had given up dieting and exercise. It really is so much about loving and accepting yourself. ❤

  363. I hear you. For all of us going along the journey, you have spoken the truest words. There is no “after” and that is most definitely the hardest part to discover once you get to where you think “after” should be. There is no parade, balloons, marching band, or welcoming committee saying “TA-DA! You’re here!”, but there still is the dealing with life, stress, depression, what made us eat in the first place, and then after all that, there is coming to that place where we realize we need to love ourselves. And yes, THAT is the absolutely the hardest part of all. To everyone who is on this same journey, give yourself one positive comment each day. Stand in front of the mirror and say “I love me!” and BELIEVE it. Accept compliments when they are given and let the appreciation of others sink into your soul, rather than allowing those negative background “yeah, right” thoughts seep into your head. Ours is a life-long journey. First, to lose the weight, and second, and most importantly, to accept that we are wonderful beings and to love ourselves. One small step in front of the other; one day, hour, minute, second at a time, we WILL continue on with this work in progress. Every day love yourself a little bit more. Oh wow, do I hear you.

  364. I found this post because a friend shared it on Facebook. After reading, I felt the need to congratulate you on getting physically healthier. It’s a lot of hard work.
    I also wanted to share a point of view. We aren’t what we are, we are what we do.
    We aren’t a number on the scale. We aren’t the clothes we wear. We aren’t the color of our skin. We aren’t the religion we choose to follow or not follow for that matter. We aren’t the job title we have. We aren’t the number in our bank accounts.
    We are what we do to help ourselves. We are what we do to help others.

    We tend to see that in our friends and loved ones, but not in ourselves.

  365. I my goodness. This is our life story. For people with food and body issues, this is all about connecting to our souls, our authentic selves, and that’s some work. At least now, there’s some space when the obsession is quiet. Keep going on your adventure. No one is judging. We don’t have these issues for no reason. This is not your fault or my fault. It’s just the way we finally got our attention to get a good life going.

    You are perfectly imperfect and you are so loved. xo

  366. You have done something absolutely incredible! That being said, you figured out that this is a lifelong journey. There will never be a day you don’t think about food, exercise, and weight. There will be a day however, it isn’t as much of a struggle. I used to teach medically managed weight loss as a nurse educator so this issue is very real and hits a spot in my heart. Most often for overweight people, the struggle isn’t the food. Most often there is a beast hidden within that an overweight person is battling. I would strongly urge you to find and attend a support group as there are many people who can relate to the struggle you are having and are having the same struggle themselves. As you stated, you will always be you, with or without extra weight… You just have to learn how to be happy with that person and overcome whatever beast is hidden below.
    Good luck on your continued journey. You will find your way!

  367. Pingback: The "After" Myth | Reddit Spy

  368. You’ve already gotten so many responses, but this affected me so deeply that it brought me to tears. The last time I lost weight, I went through such a dark period that I couldn’t understand, wasn’t I supposed to be happy?? You described what I was going through so well, and I didn’t even KNOW that those were the feelings I was experiencing. I shared this on my wall and I hope the whole world reads it. THank you!

  369. You ARE beautiful, you have ALWAYS been beautiful your just a little lighter and healthier 💕 well done stay strong and be proud of yourself xxx

  370. I myself have lost 350lbs and I read your blog and it was so right. I thought for years it was the weight making me unhappy but found myself less happy after losing the weight. Is it because every aspect of my life is so different now and I resent myself for living so long like that or is it because I still don’t love me for me. I hear so much ” you look so much better” and i just say well that’s rude i thought i was always a beautiful person which is a lie but then the back peddling starts “no no i always thought you were handsome but now ?

  371. Profound. Real. I highly recommend the work over at http://www.beautyredefined.net Twin sisters with PhDs who have researched into these very issues of body image, self-acceptance, and media messages. I strongly recommend it to everyone. Blessings to you and thanks for sharing your journey.

