Is Weight-loss an Accomplishment?
Posted by sheissparkling
I follow a lot of weight-loss / healthy blogs - some have amazing tips and give me warm fuzzies, some get me fired up and thinking. Recently someone posted a negative comment they received about fat people getting praise when people who have maintained a healthy weight their whole life never get accolades. The commenter said she was sick of seeing fat people get praised of overeating then undoing their mess. Of course, people went rabid like Justin Bieber fans at a free concert in Time Squares. Insults were hurled, angry faces were thrown, swear words exchanged etc. etc.
I sat back (for once) and pondered this. Do we (“society”) praise people for unfucking their lives? We do! There are TV shows dedicated to losing fat, giving up additions (“Addiction”) or getting over a failure (or failures) ala “Fix My Life”. There are magazines and news specials all about transformations. We are obsessed with success stories, we thrive on progress and we live for triumphs over adversity. Right? So then how do people on the other side of the coin feel? Should we in fact be celebrating people who have kept it together all along?
Weight-loss is a perfect platform for this argument. I was once 450 pounds. I got there 100% of my own accord (special shout out to food for being my once BFF and main accomplice). I am now coming out of the downward spiral with exercise, healthy food options and lots of support from friends and family. Is my struggle “worse” or somehow more tragic because it was of my own making? No. Are my accomplishments somehow more impressive because of my size? Nope. So why then do I get so much praise from the folks around me for getting my butt to the gym or fitting into smaller jeans? I’m guessing it’s because the people in my circle – my community want to see me succeed. Sometimes I feel like a sham – I write a weight-loss blog for 2.5 years and yet I am not at my goal weight – how the hell is that possible?! I’m still struggling. But, maybe that’s the beauty of it. I have flaws (loves cupcakes, hates to cook), I fall down – I make mistakes – hell I straight up give up sometimes! But, I always get back on the proverbial horse and try again. I am resilient (I wasn’t always) and I share those struggles with the world. This blog is a lot about my success but even more about my real-life on-going struggles with my weight and my choices.
All that said I can’t help but wondering (in a very Carrie Bradshaw sorta way) – should “normal” people be getting the accolades for getting up every day and just being awesome? Shouldn’t those folks that have never strayed more than a few pounds from their ideal weight be saluted and revered more than those of us that slip up (time and time again) only to (someday hopefully) reach success?
Are you more drawn towards success after immense failure or status quo awesomeness?