The Emotions of Change

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Honestly, I never expected so many changes when I decided to take my life back.  Oh sure, I expected to get skinner, but that is where my thought process stopped.  I am not sure I expected or even understood the “healthier” aspect of it all yet.  I’d set out to lose some weight and wouldn’t you know that I lost a ton of baggage as well.  Who knew there were emotions involved with this journey, NOT ME!

I remember being about 20 pounds into my journey and my boss asked me if I had lost some weight.  It shocked me initially that anybody had noticed.  Then I was filled with pride that someone had noticed.  I used that one very quick two minute conversation as motivation to keep going.  Like a lot of people, my weight loss started at my face and worked its way down.   My wife noticed some emotional changes already as I instantly became more pleasant to be around.  I was really pushing myself more than I had in years to be active, and it brought me joy.  By the end of the first four weeks, I was obsessed with fitness and was walking at least twice a day, typically more.  

The first four months of my journey was amazing. I remember the day in March that I called my dad and told him I’d found something I hadn’t seen for a number of years.  He asked me what that was and my response was, “my feet.”  I could look down and see my feet!  I could sit on my stool, bend over and tie my shoes with my foot flat on the floor!  No longer did I have to struggle to pull my leg up and cross it over my other knee.  No longer did I have to tie my shoe strings on the side because that’s the best I could do. I could tie my shoes right in the middle and I was proud of that! There were frustrating moments too.  I remember one trip to buy new pants.  I had lost about 55 pounds at this point and had not purchased any new clothes.  I looked like a vagabond my clothes were so baggy. I was wearing 38-40 and thought that I should now fit into 34s.  The 34s were still just a little tight. I look at the store clerk and said, “WHY can’t I fit into these 34s yet?  I’m so upset that these don’t fit, you just don’t understand.”  Then I apologized and explained my situation.  I remember my wife explaining to me that most of the weight I had lost was above the beltline. The weight loss hadn’t made it to my waist yet.  I left the store wearing my 38-40s and frustrated.  I had set myself up to buy 34s and didn’t want to settle for 36s.  Yep, I was still wearing baggy pants. 

Remember that song, ”Pants on the Ground”?  Well, I wasn’t far from that. 

When we set out to change our lives, sometimes we STILL have blinders on to reality and that’s OK. I would recommend that we at least have our eyes WIDE open and accept that changes are going to create emotions, as they come into our lives.  Your relationships with your spouse, your children, your co-workers, will change.

Sometimes the emotions of this journey will hit you at a moment when you aren’t expecting it. Below is an excerpt of a blog I wrote over a year ago, but I still remember this day like it was yesterday.  I was on a run in July 2010, when this happened:

…As I got near to the house I was close to 3.5 so I kept running toward the park across the street from my house. I quit running at 3.57 and kept walking as a cool-down period.

This is when the emotions hit me out of the blue. You see, this park I was walking around is where my journey started in December 2009. I started by doing nothing but walking(I've said that before) and this park is where I walked nearly EVERY morning for several months, around and around the 'island' as I called it. I've not walked around this park since I was probably about 230lbs, a completely different man than I am today. It was the strangest thing that I was having "flashbacks" and sort of watching my fat self huff and puff up on the sidewalk as I walked in the street today, seeing myself struggle to keep the walking speed at a rate that would do any good to burn calories. Today I was using this as a nice slow cool down period after running fairly hard for 3.57 miles, I found myself fighting tears this morning, it was the strangest thing, very surreal to experience the whole thing really. Even now as I write this, my eyes fill with tears as I am completely amazed at what has taken place

Tears filled my eyes as I sat and wrote it all down as soon as I walked in the door after that run.  Like I said, sometimes the emotions will catch you when you least expect it.  That day was amazing for me and I pray that I never forget it.  I also hope that YOU have your moments.  If you are just beginning your journey, maybe this blog will give you a very small window into what you’re about to go through.  If you’re already knee deep, hip deep or arm pit deep into your journey, maybe this blog will bring back a few memories for you.  Yes, this journey you are in has emotions and physical changes so get ready for them.  As a man, sometimes I didn’t face those emotions and deal with them as I should.  I would caution the men who read this to get ready to deal with some unexpected emotions.  Learn from the emotions as they come, confront them, accept them and move forward.  If we push them away, throw them to the side, have we really changed?  Will we do the same things in the future if we don’t understand what is happening on the journey?  I venture to say that if we don’t deal with them, we’ll go right back to where we came from.

I finished that blog with the following paragraph and I’d like to close with that same paragraph today.

I felt it necessary to purge these emotions and share this story to encourage those who might be struggling, those who might want to give up, those who have no/little support to NOT GIVE UP! I didn't like "watching" myself this morning in those flashbacks, I wasn't healthy, it was scary. DON'T GIVE UP. DON'T EVER GO BACK.”

Did you experience any emotional change when you started out on your weight-loss journey?