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Actually It Will Change Your Life

Actually It Will Change Your Life

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

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  1. starleigh

    I agree with you, but it seems like the original article is actually saying a lot of the same stuff you’re saying, but just in a different way. They’re using the “weight won’t change your life” angle as a lead-in, but they ultimately do say that the main thing that’s important is being healthy. They’re probably gearing the article mainly toward people who are trying to lose weight for vanity reasons alone and perhaps don’t even need to lose a substantial amount of weight for health reasons.

    Have you ever seen the blog called Big Fat Deal? I came across it recently and noticed this article about how to deal with compliments about losing weight, with the implication being that it’s difficult because you don’t want to go along with the idea that being overweight is “bad” to begin with. I guess the whole blog is more of a “fat acceptance” blog which is … well, I don’t know, how do you feel about that topic?

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Thanks for the link. I’ll read it.

      I think the topic of “fat acceptance” is a slippery slope…but I think my situation was a little different. I come from the point of view of being unhealthy and having health issues and illness as a result of being obese. Coming from THAT place than I don’t believe in fat acceptance because FOR ME I was making excuses. I was saying “I’ll always be fat” etc.

      But I know a lot of people who are not stick-thin and they are super healthy people. I think at any weight we should love our bodies and love ourselves. Not hate how we look or obsess over a number on the scale. In that aspect I am FOR “fat acceptance.”

      If that makes sense…maybe I just alienated a bunch of people. I just firmly believe that everyone can be healthy and happy. It’s not place to say what weight that is. Maybe for me that’s being 150 pounds. For someone else 200 is healthy. I’m not judging.

      1. starleigh

        I totally agree — I think “fat acceptance” is a good thing in the way that you described it (i.e., not hating your body or yourself no matter what your weight is), but just accepting being obese even when you’re unhealthy is not a good thing. It’s almost like some people view losing weight as a form of self-hating (because you’re not “accepting” your body the way it is) which to me seems counter-intuitive and just as bad as hating yourself for gaining weight!

        BTW, I know you’re really into swimming and I’ve been thinking about trying that as a new way to work out. I haven’t been going to the gym lately and that’s partly because I really didn’t like the treadmill and the other machines. Everyone seems to rave about what good exercise swimming is so I might as well try it. But what exactly do you do? I mean is there a recommended “format” of a swimming workout for a beginner? I’ve only been swimming as a recreational thing so I don’t know how to do it as exercise!

        1. Lisa Eirene

          You said exactly what I was trying to say much more eloquently. 🙂 I don’t think the phrase “fat acceptance” is a good term. I think it should be more about having a positive self image no matter what you weight instead of being “happy” to be fat. Why even use the word fat? According to doctor charts I’m still considered “overweight.” I don’t care. I am HAPPY with my life and my body. Sure I have moments where I am moody and critical of cellulite or flab. But 95% of the time I know how far I’ve come and how I should be happy and accepting of my body The Way It Is.

          As for swimming…I love it. It’s my #1 love and my #1 sport. I was always a swimmer as a kid. I did synchronized swimming and I was on a swim team in (maybe?) Middle school?

          I think it’s a great activity. It’s fun. It burns a ton of calories and (for me) it was easier as a larger person than trying to do running or something.

          I swim laps. Some people can handle that–they think it’s too boring. It’s “me” time when I swim laps. Fantasize. Daydream. Process work stresses, etc. It’s time for me to get lost in thought. So I don’t mind the monotony. Try swimming laps for 15 minutes to start and go from there. Do whatever stroke you are comfortable with, then add others as you get your stamina up.

          1. starleigh

            Thanks … I may message you off-site with more questions/comments about swimming. 🙂 I need to find a new gym first of all – I quit mine because it was $60/month and I just couldn’t afford it anymore. It’s hard to weigh the pros & cons of paying more for a nice & convenient gym (which mine was) or saving money and going to one that’s perhaps not as modern or convenient.

          2. Lisa Eirene

            Sure–email me anytime.

            When it comes to gyms I have very few requirements:
            1. A pool. No pool? I won’t join.
            2. Cost.
            3. Convenience.

            I used to go to the Mt. Scott community center and I swam there. They had a very small gym but it worked for me and I was friends with the personal trainer that worked there. But once I moved too far away I had to find something closer. As much as I despise 24hr Fitness I go because it’s convenient, the hours are good and there’s a pool. I wish there was another option nearby because they are like the Walmart of gyms in my opinion…

  2. Caroline Calcote

    I lost 100# a couple of years ago and have kept it off. For me, it was mostly about my health. Otherwise, my life was pretty great then as well. I don’t think I had low self-esteem then or now. I was definitely lazy and addicted to food. Now I’m kind of addicted to working out. The food thing is still a struggle and I’m sure always will be. I do think it’s definitely true that losing weight won’t cure many of the things that people think it will. If you have low self-esteem, losing weight (alone) probably won’t cure that. If you are an unhappy person, losing weight won’t necessarily make you a happy person. Life won’t suddenly be easy and free of struggle. It may be easier, and some struggles (like buying clothes or fitting into airplane seats) may be lessened, but there will always be struggles. That’s just life. I definitely find just as many things to bitch about these days as I did back then, LOL. But I am healthy, and am gratified by that for the sake of my family as well for myself.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      First congrats on losing 100 pounds. That’s wonderful!

