Monday, December 14, 2015

Sometimes I Think About What Happens After Goal Weight

The other day I was reading an interview with a transgender woman about her transition, and something in it struck a particular chord with me. Nora lives in the Netherlands, where the state will pay for everything, but there are a tremendous amount of meetings, counseling, therapy, waiting periods, etc, involved in the transition process. Much of these meetings focused on what Nora wanted to do with her life after becoming a woman - everything from hobbies to career goals, to love and friendships. What were her plans, what was her support system?

She explained, “You spend your youth wishing you could live your life as a woman, but once you accomplish that goal, you then have to actually go out and live your life as a woman. That's not the end of a story -- it's the beginning of one.”

Obviously my situation is very different from Nora’s, but what she said there really struck me, and I think there can be some interesting parallels. Really, her words can apply to any big accomplishment or event - finishing a game of Risk, getting married, taking that trip, whatever.

How often does something like this happen? You plan and you work and you try for months or years, and then you finally do it. You’re married, you’re living as your preferred gender, you’ve gotten to your goal weight. Then what?

How much time and energy have I spent on my weight? Planning diets, reading tips, staring at the scale, even blogging here? How many of my waking hours are spent thinking about the type and amount of food that will enter my mouth? (Ha, you didn’t think I’d say ‘mouth!)

That’s something to remember. After I lose all this weight, there will probably be some new clothes and an enormous amount of celebrating and creating before/after jpg that I not-so-secretly hope will go viral. But then eventually life will go on at this new weight. At some point, I might have more people in my life who have only even known me at 140 pounds or whatever than people who remember my 190-pound existence. Isn’t that weird?

There are already people who’ve never known the me that was looking for a post-grad job forever, or the me that was really depressed, or the me that had [opinion] on [controversial topic] that’s now done a 180.

We all keep creating different versions of ourselves, and with each new person that we meet in life, there’s one more person who has no idea who we were before they met us. I found out that a girl I was friendly with was a semi-famous violinist. I’d hung out and talked to her at least 20 times, but had no idea. She had this huge skill, these amazing accomplishments that she’d earned, and I had no clue.

So I need to remember that maybe someday there will even be people who think I don’t understand what it’s like to be bullied for my weight, because they’ve only even known me as a the supermodel I became later. I guess the older you get, the more that happens. Most of the people in my parents’ lives have only ever known them with kids. Hell, I’VE only ever known my parents as parents, not the clean-shaven law student or the reporter living in a cool apartment. (However, I’m positive that my dad has always made dad jokes.)

Weight loss will hopefully just be a part of my past someday, just like the months I thought crunchy gelled hair = extreme attractiveness. And it should be. I might always have to think about food a little to maintain, but it won't be like now, where weight loss is high on the priority list. 140-pound Leah will be the new Leah.


  1. Wow! This is such an interesting post. I reached (got back to after a long time) my WW goal weight in July. For really a few months after that I was almost at loose ends. I had to set a goal that wasn't really totally based on weight and it felt...strange. It was a little hard to adjust to (in my case, I still have high body fat so I need to work on that and I'll probably lose a few pounds doing that).

    On your other I say a new primary care physician, who had never known me as an overweight person. In talking about a few things, it was sort of a new experience not to be told that maybe I should lose a few pounds. At no point did he bring up weight. I am used to going to the doctor and being told to do something about it. It was definitely odd to see a doctor and realize they don't see me as someone overweight.

    1. Congratulations on getting to your goal weight, that's really wonderful.
      Yes, that doctor's appointment must have been odd! But hopefully it was also great not to hear about your weight anymore.

  2. It's a very big adjustment and unfortunately there's not much advice out there. I spent nearly 2 years trying to lose 100+ pounds and then once I got there I kind of floundered. I didn't know what to do once I reached my goal! It was a hard adjustment but I eventually figured it out.

    1. Wow, that's an incredible accomplishment. I will check out your blog to see how you managed to figure it out. Congrats on your baby!

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