  372. I hear you, I’ve been there. I don’t think it really ever get’s much easier, but it gets better. I can’t tell you when it will happen or what it will be, but sooner or later you’ll have that moment when you really start to like yourself for who you are. Just remember, it’s your story, don’t let anybody else tell you how to write it.

    Thanks for writing this.

  373. Pingback: Journal: R1 VLCD 10 (1.1 lb/1.2 lb lost!) | Geek.tosis!

  374. Thank you for being so honest about your journey! I’m 63 and your words touched my heart. I’m wondering who I am at this point in my life. I’m going to refer to your post for strength and courage to face the TRUTH. I hear you, loud and clear!

  375. Amen! There will never be an after, there will always be a DURING!!!! As long as you don’t fall into or allow yourself to be sucked back in to the before and you continue to move forward to be a better you on the inside as well as the outside, a healthier you inside and out it’s called progress, and your progression will carry you through life. Don’t stay stagnant, staying fit and healthy all the way around takes a lot of work. Don’t ever stop working. You’re still earning that paycheck by maintaining that healthier body inside and out. If the workout is getting boring, try something different, take up a sport, Karate, kickboxing, rock climbing, ballet, mountain biking. make a goal to do a triathlon or a decathlon just to keep yourself motivated and moving forward.

  376. You are a truly gifted woman. You have a command of words that I can only dream of. You paint a picture that I can relate to. You are already uncovering “you” you just can’t see it, but the rest of us can. Keep looking and you will see that wonderful woman too.

  377. “She’s standing right here, and she is fucking strong”. Yes she is. Life is a journey not a destination. That affirmation…that roar from the depths of your soul proves it. See you on the path…ROAR!

  378. Don’t know whether you will see this post; there is a great book that was published fairly recently that you might find really useful in your continuing journey. It is available in audio and Kindle as well: beyond willpower by Alexander Loyd. It provides some tools that can be very valuable for deprogramming and reprogramming the mind.

  379. thank you so much for your beautiful story. It is very much the truth for myself, my friends, and those i coach as well. Life is not a case of “when I get to ____ (weight, bank acct $, place, relationship status, etc), I will be done and I will be happy”. Acceptance of what is what creates Joy, and that acceptance is what we work toward. I applaud you for becoming a clearly physically healthier version of you. That is a huge step toward self love. Have you read The Untethered Soul? It sounds like you would really find your next steps there. All my best to you.

    Lindsay Sacks
    BREAKTHROUGH TO BLISS

  380. This is fantastic, and you are wiser than many. As someone who frequently dreams of becoming an After (which is really just another word for Perfect), this was a much needed kick in the arse. Thank you for the reminder that the rainbow has no end – there’s today, there’s during, there’s LIFE.

    And for all I may lose, I hope to gain that twofold in richness of truly living.

  381. This is such a rare story to tell….to tell the absolute truth of what it is all REALLY about.
    I have not had to ‘lose the weight or inches’, I have not had to struggle as you have but…yet I do….on a daily basis.
    No it is not about the weight or inches, but ALL about YOU…about ME…about the person in each of us.
    Thank you for this story that I will share with hopes that so many others will share, as well.
    Well put, my friend.
    ️️Hugs to you.

  382. Thank you so much for sharing! I can empathesize because I had lost 100 lbs and was in the same place as you! I always had to assure people that I wasnt sick, but was trying to find the healthy me. I also only saw the heavier version of me, rather than the thin version. I found myself being even more critical of myself the more weight I lost and the more attention I received from people. Congrats on your strength 😄

  383. I needed this! I NEED THIS! I feel lost on my loooong journey but after reading this it gives me hope. Thank you for being so very honest as most of the time I feel so very lost. I try. I fail. But I have to keep trying! GOD BLESS YOU!!