      You make an excellent point: I struggle just as much with food NOW as I did when I had my food issues. It will probably always be that way. I have mostly good days but sometimes I have bad days…I have to make daily conscious decisions to be healthy.

  3. RickGetsFit

    It looks to me like losing weight has made a major change in your life, in multiple ways. And that’s awesome! I’m way too early into my journey to see a change, but ‘ll get there! Cheers, Rick

    1. Lisa Eirene

      You WILL get there! And the fact that you’re still trying is excellent!

  4. Coco

    When I have had discussions like this, it has coming more from the persepective of losing weight *alone* won’t change your life. On the other hand, the life lessons you learn along the way — learning about nutrition, learning to prepare and enjoy healthy foods, standing up for yourself, dealing with stress instead of trying to “stuff” it away with food — can change your life.

    If you go on some sort of crazy crash diet and “lose weight” without making any sustainable dietary or lifestyle changes and don’t learn different coping mechanisms (or even recognize that you are using food as a crutch), then the fact that you lost weight won’t change anything and you will be likely to gain it all back. At least that’s what I did the first 20 times I went “on a diet”!

    On the other hand, now that I have lost weight the “right way” and kept it off for 10 years, my life is much better. Not because I’m a size 4 instead of a size 12, but because I am healthier physically and emotionally.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I agree with you. I learned a lot during the 2 years it took me to lose the weight. Learning those lessons helped me find myself and helped me love myself (finally).

  5. Nicole

    Awesome post. I agree that being a healthy weight really can change a person’s life. Will it remove all issues? No. But I honestly think that it will make life more enjoyable.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Yes! I’m proof positive. Of course there were hard parts and bad days but nothing is a cure-all.

  6. Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin

    Great post, Lisa. I just actually wrote a post this morning about how my life has changed in so many ways (for the better) since i lost a lot of weight. It really transforms you from the inside out, if you do it the right way.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I haven’t looked at my RSS yet today. I look forward to reading your post about it!

      Yes, I think it can only lead to positives!

  7. Lesley

    I agree and disagree…magically waking one morning and weighing 100 pounds less probably doesn’t mean you are a different person than the day before (i.e. some sort of weight loss surgery). Of course, being actually healthier should factually make day to life easier to navigate (breathing, sleeping, blood pressure, mobility, comfort, etc.).

    However, I think that the PROCESS and work that you and so many others go through is what what is the life altering thing. I know I’ve gone on crash diets (especially in teens and early 20’s) where I didn’t change any underlying thoughts, beliefs and habits. I ended up a little thinner, but the things that that caused me angst in life were still there and eventually I gained the weight back. But, I think your life is definitely dramatically changed and improved because you didn’t just change your weight. Your changed practically everything in your life, which allowed you to be 100 pounds lighter and healthier.

    I know it’s all semantics, but I do think a lot of people look at a number on the scale to dictate the value of their life. At least that’s how I look at it. :>

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I don’t think it’s semantics…I think you are right in the distinction that it was the PROCESS and the journey as opposed to the number on the scale. I learned so much during the process of losing 100 pounds. If I had had surgery, I doubt I’d be here today with the same lessons learned.

  8. Lori

    I agree with what the author says. Losing weight doesn’t really make you happy if you are an unhappy person. Losing weight can build self esteem and a sense of pride, which can make you happier, but it really is changing how you look at yourself that makes a difference.

    I was watching a show on lottery winners and so many of them were really happy at first, but then came down to what was their baseline of happiness. And for some of them it was not happy because they didn’t like themselves. I found that interesting.

  9. blackhuff

    I agree with you. Losing the 55lbs thus far, have indeed changed my life already. It made me more happier than I was before, it made me more confident, healthier. It also helped me to also find myself.
    So I agree with you and not the author of that article.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Congratulations on losing 55 pounds! I’m glad you’ve noticed positive changes from it.

  10. sui solitaire

    Just randomly found your post… thanks for your rebuttal 😉

    As another commenter said, I think what you’re trying to say is exactly what I’m saying. I’m not sure if you read the whole post, but my entire point is that the most important thing is to be healthy and happy no matter what weight you are. My point was that the NUMBERS don’t matter– your lifestyle does. I encourage you to check out HealthAtEverySize as well. It IS possible to be healthy and be “overweight”… whatever that means. (Check out http://danceswithfat.org for more of that.)

    Also, wanting to lose weight almost killed me. I developed an eating disorder from focusing on the number on the scale.

    My entire point is that we can trust our bodies without having to rely on an external machine to tell us a number that doesn’t actually tell us anything about our bodies or our health. I haven’t weighed myself in 5 years, but I can tell when my size fluctuates because I know my body and I can feel how differently my clothes fit.

    Anyway, I respect your article, just sayin’ my peace. This seems to have been my most controversial post ever, and I’m glad it sparked something 😉

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