Identity and Weight Loss
Saturday, July 03, 2010
I am so terribly afraid of failure (which I'm sure I'm not alone in). As much as I long to be thin and healthy, I'm so afraid that if I start to lose weight, I'll get overwhelmed with the pressure to lose more, or at least not GAIN it back.
And the reality is that losing weight (especially 100+ lbs, like I need to) is a total shift in identity. I've been the "fat girl" for SO long! I start to wonder if losing weight will even register within my psyche.
I once heard Kate Winslet say that even though she lost weight, she still felt like the fat girl; that although she was physically thinner, all the mentality of being overweight was still very present. I think we so often imagine ourselves thinner and assume we'd automatically have the confidence to match it. Perhaps thats not true.
I also think that the process of losing weight creates a shift in identity that happens in stages. We begin as fat- then we become fat people losing weight- then we reach a point where we're visibly thinner- and if we're lucky enough to reach our goal weight, we become a thin person. The transformation, though a desired outcome, is still very taxing on the soul. A world that we once understood through the lens of our fat glasses no longer makes sense. Our understanding of ourselves- in relation to our world and the people in it- no longer applies. I may walk into a boutique perfectly capable of wearing all the clothes they sell, but in my mind- will I still feel like the girl who everyone stares at, wondering "what is SHE doing here?!"
Will I always see myself as the fat girl??