New Year’s resolutions have always been a piece of cake for me: Simply take my resolutions from the year before – learn to meditate, write a novel, lose ten pounds – and move them from the old calendar to the new.
But this year is different. Meditation and the novel remain on the 2019 list, but 2018 was the year when I finally lost those ten pounds.
My primary care doctor and endocrinologist are thrilled. I am too. It’s great to have moved from a size 12 to a size 6 or 8.
But while all of that is true, I’m also a little confused. And a bit let down.
I’ve been trying to think about why this is, and I’ve arrived at a theory. As a person who has struggled with these pounds since my first son was born (he’s now 33), I believe I’m addicted to the idea of losing weight.
After all, that eternally unmet resolution on the books year after year took up quite a bit of headspace. Although I was never overweight, I was always on the cusp of an overweight BMI. Thinking about losing weight, planning on losing weight, and then charting my success (or lack of success) became kind of an obsession. And now that I’ve finally achieved my goal and can toss that evergreen resolution to the wind, I’m left with a nagging feeling that I’m forgetting something.
Oh yes, to be preoccupied with my weight, that’s it.
As a person with well-controlled type 2 diabetes, it has paid for me to be obsessed with numbers – and not only on the scale. After all, if we’re not counting carbs, we’re counting calories. Or maybe, both. We have to track our daily blood sugars, not to mention our A1C’s, cholesterol and blood pressure. Plus, the number of minutes we manage to exercise a day.
It’s enough to drive you nuts. And I’ve often wondered how it might feel to have some of that headspace back. To be a normal person without a chronic disease.
Losing weight has given me a little window into that world. While I do have to maintain the weight loss, the number of the scale has become one less numeral I have to be concerned about. And, like an old friend who has moved away, I kind of miss the worry.
Of course, my weight could return. And then I’d be right back where I started, spinning numbers to drop pounds.
But for right now, I’m working to adjust to my new body – both physically and mentally. I’m trying to be O.K. with the idea that there’s one less figure I need to be thinking about, and appreciate that I can fill that space with other things – like writing that novel or working on relaxation techniques.