Saturday, April 17, 2010

Going public with your weight loss journey

When I was in grade 4, I have vivid memory of a time I was weighed. I can't remember why, but the teacher was weighing everyone in the class. It was somewhat confidential, I suppose, but we all went up there and stepped on the scale in front of everyone. Most people announced their weight as they got off.

When I went up, I had no intention of saying what I weighed. I wasn't a heavy kid, but I wasn't skinny either. However, I was (and still am) very tall. What I didn't realize though, was that somebody was sitting where she got a full view of the numbers that came up. That somebody was supposedly my best friend.

"40 kilograms!" she announced proudly. The class burst into laughter.

In that moment I learned that my weight was something to be ashamed of. I learned that you don't ever tell anyone that number. My height didn't matter, nor did my build or any other marker of health. It was the number that showed up on the scale.

And from that point on, I protected that number fiercely.

When I started this blog, I did something that I've never done before while trying to lose weight.

I told everybody.

I included a link to it in my emails. I put it in my facebook status. In fact, I post a link to facebook every time I update my blog. I am open about it. I talk about it. If I'm in a social situation and it comes up, I'll mention the new workouts I'm doing, or my intention to avoid sugar. I don't try to hide it.

It has been one of the most freeing experiences in my life.

The day that I posted my starting weight of 243 pounds, I took back the power that I had given to the scale more then 2 decades earlier. I gave that number the power it deserved. The power of being a number.

The support I have received since I started sharing my journey has been amazing. I was afraid it would become something awkward or uncomfortable. It is far from that. I've had people congratulate me, tell me that I'm looking good, encourage me when I'm down, and tell me that I inspire them when I've been up.

Nobody tries to sabotage me by pushing food on me. Honestly, nobody. They may offer it to me, but there's no pressure whatsoever. In many social situations, people have gone to efforts to help me by providing food that works with my new lifestyle.

While my body has shrunk, my understanding of myself has grown. I've realized that this journey is actually more an emotional journey then a physical one. Every day I learn new things about myself and begin to unpeel the layers that brought me to this place.

If you are ashamed of your weight, or hide the fact you are trying to change it, I have a challenge for you.

Tell somebody. Tell at least one person. You can do it by email, phone or in person. If you want to, you can even start a blog. But, tell somebody that you are on this journey and you are working to change yourself and change your life.

You may be amazed at the difference it makes.


  1. I think this is your best entry yet! And you've got more inside of you "coming soon"! Bravo!

  2. I would have to agree with Genie in that this is one of the best posts I've ever read.

    When I started my blog I didn't share my weight right away. But when I shared it later, I felt so incredibly from the burden of my weight, the embarrassment I faced as a result and the inner struggle I had in my mind about whether or not I could really lose it.

    I've lost 93 pounds, and while I'm still not even close to my goal I am a newer, happier and more confident person.

    It was just a number that was obvious whether I announced it or not. Now it's just a number that's changing a lot just like me.

    I'm so inspired by what you wrote tonight. Thank you.