Ivana contacted me in May and one of the things that we agreed on was that she needed to lose weight in order to do something about her life. She weighed over 200 lbs and that was not only a health issue, it was also making her difficult to find a meaningful relationship. I am no weight loss expert but I shared with her things that work for me without ever consulting with a weight loss expert - regular exercise, low calorie diet (lots of fruits and vegetables, fibers, fewer carbohydrates, water, red wine, rarely a dessert or deep fried dish or meat), and an active lifestyle (I walk when I can rather than use the phone and prefer stairs over an elevator or escalator). Well she followed my advice, signed up with Diets.com, joined a gym, and sought the help of a nutritionist in redesigning her diet. (Related article: Lose weight and have fun too)
The result was remarkable: She lost 65 lbs in six months and she tells me that she feels great about her body. But read what else she writes, "I am glad that I lost the excess weight and the fact that I accomplished what seemed like an impossible goal, what disappoints me is that my life is still the same. In fact some people even tell me that I look sick, my face looks pale, and I lack that personality that I used to have."
What has happened to Ivana is not uncommon. Remember the old saying about the journey being more exciting than the destination. That is what Ivana is going through as well. Weight loss (or for that matter any other one thing) is just one step in life transformation. The way you can not change your life completely by losing weight or changing your wardrobe, you also cannot stop the change by telling yourself that you have arrived at the destination. What you really need is a complete makeover to notice the change. So if you are in a situation like Ivana, here are some thoughts:
- Life is a never-ending journey. It was never meant to be a destination.
- When you want to change your life, you have to change everything that deserves a change - be it your appearance or your style or your attitude.
- Weight loss is generally very helpful in making us look better and younger, but it also produces short-term "pain". The body takes time to adjust to a different lifestyle and that may make you look worn out and weak. You will have extra skin in many parts. Your clothes wouldn't fit you. Even worse, people who are used to seeing you fat will actually not like you new you. What that means is that you will need to develop a new style that suits your body better. Plus, a new attitude that fits a person who looks much younger now.
- If you feel a sense of emptiness inside you, it is not surprising. Whenever we put all our energy into one thing and then achieve it, we feel that we no longer have a purpose or life has no meaning any more. So find something else that can generate the same kind of enthusiasm in you. And this time, you can pick something that is not so harsh on you. Think about acquiring a new hobby or learning a new skill.
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