  384. I too have struggled with weight my entire life. Several years ago I lost 95 lbs. The result? A smaller body but shockingly for the first time in my life I felt a dark depression. How was that even POSSIBLE? I was thankfully able to overcome the depression. I subsequently gained back about 20 lbs and have stayed at that weight ever since. Your words resonate with me. Apparently I was not ready to give up my ‘shield’ of weight although I had been spending my live trying to rid myself of it. I agree, there is no after. There is simply during. I will continue to learn to love myself a little more each day because it is THAT which I ultimately want. Not smaller digits on the scale. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability.

  385. A powerful post! The strength in your words came thru loud and clear. I also struggle with my weight daily. I understand your anxiety, frustrations and everything else rolled into one.Your journey is ongoing and whether you know it or not you are one courageous woman who will take this fight with strong determination and a will to succeed. I am thinking about taking the big plunge to do something about my weight.Thank you for sharing your personal thoughts showing us what it is to struggle with something so dramatic that turns ones life into a topsy-turvy roller coaster. As Matthew stated….ROAR Woman ROAR! Hugs

  386. This is seriously the most encouraging, honest, raw, and thoughtful thing I have read. After my parents got a divorce I thought my world had ended so I buried my feelings in food and have just kept on eating in a terrible way until I gained probably 100 pounds. But now I’m on a “weight loss journey” so to speak. But this has been one of my biggest fears, that I’m losing weight because I no longer love myself and I want to be someone different and I worry that when I shed all these pounds that I still won’t like the girl I see looking back. So yes I hear you loud and clear.

  387. I hear you. And I want to salute and recognize the value of your During, even when it seems like some of it is ENduring.

    I’m fighting the same kind of battle. I’m not looking for After. I’m looking for health. I’ve decided I like it here on Earth, and I’d like to stay here awhile longer. There’s much more stuff to see and do, and I’m learning that none of the best stuff is about food.

    “Instead of asking if your glass is half-full or half-empty, be thankful you have a glass.”

  388. You look amazing !!! After loosing a lot of weight … peoples are struggling with extra skin .That is not your case …can i ask : what did you do about that ? Because you don’t have any …

  389. Leaning to accept yourself as a humanBEing is a life time journey. Just to BE is enough. Sending Light and Love for your journey. Thank you for sharing your story…I hope you write many more chapters. NAMASTE

  390. Thank you. I am 65 and have struggled with weight issues for 50 years. Your reflections helped me to crystallize the problem for me – now I will be successful.

  391. I hear you! I find you courageous and genuine; these are worthy characteristics. I think we are all involved in self-discovery every day, every moment. We define ourselves on many levels: physical, emotional, social, intellectual, spiritual. My personal thoughts are to not depend on the physical or anyone else’s opinions, but depend more on introspection and self-observation – and most emphasis should be made on spiritual attributes. I read God’s Word and ascribe to become more Christ-like each day – this is my measuring stick of evolving into the person I choose to be!

  392. Wow, I’ve just read this and I know your blog is making popcorn pop in my brain. I’m down 65lbs so far with another 20 to go. In 10lbs I hit my ‘fantasy weight’ that I look at as the weight I hit when I start doing certain things (which I could be doing now). That concept of after, you’re talking about to a certain degree.

    I’ve been able to make peace and accept who I was, and who I am, and who I still am. I get what you mean about, ‘it’s all me, she is me’.

    We will always live with who we are and these struggles, but we now have tools to help us out.

    Thank you for sharing.

  393. i hear you so loudly! My issue was my teeth being crooked. My whole life, that was the goal, get ‘Em straight. The very minute they put those braces on, I knew I had made a big mistake. Five years later, braces off, I am still the girl with the fangs. Just as an aside, I’ve been ‘skinny’ all my life. I have Crohn’s disease and my thyroid stopped working a few years ago… I am 150 lbs and I like it! I am so damn happy that no one asks me why I M so skinny anymore! As you’ve found out, ‘skinny’ doesn’t equal happy.
    Happy equals happy.
    Recently I’ve had so much stress, I’ve broken five teeth from grinding them at night!!!
    I just wanted you to know that I love you both ways and that you will find your ‘happy’. Bless you for your blog.
    Victoria x o x o

  394. Wow! What an incredible and powerful message! I’m so impressed with your honesty and GIRL- I HEAR YOU!!! I’m no where near having the level of acceptance you’ve reached but I understand the obsession about the number in the scale, the strive for perfection and then the debilitating disappointed when I don’t reach the unattainable expectation. Thank you for sharing your strength!

