Watching The Biggest Loser finale (no worries, no spoilers here), I definitely saw post-show changes not just in people’s bodies, but in their attitudes and demeanor. I know from my own experience, as well as from talking to friends who’ve gone through significant weight loss, that more changes than a person’s body and health. There can be huge emotional impacts (unexpected ones, grief and depression), relationship dynamics can change dramatically AND there’s the reality of learning maintenance and dealing with the games our minds can play with us after we think we’ve “won the game” or figured out “the formula.”
It made me wonder why, exactly, there is no post-weight-loss industry. No one seems to write books about it, at least not on the scale or with the success of the weight LOSS books. No one creates shows about it. Hell, for that matter, no one even interviews about it, not really. Therapists generally don’t offer “post weight loss changes” as a specialty. Some programs, like Weight Watchers, at least acknowledge that maintenance is part of the journey, but their focus is still primarily on the loser, not the person dealing with the loss or life beyond it. There’s a gaping hole here.
As a culture, we are far more interested in the moment of “victory” than we are sustainability. And I get it – I understand why. The moment you realize a dream or a goal is a powerful, powerful thing. What’s more, our collective focus on that moment makes it seem as if that moment is all that matters. Our friends and family cheer, then breathe a sigh of relief, as if we’ll never have to consider the the nasty little package that led us to gain the weight and what parts of it are still waiting to be detonated.
Achieving the weight goal is not all there is. Thinking that it is, or that a new body will magically solve every problem we have with our lives (as well as magically sustain itself), well, that’s a place of getting stuck, or at least it has been for me. I think I have to seriously think about this as I head northwest, since I want to make some significant changes in how I’m living my life.
Just something I’m thinking about… a moment of hmmm.