Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Weight loss

I had dinner with a close friend last night. We had a great time over salad and pizza, and I told her some of my emotional adventures of the last six weeks. She was wonderfully sympathetic and careful in her listening. We talked then of other things and as we were winding down our meal, she asked if I had lost any weight.

I have lost some and I told her. She wanted to know how much and I knew we were headed down the wrong path. My friend has gained a lot of weight in the last several years: creeping age, less active, stressed, tired from the equivalent of two full-time jobs, and perhaps overeating. I had suggested to her at the beginning of the year that we make a mutual commitment to weight loss but she wasn't interested and so I went on my own path towards abstinence from sugar.

If you've been reading this blog, you know several things about my journey: that I have substantial weight that it would be nice to lose, and that weight loss is not part of my commitment. I am not actively seeking to lose weight; I am actively seeking to abstain from sugar and willing to do whatever that takes. Any weight loss is a side effect, a side benefit. I like it, for sure. I'm glad to be shedding a few pounds, but I'd still be abstinent even if I weren't losing weight.

As we parted company last night, she asked me to email her a list of four things I'm doing to lose weight. I agreed but then realized driving home that I have no idea how to respond. If she's interested in losing weight, she'll do what's convenient. If she's committed, she'll do whatever it takes and that could be completely different from what I'm doing. My process is not her process.
I don't how I'm losing the weight. Maybe it's not consuming embarrassing amounts of ice cream and candy and cupcakes. Maybe it's not eating much after dinner. Maybe it's the emotional upheavals that I've been through that have made me anxious and given me not much appetite. Maybe it's my willingness to do deep inner work that is never convenient and that feels so necessary.

If I knew how to lose 10 pounds in a month (her goal), I'd write a book and be rich. I never found that secret for myself unless this is it and it's not quick and it's not convenient and it's not easy. The truth is my friend is looking for a quick fix and I don't have one for her.

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