  395. I freaking hear you girl.just start livin….meditate. so proud of you.just live.firget the other bullshit and enjoy as you deserve to.wow so very cool you are.hows it feel to be awesome and strong because…THAT’S What you are!

  396. Pingback: Getting to 85lbs lost… | IainBlog

  397. you are amazing! why? because you are telling the truth. I totally get where you are and where you are coming from. am adding you to the blogs I follow!

  398. I wish I could find myself again. The layers keep coming back & taking over my life. I want that before & after picture…. I just can’t find that path! Thank you for sharing what “after” is…. Your so brave!

  399. This is the very best thing I’ve read today!! I think we all need to start enjoying our DURING!! What terrific insight! Thanks for sharing!

  400. Thank you so much for bringing awareness to this element of weight loss !! I applaud you for acknowledging that the journey isn’t done with “reaching” the number on the scale. So many think that getting to a set goal was all they had to do, and now could go back to their life… Which leads to weight gain.
    I have been there myself, and learned about the importance to uncover and resolve the hidden emotional causes for weight. Now I discover patience with myself as I peal away emotional layers…

    Would you like to share your story in our FB group Hopesity – Hope for Obesity!?

  401. Incredibly well said! I’m going to keep this for those times when I need strength to fight the self-doubt that losing over half of myself didn’t resolve. It feels like it created more.

  402. I hear you! I made the same mistake several years ago thinking when I lost the weight I would finally ________. Fill in the blank with any number of things – be happy, healthy, better, find love, etc. etc. and when it all didn’t fall into place like I thought it should, I let life get in the way and gained it all back plus another 30. So now I’m at the start of another journey. This time it’s just for me. I’ve decided I will not be a number. Not on the scale, not by age nor by bank account or statistic. I am me! And like you, I’m strong and can do anything I set my mind to do!

  403. Post Bariatric here, ten months out. I hope I hear you fully. My thrill these days is doing things I couldn’t do before. I am literally running from where I used to be. Be strong.

  404. Yes! Yes! Yes! I’ve been post 145+ weight loss for a few years and keeping it off is not the issue, embracing me as I was, am, and will be are the hard parts. I do my best to treat myself with kindness and never say to myself something I wouldn’t say to a friend. It doesn’t always work but you have to keep practicing to master a skill.

  405. How did you verbalized my internal dialogue?
    It’s as though you spend time in my head, and saw through my eyes, then wrote the words I have yet to say.
    Thank you.

  406. I am on a journey also. I have lost a significant amount of weight for medical reasons (very bad wrecked knees), and wanting to be able to do things that I love doing. So I can really relate to this and know the “after”is the scary part. Losing weight and gaining weight is the easy part, its the underlying issues that makes us turn to food that is the real issue. I am treating this as a time for learning and growth, but I know the after will be scary. I am still the same person, just in a revised body! thank you for being so open and honest about your journey, the good, the bad and the ugly!

  407. Now you need to build your faith in a living God who made you and will always love you as you are. Please try reading the devotional Jesus Calling. Start with the introduction and be faithful in reading the short page for each day. You can get it for your cell phone and the scriptures are all written out My personal struggles are strengthened when I lean closer to HIM through these daily devotions
    Blessings to you and know you are loved

  408. I have always been “small” or smaller than most… But struggle everyday to be healthy-to become stronger. To be happy with myself. As women, we compare ourselves to others and (for lack of a better word) it’s not fair to what we have accomplished as individuals. I work hard to maintain my size as I age and raise 2 girls of my own. People comment, “you must have a fast metabolism”. I just smile. I have to because I work hard. Everyday. I let them believe it’s just my metabolism because I don’t want them to compare themselves to me. It’s my struggle-and they have their own. No matter what I can say about my body, I can’t make them feel better about theirs. It’s your body, your life…treat it how it deserves, but don’t deprive yourself of living and enjoying it!

