I have a large contingent of musicians and music teachers in my social circle. One of them posted this on Facebook:
I have a student who has repeatedly suggested that I’m good at playing instruments simply because it comes easy for me … I finally told her, “I’m good at instruments because I’ve been practicing them since I was in 5th grade … don’t take away all the work I’ve done so you can have an excuse to give up!”
Ever since I’ve lost and maintained the loss of a bunch of body fat, people have assumed that it’s just easy for me.
“Well, you can do that, but you don’t understand.”
I do understand. I used to eat ice cream by the pint on a regular basis. I wasn’t “into all that healthy shit.”
Steroids. Chemo. Pregnancy. Depression.
Don’t take away all the work I’ve done so you can have an excuse.
Just because I look the way you would like to or have habits you would like to doesn’t mean it’s easy for me and it’s hard for you.
Now, as a tangent to that, there are definitely pieces of living a healthier lifestyle that get easier as time goes on, as they become habits, as the people in your circles accept them as who you are. But starting them isn’t easy for anyone.
You don’t automatically get to jump to maintenance mode. You’re already in maintenance mode, just for a path you don’t want to be on.
Get on another path! You can. Yes. YES. Yes, you can. It’s just a matter of finding what starting place will work for you.
• • • • •
While we’re here talking about “easy,” I want to give a shout out to all of the people who are working hard to stay a healthy weight without getting huge first.
There are a lot of weight loss stories out there, including my own. “I used to weigh a zillion pounds and now I weigh a whole lot less!”
While losing weight and maintaining that long-term is a significant accomplishment, making healthy choices, exercising regularly, doing all the same work that the “losers” in maintenance mode have to do is challenging, even if you don’t have a fat loss story.
Their maintenance isn’t any easier than anyone else’s, but they don’t have the “I did it!” flag to wave. They’re just doing it.
I worked with a slender woman, C, a long time ago. Another colleague, L, offered her a piece of cake or cookies or something once and she declined. L engaged in typical rudeness and insisted that C have some and that she could “afford it.”
C declined and said she was starting to put on some weight and really didn’t want to do that.
L, who was quite obviously not a healthy weight, poo-pooed her, saying that she had a long way to go before she had to worry about her weight and oh my god you’re so skinny and on and on. She did finally give up.
Good for C for sticking to her guns! And for realizing that you don’t have to gain 20 or 30 or 40 pounds (or more…) before you decide to do something about it.
There is a mindset that if you’re slender, it’s easy for you to be that way. While that is true for some people, it’s not true for many.
The moral of the story? How do you get the reward? You do the work.*
*”The work” doesn’t look the same for everyone because bodies and histories are different.