Weight loss is a metaphor. Respect yourself.
That seems like a casual thing to say, a little too easy knowing how many people struggle with their weight or the probably even more people who struggle with respecting themselves.
But I’ll say this: that was how I approached my weight loss.
My training is as a writer. I went to film school at New York University, I trained in comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade and Magnet Theaters in New York City. One of the principle things you create in telling a joke or telling a story is to honor the things you’ve already said.
If I’m telling a joke and I say, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" and then after a pause I say "I went to Delaware," it might be funny because it’s non sequitur, but it doesn’t fulfill the expectation set up by the beginning of the joke – that we’ll hear why the chicken crossed the road.
I seem to be going a long way from weight loss in talking about this, but consider this: just like when we create a story, the promises we make to ourselves in life find a way of disappointing us if we don’t find a way to honor them in life.
My Turning Point
Courtesy Nick Feitel
Being in the spotlight on Bethenny's show helped to put that in perspective. Seeing a colleague, Jon Bander, losing 100 pounds gave me perspective. Realizing that I had the power to change my life was what allowed me to lose weight.
What if I honored the things I already knew I wanted?
Why do diets fail? I’m sure the number one reason is that people fear failure. Some people have metabolic problems or what have you, but most lack a powerful enough desire or will to commit to a plan, a diet, working out, a technique, any technique for losing weight, there are tons of viable ones. Your health, external validation, pressure from your parents or loved ones – these things will fail you in your weight loss unless you have an internal reason, a want to change, a want to respect yourself that overwhelms your self-hatred.
Because what I realized when I lost my weight was the joy, the pride of realizing that I had the power to change my life, myself. And if I had the power to change my weight, then what else? I had the power to change my posture and get fit doing yoga, I didn’t have to be satisfied slouching. I had the power to be confident and act like I was worthy, because I had done something so hard. I had the power to ask a girl out on a date, to kiss someone in a bar, to ask for a job, to be a writer, an artist, to put myself to the world and be ready for rejection knowing I had worth.
So this is why weight loss is not the goal. Your life is a journey towards self-respect, towards seeing what you want and being cool with what you get. Weight loss and getting fit are wonderful means for this. But they can’t be your end goal. Respect yourself and anything is possible.