  409. Well said. Mine has been a lifelong struggle also. I didn’t even keep it off after gastric bypass despite very much knowing exactly who I am and loving the person that I am. I think what has finally done it for me has been becoming vegan because it’s no longer about me anymore and also finally reporting being abused as a child 36 years ago. Buddhism helps me greatly as well. You sound very determined and emotionally intelligent in the sense that you have a really great idea of what your own individual issues are. You will get there!!!

  410. Sylvia said it best. You have a gift with words. If you are looking to fond who you are, then surely this must be a large part. Also, strong, determined, brave.

  411. I love this! Thank you! I too thought that I had reached my after. People talk about the “old you” (myself included) that it’s this person that died, and that you are now some super hero, and maybe you were all along but you were always that other person, and you still are. It’s still a struggle, still very real. Nice to see there are others like us out there 🙂

  412. Such incredible truth! The world is full of beautiful people learning to love themselves unconditionally and without the clause of “if I <work hard enough/weigh this amount/feel this happy/etc.) then I will love myself." It's so difficult and a journey I find myself deeply part of every day. Just be ❤

  413. Brilliant post. Although no, these are not the same girls. These are two different girls: we are never the same, and this is why we are to struggle. You have changed yourself, so you are different now.
    I have a question: what do you do to uncover your-new-self? Maybe you are afraid to begin to love yourself, because you are afraid to loose the stimulus for struggling? Because you don’t want to stop struggling, because you, actually, like your-present-self?
    Looking forward for your posts on a new journey. How to love yourself. No… How to keep loving yourself.

  414. Wow. How profound. I don’t have the words yet to respond in an eloquent manner, but wanted you to know that you made me stop and think. Stop and think about how I judge myself and others. Thank you. For your honesty and your bravery.

  415. I too am trying to lose weight and have thought about what it would be like when I reach my goal. I’m stuck in a rut right now…. Only 2.5 months away from my wedding and not comfortable with my body what so ever. I hope the last 20 lbs come off so fast so I can look the way I have pictures myself on my wedding day… Which is not as I look now. Great post and very thought provoking.

  416. Thank you so much for being so honest and writing this. I think what you have written is beautifully put. It takes a lot of time to realize that weight and the number on the scale was never an issue. I thank you for sharing this and it has been very inspiring to me. You’re a beautiful person in your before and after picture. I like how you put it :”Don’t tell me I look better; I don’t. I look different.”

  417. Love this! My advice to you during your next journey of discovering yourself is to travel! Backpack with a friend or a partner, but especially, by yourself! You will uncover so many things about yourself you never knew before. You will meet and befriend people who will teach you things you never dreamt of learning. You will experience cultures, spirituality, and most importantly, yourself!!

  418. Oh my goodness….I can soooo relate! Thank you for sharing! You’ve put, eloquently, in to words what I’ve been feeling the past 6 months. People who haven’t seen me in ages go on and on about how great I look, and how great I must feel. I’m still me…I still feel like me. Every day I have to, still, be mindful of the food choices I make, and continue to push myself to choose to go to the gym. This is a life-long journey, and it’s taken me 2 years to realize that there is never an “after”.

  419. I truly understand what you are saying! I have lost almost 100 lbs over the last 6 years and I still struggle. I actually struggle more. I was always the cute fat chick. I always had a good self esteem for the most part and the weight loss was really not about the way i looked but more to get healthy. I watched my grandparents die so unhealthy on both sides of my family. Diabetes, kidney failure, heart failure, etc. On both sides all the way back. My parents have always had issues and have been “old” as long as I can remember from being over weight. I wanted to get healthy for me and my kids.
    Now it’s more about the way I look. I am much more aware of the way I look and a lot more self concious (sp). People don’t get lt either. Good luck with your journey!

