When Loss Is a Gain

A couple of days ago, my scale said I weighed 190 pounds. I have been trying to get to that weight for months now–my goal when I started out at 238 in September 2011.

Of course, my weight did not stay at 190; it was up at 192 this morning. That is how it goes.

But the truth is that once I consistently weighed 195 or less I was pretty sure I could go the rest of the way. And I am pretty confident that I will get to 190 as my new base weight.

Not me, but what has been happening (I am not quite to the right image yet!)

I would expect this loss to make me jump for joy. I am pleased, yes, but not ecstatic. I almost forgot to tell Jonathan. What’s going on here?

After some thought, I think I know what’s happening.

I was ecstatic when I broke 200. That was a big deal. Even getting to 195 was pretty big.

But now, I know getting there is possible–I could probably go to 185, although I doubt I will. So it does not feel like such earth shattering news. Ho hum,that’s good, I weigh 190.

Besides, losing the weight was only one part of my plan to be more healthy and to change my life in some pretty significant ways. Now I need to get going on other fronts. For one thing, now I need to tone up my muscles. Thanks to going off wheat a few months ago, my “spare tire” around my middle is shrinking. But I need to tighten it with sit ups (ugh). That’s one example, but there are more muscles than that needing a tune up.

Even more importantly, I need to spend more time sleeping, and time working in my yard and garden, and reading. My soul needs some attention, too.

So I am happy to see 190 not far off, and I am sure I will arrive in that promised land. But the big news is not the weight so much as the knowledge I now have about what it takes to eat right to keep the weight from returning.

Even bigger than that is the reality that I have a changed relationship with food.

That is the biggest gain from losing the weight. It is not the weight loss so much as it is a new way of eating, a new way to relate to food. That is the big news here. Food and I are friends now, in a truly mutual relationship. I use food to fuel my body and my brain, not to bury my feelings or to bribe myself or reward myself.

That means the number is not so important as the relationship. Besides, I can’t measure the strength of a relationship on a scale exactly, but I do know that 190, or 195, or 200, all signal the same thing: food and I are no longer in a dysfunctional relationship.

And that loss is a huge gain.

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