  420. Thank you for sharing your story! I wish you continued success and improvement as you continue on your journey, and an ever greater appreciation of all the wonderful aspects of life that are out there just waiting for you to experience. I am working on my own transformation, but I’ve consciously made myself focus NOT on losing weight, but rather on increasing health. It is very much an entire lifestyle change, and one which unfortunately often flies in the face of conventional practices and customs in our society, particularly in terms of eating and exercise habits, but it is absolutely worth it. I am feeling better both physically and mentally, and the results are noticeable. Although weight loss was not my goal, it has happened as a natural consequence of the changes I’ve made, and so far I’ve dropped more than 25 lbs, 4″ on my waist and one T-shirt size in the past 4 months, and for the first time in more than 25 years, I now weigh under 200 pounds! I mention this only because I’ve struggled with my weight my entire life, and none of the diets or programs I tried ever had lasting effects, and only now have I been able to break through that barrier, which previously seemed impossible.

    What I needed in order to change was a better understanding of how my lifestyle was threatening my health, and what I needed to do, in order to counter that trend. It is a simple solution, though not an easy one – eat better and exercise more. I eliminated as many non-essential carbs from my diet as I could (sugar, pasta, breads, potatoes, corn and rice), and added more whole foods in terms of quality meats, fruits, veggies and legumes, while being more mindful of the size of the portions I ate. I also made a commitment to myself to exercise 30 minutes every day, whenever possible, and not necessarily high impact exercise, but simple exercises like using an elliptical machine, going for a walk, practicing yoga, etc. It was very difficult for the first several weeks, but once I broke my addiction to carbs (and I swear, it was an addiction in every sense, withdrawal and all), it started to get easier and I started feeling better, which gave me even greater motivation to keep going. Although I am happy about the weight loss and my appearance, what I’m most thrilled about is the improvement to my health overall. I was on course to developing a full blown case of diabetes and my cholesterol readings were reaching dangerous levels, but I’ve managed to push back on both of those to the point where my cholesterol is now within normal levels again, and my diabetes is completely under control without any insulin or other pharmaceuticals.

    If I can make this kind of change in my own life, I absolutely believe without any doubt that others can do the same, by learning not just how – but why – it is so rewarding to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Life is a gift, and one that is here for us to enjoy, which makes it all the more important for us to value it and not simply throw it away. Living life to the fullest isn’t about cramming as much as you can into it – it’s about learning the fine art of doing it well, for yourself and your own body, in how you interact with others, and how you leave your mark on the world. None of us are perfect, but all of us are able to do even better than we think we can, when we put our minds to it. Keep it up, you’re doing great! 🙂

  421. I understand! The weight goes but the anxiety starts! You are so brave to share this. I have never found anyone who would admit to what you (and I) experienced. I know there are others and your openness in sharing is so important.Thank you. I am praying for you. You WILL learn to love yourself! Don’t give up!

  422. I hear you. I love what youve written and it makes me feel love for you, the you you looked like then during and after. You are strong beyond belief to live one day at a time hating yourself. I don’t care how I look, to a fault at times. But I hate myself because of my brain, my mental illness. I have been fighting for, begging for, praying for After for 20 years. But there is nothing to do but try to love the exact place my feet are on the ground, whether I am moving forward, backwards, sideways or in circles. If it’s my butt on the floor because I can no longer stand I have to learn to love that my butt is on the floor and that is me. I don’t know how to do it yet but I finally know that’s what I need to do. Thank you for reminding me there is no After. There is only the opportunity to love the me that is now. I am hearing you and bearing witness. We are fighting together with many others.

  423. How dare you post about your weight loss as if it didn’t can get who you are. You’re healthier,